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

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.


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.

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.

Friday, 21 December 2018

From Dovish to Bullish

Gold was hovering around the $1250 and $1260 range; IT took off over $1260 over news doing round in the markets that the U.S Fed would be taking a more ‘dovish’ stance on current and future interest rate hike at the December FOMC meeting.

A “dovish hike” occurs when a central bank raises rates but hints that future such moves will be limited. But this was short lived as gold dropped $20 reaching the low of $1240 an ounce despite the belief that the Fed would be taking a more ‘dovish’ view on the forthcoming interest rate hikes.


Equities were doing well until; a statement released by Powell which ended the splurge and the major U.S indexes fell sharply on 19th December. 

Dow- closed down another 350 points
S&P- off 39 points
NASDAQ –down 147 points.

These downfalls benefited gold. Another fact that supported the precious metals were the numbers that came in from GLD, the world’s largest gold ETF. Around 8 tonnes of golf was deposited bringing the total holding to a highest level of 4 months at 771.79 tonnes.

On analysis the statement following the latest FOMC meeting, and Fed Chair Powell’s subsequent comments, were perhaps less ‘dovish’ than the markets had hoped, particularly following President Trump’s plea not to raise rates.  The Fed was pointing to two interest rate rises next year, instead of three as previously forecast, but U.S. data - and particularly equity performance, could lead to a change of plan at one of the next FOMC meetings - due on January 29-30 and March 20-21. 

 Perhaps one could expect changes in the Fed’s leadership in the New Year, or before, under pressure from President Trump if he sees the independent body as thwarting his ideas on the U.S. position on world trade.

Trade war, US equities, geopolitical crisis, Euro zone and some more factors will have a visible impact on gold. We thus await some concrete news before the markets break for a holiday mood and before the year ends.

But overall things are looking positive for gold and the other precious metals - at least for now hopefully!

Thursday, 6 December 2018

Time to buy gold will arrive soon

So far this week looks good for gold as we saw its prices edging higher in Thursday In Asia and it traded near a 5 month high amid U.S. yield curve inversion.

The yield curve inversion triggered concerns about economic growth and a dollar sell-off recently. The two-year/10-year spread was at its flattest this week in more than a decade amid a sharp fall in long-term rates. A flatter curve is seen as an indicator of a slowing economy.


Any slower pace in the economy adds to negativity in growth. This has put pressure in the dollar and further strengthened gold prices. The greenback came under pressure last week when the market took comments from Fed chairman Jerome Powell as signalling a slower pace of rate hikes. Markets still expect the Fed to move forward with a quarter-point hike this month but have interpreted cautious remarks from policymakers to mean that further tightening in 2019 will have to be re-evaluated on economic and inflation data and hence the pull in prices has not been that high.

Furthermore, uncertainty prevails in the market over the upcoming Federal Reserve policy decision, as the Dec. 18-19 meeting looms just over the horizon.

On Wednesday gold hit a high of $1243 an ounce and plunge back to $1233. Though we have gold price moving up this year but the trading range has been sideways because it doesn’t stay at the peak for a long time.

Hence it has been containing most of the price especially since the 11th of October, between 1212 and 1243.  Gold bulls will need the Fed to halt its raising interest rate programme to see a major reversal in the price of gold. Once the Federal Reserve ends the tightening cycle, the time to buy gold will be near

So we can say that if the bulls keep running for gold then it will pick momentum from ere and will be seen crossing the $1243 territory and hopefully cross the July highs of $1257 an ounce.

The coming year looks positive for gold because the dollar is expected to weaken, US treasury yield might be lower, Chinese Yuan expected to recover and demand for jewellery predicted to rise.
And if all falls in place for the bulls then one wouldn’t be wrong if he expects gold to touch the $1400 level.




Monday, 3 December 2018

Will gold witness an upward trend soon

Gold was following a wave like movement during the week as we saw it moving up till Thursday and then diving down by the end of the week.
Gold edged higher for the second consecutive session on Thursday and was placed at the top end of its weekly trading range, around the $1227-28 region during the trading hours.

Spot gold has stood strong against a weaker dollar, with the precious metal’s spot price hovering at around $1228 – one of the highest levels it has seen since 11 November where it hit $1230 per ounce.

The Fed Chair Jerome Powell's comments that rates are just below the neutral level now triggered a broad-based US Dollar weakness and prompted some short-covering trade around the dollar-denominated commodity. This weakness further strengthened the yellow metal and pushed prices higher.



