RSBL Gold Silver Bars/Coins

Monday, 28 April 2014

Gold Gains Momentum, Investors Gain Confidence!

- By Mr. Prithviraj Kothari, MD, RSBL

While gold gained momentum, investors gained confidence in gold. Gold spurred the longest price rally in six months. Initially gold was on low, but prices got pushed higher by the end of the week.

On Monday, gold fell to nearly a three week low as we witnessed outflows from the worlds biggest bullion backed Exchange Traded Fund (ETF). Moreover, a lack of a further increase in geopolitical tension also prompted selling in gold. Last week, the fund's outflows totalled 9.3 tonnes, erasing all the gains made in the year.  

Gold fell to its lowest since mid-February on Tuesday after U.S. housing data beat expectations, boosting confidence in the U.S. economic recovery and lifting stock markets, which hurt gold's appeal as an alternative investment. 

On Wednesday, gold had firmed its position above a two and a half month low of $1,268.24 due to firmer equities and a weaker technical picture that had triggered strong selling,

However, the tables turned on Thursday as rising geopolitical tensions and options related buying helped gold in moving in the opposite direction and reverse the early sharp losses

Bullion prices mounted after Ukrainian forces killed up to five pro-Moscow rebels as they closed in on the separatists' military stronghold in the east. 

In March, bullion Prices reached a 6 month high after Russia took over Crimea. But then it fell almost 9 percent on signs that peace would return. But once again Hostilities this week are bringing back the gold bulls. Tensions between Moscow and Western powers over Ukraine are lending gold support, but it remains in a somewhat fragile situation as interest from long-term investors is still absent.

Though on the basis of the economic indicators of the US economy, there were signs of recovery, the conflict between Russia and Ukraine spurred traders to unwind bets on a drop. The metal has risen 8.2 percent in 2014 even though economic recovery has pushed the Federal Reserve to reduce its monetary easing. This tapering was responsible behind the 28 per cent drop in gold in 2013 because if the Fed would scale back its bond purchase then gold would lose its appeal of being an inflation hedge tool.

Apart from the Ukraine crisis, another big news that made rounds in the market was that major international banks were jettisoning their commodities business.*

Around 20 US based investors have filed antitrust claims against major leading banks over the past two months.  These investors have accused Barclay, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Bank of Nova Scotia and Societe Generale of colluding to manipulate the gold price.

The court cases are complicating negotiations that Deutsche Bank had started with potential buyers after it announced in January that it was putting its seat at the fix up for sale, a source with knowledge of the matter said. In case any such decision is taking of discontinuing the commodity trading wings business then this will definitely calm down the price volatility of bullion prices.

Another fact the will play a major role in determining the gold prices is the worldwide demand from gold. CHINA- Chinese demand for gold is set to increase from the current level of 1,132 tonnes a year to 1,350 by 2017, cementing its place as the world’s largest gold market. According to report published by the World Gold Council, entitled:  ‘China’s gold market: progress and prospects’, private demand for gold in China will see sustained growth over the next four years.

China does not report any trade numbers. The only source of procuring these gold export numbers to China is through Hong Kong as its the prime medium of gold for China. But now that China has allowed Gold imports via Beijing, it may threaten Hong Kong’s export numbers to mainland.

INDIA- Physical demand in India over the next week is expected to rise as the country welcomes the auspicious occasion of Akshaya Tritiya on may 2. This could result in a slight pickup in gold demand , but with the heavy tariffs placed on gold, there are questions on how much buying will actually occur.

UK- Demand for gold from UK is tend to augment as investors are saving up for retirement with the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority considering adding bullion to its list of “standard assets. Last year, the FCA was replaced by The Financial Services Authority to oversee market regulation. They published a consultation paper with the list in 2012, asking whether other types of investment should be added. Various forms like Cash, bonds and exchange-traded commodities were included but  physical gold was not. There are expectations that gold may be added to the list by June. If any such possibility materializes then demand for gold from UK will definitely rise as gold is on the radar of more mainstream investors. 

Next week is full of revelation for gold as the market moving and price deterring event will unwrap for gold. With a Federal Reserve monetary policy meeting and April non-farm payrolls data set for release; additionally, any change in the standoff between Russia and Ukraine has the ability to move markets.

