Gold price remains down as annual U.S. CPI rises 7.5% in January; another 40-year high

Neils Christensen

Thursday February 10, 2022

The gold market continues to see some technical selling pressure and is finding little bullish traction following hotter than expected inflation data.

Thursday, the U.S. Labor Department said its U.S. Consumer Price Index rose 0.6% in January, after a 0.5 rise in December. The data beat consensus forecasts as economists were forecasting a 0.4% rise.

For the year, the report said that headline inflation rose 7.5%.

Annual inflation was also much hotter than expected hitting a new 40-year hugh expectations. Some economists were bracing for inflation to rise to 7.3%.

The report noted that rising food prices, energy costs and shelter costs all rose last month. Food prices rose 0.9% last month. At the same time, the energy index rose 0.9% as electricity prices offset a drop in fuel prices.

Meanwhile, core CPI, which strips out food and energy costs, increased 0.6% last month, up from a 0.6% increase in December.

“This was the seventh time in the last 10 months  it has increased at least 0.5 percent,” the report said.

For the year, core CPI is up 6.0%. The report said annual core inflation saw “the largest 12-month change since the period ending August 1982.”

The gold market is not seeing much reaction to the latest inflation data as it sees some technical selling pressure after Wednesday’s push above initial resistance at $1,830 an ounce. April gold futures last traded at $1,824.40 an ounce down 0.66% on the day.

Some analysts note that the gold market is unable to catch a bid because the latest inflation data is rising expectations for aggressive Fed action next month. Calls for a 50-basis point move in March continue to solidify and markets are now pricing in the potential for six rate hikes this year.

“The broad-based price increases solidify the Fed’s hawkish stance and add to the urgency for rate hikes,” said Katherine Judge, senior economist at CIBC.

Andrew Hunter, senior U.S. economist at Capital Economics, said that January’s inflation data could represent the highwater mark for the year as global supply chain issues start to ease. However, he added that while prices are close to peaking they will still remain elevated through 2022.

“While we still expect more favorable base effects and a partial easing of supply shortages to push core inflation lower this year, this suggests it will remain well above the Fed’s target for some time,” he said.

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