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Friday, 15 March 2019

Market Sentiment Bullish

Generally in my blog, I have mentioned about how gold has been behaving, or the=e weekly outlook for gold etc. But in this blog I have mainly picked 4 factors that I personally believe will influence gold prices in the near future. It has been a good year for gold so far and investors believe that gold is here to stay.



A positive sentiment in the market is supported by the following factors-

Weak US dollar - We have always seen that gold is inversely related to the dollar. This relationship has proved to be fruitful strong and table for gold over a period of time. Gold has a tendency to rally when dollar weakens. Sometimes there has been strange behavior where gold and dollar both have declined together. But the situation was different at that time. It happened in an environment when US real yields rose, which depressed gold prices, while real yields elsewhere rose more than US real yields, pushing the US dollar lower. These situations are exceptional. If the US dollar weakens or strengthens in tandem with interest rate spreads than gold prices move in the opposite direction. If the US dollar weakens because of unfavorable spread movements, but US yields still move higher, gold prices will suffer versus the US dollar because gold doesn’t pay interest.

So keeping the exceptions apart, gold prices generally move opposite to the dollar. And in the near term, since dollar is expected to weaken, gold prices are expected to move higher.

Fed -When we mention dollar, we can’t forget to make note of the Fed as time and again dovish comments from Fed have influenced the dollar and furthermore the yellow metal.  The Fed to remain on hold, and other major central bank to hike less and/or later. Less hawkish central banks are a positive development for precious metal prices in general and for gold prices in particular. Moreover we expect the 10 year US Treasury yield and US 10y real yields to decline slightly. This should support gold prices.

Chinese economy - After the US, it’s the Chinese economy that stands second in influencing the yellow metal. The developments in the Chinese Yuan reflect the expectations for the Chinese economy and the US-China trade conflict.  With trade at war, China won’t sit quiet; it may continue to take some actions to strengthen its economy.these measure along with a possible US-China trade deal will support the yuan and gold prices.
Adding to it, we have seen that lately China ah been piling up its gold reserves. China is one of the leading consumers if gold and rising demand will surely push gold prices high.

Optimist sentiment - the technical picture of gold prices still looks positive. Despite the recent sharp decline in prices, prices are still above the 200-day moving average at around USD 1,250 per ounce. We are confident that prices will stay above this level. It is possible that prices drop towards this level and test it, but this would be an opportunity to position for higher gold prices. A sudden short-term rally in the US dollar or a temporary spike in 10y US Treasury yields (not our base scenario) could trigger profit taking on existing net-long gold positions. Later in the year we expect the positive momentum to build and gold prices to rally more strongly.

Monday, 11 March 2019

Gold expected to perform well in 2019

Last fortnight gold fell near two week lows. It was heading for its biggest weekly fall in nearly four months on 28th Feb. A strengthening dollar backed by rising equities created pressure on the yellow metal. Better sentiment on the stock markets and a reluctance by the physical gold investors are weighing on its price.

The dollar favored over the Jobs data and Gross Domestic Product news. This resulted in some long liquidation. The dollar, which gained impetus from better than expected fourth quarter U.S. GDP data, hit a 10-week high against the yen.


Rallies in the dollar were taking their toll on gold much more than they were a few weeks ago which is a clear sign that sentiment towards the yellow metal has shifted.

Just when the sentiment towards the yellow metal shifted, gold prices soared in the past week.  Gold prices soared to their highest level in 10 months on Tuesday, driven by technical buying, dovish central bank commentary and continuing uncertainty as the end of the 90-day trade truce between the U.S. and China draws near.

Just when investors became pessimistic about gold, some developments in the trade war resulted in the yellow metal hovering to its 10 month high on Wednesday mainly due to Fed comments and Equities.

Fed - Looking beyond the dollar’s relationship with gold, the yellow metals prices have been boosted by Fed commentary recently. The markets in general reacted favorably to the dovish tilt adopted by the Fed following its December rate hike.

Equity - Stocks were still climbing on Tuesday with key indices like the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average on a steady upward march since the beginning of the year. However, both indices started to struggle early Wednesday as investors awaited the latest commentary from the Federal Reserve.

Gold found further support from job numbers released in Friday.

On Friday, prices got a jolt after a report showed that US hiring last month was the weakest in more than a year. The news helped gold push back above US$1,300 an ounce amid renewed demand for a haven.

Spot gold later settled at US$1,298.30 an ounce, down 1.14 percent for the week.
Gold has been caught in a tug of war. Four straight months of price gains amid economic hand-wringing gave way to losses last month as the US dollar gained traction.

