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Showing posts with label $. Show all posts
Showing posts with label $. Show all posts

Thursday, 14 June 2018

Fed Rate Hike Fails to Dampen Gold Prices

After two days of meetings regarding monetary policy, the US Federal Reserve officially announced the second interest rate hike of the year on Wednesday, June 13.

The Fed lifted the target federal funds rate by 25 basis points, from 1.75 to 2 percent, but the increase had little impact on gold, which remained just below the psychological barrier of US$1,300 per ounce
The US Federal Reserve raised interest rates on Wednesday, and signaled two additional hikes by the end of this year, compared to one previously. Expectations of further US interest rate increases lowers demand for the non-interest-paying asset. Gold as expected to drop post a rate hike, but nothing like that happened.

Gold prices were higher on Thursday, rising above the $1,300 level as the dollar lost the momentum from a decision by the U.S. Federal Reserve to raise interest rates.
Gold prices jumped to $1,303.2 from below the $1,300 level overnight after the Fed’s rate hike decision hit the markets. The prices have held on well above the $1,300 level since then.


Gold prices are denominated in U.S. dollars, so the movement of the U.S. dollar index impacts the gold price. On Thursday, the U.S. dollar index that measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies was down 0.03% to 93.53, giving up gains despite a promising outlook for the U.S. economy.

This no reaction movement in gold prices was because a lot of safe-haven demand is expected to take place. The trade war drama is not going to end anytime soon, it is probably going to be exasperated over the next month or so as the geopolitical uncertainties have not been resolved yet.

Rounding out the Fed’s meeting comes the knowledge that the central bank expects US GDP to grow by 2.8 percent in 2018, with economic activity projected to expand by 2.4 percent in 2019. Overall, the economy is expected to grow 2 percent in 2020. The median average of the central bank’s updated forecasts rose from March’s projection to 2.8 percent.

In addition to Wednesday’s interest rate hike, the markets are also reacting to the Fed’s guidance regarding future interest rates. Reports that US President Donald Trump will meet with his top trade advisers on Thursday to decide whether to activate threatened tariffs limited gold’s losses.

Reports that President Trump was preparing to put tariffs on billions of dollars of Chinese goods as soon as Friday raised concerns in the market that economic growth would be impacted. This saw some safe-haven buying emerge and saw gold prices not dropping cosiderbly in spite of a rate hike.


Monday, 4 June 2018

Gold - A hedge tool against market risks

Last week gold witnessed a lot of volatility in the market but not much uptrend. It repeatedly failed to penetrate the resistance level of $1302 an ounce. And by the end of the week gold was expected to take a huge leap provided the US nonfarm payrolls data would have been way beyond expectations.
But nothing like that happened. In fact gold dampened post the data release.

Gold settled back below $1,300 an ounce on Friday, as upbeat monthly U.S. employment data buoyed the dollar and suggested that the Federal Reserve remains on track to raise interest rates later this month and later this year.


Relative calm also returned to Italian politics, a move also seen helping to pave the way for U.S. action on rates.

Data released on Friday showed that
the U.S. created 223,000 new jobs in May,
Unemployment was down to an 18-year low of 3.8%.
Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index rose to 58.7%, up 1.4 percentage points from April and a two-month high.

Gold was pressured downwards due to
Great job numbers
lower unemployment rate
increased labor participation rate
ISM


This data can further help and support Fed officials to hike the interest rates again in June and further keep them on a gradual hiking place.

Rising real interest rates impact the opportunity costs of holding gold because the metal provides no yield, and entice investors to rotate into riskier assets like stocks. Higher rates may also boost the value of the dollar which usually moves in the opposite direction of the gold price.

Market players had expected European geopolitical tensions to influence gold prices and pull it across the $1300 mark, but it seems that gold will be having a tough time to scale that point.
Apart from the US data and other issues, gold is also being influenced by other global issues.
There is currently a wave of populism riding in Italy that is sure to bring more volatility to the markets, and with financial unrest comes a surge in gold.

Italy is experiencing a contagion problem around the build-up of debt that originated with the 2010 debt crisis.

In 2010, the concern was that most of the bad loans in Italy and Spain were owned by French and German banks, and the E.U. since then has escalated by 300% owning these bad performing loans," he said.

Mounting non-performing loans mean that credit default swaps may rise, and banks may opt to buy gold bullion as a hedge against market risks.

History says that trying to trade gold bullion as a political or short-term ‘safe haven’ is unlikely to pay. Smarter traders have in fact gone the other way over recent months, selling when the headlines screamed crisis and buying back when prices then eased. Or take the long view, and use gold to balance the risk of extended falls in the stock market.

It isn’t guaranteed to work. But that is how things have tended to play out for the ‘safe haven’ metal.

Monday, 28 May 2018

Gold might rally soon

Gold has performed quite well over past few years.  In late 2015 it touched $1,050 an ounce, it had a nice progression into 2016 and 2017. Here we are in 2018, and the gold price has been up above $1,300 through most of the year, and it looks like it’s very well supported, for varied reasons.

There are many factors that are influencing or rather supporting gold at this point of time.

Gold has actually been in a rather tight trading range, trading from the upper $1,200s to $1,300 an ounce to $1,370 an ounce, probably because there’s the view in the marketplace that there’s other opportunities, whether it’s in other equities or perhaps small-cap stocks, biotech, cannabis stocks or cryptocurrency-type stocks. And yet gold is doing what it’s supposed to do, it’s providing a hedge to monetary policy. Year-to-date, the dollar has been quite weak, and gold has actually done quite well.
Gold has been rising along with inflation, oil prices and commodity prices. Gold market is actually “rather constructive” right now due to a number of factors, including the amount of credit that’s being created and the recent US tax bill.



 I think it’s had a number of attempts to break through that $1,365 or $1,370 mark and it might break through this level in 2018. There are definitely many aspects that are building whether it’s the deficits or the geopolitical environment. Gold was very responsive in March over the Syrian attacks and with the North Korean developments, but due to certain political uncertainties in the US, it was actually difficult to understand US’s political agenda which has kept the gold prices underpinned.

Until then, gold seems to have carried the green territory forward in the past week too. Gold prices posted the largest one-day gain in six weeks as global risk aversion sent capital flows rushing to the safety of Treasury bonds. That pushed yields lower and bolstered the relative appeal of non-interest-bearing alternatives epitomized by the yellow metal.

Gold prices surged on Thursday, propelled above $1,300 per ounce as the U.S. dollar weakened, after U.S. President Donald Trump called off a summit with North Korea, stoking political tensions. Trump cancelled the meeting with Kim Jong Un, planned for June 12, even after North Korea followed through on a pledge to blow up tunnels at its nuclear test site. The cancellation prompted investors to seek a safe store of value. Rising demand for the yellow metal pushed its prices higher.           
Spot gold gained 0.9 percent at $1,305.18 per ounce during Thursdays trading hours. Gold got momentum on news the North Korea meeting was cancelled but Before the North Korea news, spot gold was slightly firmer but had been losing ground for weeks, shedding 5 percent since touching $1,365.23 on April 11, the highest in nearly three months.

Currently, it’s a bit difficult to find any factor that would go against gold and influence its prices downward. The glittering metals safe haven appeal also glittered after the U.S.launched a national security investigation into car and truck imports that could lead to new tariffs similar to those it imposed on steel and aluminium.           
 
Furthermore, Turkey has been in the spotlight and the lira weakened more than 2 percent, the day after a huge emergency interest rate hike intended to stem its slide.       
  
Gold was also buoyed by a weaker dollar, which slipped to a near two-week low against the Japanese yen, and lower U.S. Treasury yields. Adding to the rally, we saw the minutes of the Fed meeting that were les hawkish on interest rates.