Moreover, The Federal Open Market Committee meets Tuesday and Wednesday, and economists said they expect the Fed to announce another $10 billion-a-month cut in its quantitative easing program, and on Friday the Labor Department is scheduled to release its April non-farm payrolls data.

Gold traders will have to be nimble next week as these headline-making events could cause volatile market action. Because of the uncertainty over the Ukraine situation, several gold-market players believe that gold prices will once again move upwards.


- Previous blog - "Gold Prices Off Route"

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Gold prices off the Route?

                                        - by Mr. Prithviraj Kothari, MD, RSBL

Gold prices have been battered over the week. Starting with a high of $1330 to a low of $1282 and giving a close of $1294 has brought Gold prices back to its major support $1280. ($1280 acts as a strong support for Gold, below which Gold prices could attain new lows).

The week started on a stronger footing carrying the upward trend of the last week.  Gold prices gained to a three week high on Monday on renewed concerns over the escalation of hostilities in Ukraine that prompted its safe haven appeal. Geo political tensions escalated as violence between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian government forces grew. Moreover gold prices were further supported over the news that a Russian fighter aircraft made repeated cross range passes near a US ship in the Black Sea. Apart from this SPDR Gold Trust GLD, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings rose 1.80 tonnes to 806.22 tonnes the first inflow since March 24 acted as a positive factor.

But the upward trend was short lived. $1330 proved to be a crucial stage which wasn’t broken and Gold prices plummeted. US economic indicators showed positive signs starting with US retail sales. According to Bloomberg survey, U.S. retail sales probably accelerated in March, boosted by car purchases that indicate demand is recovering from a winter-led slowdown earlier this year.

Other factors that added to Gold and Silver price fall were:

U.S industrial production-
         Above expectations March industrial production data hinted that the US economy was starting to emerge from a weather-induced slowdown suffered over the initial stages of calendar 2014. Adding weight to this belief was the uplift seen in capacity utilization levels over the month.

EU industrial production-
        Euro zone industrial output edged higher in February, official data showed Monday, in line with recent data showing a very modest economic recovery in the single currency bloc.

U.S CPI, U.S housing starts and building permits-
        U.S. Consumer Prices rose slightly higher while the U.S. housing starts rose 2.8% in March to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 946,000, fueled by growth in single-family homes, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. Starts for February were revised higher to a pace of 920,000 from an initially reported 907,000.

Philly Fed index-
         A reading of manufacturing sentiment in the Philadelphia region improved in April, according to data released Thursday. The Philadelphia Fed’s manufacturing index rose to a reading of 16.6 in April from 9.0 in March, stronger than a Market Watch-compiled economist forecast of 10.0.

Overall, Gold dropped nearly 1.85% this week.

Though the various reports released from US did show signs of a recovering economy, Federal Reserve Chairwoman, Janet Yellen restated that she expected interest rates to remain very low until the recovery is on a more secure footing and the American economy is more fully involving available workers and other resources. The Obama administration told asset managers last week that it was planning additional sanctions against Russia over the conflict in Ukraine. Some of the supporting factors that lead Gold prices recover from its support level of $1280.

Looking at the current market conditions, I feel that western countries are reducing their holding on every rally while the same is being absorbed by the physical demand on Asia. It’s a see saw battle where one reduces and one increases. Geopolitical tensions will act as a strong support for Bullion metal prices apart from the physical demand.

The labour dispute which broke out in January that shut most of the platinum mines in South Africa is extending the longest shortfall in global production since 2005. The strike by more than 70,000 South African workers will continue as long as companies refuse to improve wage offers, Joseph Mathunjwa, president of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, said April 15. The workers want basic monthly pay boosted to 12,500 rand over four years, which the producers say they can’t afford after production costs jumped 18 percent annually in the last five years, as wage and electricity costs rose. Many laborers live in shacks made of iron sheeting. They share toilets, don’t always have water or power, and many spend much of their income servicing debt. The country has a 24 percent unemployment rate.

While the Gold and Silver precious metals group is being thrashed, their counterparts, Platinum and Palladium are looking strong. The biggest producer of these metals i.e. Russia is having tensions with Ukraine while the second biggest producer i.e. South Africa has union problem. Due to these issues, I feel Platinum will look forward to extend its lead over these metals.