The two main factors that are expected to influence gold in the months to come-

Dollar - Despite the recent strength in the dollar, the U.S. currency is expected to weaken “noticeably.” When that finally does happen, it should boost gold prices further—if the usual negative correlation between the two assets returns. They believe “a fair amount” of the greenback’s length has been removed but still see it as “structurally overvalued.”

Central Bank buying - central banks, especially Russia and China, have boosted the share of gold in their foreign reserves. Other analysts have also pointed out this same thing recently. The World Gold Council estimated a 74% year-over-year increase in this “official sector demand” in 2018.

Short term factors like US economic numbers and long term including a more dovish U.S. Fed, U.S.-China trade war, Brexit, Italian recession, fear of global economic slowdown, equity volatility, and increased central-bank buying are expected to push gold higher and help it   perform well in 2019.


Monday, 25 February 2019

Go for Gold

Past 6 months have been really great for gold. Gold prices have surged 14% since late August, when the Nasdaq Composite Index last hit a fresh record, and stand at their highest level since last April (* source- the Journal).

Gold has been influenced lately by many factors clubbed together. All these combined, have been pushing gold prices higher despite last years Fed rate hike, so it’s clear that gold is not dependent on just one factor for its price movement. Though US plays an important role in influencing gold prices, currently there are many other factors that need to be considered where gold prices are concerned.




World economies - The recent increase in gold price is in fact a proof that the slowdown has already started. Interestingly though, the increase is not the result of investors seeking a safe haven in a year that seems financially and economically awkward. That is, there are low interest rates in developed economies, higher rates in developing and emerging ones, and hence relatively higher risks of investments. In addition to the above, an increasingly protectionist trend could undermine the flow of global trade and negatively impact countries with economies highly dependent on international trade for their diversification.

Safe haven - Gold prices have climbed as investors uncertain about global growth outlook hedge their portfolios. Amid global political and economic uncertainty, the precious metal has become a compelling choice for money managers seeking to hedge their portfolios at a time of anxiety over economic growth and trade conflicts between the U.S. and its partners.

Central bank buying - In a report by the “Financial Times”, China purchased gold in late 2018, while its last purchase was more than two years ago. Poland, which hasn’t purchased gold since 1998, has lately added to its gold reserves. According to the same report, countries through their central banks have increased their gold purchases by “almost 75 per cent” in 2018. An increase in demand leads to an increase in prices too.

China, the top gold producer and consumer, is beefing up holdings amid signs of slowing growth and uncertainty about whether the trade fight with the U.S. will get resolved.

US trade war - Though the severity of the trade war is hanging loose, but any progress in this regards immediately affects gold. Trump said on Sunday he would delay an increase in tariffs on Chinese goods that had been scheduled for later this week, citing “substantial progress” in Sino-US trade talks over the weekend, and that he and his Chinese counterpart would meet to seal a deal if progress continued. This statement weakened the dollar against the Yuan.

The offshore Yuan strengthened 0.6 per cent to 6.673 Yuan against the dollar, after hitting its highest level since mid-July, on the news that Trump might not raise tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports to 25 per cent from 10 per cent.

As we all know that gold and dollar are inversely related and hence any weakness in the green back pushes the metal prices up.

But what’s interesting to see that annually gold has not generated returns yet, but it still seems to be investors favorite especially when they done know where to park their cash. This favouritism comes amidst the fact there bank deposits are no longer financially viable and other assets in its class aren’t giving that safe haven appeal. 

As a result, the alternative is to go for gold and settle for capital return, an increase in gold price which needs to be high enough to exceed inflation plus profit to make purchasing and holding it worthwhile. The trend in gold price seems to be headed upwards, and it may be a good time to get in, even if the best time to get in was when it was at $1,200 an ounce level.

Gold prices, though hinting at a looming bearish correction on risk-on market sentiments, will remain firmly supported on rising economic uncertainties and heightened geopolitical risks in 2019. Therefore, in light of low interest rates and a lack of clarity with regard to the world’s economic prospects, the gold price is expected to continue climbing. As it does, it may not stop at the $2,000 per ounce level realized two years post the 2008 financial crisis, but possibly higher.

A similar trend was witnessed post the increase in 1971, except that in every cycle, previous records for the highest gold price reached are usually broken. Not only that, the time elapsed between one cycle and the next is getting shorter.



Thursday, 21 February 2019

Gold restores faith

The uptrend has once again moved into gold’s life. Gold leaped towards $1365 and the highs of almost a year ago. From the last two quarters of 2018 till date, gold has been climbing up the staircase, leaping higher, then consolidating and then moving up once more.