And if these reasons aren’t enough, the bullishness is also related to the fact that US' expansionary phase is in the late cycle.

Gold has historically rallied even after business cycle starts to turn. And also rallied even if the US economy starts to fall into recession and currently Dollar strength looks as f it will fade away soon.
We might also see the European and Japanese market strengthening which might further weaken the dollar and create an inverse relation with the yellow metal this creating a rally in gold prices once again.

The markets’ mood soured as President Trump called for a similar probe into auto imports that preceded the recent steel and aluminium tariff hike. Canada is a major importer of motor vehicles into the US, so the move casts a cloud over NAFTA renegotiation efforts. He then cancelled a June summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, ominously hinting that the US military is prepared to take whatever action necessary.

The gold price may not be as high as some investors want it to be, but according to Doug Groh, portfolio manager at Tocqueville Asset Management, the yellow metal is performing just as it should be.

“Gold is doing what it’s supposed to do, it’s providing a hedge to monetary policy,” he said at the sidelines of the recent Mines and Money conference in New York.

Groh emphasized that it’s important for investors to remember that gold is “not necessarily supposed to [put on] a performance in a portfolio … it’s a sense of security and store of value.” He added, “Gold offers an alternative in a portfolio in that it’s not correlated to other assets.”

Monday, 21 May 2018

Gold to rise soon

Gold prices closed the week below $1,300 an ounce for the first time this year, after posting the largest weekly decline since December 2017. The biggest drop was on Tuesday when the precious metal plunged more than 2%.

Following a strong sell-off last Tuesday, Gold closed below a multi-month trading range that it had been contained within since January of this year, indicating that bears have won control at least temporarily. Because of this shift in price action dynamics in Gold, we are now watching upside moves / strength for potential sell signals at resistance levels to get short, as we believe there’s potential for more downside in the coming days

The downside was carried forward to the present week. Gold prices edged down on Monday as the dollar rose and demand for safe-haven assets eased after U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said a trade war between China and the United States was “on hold”.


Spot gold was down 0.2 percent at $1,289 per ounce during early trading hours on Monday.
The dollar rose versus the yen and hit a five month-high against a basket of currencies on Monday, after Mnuchin’s comments downplaying a trade dispute with China, boosting risk sentiment amid hopes for an easing of trade tensions between the world’s two biggest economies.

A stronger dollar makes dollar-denominated gold more expensive for holders using other currencies. Furthermore, rising U.S. interest rates and the expectation that U.S. Federal Reserve will raise rates again next month, limits investor demand in non-yielding bullion.

Adding fuel to fire we saw, Holdings in SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 0.1 percent to 855.28 tonnes on Friday.

After slumping over the past few months, some think that rally in gold prices will soon be over. Prices have fallen more than 5% since their April high and on Tuesday slipped below a key level $1,300 for the first time this year. Markets have been positioning for rising interest rates, which tend to move opposite of gold prices with regard to the opportunity cost of non-interest bearing assets.
But our analysts believe that this downfall won’t last long and there are reasons, more than one, which supports the fact the gold prices will rise in the short term-

European Crisis- Signs of turmoil in Europe may help revive haven demand for gold. In Italy, bonds and stocks plunged Friday, as the Five Star Movement and the League reached a coalition agreement to govern the country, outlining proposals that may pressure public finances.

It seems that debt crisis in Italy would have a far bigger impact than one in Greece.

Demand for gold from China - Chinese jewellery sellers are working to attract a prosperous, more sophisticated, younger generation of customers by expanding and diversifying its selection. Following a slow retail year for jewellery in 2017, China is looking forward to strong sales in 2018. Withdrawals at the Shanghai Gold Exchange have been above average at 170 tons monthly. April’s demand for gold was up 28 percent from 2017.

With political tensions between the U.S. and China escalating, Chinese investors are turning to gold bullion as an economic hedge. First quarter 2018 saw the demand for gold at 78 tons.

In addition to jewellery, the Chinese government has been actively increasing its gold supplies for the past decade, along with its ally, Russia. This move is believed to precede China’s plan for a gold-backed Yuan, which could significantly devalue the U.S. dollar and could replace the dollar as the global reserve currency of choice. If this happens, the price of gold is expected to rise to new, unprecedented heights, along with a political power shift from the West to the East.

Gold has always been in demand for its intrinsic value. If current trends continue and the demand for gold accelerates at its current rate, the price of gold will skyrocket.

The dollar -The "trade-weighted" gold price, a measure of the value of gold based on major currency movements, suggests that dollar strength explains much of the recent weakness in gold prices.
And though the euro has fallen nearly 5% against the dollar over the past three months, the two currencies may switch places soon which could further provide some support to the price of the yellow metal.

Demand for inflation hedges - Both inflation and expectations for rising prices have been steadily rising this year - personal-consumption expenditures hit the Federal Reserve's target of 2% in March. And while the central bank is on track to raise rates at least three more times this year, inflation jitters could still drive investors to the ultimate safe haven asset that is gold.

This, in turn, could feed through into higher demand for inflation hedges, like gold which means a rise in gold prices too.

Investors this week will be keeping a close eye on the minutes of May’s Federal Reserve meeting, to be released Wednesday, along with preliminary purchasing manager indexes in the euro zone. Geopolitics remains in focus as South Korea’s president visits Washington to discuss North Korea and Brexit negotiations resume in Brussels.

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Has the golden streak ended

Gold was seen under pressure since the middle of last week and has continued this sentiment for the current week now, testing vital support ratios near the 1330.00 U.S Dollars per ounce level. The precious metal stumbled as the Dollar gained in forex against the other major currencies.

Gold prices fell $4.02 an ounce last Thursday, ending a four-day streak of gains, as geopolitical tensions eased and the dollar strengthened on the back of solid U.S. economic data. Gold failed to test the resistance at $1354 and was unable to break through it .As a result, prices broke below $1347.

In economic news, the Labor Department reported that the number of first-time applicants for jobless benefits fell last week for the third time in four weeks and the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia said the index measuring manufacturing activity in the region climbed to 23.2 from 22.3 the prior month.



This strong news supported the US dollar which in turn created a downward pressure on the yellow metal. 

Also pressuring bullion, a U.S. central banker said the Federal Reserve should keep raising interest rates this year and next to keep the economy from overheating and financial stability risks from rising. Higher rates dent the appeal of non-interest yielding bullion while lifting the dollar, in which it is priced

U.S. interest rates futures fell on Friday as traders bet on a greater likelihood the Federal Reserve would raise key short-term borrowing costs three more times in 2018 in the wake of data that showed steady U.S. economic growth.               

Spot gold lost 0.6 percent at $1,336.96 per ounce by and was headed for a weekly decline of nearly 1 percent.

What’s funny is that over the past fortnight the main reason that pushed gold prices high the same reason was responsible for its downward movement last week, thanks to the easing out of geopolitical worries. Investors were less jittery about geopolitical tensions that had supported gold prices earlier in the week, notably Syria and North Korea.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday the North Korean nuclear crisis was a long way from being resolved, striking a cautious note a day after the North's pledge to end its nuclear tests raised hopes before planned summits with South Korea and the United States.             

Though the geopolitical crisis are still high, but it looks like their severity has declined over past few days and hence gold prices are lying lull.

Gold is often used as safe haven in times of uncertainty and any easing out of such situations will surely pull down gold further.

Gold prices eased on Friday and were on track to end the week lower as the dollar advanced on expectations of higher U.S. interest rates and market players grew a bit less worried about global political and security risks.

