The XAU/USD pair shows a slight increase, consolidating near 1930.00. Demand for gold remains quite strong amid signs that the US Federal Reserve is nearing the end of its cycle of raising interest rates. On February 1, the rate is expected to be raised by only 25 basis points, after which the regulator's transition to a wait-and-see policy is not ruled out. Following the Fed, the European Central Bank (ECB) and the Bank of England may take a similar position if the decline in inflation in the eurozone and the UK will have similar features. However, the Consumer Price Index still remains near its record highs, and regulators fear the transition of economies to recession.
At the beginning of the week, markets expect the publication of macroeconomic statistics on the dynamics of the US Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the fourth quarter of 2022. This will be the first estimate to be adjusted twice more. Current forecasts suggest that the economy added 2.8% after 3.2% in the previous period. In addition, this week there will be a meeting of the Bank of Canada, at which the interest rate could be increased by 25 basis points to 4.5%.
An active uptrend continues in the gold contracts market. According to the latest report from the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), last week the number of net speculative positions in gold amounted to 153.2 thousand against 150.5 thousand a week earlier. Despite the fact that the "bears" still hold the lead in overall positions, the buyers managed to recover somewhat: their balance with swap dealers amounted to 84.897 thousand against 236.943 thousand for sellers. Last week, the "bears" increased the number of contracts by 10.329 thousand, and the "bulls" gained 0.800 thousand, which indicates a still increased demand for the asset.
Bollinger Bands on the daily chart show a steady increase. The price range is changing slightly, but remains rather spacious for the current level of activity in the market. MACD is declining keeping a weak sell signal (located below the signal line). Stochastic, on the contrary, reversed upwards at the end of last week, and is currently testing the level of "80" for a breakout. As before, the indicator points to the risks of gold being overbought in the ultra-short term.
Resistance levels: 1930.00, 1952.53, 1974.22, 2000.00. | Support levels: 1915.00, 1900.00, 1886.46, 1869.49.