The middle two quarters of 2018 were bad for gold because the dollar was extraordinarily strong, so was the domestic equity market in the U.S. The influence of all that tended to wane in December, so gold picked up very, very nicely


A weaker U.S. dollar pushed gold up to 10-month highs on Tuesday, with April gold futures last trading at $1,339.70 an ounce, up 1.32% on the day.

With both the dollar and yen sliding, most notably after the BOJ's Kuroda told parliament the Japanese central bank can and will ease far more if necessary, it is perhaps not surprising that gold has surged higher, rising above $1,341/ounce, up over $140 from the early November levels when it was trading in the low-$1,200s, and the highest price since April 2018.

The recent rise in gold prices reflects solid demand from investors and, given that there is a relatively thin supply pipeline of metal between miner, refiner and trader, this is leading to a shortage of physical gold. Gold demand rose in 2018 and, although the US dollar gold price was down 1% over the year, it outperformed many other financial assets. Worries about a slowdown in global growth, heightened geopolitical tensions, and financial market volatility saw central bank demand hit its highest level since.

It is a matter of some speculation, but this story echoes reports that physical gold demand by Central Banks are at the highest since 1967, while institutional gold ETF off take hit an unprecedented 145 tonnes in December and January

Central banks added 651.5t to official gold reserves in 2018, up 74% on 2017 and the second highest yearly total on record. Net purchases jumped to their highest level since the end of US dollar convertibility into gold in 1971, as a greater pool of central banks turned to gold as a diversifier.

Most people are expecting gold to do well this year as gold has restored everyone’s faith in the market.

Monday, 18 February 2019

Gold preserves your wealth

In 2018, gold fought against significant demand for traditional stock and mutual fund investments and weathered tremendous exchange-traded-fund outflows. Gold has been under pressure from a stable and slightly appreciating U.S. dollar. Still, gold has shown incredible resilience all year – especially through the first three quarters.

It rallied at year-end, suggesting a flat or slightly positive trend year over year. Much of this is due to the increase in central bank buying from countries like Russia, China, Turkey, Kazakhstan, Poland and others. It’s all part of a larger move to reduce U.S. dollar reserves in favour of gold.




In 2019, it looked as if gold was cashing on the struggle that it faced in the previous year. Gold prices have risen more than 12% since touching more than 1-1/2-year lows in mid-August, mostly on expectations of a pause in Federal Reserve rate hikes.  Investors have shifted their sentiments from bearish to bullish for the yellow metals over more than one reason-

Data - Soft data released from important economies has created a favourable situation for gold.  Gold and the U.S. dollar, both considered as safe-haven assets these days, gained on Friday in Asia following the release of weak U.S. retail sales and China inflation data.
The precious metal attracted some safe-haven bids last week after the Commerce Department reported U.S. retail sales tumbled 1.2% in December. Economists had forecast a gain of 0.1% for the period.

In Asia, China’s January Consumer Price Index (CPI) and Producer Price Index (PPI) both missed expectations, the National Bureau of Statistics reported on Friday, furthering dampening investor sentiment.

Elsewhere, reports that China and the U.S. have not been making much progress during trade talks this week also supported the yellow metal

Volatility - First, the increased volatility in international markets due to global and economic instabilities will foment the safe haven flows that began in 2018. And gold has a historical record of being a safe haven asset in times of uncertainties thus raised demand for the yellow metal and further pushing its prices.

Fed Rates - Lower rates are disadvantageous to interest-bearing assets such as the dollar, but work in favour of commodities like gold that offer a store of value to investors.

Alternate modes of investment - Alternative assets competing for your investment dollars are not expected to perform well in the coming year. The stock market should continue its descent, either with or without a last hoorah. Interest rates should stabilize in the coming year, so term deposits will continue to generate no real return. Bonds will not be attractive compared with gold.

Central bank buying - time and again central banks have been piling their reserves to reduce their dependency in the US dollar. This once again opens a green window for gold.

Gold’s characteristics - Gold may not give you income but it definitely preserves your wealth. It’s like taking insurance for your finances. And it is expected to play this role to its best in the following months,
Finally, unlike Most investors are waiting to see whether the anticipated rise in gold prices is for real. For them, a breach to the upside of $1,350 per ounce may not be enough. Most will look for confirmation of the breakout above $1,400 an ounce.

 In each of the last three years, gold has gotten off to a strong start only to fizzle as the year moved along.  A good many investors, fund managers and analysts think that 2019 might very well be the year when gold breaks the restraints and pushes to higher ground.