This negative sentiment has been forwarded in the current week too. Gold prices slipped to their lowest level in nearly two weeks on Monday as the dollar remained supported on the back of rising U.S. Treasury yields. 
 
Spot gold was down 0.1 percent at $1,333.20 per ounce during Mondays trading hours, after earlier touching its lowest since April 10 at $1,331.70. The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies, was up about 0.1 percent at 90.392.
           
Gold, however, does continue to show important support around 1323.00 U.S Dollars per ounce and if the commodity declines further, traders might look for reversals. But patience will be an important piece of the puzzle for market participants.

The chief investment strategist said that gold is an excellent asset to invest in this year, as it guards against sudden shocks and rising volatility, especially in light of all the trade-war fears rocking the markets. Folts added that his preference is gold-backed ETFs.

Investors have also been picking up on geopolitical risks and buying gold ETFs as security. Bloomberg reported last week that the popularity of gold-backed ETFs was at its highest level since 2013.

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Gold expected to rise moderately

While gold has primarily been stuck within the US$1,310 to $1,350 range this year, it managed to rise 3.61 percent during Q1 2018.

The yellow metal gained some first-hand experience in market volatility during the period, as inflation gave it boosts while US Federal Reserve interest rate hikes brought pressure down
On the other hand, United states willingness to resolve an escalating trade fight with China, pulled back gold prices from one week highs reached in the earlier trading sessions.


The United States voiced willingness on Wednesday to talk with China after Beijing retaliated against proposed U.S. tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese goods by targeting key American imports.
As investors pulled out of gold, Asian equities rebounded from two-month lows with investors hoping a full-blown trade war between the world’s two biggest economies can be averted.

Spot gold was down 0.3 percent at $1,329.11 per ounce by 0409 GMT, after touching a one-week high of $1,348.06 on Wednesday.

But what looked like an eased out situation, became a bit tense after economic numbers came in from U.S. Gold prices rose on Friday, as Wall Street stocks tumbled and the dollar fell as rhetoric from U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese officials fed worries about a possible trade war, and after U.S. jobs data came in weaker than expected.

U.S. stocks fell, with the Dow down more than 450 points, after Trump on Thursday threatened to slap $100 billion more in tariffs on Chinese imports, and Beijing pledged a “fierce counter strike”.
Falling stock prices dragged the dollar against the yen and the euro. Also pressuring the U.S. currency was data showing the U.S. economy in March created the fewest jobs in six months, which might prompt the Federal Reserve to go more slowly on plans to raise interest rates.

An intense trade war between US and China kept gold exposed to fluctuations. And hence the market is paying very much attention to the dollar and bond market in terms of what the Fed is going to do.
While any escalation in geopolitical tensions will raise the demand for the yellow metal, we already see an increase in the demand from the Indian markets.  Though demand for gold in whole of Asia was muted, there is a slight pick-up in buying in India ahead of the wedding season and a key festival.

This month Indians will be celebrating the annual festival of Akshaya Tritiya, when buying gold is considered auspicious.

Moving back to global worries, gold in the near term is exacted to raise moderately – Reasons being

  • A weakening US dollar: A tightening monetary policy in Euro zone will result in the US dollars downtrend. And changed in the US fiscal policy will also have negative effect on US dollar, thus proving to be positive for gold.  The US dollar’s downtrend will resume later in the year. “One key reason behind this is the impending tightening of monetary policy in the Euro zone, given that the euro accounts for nearly 60% of the dollar index,” the report states. It also mentions changes to US fiscal policy, which could have a ripple effect on the US dollar yield curve.
  • Volatility in equity markets. - The markets are too optimistic and bullish for equities and this over confident attitude could backfire, resulting in spiking gold prices.

These not so extreme, but moderately influential factors might spike gold prices in the near term but not to a great extent.

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Gold - An Investor's Favorite

It seems that after years of under performance gold is here once again to glitter. In one sense, gold is doing what it’s supposed to do. Widely regarded as a safe haven, gold is counted on to provide stability during times of stress. By holding firm as other asset classes were thumped, gold successfully fulfilled that role.

Regardless, ETF Securities’ Gold says that it’s not the short-term movements in gold that matter; the yellow metal really shines as a safe haven during prolonged market downturns.

Gold prices have been trading in the range of $1,100-$1,400 an ounce since 2013, after hitting the levels of more than $1,800 in 2011.  On Thursday, international spot gold was at $1,319.13. Going forward, the macro theme of higher inflation and interest rates is expected to continue and that would provide underlying support for gold.


Gold prices ended Friday at their lowest level in just over two weeks, generally tethered to the dollar this week yet supported by persistent global political and trade tensions given the metal’s haven-asset status.

However, Friday’s “trading action indicates that the impact of political turmoil is fleeting and that investors’ primary focus remains on the economy and monetary policy,”
There are many influential factors that create bullish sentiments for the yellow metal in the near term. Let’s have a look at them.

Gold ETF’s- If we look at investment flows so far this year, for the first time in many years, money is flowing into broad based commodities indices. The ETF [Exchange Traded funds] comes with the whole specter, that indicates the diversification aspects as they move from potentially higher inflation or interest rates scenario and this money is going into precious metals through ETF.

The increased allocation that we have witnessed over the past few years in ETFs as a safe haven or diversifies has been increasing and that will further support gold prices.

Rate Hike - Higher inflation and interest rates have been always supportive of the yellow metal, which is often seen as a hedge against any increase in the consumer price index. Rate hikes has been the best buying opportunity for gold during the past 2 years, since the present cycle has been ongoing. So long as we don’t see any accelerated cycle of rate hikes in the US, gold is going to perform reasonably well. We are buying gold as a hedge against inflation, geopolitical uncertainty, against worries about stocks markets, and all these drivers are still there,” Hansen said.

Economic Data - The market has been confined in a relatively tight range and so, gold market-timers looking for a buy signal need a clearer bearish sign. U.S. economic data Friday, ahead of next week’s Federal Reserve decision on monetary policy, showed February housing starts were down 7%, while industrial production for the same month jumped 1.1%. Consumer sentiment in March hit 14-year high. If the US overheats, and that would lead to worries about disinflation or deflation, we would see a bigger correction in stock markets, and that would have a positive impact on gold.

Demand from India and China - Gold’s qualities make it one of the most coveted metals in the world and a popular gift in the form of jewelry. From the beginning of the Indian wedding season in September until Chinese New Year in February, the price of gold tends to rise due to higher demand from the two biggest consumers of gold, China and India.

Global economic conditions - current economic conditions make an even greater case for gold. The stock market is still on a historic bull run, and the tax reform bill is helping ratchet up share prices. It’s important to remember that the precious metal has historically shared a low-to-negative correlation with equities. For the past 30 years, the average correlation between the LBMA gold price and the S&P 500 Index has been negative 0.06.

US political issues - Traders in the financial market have been weighing the potential for more turmoil in the Trump administration. Media reports said the president was planning to sack his national security adviser H.R. Mc Master, which would be the second high-profile firing from the White House this week. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was fired on Tuesday and replaced with Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo.

Trade war - While personnel issues unfold, concerns over a possible trade war between the U.S. and key trading partners were still weighing on investor’s minds as well, analysts said. The White House said on Wednesday it will seek to trim the U.S.’s trade deficit with China by $100 billion, using tariffs. The European Union, meanwhile, was working to get the bloc exempt from the tariffs.

Since markets strongly believe that gold is here to stay, it has once again become an essential part of an investor’s portfolio due to its history as a protector against inflation.

Gold has also performed competitively against many asset classes over the past few decades. This makes the metal, we believe, an appealing diversifier in the event of a correction in the capital markets.

