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Precious Metals Steady Ahead of Janet Yellen Speech

The US dollar is creeping lower in today’s trading session as market participants anticipate the hearing of US Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen.

SageFX - Jan, 19, 21

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Principal Points

  • Janet Yellen, the first female Treasury secretary prepares to speak in front of a Senate Finance Committee
  • Gold & Silver consolidate awaiting commentary by Treasury Secretary nominee
  • Ms Yellen to endorse the Covid-19 relief plan as set out by President-elect, Biden
  • Trump prepares for his final day in the White House

The US dollar is creeping lower in today’s trading session as market participants anticipate the hearing of US Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen. Precious metals are maintaining a straight line on Tuesday. Former Federal Reserve chairwoman Janet Yellen is set to speak in front of a Senate Finance Committee later today. This speech is aligned with her agenda before officially becoming the next US Treasury Secretary. In the hearing, which is the official Senate confirmation of the Treasury candidate, Janet Yellen is expected to comment on the weak US dollar. Furthermore, she will highlight the intention of the US to maintain an approach that allows the US dollar to be market-determined. Ms Yellen is expected to make clear that the US does not seek a weaker dollar to gain a competitive edge in the international markets.   

Covid-19 Relief Plan

Janet Yellen’s testimony on Capitol Hill will also include remarks on the largely anticipated stimulus package of $1.9tn. As Biden’s Treasury pick, Ms Yellen will endorse the Covid-19 relief plan while advising to keep interest rates low to facilitate low borrowing costs. The confirmation hearing will also feature topics related to foreign exchange policy, avoiding a protracted economic downturn and the looming concerns about the rising national debt. 

According to a text of her prepared remarks, Janet Yellen will urge lawmakers to “act big” now as she tries to persuade congressional leaders to come together to pass President-elect Biden’s stimulus plan for $1.9tn in relief measures outlined last week. Janet Yellen will also express confidence that once the pandemic is over, she will work to rebuild the economy so it could provide more jobs and prosperity.

The First Female Treasury Secretary

Janet Yellen is the first woman to lead the Federal Reserve, a role she held for four years between 2014 and 2018. If confirmed by the Senate, Ms Yellen would be the first female Treasury Secretary as she succeeds the outgoing Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin. 

Market Outlook in Anticipation

As traders and investors await the commentary by Treasury Secretary nominee, gold and silver have consolidated on the day. Gold is hovering near $1,845 with an intraday low of $1,842. Silver is also neutral today, trading near $25.30 with an intraday low of $25.20Gold has fallen a little over 3% this year on the back of a climb in benchmark Treasury yields and the US dollar. Silver has fallen nearly 5% for the year, falling from an opening price of $26.61 to current market price of $25.25. 

Gold traders are also on the lookout for anything extraordinary today as President Trump is having his last full day in office. As he is expected to issue a slew of pardons in his last hours in office, his successor, President-elect Joe Biden is preparing to formally step in as the 46th US President. On Wednesday, the inauguration day, Joe Biden will enter the White House in a ceremony at the US Capitol. The swearing-in will come amid an unprecedented level of security as over 25,000 troops from the National Guard will be looking for threats of violence all over Washington.