Our own view is that gold is due for a rise and most portents are favourable, but the yellow metal is pretty unpredictable in its price pattern.  Overall it serves as a good wealth protector and as catastrophe insurance.  We are not of the ilk predicting a rapid rise to $10,000 - it may get there eventually but probably not in many of our lifetimes.  However there’s enough geopolitical uncertainty around to carry the price back into the $1,400s this year should some of the more worrying scenarios come about.

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Dollar strengthens but sentiments for gold are positive

Gold started the week on its back foot, testing the $1,300 level mid week. The metal recovered sharply ending the week essentially unchanged. A key catalyst for the recovery in the USD gold price was the revelation that that Presidents Trump and Xi will not meet to resolve trade differences prior to the imposition of increased tariffs in March. U.S. President Donald Trump said last week that he had no plans to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping before a March 1deadline to achieve a trade deal.

We continue to see the US China trade conflict, Fed and ECB actions as key drivers of equity and USD volatility, in turn driving investors to safe haven gold.




Concerns regarding the Chinese economy, weak growth and political tension in the Euro zone, Brexit and lingering global trade tensions are weighing in on market sentiment and the dollar is once more sought after as a refuge asset.

Investors strongly believe that there is much scope for gold to rise and they cite 3 main reasons for that-


  • Geopolitical Risk. The U.S. trade war with China, the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela, and Britain's planned Brexit from the European Union are three examples of this. Each raises uncertainty for investors about the future, and that tends to make them anxious. Investors are also worried about the economic impact of U.S. government shutdown when global growth is already lean.


  • High Stock Valuations. Investors are also increasingly wary of the stock market that's pricey relative to projected earnings. So, some investors are cashing in at least part of their stock holdings and sending some of the proceeds to gold funds. With stocks now showing signs of rolling over in response to trade talks concerns and a weaker growth forecast, gold should find enough support once again to prevent a serious challenge at support, currently at $1,300 an ounce, followed by $1,275


  • Dollar - Gold is being pushed around by the U.S. dollar in the near term. Traders are getting out of anything to do with Europe on concerns of weakness in the region and going for safe-haven buying into U.S. treasuries, which is pushing up the dollar. But a possible shut down and impact of the US economy on its global counterpart, might make the dollar weak thus pushing gold further. 


  • The Federal Reserve.  The Fed also seems to be at "an inflection point" when it comes to U.S. interest rates. He notes that the investment community went from expecting the Fed to boost rates multiple times this year to now perhaps making no increases in 2019. Lower interest rates tend to weaken the U.S. dollar and boost inflation risks, making gold more attractive. Gold and dollar are inversely related so whenever there is any negative effect on the dollar, gold prices tend to rise.



For gold, a lot of the recent action is largely dictated by the fact that the dollar is holding firm over the past two weeks. That has seen gold fall from resistance around $1,326 to current levels. But as long as the figure level still isn't breached, there's still favorable momentum to for gold to continue its upside run since November last year. We remain of the view that the $1,350 level is viable in the coming months, and note the $1,360 technical resistance level many market participants are watching.



Monday, 4 February 2019

Key data shifts market sentiments

Last week a lot was happening for gold globally and in the domestic market. While there was important data released from the US, in the domestic market too all eyes were glued to the interim budget. While internationally, Fed rate hike is the topic of discussion, in India Gold duty cut was also being discussed strongly. We shall discuss the budget later.

Let’s have a look at the key economic numbers and how it affected gold and dollar.

  • Nonfarm payrolls rose more than 300K, which was significantly better than the 165K forecast and matched December's +300k rise
  • Manufacturing activity accelerated 
  • University of Michigan Sentiment index was revised slightly higher for the month of January. 
  • Stocks extended their rise. 



Not only does this report tell us that the government shutdown had limited impact on the labor market but after revisions, job gains averaged 241K over the past 3 months. However even though the labor market is on fire, wage growth is slowing and there's a very good chance of downward revisions next month. More importantly the change in the Federal Reserve's monetary policy statement is significant enough to keep the US dollar under pressure so don't trust the rally.

Although employment continues to expand, wage growth remains tepid. The report said that average hourly earnings increased 0.1% last month or by 3 cents, missing expectations. Economists were expecting to see wages increase 0.3%. For the last 12 months wages increased 3.2%. The U.S. dollar rebounded against all of the major currencies on Friday on the back stronger economic data.  A lot of the Fed's concerns stem from events like Brexit, funding for the US government and US-China trade issues that could be resolved over the next few months

The gold market saw some selling pressure Friday after the U.S. labor market showed strong growth in January, according to the latest government employment data. This sentiment continued as the week opened on a negative note for gold.