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Tug of War for Gold


Till date, 2018 has been quite an interesting year for global financial markets. While the year started with the untying of the crypt currencies market, with the main assets falling by more than 50% and creating a huge wave of uncertainty across all asset class.

Following that, global financial markets started to fall, proving that the markets could drop even further

And when that was not enough, Trump flustered the financial markets by talking about tariffs to the Steel and Aluminium imports in a bid to protect local companies.



The Trump administration said that the tariffs would protect U.S. industry, but the dollar and Wall Street shares slumped as the plan sparked fears of a trade war and worries about its potentially negative impact on the world's largest economy.
 
This will definitely open doors to a new trade war across the globe. As past events have shown, trade wars are never beneficial to any country.

An announcement by President Donald Trump regarding intentions to levy steep tariffs on imported steel and aluminium sparked a substantial sell-off in broader equity markets with traders finding relief in perceived safety of Gold.

The move fuels concerns that retaliation from competing countries could instigate a global trade war.

Meanwhile, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said on Thursday there was no evidence the U.S. economy is overheating, and labour markets may still have room to improve as the central bank sticks with a gradual pace of rate hikes.           

These consecutive evens have lead to a rise in the demand for the safe haven asset, thus pushing its prices high . Gold finally broke out of its Asian/early European session consolidation phase and spiked to fresh session tops in the last hour of the trading session on Friday.

A fresh wave of US Dollar selling interest, triggered by the US President Donald Trump's tweet on trade war, provided some lift to dollar-denominated commodities - like gold.

Adding to this, global risk aversion trade, as depicted by a sea of red across European equity markets, was further seen underpinning demand for traditional safe-haven assets and remained supportive of the precious metal's uptick.

Further, a goodish pickup in the US Treasury bond yields, amid growing speculations about faster Fed monetary policy tightening cycle, continued capping any strong gains for the non-yielding yellow metal.

This year, gold has traded within a narrow range. It has had a high of $1,365 and a low of $1300.  At the current price of $1307, gold has had a 50% retrenchment from its peak price of $1365. Ultimately, a combination of global risks and increased inflation may push the price higher.

After a busy week of economic data and hawkish commentary from Powell, there were only two reports on Friday. Revised University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment came in at 99.7, beating the 99.4 estimate, but coming in under the previous 99.9. Revised University of Michigan Inflation Expectations came in unchanged at 2.7%.

The focus now shifts to key central bank rate decisions next week from the RBA, BoC, BoJ and ECB with the release of the February U.S. Non-Farm Payroll figures (NFP) highlighting the economic docket.

 For gold, the importance will remain on the wage growth numbers coming Friday as the inflation outlook remains central focus for the Federal Reserve. As it stands, market participants are factoring three rate hikes this year, (starting with this month) and if the inflation picture improve expectations for higher rates may weigh on demand for gold which does not pay a dividend.

It is this pull and push war between interest rate expectations and the perceived threat of inflation / geological risk that has fueled four swings of more than 4% on either side over the past two months.
 The precious metals market would continue looking out for interest rates along with the dollar's movement. A stronger dollar and higher interest rates reduce demand for non-interest bearing gold as the metal becomes more expensive for holders of other currencies.
 
It would now be interesting to see if bulls are able to maintain their upper hand or the uptick is being sold into amid absent market moving economic releases from the US.
   

Thursday, 22 February 2018

Gold being bought on dips

Last week saw gold record its sharpest weekly gain in more than a year, as it fed off the dollar’s slump. As the week began, gold fell modestly on Monday in electronic trade, though in thinner action, as many traders took the day off for the Presidents Day holiday.

Gold prices were hit on Tuesday, with the commodity booking its sharpest daily decline in more than a year, against a backdrop of a strengthening dollar and stabilizing equities.


Gold seemed struggling to gain any grip and remained within striking distance of one-week lows. A strong follow-through US Dollar buying interest, further supported by a positive tone surrounding the US Treasury bond yields, continued to dampen demand for dollar-denominated commodities - like gold.

The precious metal dropped to an intraday low level of $1325 but further losses remained limited in wake of reviving safe-haven demand on the back of a sharp turnaround in European equity markets.

Precious metals lost ground as the dollar sprung higher following last week’s sharp decline, which has mostly extended a protracted downtrend for the commodity-pegged currency. A weaker dollar can boost commodities priced in dollars, because it makes them cheaper to buy for holders of other currencies.

Another turn-around in the dollar has weighed on gold, especially as it happened when gold prices were once again challenging recent highs.

The rebound, however, lacked any strong certainty amid expectations for a faster Fed monetary policy tightening cycle. Hence, the key focus would remain on the highly anticipated FOMC meeting minutes, which would help determine the next leg of a directional move for the non-yielding yellow metal.

Even though gold lost its lustre, market players saw this dip as a good buying opportunity. Exchange-traded funds increased holdings of gold and silver this week, reports Commerzbank.  Investors appear to be viewing the price slide as a buying prospect, as gold ETFs saw inflows of 2.7 tonnes

Monday, 19 February 2018

Bullions Attracts Investors

Dollar remained weak in spite of a strong economic data and gold was once again in demand acting a hedge tool against inflationary pressure.

Gold prices edged higher on Friday, heading for their biggest weekly percentage gain in nearly two years, buoyed by a weaker U.S. dollar and as investors looked to hedge against inflation.

After April 29, 2016, we saw gold rising more than 3 percent in a week. Spot gold was up 0.4 percent at $1,358.40 an ounce on Friday, after touching a three-week high of $1,360.
   
There was high demand for gold ahead of the Chinese New year. This rise demand along with a weak dollar pushed gold prices higher.

The dollar slipped to a three-year low against a basket of currencies on Friday, and was headed for its biggest weekly loss

in two years, as bearish factors offset support the U.S. currency could take from rising Treasury yields.



The important data released was     
U.S. producer prices accelerated in January,
There were strong gains in the cost of gasoline and healthcare.
The Labour Department said its producer price index for final demand rose 0.4 percent last month after being unchanged in December.
The Labour Department said initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased by 7,000 to a
Seasonally adjusted 230,000 for the week ended Feb. 10.

Gold continues to carry its shine in the second month of the year. The spill over effect continued for gold in Feb as we saw the yellow metal gaining positive traction for the fifth consecutive session on Friday and moved within striking distance of multi-month tops, set in January.

Over the last couple of weeks, we have seen a lot of things happening globally. And the moist important was the stock market pullback that the world markets witnessed a couple of weeks back. This volatility kept investors focused on rising bond yields (inflation) and potential interest rate hikes.

There is a lot of uncertainty and volatility prevailing in the markets and one sectors that totally benefits with such a crisis is the commodities sectors, precisely bullions
And that the reason investors tend to divert their portfolio into safe havens- bonds and gold

 The yield on the 10-year US Treasury bill hit 2.88% and gold resisted its usual trend of moving inversely with the dollar by gaining six tenths of a percent to $1,345 an ounce.
Currently, after viewing the various markets, investors feel that the safes place to park your funds is the commodities markets. There are many reason that justify this thought-

Inflation
The higher the rate of inflation, or expectation of inflation, the more yields rise, because bond investors demand higher yields to be compensated for inflation risk.

Commodities can be the beneficiary of higher bond yields especially if long-term interest rates rise.


Weak US dollar 
Commodities are priced in US dollars, so there is a strong correlation between the strength of the dollar and commodities. A weak dollar plus a basket of currencies being strengthened on the other side, is making gold more attractive,

The USD has dropped in relation to other competing currencies, such as the euro, the pound and the yen. Rising inflation is also diminishing the value of the dollar is diminished. Moreover, uncertainty about US trade relationships has also weighed on the greenback.