The USD bearish pressure now seems to have abated, though expectations of a slowdown in interest rate hikes, reinforced by sliding US Treasury bond yields, kept pushing the non-yielding yellow metal higher through the mid-European session on Thursday.

Even the prevalent positive mood around European equity markets, which tends to undermine demand for traditional safe-haven assets, did little to prompt any fresh selling around the precious metal or stall the ongoing positive momentum.

The price of gold shot up on Thursday, following Bank of England statement (on 28th November), in which the BoE forecast the UK economy’s performance in the face of the various Brexit outcomes and warned of serious economic contraction with any ‘No Deal’ Brexit.

But post the U.S. data released on Friday, the dollar which was lying flat, gained momentum. Reports released were above expectations and this strengthened the dollar thus pushing gold prices down.

Further, Gold prices fell in the domestic markets too. Investors took this dip as an opportunity to buy. The appreciating (Indian) rupee has brought down prices. At this price level, jewellers and retail buyers are quite comfortable in making purchases.

Local gold prices were trading near their lowest in about three months as an appreciation in the rupee made overseas buying cheaper. Physical gold demand in the world’s second biggest bullion consumer India got a fillip this week from a slide in local rates due to gains in the rupee, while buying was steady in other top Asian hubs.

Though gold hasn’t shown an eye catching gain, it still holds importance in the portfolio of many. If we see closely, gold has been falling since the past seven years. It’s down by more than a third over that period. So clearly, the metal is cheap and makes itself more appealing as a safe haven asset.

The precious metal has been in free fall most of 2018, losing roughly 11% of its value since its January peak. And this year's performance is a continuation of the longer-term trend.

Gold has slowly been trending higher since August. The metal is up a little more than 3% since then. And prices appear to be hitting what analysts describe as "higher lows."

Gold prices have been falling for years. Investors recently hit their most extreme negative sentiment levels in nearly two decades. And now, the price is starting to move back up.

With investors now pricing in only one more rate hike in 2019, markets feel positive for gold and hence it has once again found acceptance in an investment portfolio. Will we see gold in an upward trend soon? Well the answer lies in 2019 as 2018 is about to end and which a holiday mood in the air markets are not expected to be much volatile in the coming days.


Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Gold remains positive but lacks direction

Gold prices were modestly high last week reacting over a mixed bag of economic reports and geopolitical events. The yellow metal has been able to furnish gains over slightly weak US dollar.

GOLD PRICES rose against a falling US Dollar on Friday, halving last week's 1.9% drop to trade back above $1220 per ounce as Western stock markets fell and crude oil rallied from this month's 17% plunge so far.

Gold prices ended higher on Thursday, shaking off pressure from a stronger dollar to hold on to a week-to-date gain as U.S. and European equities declined.

Tumbling equities market, plunging oil prices, escalating worries about stresses in the global economy, ongoing trade tensions and uncertain growth projections have created a rally in gold prices. 



Let have look at these mixed bags -

BREXIT - The issues around Brexit have invigorated a little bit of safe-haven buying in the precious metals market. In the past week, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May had two of her cabinet members resign Thursday, including her Brexit secretary, following May’s pronouncement Wednesday that she is sticking with her controversial Brexit plan. The British pound sunk on the news of the resignations, while European bond yields rose. Talks of a no confidence vote for May were also doing the rounds. This led to some safe haven buying in gold though it did not create that much an impact on the world marketplace.

DOLLAR - while the U.S. dollar remains the strongest and most consistent factor for gold, it’s likely that correlations with other asset classes will begin to strengthen and re-emerge over the next 6-12 months and thus reassert themselves in gold’s favour. Furthermore, the marketplace took note of U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s comments at a speech late Wednesday that the Fed is closely monitoring the modest deceleration in world economic growth. However, Powell implied that situation is not now altering the Fed’s monetary policy tenor of continuing to slowly raise U.S. interest rates. Powell added that a further U.S. stock market selloff could impact the Fed’s policy decisions. Any further weakness in the dollar due to Feds decisions will pull gold prices high.