Gold prices dipped slightly on Monday as the dollar held steady on upbeat U.S. jobs and factory data that prompted markets to reduce bets on a rate cut later this year.

In the Indian markets, gold markets weren’t much active as while jewellers held off on purchases in anticipation of the country’s budget presentation on Friday.
India’s bullion industry has been urging a tax reduction to combat smuggling, which has increased since the country raised the import duty to 10 percent in August 2013 to narrow its current account deficit.

However, the interim budget presented by the Indian government on Friday did not include a change in the duty and hence not much activity was seen.
But India’s counterpart China, was showing a different t picture altogether. The demand for gold in China was quite on the rise.

On the occasion of Lunar year (which falls in the first week of February), generally, gold is considered as one of the best gifting medium. Demand for physical gold gathered usually increases in China ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday.
Another interesting gold purchase figure that saw record highs was from the central banks. 

Official gold purchases reached a new record in 2018 as central banks continued to diversify away from the U.S. Dollar.  Not only was 2018 a banner year for central bank gold purchases, but it was also the highest amount for more than five decades.  Central banks haven’t bought this much gold in one year since Nixon ended the convertibility of the U.S. Dollar into gold in 1971.

Despite the latest economic reports, the economy is still slowing but if Congress passes a permanent spending increase, the UK reaches a withdrawal agreement with the EU and the US forgoes further tariffs on China, 2 rate hikes this year could still be justified. With that in mind, any one of these discussions could go south, sending the markets into turmoil. Press conferences after every meeting this year gives the Fed the flexibility to change policy as needed and so far, domestic and global uncertainty justifies the need for patience. There's not much in the way of US data, so the dollar could resume its slide.


Friday, 1 February 2019

Union Budget 2019

It’s an important week for gold, both internationally and in the domestic markets. Amidst the Fed chaos, our very own budget got overshadowed.

Many suggestions have been made to the government, for the better of the Gems and Jewellery industry.


The government had increased the import duty on gold in order to narrow the trade deficit.  But in the lead to do so, unknowingly it has also led to an increase in gold smuggling. The gems and jewellery sector has sought a reduction of gold import duty to 4 percent, cut and polished diamonds and cut and polished gemstones to 2.5 percent and relaxation of credit norms for working capital requirements in the forthcoming budget.

Furthermore, elimination of CTT tax has been proposed in order to curb dabba trading.
These and many other suggestions related to import duty, taxes, infrastructure, R&D and precious stones duty has been made to the government.

The stakeholders expect that the government will accept these or at least amend the current norms in favours of everyone.

The upcoming interim Budget will likely offer a fresh push to gold schemes, laying out plans to tweak existing ones and announce new products, as earlier efforts to draw people to park their idle holdings with banks yielded little. A comprehensive gold policy is being planned.

This is an election year so it (the government) will is expected to put in more money into hands of people. There will be a big amount of spending in a short span that would be good for gold. Before the election, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government could announces measures to help the nation's farmers, the biggest buyers of gold.

Keeping the bigger picture in mind, many new suggestions have been made, such that it creates a win win situation for the government, the jewellery industry and the end consumer. 

Thursday, 31 January 2019

Gold looks moderately bullish

This week is all about the much awaited FOMC meet. The Federal Open Market Committee meets between Jan. 29 and Jan. 30, and Chairman Jerome Powell is widely expected to acknowledge growing risks to the U.S. economy as global momentum weakens.

Speculations prevailed in the market that the Federal Reserve will keep its interest rates unchanged during its two-day policy meet. This led to a spike in gold prices, nearing a seven month high during the day. But later gold steadied.


Gold has a tendency to appreciate on expectations of lower interest rates, which reduce the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.

Currently, the European Central Bank is seeing downside risks to the economy. ECB President Mario Draghi warned last week that a dip in the euro zone’s economy could be more pronounced, comments seen as signalling a delay in the bank’s first interest rate hike.
Amongst this scenario gold is portraying a strong chance of solid upward movement.

Furthermore, the US Fed is also expected to be more accommodative. The Fed has already raised its interest rates four times last year. It has even given hints that it might life borrowing costs twice in 2019.  Analysts noted that Federal Reserve policymakers recently lowered their forecasts for 2019 from three rate increases to two. This should support gold.

This uncertainty is bringing about a rally in gold prices. Moreover, global equities, particularly Asian stocks rose higher, as Wall Street rallied after a deal was announced to reopen the U.S. government following a prolonged shutdown that had shaken investor sentiment.