Rising Demand but shortage in supply
Most of the gold market is driven by investment, but there are some interesting things happening that makes this a very good time to consider an investment in gold or gold stocks.

Simply put, the world is running out of gold, especially the stuff that’s high grade and easy to find, and this makes me bullish on the precious metal - irrespective of all the familiar demand factors like safe haven, inflation hedge and store of value.

Till 2014, commodities were not considered to be a real fund puller. Many kept away from the bullions as there were other options, like rising equities where investors ploughed their money. But now , that the precious metals are giving incredible returns and also proving to be safe haven assets, its time that investors start re thinking of parking their funds into this sectors that continues to gather momentum in 2018.



Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Sentiment Shift In The Market

Past week, we saw investors moving away from gold as sentiments shifted to bearish. A strong US economy and a strengthening dollar led to this shift. Investors were confident that the U.S economy is relatively strong and this made the stock markets go wild. Moreover Gold failed to attract investors fleeing from the biggest selloff in six years in global equities as U.S. Treasury yields rose to four-year highs.

Last Thursday, bullion was headed for a 1 percent weekly decline as it fell to a one-month low of $1,306.81 over expectations of a rate hike soon in 2018.



Investor’s expectations of rate hike were driven high by the following factors-
unexpectedly low U.S. unemployment figures
Signals from the U.S. Federal Reserve,
and other data showing the country’s economy


As we all know that higher interest rates make gold less attractive to investors as a safe haven because it does not pay interest. Instead this time, investors treated the dollar as a safe haven.

A stronger dollar makes dollar-denominated bullion more expensive for users of other currencies.

The global market selloff, sparked by last Friday’s jump in Treasury yields, and bets that the United States could see at least three interest rate hikes in 2018 due to improving U.S. fundamentals have propelled the U.S. dollar in recent days

Gold prices made little headway Friday, seemingly digesting losses suffered earlier in the week. But at the start of the week, yellow metal got a bit of a boost, thanks to a weaker US dollar.

Gold prices rose on Monday, 12th Feb, as the dollar slipped, but gains are expected to be capped ahead of inflation data from the United States this week that could mean U.S. interest rates increase more quickly than expected.

The dollar slipped against a basket of six major currencies as a bounce in equity markets ended a strong run for the greenback, used by investors as a safe place to park assets in times of financial market volatility.

Spot gold was up 0.4 percent at $1,321.16 an ounce at 0940 GMT. It has fallen more than 3 percent since hitting a 17-month peak at $1,366.07 in January. U.S. gold futures rose 0.6 percent to $1,323.20 an ounce.

Worries about inflation in the United States surfaced after data this month showed jobs growth surged and wages rose, bolstering expectations that the U.S. labour market would hit full employment this year.

But investors still feel that the dollar will strengthen once the infrastructure spending plan will be unveiled by President Donald Trump.

If the markets are amply convinced that the scheme will deliver a potent boost US economic growth and push inflation upward, that is likely to inspire bets on a steeper Fed rate hike cycle. This will probably revive the greenback’s recovery, tarnishing the appeal of anti-fiat assets epitomized by gold.

Whatever the reasons for the shift change in market sentiment, from macro factors to algorithmic trading, these abrupt index plunges and the rise in volatility have spooked investors across the globe and have led to panic selling and active profit-taking. With a low volatility environment less certain than before, market consensus on ever-increasing stock prices may be beginning to unravel.

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Is gold no longer being affected by a Rate Hike

Fed rate hike pulls down gold prices: No more an implied reaction for the yellow metal.
Though gold prices were flat in Wednesday ahead of the Fed meet, it managed to close higher. Initially gold prices dipped slightly after the U.S. Federal Reserve said it would keep interest rates the same, but expected inflation to rise this year.

On Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s last policy meeting as head of the central bank, the Fed left interest rates unchanged. But its message on inflation signaled it was on track to raise borrowing costs in March under incoming chief Jerome Powell.


History has shown that worries over inflation results in a rise in gold prices, which is seen as a safe haven asset against rising prices. But expectations that the Fed will raise interest rates to fight inflation make gold less attractive because it does not pay interest.

Moreover, stronger dollar pressures commodities priced in the currency, making them more expensive for buyers using other currencies. And this was exactly what happened on Wednesday.
The U.S. dollar turned positive after the Fed statement thus resulting in a dip in gold prices. But the effect wasn’t that severe as there were no significant announcements apart from just a hawking tint in the statement released by the Fed.

With many other asset classes already at record price levels, there is a risk of corrections either while geopolitical developments unfold or as inflation and interest rates rise to the extent that investors take profits. Investors may well see gold as offering a relatively cheap safe haven while corrections unfold in other markets.

What the market now await is two more rate hiked in 2018 , which if executed will pull down gold prices significantly.Till then we find gold in a comfortable zone, not paying much heed or reaction to a single rate hike.

Monday, 29 January 2018

$1375 an ounce - A Crucial Mark for gold

This past week will be remembered for the cracks it revealed in the global monetary and trade building. At the Davos conference, the expression became unusually vociferous and purposeful with accusations and threats flying in all directions. Contradictory statements being mocked at and investment opportunities being knocked at.

The one thing the brewing currency and trade wars are likely to inspire among the local populace is strong gold and silver demand in both its physical and paper forms. Speculators will be looking to capitalize on currency and market instability while private and institutional investors are likely to step up their hedging strategies.

The inverse relationship between the dollar and gold has gathered strength both from the administration’s protectionist policies and the massive increase in deficit spending projected to result from recent changes to U.S. tax law. Equities remain strong, but the dollar has fallen, as might be expected, and gold prices have benefited with the drop in the U.S. dollar.


The price of gold rose 13% last year, about half as much as the Dow Jones Industrial Average and less than half as much as the Nasdaq Composite. On Thursday it reached a 12-month peak at over $1,362 an ounce, following what have now been characterized as misconstrued comments by U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on the Trump administration’s view that a weak dollar is a positive for U.S. exports.

With potentially conflicting comments, the weakness of otherwise of The U.S. dollar from U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and President Trump, the gold market didn’t know which way to run. 

In morning trade on Thursday, gold jumped to its best level since August 2016 touching a high of $1,365.40 an ounce after comments from US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin at the World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland sent the dollar lower.

Mnuchin had to backtrack, but not particularly convincingly, on his weaker dollar being beneficial to the U.S. economy statement lest he be accused of talking the dollar down in conflict with U.S. assurances that it would not do so. 

The dollar was on track for its biggest weekly decline since May. President Donald Trump’s comments on Thursday that he wanted a “strong dollar” failed to lend much support, a day after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said a weaker greenback would help short-term U.S. trade balances.

President Trump’s Davos statement suggested he was in favour of a stronger dollar, contrary to his earlier position on the currency, and following this the dollar rose, and gold fell on Thursday.
The metal reversed course in the afternoon after US President Donald Trump told CNBC that Mnuchin’s comments had been misinterpreted:

“The dollar is going to get stronger and stronger and ultimately I want to see a strong dollar,” Trump said.

Gold prices rose on Friday, after falling from 1-1/2-year highs in the previous session, as the dollar remained weak despite U.S. President Donald Trump backing a stronger currency.
Spot gold had climbed 0.6 percent to $1,355.16 per ounce during Friday trading hours.

 The US dollar reverted to lower levels in Friday afternoon trade in the U.S. and gold rose back above $1,350 before activity in the futures markets and gentle dollar support brought gold back to heel and the yellow metal ended the week a fraction under the key $1,350 level.

Gold and the US dollar usually move in opposite directions and the greenback has declined sharply against major currencies since Trump's inauguration. The euro has gained 15% against the US currency, the British pound more than 13% and the Canadian dollar nearly 8% in little over a year.

