Gold has turned more defensive within the range, dropping to fresh 3-week lows. The yellow metal is being pressured by strength in the dollar after a dovish ECB pushed the euro lower.
The ECB held steady on policy as was widely expected. While QE was extended by 9-months, the monthly purchases were halved to €30 bln.
Mario Draghi maintained a dovish bias during his presser, stressing that an “ample degree of monetary stimulus remains necessary.” He also said that QE remains “open-ended” and could be extended. There is some speculation that cutting the size of the monthly purchases was a necessary reaction to an absence of supply.
News that the U.S. $4 trillion 2018 budget narrowly passed the House, is further stoking risk appetite. This is seen as another significant hurdle toward advancing tax cuts.
Politico cited an unnamed source, said to be close to the President, as saying that the field of potential replacements for Janet Yellen has been narrowed to Jerome Powell and John Taylor. The former being a centrist, the latter thought to be a hawk.
While this may be modestly moving the policy expectations needle toward hawkish, the White House has said that no final decision has been made. The President is likely to make the nomination before he leaves for Asia on November 3.
On the support side of the equation are geopolitical tensions regarding Catalonia and North Korea. And political tensions associated with various ongoing investigations and the recent discord among GOP Senators.