EURO ZONE CRISIS - Crisis and uncertainty continue to prevail in Europe, where Italy is locking horns with the EU and a Brexit deal hangs in the balance, mega-economy Germany has just produced the worst growth in nearly six years. Even if Wall Street can successfully shake off noise from the Old Country, a fresh threat from falling oil prices, along with worries over trade and a Fed misstep may cast long shadows

EQUITIES - Currently equities don’t belong to anyone and it appears to be in no-man’s-land. Gold and silver are seeing a bit of support as the U.S. stock indexes have backed down and might fall further. Any stronger stock market selling pressure surfacing in the near future would likely more significantly benefit gold and silver prices.

What we see from the above explanations is that the markets are now moving focus from dollar to geopolitical events.

But one notable interesting thing we see coming in is from China. China has developed tremendously in recent years. But what’s next? Is the country entering the growth recession? And how it will affect the world and the gold market?

Indeed, at the turn of this century, China was a minor player in this market. While today it is both the world’s largest consumer and producer of gold, accounting for 23% of total gold demand and 13% of total gold supply. However, there are still opportunities for further development, as the investor base is too narrow, while the market infrastructure and regulations need to improve.

So far, the Chinese authorities have postponed the inevitable slowdown. But it will arrive one day. Given the economy’s massive leverage, the growth recession is likely to cause a financial crisis, which would hit the whole world. Gold should shine, then. The problem is that nobody knows when it will happen.

While we remain positive on gold prices going toward and into 2019, gold still seems to lack clear price directionality for the time being.

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Investors stockpile gold

Gold witnessed a series of events in the past week which ultimately proved fruitful for gold. Gold was highly influenced positively by a series of following key events:



  1. Globally, equities markets plunged down sharply.
  2. Uncertainties over the results of the U.S midterm, elections. At the moment there appears to be a strong chance of the Democrats gaining a majority in the House of Representatives, but the Republicans comfortably holding on to their Senate majority. Such a scenario would probably be gold-positive in that it would lead to political gridlock.
  3. Trade war between China and US which was initiated by the implementation of tariffs on Chinese goods by the US governments
  4. Uncertainty in Europe over the fallout from a possible no-deal scenario for Brexit, 
  5. Nervousness over the forthcoming Italian budget which threatens to challenge the Euro zone hierarchy 
  6. Geopolitical fallout from the Khasoggi murder which could upset Middle Eastern alliances.


Apart from the ones mentioned above, we still expect some geopolitical difficulties to occur, which may further strengthen gold and help it in breaking its comfort zone.

Gold has been back above $1,200 an ounce for the last two weeks, helped by safe-haven buying due to weakness in global equities and geopolitical tensions. Last week, Gold rose to test monthly highs near $1,240/oz but lost strength and pulled back. The retreat from the top, continued after the ECB meeting and during the American session, amid a stronger US dollar against majors and despite an improvement in risk appetite.

When the yellow metal crossed $1200 mark, it saw many investors retuning to the market with a great interest in gold. Retail buyers have started making their purchased as they expect a further price rise. Further, the investors’ class is also taking some stock profits as Wall Street volatility increased and they’re moving some of those profits to safer or more opportune areas, including gold and silver.

It’s not only the small investor class but also major central banks that are adopting gold. Russia and China have also been trying to win support from global governments to create a new gold-backed currency, thereby removing the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency.

Gold’s impressive performance of late, coming amid USD [U.S. dollar] strength, suggests that gold finally is behaving like a safe-haven asset.  There has been a pickup in gold purchases by central banks, including Hungary, Poland, India, Turkey and Mongolia, in addition to regular gold buyers Russia and Kazakhstan. And if this continues we will soon see gold at record highs.

Friday, 26 October 2018

Gold gains acceptance

Gold has time and again proved its worth. This time gold took long to do so, but it has finally gained acceptance. Once again gold has proved that it is one of those investment assets, that is capable of reducing portfolio risk and boosting returns in times of uncertainty.


Currently, looking at the geo-political environment, the benefits of gold will stand out further mainly for 3 given reasons-


  1. Other asset classes - gold has a low and sometimes negative correlation with other asset classes. For this reason alone, many institutional investors include a modest allocation to gold in their portfolio. Today, gold’s lack of correlation with conventional assets is particularly significant because markets are increasingly inter-connected and volatility is a persistent concern. Diversification into assets such as gold is widely accepted as a smart way to lessen risk.
  2. Alternate currency- gold can act as an alternative currency. A prolonged period of monetary easing has caused a sharp increase in money supply and reduced the value of fiat currencies. Over the past decade, for example, the US dollar, euro and RMB have depreciated sharply against gold. The dollar and the euro have more or less halved in value against gold since June 2007, while the RMB has fallen by around a third. One of the main reasons of stock piling gold is that that central banks and main financial want to reduce dollar dependency and instead store gold as an alternate currency.
  3. Zero Credit risk - gold has no credit risk. It does not compose an obligation of a government so it is not a liability. As such, ownership of allocated physical gold protects investors from credit risk, providing considerable comfort during times of crisis.