Gold has gained more than $100 an ounce since mid-December. Large-scale speculators increase their exposure to gold on derivatives markets by doubling net long positions – bets that gold will be more expensive in future – in the space of three weeks to the equivalent of 20m ounces.
Retail and institutional investment in gold-backed exchange traded funds (ETFs) also continues to grow.

According to data compiled by Bloomberg ETF vaults now hold around 2,250 tonnes, the most since May 2013, as investors piled in ahead of a US government shutdown.
         
The break above $1,330 has given fuel to gold's rally and the first target of this movement could be seen at $1,375 and if it crosses this mark then the rally could continue with targets at $1,390 and potentially at $1,415.

To an impartial (relatively) external observer of the market, the gold price did appear to be trying to rebound back above $1,350 but kept being knocked back again.  Whether it can build sufficient momentum to breach the $1,350 level permanently remains to be seen, but one suspects it will do so barring any major adverse news or data.


Saturday, 27 January 2018

Concerning issue for Gold

The positive effects of a year end are seen hovering around the yellow metal at the beginning of 2018 too. Gold held a strong finishing in 2017, up by 13.5 percent according to World Gold Council.  Gold’s annual gain was the largest since 2010, outperforming all major asset classes other than stocks.



Contributing to this gain was a
Weaker U.S. dollar
Stock indices hitting new highs
And geopolitical instability

All of these combined created an atmosphere of geopolitical and economic uncertainty, thus benefiting gold.

The uncertainties haven’t seemed to calm down, and hence gold continues its rally in the first month of the year. Gold continued to gain some positive traction through the early European session and was seen hovering around 4-month tops touched last week.

The US Dollar sank to fresh three-year lows, below the 90.00 round figure mark and was seen benefiting dollar-denominated commodities - like gold.

Meanwhile in the U.S. some risk-aversion trade has eventually provided an additional boost to the precious metal's safe-haven appeal.

With the USD still struggling to gain any respite, the commodity seems all set to build on its bullish momentum and head back towards testing September 2017 highs

While we see gold touching monthly highs, we shouldn’t forget a concerning issues- What if markets collapse? Well, then  it  could suffer collateral damage as institutions and funds struggle for liquidity and have to sell good assets to stay afloat.

A similar situation had surfaced in 2008 when the stock market collapsed, but gold comparatively has recovered faster than equities and since then went to be its strongest bull market ever with prices rising to new heights of over $1900 an ounce

Now that god prices have reached $1350 an ounce, whether it stabilises there, rallies or gets pulled back--- depends on the U.S. dollar and Whether the U.S. market will allow it to stay there.

Monday, 22 January 2018

Gold - A Store of Value

Though gold headed for its first weekly drop in six week, it remained in the positive territory - thanks to U.S uncertainties, Bitcoin crisis, ECB hawkish comments to name a few.

Spot gold has declined 0.5 per cent so far this week, its worst week since early December.

Spot gold was up 0.4 per cent at $1,332 an ounce by 0659 GMT. On Thursday, it touched its weakest level since Jan. 12 at $1,323.70, having fallen from recent four-month highs.

Amid worries of a possible US government shutdown, the dollar weakened and gold strengthened with prices rising higher on Friday. Legislation to stave off an imminent federal government shutdown encountered obstacles in the US Senate late on Thursday, despite the passage of a month-long funding bill by the House of Representatives hours earlier.

Legislation to avoid a US government shutdown at midnight on Friday advanced in Congress, as the House of Representatives on Thursday night approved an extension of federal funds until February 16, although the bill faced uncertain prospects in the Senate.

The dollar has fallen since 2017 largely on expectations central banks besides the Federal Reserve are seeking to end their policy of ultra low, even negative, rates that they adopted to combat the 2008 global financial crisis and the recession that followed.

Furthermore, reacting to ECB’s hawkish language, gold prices rose during Asian morning trading hours. The yellow metal gained momentum as ECB’s December meeting minutes and soft US data weighed on the dollar.



ECB’s December minute were claimed to be hawkish due to a discussion of a gradual shift in guidance from early 2018 - much earlier than had previously discussed.

A disappointing US data lowered the dollar. The dollar index was down by 0.5% at 91.81 as of 11:57 am Shanghais time.

The December Producer price index fell 0.1% against an expected increase of 0.2%
Unemployment claims rose to 261,000 this week. Marking the fourth consecutive weekly increase and a more-than-three- month high.
.
As mentioned above, another reason that has favored the rise on gold prices is the much hyped Bitcoin. Is it a bubble or a boom? Bitcoin, the world’s most popular crypt currency, has seen a major correction, losing over 40 percent of its value in less than a month, prompting investors to dump the crypt currency in exchange for the precious metal.

As of this writing, the cryptocurrency, which skyrocketed from below $1,000 in early 2016 to the historic milestone of $20,000 in December 2017, was hovering around $11,600 per a coin, according to CoinDesk. On Wednesday, the price of Bitcoin dropped to $9,400 at one point.

Currently Bitcoin look quite uncertain. It was easy to get into it but now investors are finding it difficult to come out. AS we see that currently with Bitcoin and dollar facing a decline in vale, gold on the other hand ahs rallied 7.5% in the past month and also carries with itself a history of being a safe haven asset and a store of value.


Tuesday, 16 January 2018

2018 kicks off a good start for gold

Recent weeks have shown strong rallies for precious metals and its looks like ass id prices are now consolidating. There may be a pull back in prices over a strengthening U.S dollar, but the rebounds since mid-December show that the sentiments for precious metals, especially gold, has turned more bullish. Once again the yellow metal has found place in an investor’s kitty and these commodities are back in vogue again.

Last week we saw gold prices rising during Asian trading hours on Thursday, 11th Jan after the dollar continued to drift lower following news that Chinese officials have recommend the country slow or halt its purchase of US bonds.

The yellow metal benefited for reasons more than one over the past week and its effect continued to spread in the current week too.


  • The important data that weighed on the dollar and other global news that benefited the yellow metal-
  • The December produce price index fell 0.1% against an expected increase of 0;2%
  • Unemployment claims rose to 261,000 in the past week marking the 4th consecutive weekly increase and a more than three month high.
  • The dollar remained soft after important news was released from China regarding US bind purchase on Thursday. This kept the dollar on the defensive which ultimately benefited the yellow metal.
  • Hawkish language contained in the ECD December meeting minutes pushed gold prices further on Friday
  • What added to the rally was a soft US data that released on Friday. This weighed on the dollar and pushed gold prices higher.
  • A disappointing US data further raised negative sentiment for the dollar. The weak dollar amidst increased demand for equity market hedge has made the environment even more glitter for the shining metal.
  • Adding a touch of bullishness to gold was data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission on Friday, which showed hedge funds and money managers raised their net long positions in COMEX gold and silver in the week to Jan. 9.
  • U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday delivered an ultimatum to European signatories of the deal to fix the “terrible flaws” in the agreement with Iran, or the United States would pull out.
  • Iran’s president said on Sunday the United States had failed to undermine a nuclear deal between Tehran and major powers, and hailed the accord as a “long-lasting victory” for Iran, state television reported



A weaker U.S. currency makes dollar-denominated assets such as gold cheaper for holders of other currencies, while higher rates could dent demand for non-interest-paying gold.
The global spill over effect was seen in the domestic markets too. In the national capital, gold of 99.9% and 99.5% purity advanced by Rs100 each to Rs30,750 and Rs30,600 per 10 grams, respectively — levels last seen on 18 November.
 Apart from positive global cues, buoyed by a slump in the dollar, sustained buying by local jewellers at the domestic spot market kept gold prices elevated

Summing it up, gold has moved up sharply in dollar terms in the past few days despite mixed economic data out of the USA. So gold investors should treat the latest rise in the gold price purely as a wealth protection exercise.  That is what gold is good at over time.  If the dollar declines further then gold will rise further, as will all the major precious metals – and most other commodities too.

