Gold Hits Record $2,164 Amid Market Volatility

Asian stocks rise on central banks' dovish signals, yen strengthens amid rate hike speculation, and markets eye US jobs data.

By Bill Bullington

3/7, 19:15 EST

Key Takeaway

  • Asian stocks rally and yen strengthens amid central banks' dovish signals and speculation of a Bank of Japan rate hike.
  • US jobs report forecasts range from 145,000 to 260,000 new jobs, indicating potential volatility in yields.
  • Regulatory scrutiny in China and rising commodity prices, including gold reaching $2,164.78 an ounce, impact market dynamics.

Central Banks' Dovish Signals Boost Equities

Asian equities mirrored the positive sentiment from US markets, with Australian shares and Hong Kong equity futures edging higher. The yen's strength against the dollar was fueled by speculation of a potential interest rate hike by the Bank of Japan, marking a significant shift since 2007. The Federal Reserve's dovish stance, as articulated by Chair Jerome Powell, further supported market optimism, with expectations of policy easing later this year.

US Jobs Data Sparks Volatility Expectations

Anticipation for the US jobs report added to market volatility, with consensus estimates pointing to 200,000 new jobs. However, a wide dispersion in forecasts, ranging from 145,000 to 260,000, could lead to significant yield swings. Andrew Brenner of Natalliance Securities LLC highlighted the potential for a 10-year yield fluctuation based on the report's outcome, emphasizing the market's sensitivity to job data and its implications for interest rates.

Wage Growth and Inflation Concerns

Gina Bolvin from Bolvin Wealth Management Group underscored the importance of wage growth in Friday's report, particularly its impact on inflation. Rapid wage increases could translate to higher costs for consumers, fueling inflationary pressures. Despite market fluctuations in response to inflation data, the prevailing buy-the-dip mentality persists, supported by robust earnings growth and estimates.

Regulatory Scrutiny in China and Commodity Markets

Regulatory scrutiny in China over regional banks' bond investments highlighted concerns of speculative activities rather than productive lending. This development reflects broader efforts to ensure financial stability and sustainable economic growth. In the commodity markets, oil prices inched higher amid interest rate uncertainties and geopolitical tensions in the Middle East, while gold continued its record-breaking rally, reaching new highs at $2,164.78 an ounce.

Street Views

  • Andrew Brenner, Natalliance Securities LLC (Neutral on US jobs data and bond yields):

    "Friday’s jobs data could be a wild one... If the number is really good we could be looking at a 3 handle for the 10-year, but if it’s bad then 4.3% could be in the cards."

  • Gina Bolvin, Bolvin Wealth Management Group (Neutral on market reaction to inflationary data):

    "The markets have declined on inflationary data, however it has recovered quickly... It’s a constant buy-the-dip mentality mostly because earnings growth and estimates have been strong."