The Bank of Japan’s surprise decision that they would raise their benchmark interest rate cap from 0.25% to 0.50% sent ripples through the global financial markets. Since 2016 the Japanese Central Bank has set its target range for the yield of 10-year Japanese government bonds near zero, with a cap of 0.25%. As other major central banks began to enact interest rate hikes this year the BOJ maintained their cap on its benchmark rate near zero.
According to Reuters News, “The Bank of Japan shocked markets on Tuesday with a surprise tweak to its bond yield control that allows long-term interest rates to rise more, a move aimed at easing some of the costs of prolonged monetary stimulus…But the central bank kept its yield target unchanged and said it will sharply increase bond buying, a sign the move was a fine-tuning of existing ultra-loose monetary policy rather than a withdrawal of stimulus.”
The move by the BOJ astounded financial markets globally. The value of the Japanese yen rose dramatically to a four-month high against the US dollar which in turn resulted in strong gains across-the-board in the precious metals. Gold gained approximately 1.7%, silver gained 5.22%, palladium gained 3.79%, and platinum gained 2.53%.
As of 4:15 PM EST gold futures basis, the most active February 2023 contract is fixed at $1828.20 after factoring in a net gain of $30.50. Spot gold gained $31 and is currently fixed at $1818.40. Silver had the largest percentage gain of over 5% with the most active March 2023 futures contract gaining $1.20 and is fixed at $24.39.
Gains in the precious metals were partially driven by dollar weakness but the vast majority of today’s moves were the result of strong buying in the markets.
Our technical studies indicate that the support levels for gold futures are first at $1795, which corresponds to the longest-term moving average used by market technicians. Followed by the 200-day MA, major support occurs just below the 200-day SMA at $1785 which is also based upon the 23.6% Fibonacci retracement. The Fibonacci retracement uses a data set that begins at $1619 the low hit two months ago and concludes at $1837, the highest value gold made since August.
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