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Glitter metal gives Bright performance

2018 has definitely given gold the good launch platform. This year, gold began with its highest opening price for a calendar year. This opening has been its highest in the past 5 years after rising by around 13 per cent last year.

Last year, gold managed to close above $1300 an ounce and has been seen hovering on the range. In the currency year too gold reached its highest level since it opened on Jan 1st.



This marks only the fourth time ever that gold has opened the year above $1,300 an ounce.
The main reason for this bright performance of the glittering metal can be accrued to a weak US dollar which fell by 10% last year against a basket of major traded currencies – the worst yearly performance since 2003.

In large part, the performance of gold, and indeed the performance of many dollar-denominated asset prices have been justified by the dollars weak performance.

The US dollar weakened across the board after the release of the US employment report and pushed gold to the upside. The metal rose $6 in a few seconds, from $1316/oz to $1323 to test daily highs. It failed to break higher but it was holding near that area and also close to Thursdays high of $1326.

Before the report realised gold was trading in a negative territory, pulling back from the monthly high that it had attained. But once the U.S. data was released gold rebounded as it found support at $1315.

According to the Labour Department,
The US economy added 148K jobs in December, below the 190K estimated by market analysts.
Average earnings rose 0.3% (as expected)
While the unemployment rate remained at 4.1% (17-year low).


A few minutes after the report the greenback recovered most of its losses. Despite being below expectoration the data continue to signal a strong labour market and it did not alter significantly Fed rate hike expectations.

As we have already discussed this before that Gold started out 2018 strongly, drawing support from a soft U.S. dollar. But the demand for the yellow metal in the Asian markets hasn’t picked up well. 

Spot metal hit a high of $1,321.45 an ounce overnight, its strongest level since mid-September, before easing back slightly.

Signs of seasonal Asian buying are yet to be seen in any meaningful way, which does make it difficult to chase this move higher, although we do expect this to begin filtering in over the next week or so.

We all know that gold has always proved to be a safe haven asset in times of uncertainties and has also been one the highest return generating asset in its class. And the same is expected to continue, keeping in mind gold's past years performance and current year’s opening.

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Many competitors for gold in 2018

Gold began 2018 on a firm note on Tuesday after prices hit their highest in more than three months, supported by technical factors after breaking above $1,300 an ounce last week.

Spot gold rose 13 percent last year to mark its best annual performance since 2010. A wilting U.S. dollar, political tensions and receding concern over the impact of U.S. interest rate hikes fed the rally.
The greenback, in which gold is priced, had its worst performance since 2003 last year, damaged by tensions over North Korea, questions over Russian involvement in U.S. President Donald Trump’s election campaign, and persistently low U.S. inflation.


 The dollar’s drop to three-month lows versus a basket of currencies on Friday lifted gold to its highest since mid October. In the last couple of weeks, trade has been relatively thin, yields have been under pressure and the dollar as well, so gold has profited from that.

Preceding real yields, dollar is the most important driver for gold. And it was the dollar’s weakness, which even a Fed rate hike was unable to pull down gold prices. Even though the rates are hiking, the dollar I not benefiting from it.

On the other hand, Gold has clearly benefited from lower U.S. yields and a much weaker U.S. dollar into the year-end. Gold has risen more than $70 from nearly five-month lows hit in mid-December.
More than half of the $70 rally came in the last week, during the holiday period.

However, on Wednesday there was a slight halt to this rally as we saw the dollar strengthening over the release minutes of the FOMC meeting (that was geld on Dec 12-13)

The Fed’s minutes acknowledged the U.S. labor market’s solid gains and the expansion in economic activity, even as they affirmed policymakers’ worries about persistently low inflation. That suggested the central bank will continue to pursue a gradual approach in raising rates but could pick up the pace if inflation accelerates.

Fed officials also discussed the possibility that the Trump administration’s tax cuts or easy financial conditions could cause inflation pressures to rise, leading to some dollar-buying, analysts said
The dollar rallied on Wednesday on upbeat U.S. manufacturing and construction data and after minutes from the Federal Reserve’s last policy meeting showed the central bank remained on track to raise interest rates several times this year.

Snapping a three-week losing streak, the dollar hit session highs against the euro and yen after the minutes from the Fed’s Dec. 12-13 meeting. The dollar index posted its largest daily gain in more than two weeks.

Gold eased from an earlier 3-1/2 month high on Wednesday and was on track for its first day of losses in nearly three weeks as a firmer dollar pressured assets priced in the U.S. currency.

Currently, gold seems to rise steadily in 2018. There are many important competitors for gold that will surely play a significant role in its price movements-
Equities- The biggest competition for gold in the New Year will be equities, but if gold prices continue to hover over $1,300 then investors would surely be interested in diversifying their portfolio towards the yellow metal.
Bond yields- Another important factor for gold next year will be bond yields, but noting that he sees limited impact in the long-term.
Inflation- With inflation expected to rise, that investors need to be more clear as to real interest rates will push higher or remain at current low levels.

Looking ahead, it is difficult to determine if gold will hold these holiday gains when traders come back in full force in the New Year.

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Gold - Past performance future prediction

As the year comes to a close, let’s take a look back at the main gold trends this year, from the impact of US Federal Reserve interest rate hikes to widespread geopolitical uncertainty, how it performed and how the outlook is in 2018.

Though gold made double digit gains in some currencies, it did have a tough year. The precious metal has had some harsh criticism from the mainstream media and unfair comparisons to lubricious assets, such as bitcoin and US equities.

Few have acknowledged gold's impressive performance in the face of rising interest rates, tightening monetary policies and the ongoing equity bull market.

When we see gold’s performance over the past 12 months, I think it would be better to divide it over 4 quarters to get an enhanced understanding of gold, its performance and the reason behind its volatility.



Quarter 1- The main driving force for gold prices in this quarter was Trumps uncertainty.
Concerns about US President Donald Trump and anticipated rate hikes from the Fed caused worries, as did the Brexit process and European elections. All of those factors combined in the first three months of the year to drive the yellow metal’s price
During the first quarter, gold traded between $1,184.62 and $1,257.64.
The gold price made its eighth Q1 gain in 10 years in the first quarter of 2017, buoyed by safe-haven demand from anxious investors.
Early in 2017, GFMS noted a gradual rise in gold demand complimeeyed by a reduction in global mine output, resulting in smaller surplus in 2017. This supply demand gap further reflected a bright year for gold and gold stocks in particular in the first quarter.

Quarter 2- Herein steps the Fed, whose hawkish tone influences the market and gold prices in particular.
The gold price stalled in the second quarter of the year as concerns about geopolitical tension faded away. The Fed increased interest rates for the second time of the year in June — that hurt the yellow metal as gold is highly sensitive to rising rates.
Demand for gold dropped 14 percent year-on-year in the first half of 2017 due to a sharp fall in ETF inflows, according to the World Gold Council (WGC). Total global demand for gold reached 2,003.8 tonnes from January to June, down from 2,318.7 tonnes in the same period the year before.
The yellow metal traded between $1,218.80 and $1,293.60 during the quarter.

