Gold dropped over 1% to a one-month low, as investors latched on to signs of a seemingly hawkish tilt in U.S. monetary policy that could rein in rising consumer prices in future. Gold seemed to take cues from increased bets that early interest rate hikes – translating into higher opportunity cost of holding non-yielding gold – would curb future inflation, flattening the yield curve. While the gain in stock markets may suggest improved appetite for risk, further volatility in equities, especially amid lingering uncertainty over the Omicron coronavirus variant, may put a floor under prices of safe-haven gold.
Technical Resistance: 1781/1804
Technical support: 1760/1750
Asian currencies muted, stocks edge up as Omicron worries linger
Most Asian currencies eased and stocks advanced on Thursday, amid some caution among investors as they assessed the potential economic fallout from the Omicron coronavirus variant, while the South Korean won firmed on increased bets of a rate hike. The United States confirmed its first case of the variant overnight, unsettling Asian financial markets that were already on edge due to its likely impact on the region's nascent economic recovery. Equities saw diverging movements, with early losers paring their declines. Stocks in Singapore and Thailand fell just 0.2%, while Jakarta shares rose 1%. The Indonesian rupiah and Malaysia's ringgit eased 0.2% each, while the Thai baht dropped 0.4% to a seven-week low.
Food prices climbed closer to a record high, giving consumers and governments around the world an even bigger inflation headache. A United Nations gauge of global food prices rose 1.2% last month, threatening to make it more expensive for households to put a meal on the table. It’s more evidence of inflation soaring in the world’s largest economies and may make it even harder for the poorest nations to import food, worsening a hunger crisis. Prices have jumped for multiple reasons: bad weather hurt harvests, higher shipping rates, worker shortages and an energy crunch hit supply chains, and fertilizer costs have surged too. While it typically takes a while for commodity costs to trickle down to supermarkets, the rally is evoking memories of spikes in 2008 and 2011 that contributed to global food crises.
South Korean inflation hits decade high, boosting rate hike views
South Korea's consumer inflation accelerated to a decade high in November, remaining above the central bank's 2% target for an eighth straight month and boosting the case for another interest rate hike next month. November consumer prices jumped 3.7% from a year earlier, government data showed on Thursday, hitting the fastest growth since December 2011 and up from a 3.2% rise in October. That beat a 3.1% increase tipped by analysts in a Reuters survey. Stronger inflationary pressure is fanning views the Bank of Korea could raise interest rates at its next policy meeting on Jan 14, as the upward tick of prices proves to be more than transitory. Last week, the BOK raised interest rates for the second time since the pandemic began and revised up its inflation outlook to 2.0% for next year, leaving the door open for further policy tightening. Source: Bloomberg, Investing.com, Reuters, The Edge
黄金下跌逾 1% 至一个月低点，因投资者抓住美国货币政策看似鹰派倾斜的迹象，这可能会在未来遏制消费者价格上涨。黄金似乎从越来越多的赌注中得到暗示，即早期加息——转化为持有无收益黄金的更高机会成本——将抑制未来的通货膨胀，使收益率曲线变平。虽然股市的上涨可能表明风险偏好有所改善，但股市的进一步波动，尤其是在 Omicron 冠状病毒变种的不确定性挥之不去的情况下，可能会为避险黄金价格奠定基础。
大多数亚洲货币周四走低，股市上涨，投资者在评估 Omicron 冠状病毒变体的潜在经济影响时保持谨慎，而韩元因加息押注增加而走强。美国在一夜之间确认了首例该变种病例，这让已经处于紧张状态的亚洲金融市场感到不安，因为它可能对该地区刚刚起步的经济复苏产生影响。股市走势分化，早期输家收窄跌幅。新加坡和泰国股市仅下跌 0.2%，而雅加达股市上涨 1%。印尼盾和马来西亚林吉特分别下跌 0.2%，而泰铢下跌 0.4% 至七周低点。
食品价格攀升至接近历史高位，这让世界各地的消费者和政府更加头疼通胀。联合国衡量全球食品价格的一项指标上个月上涨了 1.2%，这可能会使家庭餐桌上的一顿饭变得更加昂贵。这是世界最大经济体通胀飙升的更多证据，并可能使最贫穷的国家更难进口粮食，从而加剧饥饿危机。价格上涨的原因有很多：恶劣的天气影响了收成、运费上涨、工人短缺和能源紧缩打击了供应链，化肥成本也飙升。虽然商品成本通常需要一段时间才能流入超市，但这次涨势让人想起 2008 年和 2011 年导致全球粮食危机的飙升。
韩国消费者通胀在 11 月加速至十年高位，连续第八个月保持在央行 2% 的目标之上，并助长了下个月再次加息的可能性。周四政府数据显示，11 月消费者价格同比上涨 3.7%，创下 2011 年 12 月以来的最快增速，高于 10 月的 3.2%。这超过了分析师在路透社调查中预测的 3.1% 的增长。更强的通胀压力正在煽动韩国央行可能在 1 月 14 日的下一次政策会议上加息的观点，因为物价的上涨不是暂时的。上周，韩国央行自疫情爆发以来第二次加息，并将明年的通胀预期上调至 2.0%，为进一步收紧政策打开了大门资料来源: Bloomberg, Investing.com, Reuters, The Edge