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Gold Steady After Yellen Speaks, Draghi Awaited

by Peter A. Grant

August 22, AM
(from USAGOLD.com) --

Gold is trading in a narrow range, just above the two-month low established on Thursday at 1272.75. This leaves the yellow metal just below the midpoint of the 1182.10/1388.46 range, which is in turn well within the broader 1179.83/1433.85 range that has dominated for more than a year.

The market was hoping for some fresh directional queues out of Jackson Hole this morning. However, Fed chair Yellen struck an all-too familiar cord; expressing concern about "significant" under-use of labor resources, while also saying the Fed could raise rates sooner than expected if progress toward the Fed's goals "continues to be more rapid than anticipated."

"There is no simple recipe for appropriate policy in this context," said Yellen in a speech rife with caveats.
This left the market utterly confused, with some complaining Yellen wasn't dovish enough and others saying she was too noncommittal on rate-hikes based on recent data. In other words, she probably viewed this as a successful speech; walking the tightrope between dove and hawk and leaving investors reluctant to make a significant bet one way or another.
But it may be all a mute-point, if a report presented in Jackson Hole is given any credence:
The paper, presented Friday morning at the annual gathering of economists and central bankers at Jackson Hole, Wyo., argues that the share of Americans with jobs has declined because the labor market has stagnated in recent decades — fewer people losing or leaving jobs, fewer people landing new ones. This dearth of creative destruction, the authors argue, is the result of long-term trends including a slowdown in small business creation and the rise of occupational licensing.

“These results,” wrote the economists Stephen J. Davis, of the University of Chicago, and John Haltiwanger, of the University of Maryland, “suggest the U.S. economy faced serious impediments to high employment rates well before the Great Recession, and that sustained high employment is unlikely to return without restoring labor market fluidity.”

Their findings contribute to the growing genre of papers that purport to show that the weakness of the American economy is caused largely by problems that predate the recession — and that the Federal Reserve can’t remedy them with low interest rates. — via The New York Times
If the labor market issues are indeed systemic, then the trillions of dollars worth of monetary and fiscal accommodations over the last six-years were wasted. We've seen the same in Japan over the last two-decades and now the market looks forward to Mario Draghi's speech in Jackson Hole to see if the ECB gets sucked down the same rabbit-hole.

Opinions expressed in commentary on the USAGOLD.com website do not constitute an offer to buy or sell, or the solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any precious metals product, nor should they be viewed in any way as investment advice or advice to buy, sell or hold. USAGOLD, Inc. recommends the purchase of physical precious metals for asset preservation purposes, not speculation. Utilization of these opinions for speculative purposes is neither suggested nor advised. Commentary is strictly for educational purposes, and as such USAGOLD does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy, timeliness or completeness of the information found here.

 

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