My trading range for the upcoming week for Gold in international prices is around $1270 to $1330 and for Silver $19.30 to $20.20. While in Indian rupees, Gold prices will range from INR 27900 to INR 29200 and for Silver the trading range will be INR 41,500 to 44,500.

The primary purpose of this article by Mr. Prithviraj Kothari is to educate the masses of the current happenings in the Bullion world.

- Previous article- "OUR LOVE FOR GOLD"

Sunday, 13 April 2014


                                                     - by Mr. Prithviraj Kothari, MD, RSBL

Gold is the world's favourite metal and being an Indian, I have always been brought up with the principle that gold is one such metal the "HAS" to be a part of regular investments.

Gold in one such unique asset in its class, that  enjoys a diverse set of loyal buyers. In fact, I wouldn't be wrong, if I Say that gold has a huge fan following.
  • In the west, investors want to spread their risk.
  • In 2013, demand for gold from India hit record levels. and the crash in April saw humongous number of buyers stepping into the market to take advantage of this crash. The situation went so out of control that the government brought down the shutters, hiking import duty to 10% and imposing the “80/20 rule” which forces dealers to re-export 20% of any new shipment before taking delivery.
  • Meanwhile, China’s gold demand meantime rose faster, finally overtaking the world No.1 and swallowing well over 1,160 tonnes of imports, even while topping the league table of gold mining nations with a further 440 tonnes.
Though the gold fan club is always widening, last year it saw many betrayers.

  • It was in April, 2013 that gold had crashed following Cyprus bailout.
  • It had been downgraded by many and abandoned too, last year.
  • Gold that has always stood proud in its category, for the first time in 13 years; it gave negative returns in 2013. Moreover, it headed for an annual drop of 30 percent. Since reaching a record high at $1,910 an ounce in 2011, it collapsed to a low of $1195 nearly 37% of its value.
And its April 2014, that gold has performed exceptionally well compared to its counterpart. Gold held around 2-1/2-week highs on Friday, heading for its biggest weekly gain in a month on sagging risk appetite and increasing hopes the U.S. Federal Reserve will hold off on raising interest rates as soon as early next year.

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State John Kerry’s commented that if Russia would intervene further in Ukraine then it would target Russia's energy, banking and mining industry. I feel Ukraine story is far from done!

The highly anticipated FOMC minutes were released and markets seemed to be looking for a hint that would have confirmed Janet Yellen’s latest comment from after the March FED meeting, when she made clear that “a considerable time” means about 6 months and that means a rate hike could come as soon as early 2015. But that statement was missing in the minutes. US yields traded lower, stocks jumped up, the US Dollar lost against the board and metal prices continued to rise.

In spite of Janet Yellen making it clear time and again that; decisions will be based on economic reading, I find it crazy that traders are still reacting to potential changes in QE taper and interest rate increases.

Gold continues to roll along in an uncertain market with no clear direction in which assets are moving: US equities, US dollar and the possibility of interest rate hike this year.

Some of the remarkable figures coming in from Asia and other countries were-

In 2013, the value of physical gold traded through Dubai surged to $75 billion compared to $6 billion in 2003, and $70 billion in 2012.  volumes accounted for 40 per cent of the total worldwide trade in 2013. This reinforced Dubai's position as the global gold and precious metals trade hub as stated by Ahmed bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman of Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC),

China saw its gold output increase by 10.6% year on year to 63.2 tons in the first two months of this year, according to statistics released by China Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. In the first two months of this year, gold mines in the country produced 51.7 tons of gold, 10.4% more than in the same period of 2013

Gold imports in India are on a recovery mode now, as March imports have been mooted to have doubled to 50t m/m. The decision to permit 5 more private banks to import gold led to this recovery. In fact as the auspicious occasion of Akshaya Tritya is approaching, we see the demand to surge even higher and thus the import figures are expected to rise too.

Keeping the current market trends and price drivers in mind, gold is expected to trade in the range of $1293-$1350 an ounce in the international market and Rs.29,000- Rs.31000 per 10 gram in the domestic market.

On the other hand silver is expected to move in the range of $19.50-$20.55 and Rs.42,000- Rs.46,000 per kg in the international and domestic markets respectively.