There were great concerns over a slowing global economic growth and this shutdown has only increased the worries of the market. Not forgetting, the, signs of stress in corporate earnings and a still unresolved Sino-U.S. trade war.

Meanwhile we also expect a rise in demand for gold, especially in Asia. Usually gold is bought in Asian countries for weddings, occasions etc. But lately gold is being purchased for investment purposes. Investment demand for gold rises with an increase in wealth. In recent years, both China and India have rapid increase in the demand for gold, especially China. These countries have been active drivers of holding the metal in its physical form.

With regard to preservation of wealth, gold has an immensely long track record; providing a hedge against inflation, geopolitical risks, natural disasters and other crises. Currently private banks and wealth advisers might typically advise their HNW clients to hold about 3-5% gold in their investment portfolios. While an ETF provides gold exposure and is an excellent tool for short-term trading, physical gold is preferable for medium to long-term investment as it is highly liquid, lacks counterparty risk and affords investors more flexibility. Unlike property or stock funds, physical gold is a highly efficient wealth management tool for estate planning

Since gold has long been used as a safe haven asset the outlook for the yellow metal looks moderately bullish now.

The main trigger for sustained higher gold prices comes in the form of a gradual asset rotation from equities and other risky assets into bonds and safe-haven assets such as gold, as mainstream investors seek protection from market turbulences, potential recessions and growing bearish sentiment.

Moreover, the downside is somewhat limited, with current gold prices representing a floor, as bearish drivers are lacking, fundamentals are neutral and costs for the most expensive producers are close to current prices.

Thursday, 24 January 2019

Gold has not Lost its lustre yet

Gold was at a life time high of $1921 an ounce in September 2011 when the US Federal Reserve was concluding its bond buying program (QE). During that period gold was everyone’s favourite metal. But by the end of 2015, gold prices declined to $1046. Sometime around that, the Federal Reserve, led by Janet Yellen has raised its key interest rates for the first time in 7 years. That’s the reason gold plunged. But now it seems that gold is finally emerging from an 8 year bear market. And that’s the reason we feel that gold has not lost its lustre yet.


They say that gold has an inverse relation with the dollar. When the dollar is strong gold is weak and vice versa.

It seems that gold has finally made a comeback and there are many factors responsible for this -
Gold seems to be driven by the fact that the current political standoff in Washington will lead to an escalation in crisis. Further the longest government shutdown in U.S history along with a gradually growing economy and rising global debt levels will add fuel to the fire. And when geopolitical issues are mentioned we can’t ignore the fact that the trade tensions between US and China have not been resolved yet. These factors strengthen the speculation of a push in gold prices.

Even though the dollar was up during the week, markets still prefer to stay loyal to gold.

Market watchers say the dollar may also come under pressure as the U.S. government shutdown begins to weigh on domestic growth. Having said that, gold prices are bound to rise.

Thursday, 17 January 2019

Gold gaining popularity

Gold ended 2018 on a high note, beating global equities and commodities for the fourth quarter. Gold is a highly liquid asset and hence investors are majorly diversifying their portfolio towards gold as it proves to be a hedge tool and a safe haven asset in times of uncertainties.

There is quite some scope for the yellow metal and commodities in general in 2019 because investors believe that the current rate hike cycle has peaked and the U.S. dollar looks to be in retreat, having lost about 1.7 percent over the past month.



After four rate hikes in 2018, the Federal Reserve pausing interest rates in 2019 could also result in a weaker dollar and stronger demand for gold.

Gold is currently trading at $1,290 and moved in the high and low range of $1,295 and $1,287 on Tuesday. But this pullback is expected to be short lived as China is stepping up monetary and fiscal stimulus efforts to support its sagging economy. The People's Bank of China (PBOC) injected a record CNY 560 billion via reverse repo operations earlier today. Further, China is reportedly planning large scale tax cuts to boost spending.

History shows that monetary and fiscal stimulus has a positive impact on gold. Further, current unrest and political uncertainty in the UK could boost demand for the yellow metal.

Though strong U.S. dollar might have thwarted gold, but global growth concerns and other broad market worries could give the precious metal a boost.
Currently the markets are uncertain, economic numbers are dipping and stock markets are volatile.  All these clubbed together are bound to give a push to the precious metals as investors look up to them as safe haven assets. 

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Is 2019 the year for Gold

2018 has a highly volatile and fluctuating year for gold as it faces many headwinds. A strong dollar, rate hikes by the US Federal Reserve (the Fed) coupled with accommodative policy from other central banks and a US economy buoyed by tax cuts, fuelled positive investor sentiment and pushed US stock prices higher through the start of October.