Now what lies in future for gold mainly depends on the strength of the dollar. Once the impact of the President Trump-initiated tariff wars, particularly those affecting Chinese imports, starts to impact U.S. domestic prices and margins, which they undoubtedly will, this could tip the U.S. economy into recession.  Should this happen equities markets would likely start to spiral downwards, the dollar’s strength would weaken again and this could all force the Fed’s hand.  It wouldn’t want to see the blame for any downturn movement in equity prices being attributed to its interest rate policy.  But that could be a reaction too late.  Past history seems to be littered with U.S. recessions following Fed tightening patterns.  Could we see this happening again?  If so the gold price, in U.S. dollars at least, could be a major beneficiary




Monday, 22 October 2018

Gold - once disowned ; now being adopted

After tentatively stabilizing in September, the gold price staged a $50/oz, rebound in early October, setting up the potential for a further short covering rally. 

Gold traded higher on Friday and is heading for the third straight weekly increase on the back of a rise of demand due to equity market volatility and a softer dollar. The market opened the day at 1229.70/1230.70. After the open, gold prices traded between a high level of 1230.46/1231.46

The gold in euro terms was trading at a three-month high near €1,070 per troy ounce. The conflict between Italy and the EU [European Union] over the Italian draft budget for 2019 is escalating.

The EU too seems to be taking a strong line against member states (Poland and Hungary are examples) which diverge politically from the consensus policies and rules. There is perhaps a fear here that the EU might break up if too many member states fall out with the EU hierarchy, which is probably why such a hard line is being taken on Brexit. A consensus deal is in both sides’ interests, but intransigence may well win the day, with adverse economic consequences for the U.K. and the EU as a whole.


Concerns that the euro-zone crisis could flare up again should support demand for gold as a safe haven.

Lately, US have been very aggressive in its trade policies and imposition of sanctions against countries like Russia and China. Indirectly the other counties that wish to trade with these sanctions hit economies will also suffer in the long run. They too will become victims of U.S. trade sanctions and imposed tariffs.

This is the main reason that countries like Russia and China have accelerated their gold reserves. Leading countries are trying to reduce dollar dependency, thus replacing it with gold.

The Russian central bank has announced yet another increase in its gold reserves in September – this time it has added a massive 1.2 million troy ounces (37.3 tonnes) to the gold in its Forex holdings. This brings the overall total to 65.5 million ounces (2,037.3 tonnes) and means it has added just short of 200 tonnes of gold to its reserves in the first 9 months of the current year which represents an increased acceleration in its reserve increases over the prior few years

The big European holders – Italy and France – in the global gold reserve table which respectively report holdings of 2,451.8 tonnes and 2,436 tonnes.

China on the other hand has been constantly increasing its reserves but not reporting to the IMF. It’s expected to be in the sixth place, but it could be higher given that the numbers are not reported to. The current trade war between the US and China has propelled China to reduce its dependence on dollar holdings in its reserves and perhaps use that money to buy more gold, but yes, without reporting it to the IMF.

Chinese officials and academics have intimated in the past that they would like to at least reduce the dollar’s dominant position in world trade and as a global reserve currency. It is already taking measures towards this by negotiating oil and other contracts in Yuan (convertible into gold if wanted) rather than in dollars, which is another reason why it may be building its gold reserves as well.
As we have mentioned before gold may be facing short term headwinds, but longer term prospects look to be ever increasingly positive.

The sentiment shift is still subtle, but it’s both real and widespread. After a few years of being ignored and/or dismissed as basically useless and almost being disowned by investors, gold is stable again, attracting positive press and increasing accumulation by big investors.

Thursday, 18 October 2018

Appetite for gold Rises

Gold prices have rebounded 3% this month to $1,225-$1,230/oz as the confluence of asset market unwinds and escalating geopolitical risks have come roaring to the fore.