Reiterating, I feel buying physical Gold, Silver and Platinum should be on cost averaging basis. It has been a successful strategy since the bull year began, though it would be a bit strange for the investors who started investing in the last couple of years.  I am sure Gold or for that matter any precious metal investments would always give best returns if considered as long term investment options and something that you can bank on in financial instabilities.

The primary purpose of this article by Mr. Prithviraj Kothari is to educate the masses of the current happenings in the Bullion world.
- Previous article-
"Bad News Proves to Be Good For Gold"

Monday, 7 April 2014


                                                       - by Mr. Prithviraj Kothari

I was awaiting bouncing back from its lows last week. As expected, gold crossed the $1300 mark on Friday.

Bad news turned out to be the good news last week for gold. A higher unemployment rate and worse than expected job creation is the bad news that has proved good for gold.
Throughout the week gold was lying low, but on Friday post the release of the US jobs report, gold managed to cross $1300. (future delivery)

The US jobs report were not as strong as expected. Though they were decent, but the market came off with a strong belief that the Federal reserve won't become any more aggressive in scaling back its accommodative monetary policy.

Now let's see what exactly the jobs report was all about.

Labor Department data showed private employers boosted hiring to 192,000 jobs in March, just a shade below analysts' average estimate of 195,000 net new jobs. The government reported that nonfarm payrolls rose by 192,000 in March, when expectations had been for 195,000 to 200,000. Job gains for the prior two months were revised higher by a combined 37,000. However the US jobless rate remained unchanged from February at 6.7 percent as the number of unemployed held steady at 10.5 million.

Before the jobs report was out, Analysts believed that that positive jobs data means the US Federal Reserve will likely continue cutting each month the amount of monetary stimulus it injects into the economy. But that did not happen. Markets now expect the Fed to begin raising its ultra-low interest rates in the middle of next year.

The jobs data prompted some short covering along with fresh buying, as (traders) were looking for a little better report than they got. Some traders were buying to offset, or cover, positions in which they had previously sold.

Yellow metal finds its support in the simmering geo political tensions in Ukraine and the reduced curiosity about the Fed's tapering.

Earlier in the week, Fed Chair Janet Yellen provided a relatively dismal outlook of the labour market and said she and other committee members believe “extraordinary commitment is still needed and will be for some time.”

Prices for the yellow metal also got a boost from sustained consolidation in the stock market and it saw a little extra benefit due to the fact that it was a bit oversold after a few weeks where gold was lying low.

In the Asian markets, precious metals fetched a premium in Shanghai's trade as compared to London for the first time since March. This saw demand rising from top buyer China, on Wednesday.

Prices for 99.99 percent purity gold on the Shanghai Gold Exchange hit a premium of about $1 an ounce to spot prices in London before paring gains. Shanghai prices had traded at a discount of between $8-$10 to London gold since March. Before this week, the last time they were at premium to London was in January, when Shanghai prices fetched a premium of about $20 or more an ounce on ramped up demand for gold before the Chinese New Year holidays.

Amongst other precious metals, platinum rose to $1432 an ounce, a rise of one per cent and palladium gained 1.2 per cent an ounce on continued worries over supply constraint and positive US car sales.

As the Anglo American Platinum said that it has sent out force majeure motives on its supple, which underscored the impact of a near 10-week old workers strike on the leading platinum producer. It's been 10 weeks since the AMCU members have been on strike at the platinum mines. there are 70.000 members of the AMCU that have been in strike. These 70,000 workers account for more than 70 per cent of the platinum production. the AMCU has been on strike since 23rd Jan, at the Impala, Anglo American Platinum  ltd. and Lonmin Plc. Due to disruptions in operations the companies have lost more than 10.3 billion rand in revenue and workers 4.6 billion rand in earnings. This has resulted in pushing the platinum prices higher.

On the other hand, gold, in the coming week, is expected to range between $1277 and $1230 an ounce in the international markets and Rs.28,000- Rs. 30,000 on the domestic markets.

While silver is expected to range between $19.20 to $20.55 and Rs 42,000 to Rs. 46,000 per kg in the international and domestic markets respectively.

The primary purpose of this article by Mr. Prithviraj Kothari is to educate the masses of the current happenings in the Bullion world.
- Previous blog -
"Is it the right time to buy gold, silver platinum?"