However, as geopolitical and macroeconomic risks increased, emerging market stocks pulled back and developed market stocks eventually followed.


As 2019 begun, have seen a sharp deterioration in risk sentiment following soft macroeconomic data in December and renewed concerns about the future direction of growth, particularly the risk of U.S. growth catching down towards weaker economies. December was a volatile month which generated a safe haven appeal for the yellow metal.

Lately gold has outperformed other assets in its class. Risk assets took a big hit in 2018, with the stock market suffering the worst in December but gold fared much better as it grew around 4 percent.

If we see the demand graph for gold for the next 6 to 8 months, we expect it to rise as it will benefit from the interplay of market risk and economic growth, with key dynamics, such as financial market instability, monetary policy, the dollar and structural economic reforms.

Rising geopolitical tensions- A fragile political alliance in Spain along with fending off secessionism, an instable monetary union in Italy, and internal turmoil in Europe and lastly social unrest in France- all of these clubbed together gave a very instable global picture. This growing uncertainty and the expansion of protectionist economic policies are making gold an increasingly attractive hedge tool.

Slow economic growth- Weak economic numbers coming from the US has spooked the markets. The U.S. manufacturing PMI (Purchasing Managers Index) hit a 15-month low in the same month. Manufacturers' confidence in business also slipped to the lowest level in nearly two years. This in turn affects the rate hike frequency thus influencing gold prices.

Federal Reserve’s monetary policy- The Fed had been tightening monetary policy aggressively. But on Jan. 4 Fed Chairman Jerome Powell signalled Wall Street that policymakers will be patient with policy moves and are attuned to the messages coming from markets. While gold may face headwinds from higher interest rates and dollar strength but currently the effect of the same seems to be limited on gold as the Feds stance is neutral. Any delay in rate hike will push gold prices higher.

Demand for gold as a hedge tool- Globally, there were net positive flows into gold-backed exchange-traded funds in 2018. However, North American funds suffered significant outflows in the second and third quarters, with this trend only reversing in the fourth quarter as risks began to intensify. But in 2019, global investors are expected to favour gold as an effective diversifier and hedge against systemic risk on multiple global metrics

Central Bank Buying- In addition, central banks continue to buy gold to diversify their foreign reserves and counterbalance fiat currency risk, particularly as emerging market central banks tend to have high allocations of US treasuries. Higher demand once again means higher prices for gold.

Time and again it is proved that gold has delivered returns and has performed better than other assets in its class. Moreover, its liquidity and risk adjusted returns makes it an investors favourite and hence its looks more relevant this year.



Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Gold benefits from equity slide

Reserves Reserves Reserves - it was all about piling up gold in the past week. And when I Say piling I mean in huge numbers.

Peoples Bank China shocked the world when it’s released the figures of gold reserves that it sits on.  China's gold reserves had been steady at 59.240 million fine troy ounces from October 2016 to November 2018, according to data from the People’s Bank of China, and suddenly jumped to 59.560 million fine troy ounces at end-December.

The People’s Bank of China increased holdings to 59.56 million ounces by the end of December, or about 1,853 metric tons, from 59.24 million ounces previously, according to data on the central bank’s website. They had been unchanged since about 130,000 ounces were added in October 2016.
China has long been wanting to reduce its dependency on the US dollar. The ongoing trade war is threatening its economic growth.


Several large emerging economies, which today fuel most of global growth prospects, and major oil exporters, are intrigued by the idea of re-coupling gold with a multilateral currency basket to avoid excessive exposure to US dollar-denominated energy and commodity markets.

 Spot gold had its strongest month in almost two years as those fears spurred a whirlpool in equities and the dollar and boosted demand for the precious metal as a haven. And hence the world’s biggest producer and consumer boosted holdings of bullion.

But it was not an overnight thing. China has been piling reserves since quite some time. It had last released the figures in 2016 and now suddenly. And it’s not just China that has been doing this.  As Bloomberg reports, Poland and Hungary surprised the market in 2018 by adding to their gold holdings for the first time in many years.

Furthermore, there have been interesting shifts in gold reserves. While advanced economies, such as the US and Germany, still own most global gold reserves, the US has increased its gold holdings in the past decade only marginally, while Germany has been forced to cut its reserves. In contrast, China has tripled its reserves, while Russia has nearly quintupled its gold (after dumping billions of US Treasuries), despite rounds of sanctions.