A combination of factors ranging from depressed equity markets, trade disputes, global growth fears and geopolitical tensions have brought gold back into the limelight.

The yellow metal found comfort near three-month highs on Tuesday as risk-averse investors sought safety in the metal amid market uncertainty.


Thursday was a momentous day for the precious metals sector with gold and other índices, and giant gold ETF all breaking out on impressive volume, and this development was all the more extraordinary because it happened when the broad stock market was crashing.

The IMF Global Financial Stability report, released on 10 October, highlighted an increase in the level of risk among multiple global metrics. Following its publication, stocks in the US, Europe and Asia lost 4%, 3% and 4% respectively over three days which created a rally in gold.

This is viewed as a strong sign that instead of being dragged lower still by a crashing stock market, the precious metals sector will soar.

The positive link between global economic expansion and gold has, historically, provided an important contribution to its long-term performance. But its role as a diversifier and tail-risk hedge has been fundamental too, and its price has been boosted as markets have faced systemic risks.

While there have been headwinds for gold over the past six months, complacency has crept into the market, questioning liquidity; market valuations are at extreme levels; debt has grown substantially globally, and increased tightening could hurt markets. All these factors, either individually or in combination, could be catalysts for a risk-off environment that could propel gold higher.





Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Portfolio Allocation Towards Gold Increases

Lately there was a lot of discussion going around on the following issues- is it the time to buy gold? Will gold gain its safe haven appeal? Will investors continue to favour gold?

Well past few days gold gave all these answers. Since last Thursday gold has been in a positive mood, rising constantly and showing the hangover effects in the current week too.

Gold gained as global stock markets suffered from broad declines on Thursday. Major U.S. stock indexes headed lower Thursday, as well, failing to recover from Wednesday’s plunge.


Gold prices edged higher on Wednesday as some investors sought refuge in the precious metal after the global stocks tumbled and the U.S. dollar weakened. Spot gold rose 0.4 percent to $1,194.12 per ounce during late trading hours.

Continuing with the same behavior in the current week, Gold rose more than 1 percent on Monday to its highest in about 2-1/2 months as investors sought refuge in the metal after mounting tensions between Western powers and Saudi Arabia compounded jitters in global stock markets.

Spot gold was up 1 percent at $1,230.05 per ounce later in the day; having touched it’s highest since July 26 at $1,233.26.

There were varied reasons responsible behind gold gaining its glitter. Namely- 

Global Equities - Stocks on major world markets fell to a three-month low, with the benchmark S&P 500 stock index falling more than 3 percent, in its biggest one-day fall since February.  This created panic amongst investors.

Global stocks were under pressure, with European shares hitting 22-month lows on the back of a raft of factors including a U.S.-China trade dispute, rising tensions between Saudi Arabia and western powers, stalled Brexit negotiations and concerns over an economic slowdown in China.

Global Risks - the International Monetary Fund said last week that risks to the global financial system, which have risen over the past six months, could increase sharply if pressures in emerging markets escalate or global trade relations worsen.

Dollar - The U.S. dollar index retreated from a seven-week peak hit in the previous session. The dollar, a key driver for the precious metals, weakened against its currency rivals. Another haven market, however, U.S. Treasury bonds — chief among culprits influencing rickety stock trading of late — drew their own fresh demand Thursday, halting for now the rise in yields that spooked stock investors.

U.S. Stocks - Gold prices surged Thursday to the highest in more than two months, with the metal’s haven status in full force and attracting investment interest amid a sharp retreat for U.S. stocks that has infected foreign indexes

China's gold reserves - the markets were awaiting these figures post the Golden week holiday. Once the numbers were out, the market didn’t wait much to react. The official gold reserves in mainland China have grown from 1,054 tonnes in the first quarter of 2015 to 1,839 tonnes in the third quarter of 2016, to 1,843 tonnes in the second quarter of 2018. The demand for gold among Chinese consumers also rose by 5 per cent in the second quarter from a year ago to 144.9 tonnes. Demand by Indian consumers declined in the same period by 8 per cent to 147.9 tonnes.

The market for gold bars and coins has also been boosted by China and Iran, as they seek to hedge against geopolitical tensions with the United States.