Quarter 3- a Series of uncertain events leading to geopolitical crisis once again put gold on the top list of safe haven assets.
The gold price gained more than 3 percent in the third quarter, even though September was one of its worst months of the year.
A weaker US dollar and geopolitical tensions between the US and North Korea supported gold over the quarter. Gains were offset by the Fed’s hawkish tone, which pointed to another interest rate hike later in the year and three more in 2018.
At the end of the quarter, most analysts agreed that worldwide political developments, as well as the US dollar, were set to be key drivers for the gold price for the rest of the year.
Gold traded between $1,212.20 and $1,348.60 during the quarter.

Quarter 4- The most awaited Fed meeting becomes the focus globally. 
The gold price remained almost neutral in the last quarter of the year, and was on track for a quarterly loss of less than 1 percent. Trump’s new Fed chair nomination and the expectation of another rate hike in December were some of the key factors driving prices during the period.
The yellow metal has been trading between $1,285.50 and $1,298 during the quarter.
So as we saw that in spite of witnessing volatilities, 2017 was a tough yet good year for gold.
Now what we need to pay heed to is that whether the above mentioned factors will continue to influence gold in 2018 or do we have many more surprise for the yellow metal in the following year-

The gold price is likely next year to continue the rise it commenced two years ago. The main contributory factors here remain the extremely

Loose monetary policy pursued by nearly all key central banks, resulting in ongoing very low to negative interest rates.

Political uncertainty is also likely to be a constant feature throughout the year. One example worth mentioning is the difficult process of forming a government in Germany, the outcome of which remains unclear. Parliamentary elections will probably be held in Italy in the spring of 2018 and could spark renewed unrest in the Euro zone

Brexit is likely to become an increasingly hot topic during the course of the year if agreement is still not reached in the negotiations between the EU and the UK and the UK’s disorderly exit from the EU becomes more likely in the spring of 2019.

 That the second year of Donald Trump’s presidency in the US will run any more smoothly in terms of domestic or foreign policy than the first one did.

The implementation of the tax reform and the possible implications for monetary policy are likely to keep the market just as much on tenterhooks as the ongoing investigations into contacts between Trump’s election campaign team and Russia.

A prediction of the future approach of the Fed towards the monetary policy gets difficult as, Trump will next year make several new appointments to the Fed’s Board of Governors.

What is more, midterm elections to the US Congress will be taking place in the autumn of 2018, which is likely to increase pressure on Trump and the Republicans to implement the tax reform. Otherwise there is a risk of the high-flying US stock markets correcting, which would benefit gold

The numerous geopolitical crises should likewise generate latent uncertainty. These include in particular the North Korea conflict, the growing tensions in the Middle East between Saudi Arabia and Iran, and the conflict between the West and Russia over Russian influence in the US elections and in Eastern Ukraine.

Admittedly, the Fed has already raised interest rates twice this year, and is likely to do so for a third time in mid-December. Our economists expect three further rate hikes next year. However, this does not necessarily preclude a rising gold price, as 2017 has shown. This is because other central banks apart from the Fed – such as the Bank of England and the Bank of Canada – have also increased interest rates in the meantime, which reduces the benefits of the rate hikes for the US dollar.

 Physical gold demand should generate somewhat more tailwind next year. It was fairly subdued in 2017. The World Gold Council (WGC) expects gold demand in India ultimately to reach a mere 650-750 tons after a strong first half of the year, putting it at a similarly low level as last year. Demand fell away when a goods and services tax was levied on gold purchases with effect from 1 July.

Gold ETFs On balance, ETF investors have hardly bought any gold at all since the end of September. By contrast, the world’s largest gold ETF – the SPDR Gold Trust that is listed in the US – recorded only minor net inflows. The numerous uncertainties and low real interest rates suggest that we will also see net inflows into gold ETFs in 2018. How pronounced these turn out to be will depend to a large extent on whether stock markets continue to fly high or whether they correct.

Numerous political uncertainty factors in Europe and the US, as well as a number of potential sources of geopolitical crisis, are likely to boost demand for gold additionally. Gold demand in Asia should have bottomed out and increase moderately in 2018. The gold price is likely to rise during the course of the year and to be trading at $1,350 per troy ounce by the end of 2018.

One risk factor for gold is the US tax reform. If this is fully implemented, the rally on the stock markets could continue, meaning that gold is in less demand accordingly.

So as we always say, gold is expected to have its share of highs and lows in 2018 and of the influencers discussed above, which happens first and how severely it happens will decide the fate of the yellow metal.

Monday, 18 December 2017

Fed Hike fails to cap gold


Spot gold headed for the biggest gain in three weeks after Federal Reserve officials stuck with a projection for three interest-rate increases in the coming year, easing concerns that speeding up economic growth would spur an even faster pace of monetary tightening.

Gold prices rose on Wednesday, extending gains to 1 per cent as the dollar fell after the US Federal Reserve raised interest rates as expected but left its outlook unchanged for coming years.
The spot gold price rallied to US$1,256.87 after the Fed raised its benchmark interest rates by 25 basis points, or a quarter of a percentage point.

Gold prices on Friday held onto gains made after this week’s interest rate rise by the U.S. Federal Reserve and were set for their first weekly rise in four weeks.


The U.S. Federal Reserve decided to increase the U.S. interest rate by 25 basis point on its latest Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting held on 12th and 13th December.

By a 7-2 vote, the Fed on Wednesday raised the benchmark lending rate by a quarter percentage point, its third hike this year. In a statement following a two-day meeting, the Federal Open Market Committee omitted prior language saying it expected the labor market would strengthen further.

This move was highly anticipated by the market and hence was being priced against gold well ahead of the meeting. However, despite the action being against the attractiveness of gold as an investment, gold prices  closed on a higher note on December 13th.

Generally, a rate hike pulls down gold prices. But contradictory situation was witnessed on Wednesday, where gold prices remained high even after a rate hike.

 “Gold moved up in its initial reaction because Fed is dovish in terms of a rate hike vision for 2018, and it sees only three rate hikes, not four.

This vision weakened the US dollar which gave the required push to gold prices.

The U.S Dollar Index (DXY) measures the value of the dollar against a basket of six major foreign currencies. The index fell roughly by .6% during the Fed's announcement on the 13th, which was otherwise gaining momentum ahead of the meeting. Although, an interest rate hike should have ideally strengthened the position of the dollar, the Fed's decision negatively impacted the currency as the meeting kept its projection for interest rate hikes for 2018 unchanged.

 This was despite the fact that the Fed sees a consistent recovery in the U.S. economy in the upcoming year. The Fed expects 3 additional rate increases in 2018 and another 2 in 2019, in line with its September projections. However, GDP growth expectation was increased by .4% higher than its previous estimate of 2.1%, mainly due to the impact of the implementation of the U.S. tax reform
GOLD BARS rose above 1-week highs against most major currencies in London trade Friday, extending their recovery from this week's multi-month lows as world stock markets slipped for a second day from new all-time highs.

The dollar was on the defensive on Friday after wrangling over a bill to change the US tax code dented confidence, while the euro sagged after the European Central Bank signaled it would maintain stimulus for as long as needed

As the Fed and ECB reverse sharply from their unprecedented easing of recent years to unprecedented tightening in the coming years, these record-high, euphoric, bubble-valued stock markets are in serious trouble.  As they roll over and sell off, investors will rush to prudently diversify their stock-heavy portfolios with counter-moving gold.  There’s nothing more bullish for gold investment demand than weakening stocks.

So contrary to recent weeks’ and months’ erroneous view that Fed rate hikes are bearish for gold, history proves just the opposite is true.  Gold has thrived in the 11 modern Fed-rate-hike cycles before todays, and it has powered higher on balance in this 12th one.  While you wouldn’t know it after this past year’s extreme Trumphoria rally, Fed rate hikes are actually bearish for stocks and thus quite bullish for gold.