Fresh comments coming in from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Friday, got in a fresh rally in gold prices. The statements released boosted the chances that the central bank will pause interest-rate increases. Speculation that the Federal Reserve may pause its interest rate hikes has given further strength to gold’s rally into the new year and assets in bullion-backed exchange-traded funds are at a seven-month high. Spot gold was trading 0.5 percent higher at $1,291.83 an ounce as the week ended. Strengthening of the yellow metal has further weakened the greenback.

Gold was out of favour for much of 2018 as a result of the strong dollar and interest rate increases in the US. The precious metal traded as low as $1,174 an ounce in August, despite rising geopolitical tensions.

However, sentiment began to improve towards the end of the year, as volatility increased further and US stocks suffered.

THOSE analysts who believe that fear has made a comeback argue that gold is benefiting as equities slide and investors are increasingly concerned about the economic prospects of the United States (US), China, Europe and Japan. Yet, even at $1,290, gold still remains more than 30 percent behind its all-time high of $1,898 in September 2011 amid the US debt-limit crisis.

Friday, 4 January 2019

Gold expected to outperform in 2019

Bullion hit a six-month high, nearing US$1,300 an ounce over the following concerns-

  • Report showing a contraction in China manufacturing sent global stocks tumbling on 3rd January, 2019. 
  • Concern over chains economic outlook
  • Sinking factory gauges in Italy and Poland
  • Wobbly U.S stock market
  • Weaker economic data coming out of the European Union



Volatile stock markets, dollar swings and a global trade war sent gold on quite a market ride in 2018, from a high of $1366 an ounce in January 2018 to $1159 in August. Some were disappointed as they couldn’t make much of the dips or failed to enter the market at the right time.

Gold prices are still stuck in a trading range that it hasn’t broken away from over a couple of years. But analysts believe that this is the time to enter the market and change your strategies. It probably to best time own gold as 2019 brings some positive price rise in the yellow metal; Equity markets will expect high levels of volatility and its wild fluctuation towards the end of 2018 speaks all for it. Moreover the US government is sitting over huge debts and there are grave concerns that the economy will over heat. Moreover the Fed policy makers have been sending mixed messages as to how many times they will increase the rates in 2019. Keeping this in mind, it seems that it’s the perfect scenario for investors to seek safety in gold as it is expected to be the best performing asset in its class in 2019.

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

Gold looks moderately bullish in 2019

To recap, gold prices have held pretty firm in 2018. Trading just 5% lower versus the Dollar, gold has now risen back to last New Year's Eve for Euro and UK investors.

Gold futures on Monday closed out New Year's Eve with a loss for the session and year, but garnered some upward momentum as stock-market carnage reignited haven-related demand and as the dollar weakened somewhat. Weakness in equities over the past three months has given bullion some support, as has a weakening dollar over the past month. A weaker buck can provide support for commodities priced in the unit, as it makes it cheaper to users of other currencies.


Gold was expected to drop with the stock market, but instead it rose. It was expected that gold will behave the way it did in 2008. But there are big differences between now and 2008, it still looked likely that gold would get dragged down with the stock market when it dropped hard due to a flight into cash driving the dollar up but so far at least, this has not happened.

The biggest difference between now and 2008 is that back then money flooded into the dollar in order to buy Treasuries, but this time round that does not appear to be happening, and it is not hard to see why. Those who have been paying attention will know that other major powers like China and Russia have been preparing to dump the dollar for a long time now, by buying gold as fast as the West will sell it to them, devising their own payments systems to replace the SWIFT system and making bilateral trade agreements, etc. They also know that unless they have the military power to defend themselves, they would at some point be subject to military aggression by the U.S. if they try to cease using the dollar, hence their major effort to beef up their defensive capabilities.

Thus, what we are seeing is an intensifying buyers strike with respect to Treasuries that will continue to hike interest rates until the economy implodes, a process which has already started.

Thus, the fact that the dollar failed to rally either on the severe drop in the stock market of recent weeks or on the latest rate hike is viewed as an ominous development, both for the dollar itself and for the economy. This is what gold is picking up on and is the reason why it is has started to move ahead over the past couple of weeks.

Gold over the medium term looks moderately bullish over the following influences-
The rising frequency of US equity market draw down's
The gradual unwind of QE
Higher overall macro market volatility
Elevated geopolitical risks should all continue to favor gold buying on the dips.

Currently, the biggest threat to the gold market remains the U.S. dollar. However, the greenback could less of a factor to the precious metals market if equity markets continue to push lower.

Though gold isn't guaranteed to rise in price but global issues might spark trouble for investors. So in order to maintain a balance, owning a little physical bullion, stored securely and ready to sell the moment you need looks like a wise decision, given the fact the 2019 has come into view and a lot of ups and downs are expected to shake the market.