We all know that the rate hike has strengthened the dollar against major basket of currencies. This fall in other currencies against the dollar has had an adverse effect on some of the Administration’s tariff impositions.  Some U.S. manufacturers are already warning that the tariffs on Chinese goods in particular will have an adverse impact on input and consumer prices. If equities are seen as likely to fall further this could see an increased move towards safe haven assets like gold and silver.

We don’t know how far gold will stay or stabilize here, but for the time being gold has definitely given us investment goals. And with the markets gold down, people have increased their allocation towards gold.


Monday, 8 October 2018

Think Positive

Whenever gold tries to move up, the market starts doubting its behaviour. The gold price did manage to end the past week above $1200 mark.

Gold prices rose on Friday following a monthly U.S. employment report falling to its lowest level in a year.



Spot gold rose 0.3 percent at $1,202.40 an ounce. It had gained 0.6 percent so far for the week, on track to mark its biggest weekly gain in six.

Data coming in from the US was responsible for this positive trend in the yellow metal-


  • Non farm payrolls rose just 134,000, well below Refinitiv estimates of 185,000 and the worst performance since September 2017 when a labor strike weighed on the numbers.
  • The unemployment rate fell two-tenths of a percentage point to 3.7 percent, the lowest since December 1969 and one-tenth of a percentage point below expectations.
  • Augusts’ initial count was revised up dramatically, from 201,000 to 270,000, while July's numbers came up as well, from 147,000 to 165,000.

  • The revisions bring the three-month average growth to 190,000 while the 12-month average gain is 201,000.


But the question once again was how far will it stay here? Will it move forward or once again it will turn down to its low of $1183?

Despite the weekly gain, gold prices have fallen more than 12 percent from a peak in April largely due to strength in the dollar, which has benefited from a vibrant U.S. economy, rising U.S. interest rates and fears of a global trade war.

The fear is that the rising dollar is going to cause a huge rout in the emerging markets and investors want to hedge that risk

Recently gold has been hovering between $1190 and $1210, not being able to cross these marks – neither upside nor downside.

The reason being- if there are 2 drivers for gold prices then on the other hand you would find 4 more factors are that ready to pull it down.
Currently some short term influencers are making it difficult for gold to amend its behaviors.

One of the strongest influencers for gold as of now is the US dollar and the US economy which are totally relative to each other.

Dollar has remained strong for quite some time. The US economy is also believed to be moving gradually on a positive growth path, which has further initiated the Fed to raise its interest rates in December. Moreover, it’s expected to bring in few more hikes in 2019 too.

What further raises interest is that the current trade war between US and Chine is acting positive for the US economy?

There has also been some settlement in terms of the rehashing of NAFTA as the USMCA (U.S., Mexico, and Canada Agreement which promises trade stability between the three North American nations, although when the small print is examined in detail it may leave the participants unhappy with the likely outcome.

Gold ETF saw huge withdrawals and equities markets displayed new records. All these clubbed together has been a big reason behind gold’s current behaviors. Even in this wary situation, some players are still holding positive sentiments for gold.

And one of the main reasons for this is central banks. Central banks across the world are hoarding gold amid growing fears about global volatility and a possible downturn for financial markets.
They have snapped up almost 275 tons of gold this year alone – 8 per cent ahead of 2017 – at a cost of more than £13 billion.

Many national banks have been returning to the market for the first time in years. India bought eight tons, its first purchase since 2009

Furthermore, if funds start moving back to the ETFs that would be a good sign that we could be at a turning point.

Gold believers have a strong faith in this safe haven asset and are waiting for it to rise in the long term as there are many positive things waiting to occur which will create a constructive impact on the yellow metal.

U.S. total debt and monthly deficit seems to be accelerating
Central bank gold buying appears to be increasing;
The dollar may be in the process of being downgraded as the world’s reserve
And precious metals demand appears to be rising in the key Asian and Middle Eastern markets

So gold is being pulled between the bears and the bulls of the short term and long term futures.

Much of the volatility will depend on the dollar and in case the dollar starts losing its global presence then gold price in the dollar terms is expected to rise,

Not forgetting the other geopolitical factors. Gold investors are very much positive for gold in the long run and believe that though it will hover around the $1200 mark for the time being, but will soon rise.

Saturday, 6 October 2018

Drivers for Gold

The past few trading days have seen the gold price hovering above and below the $1,200 mark in the light of a stronger dollar and a lack of Chinese data due to the nation’s Golden Week holiday this week.  Every time the gold price has nosed above $1,200 it has been taken down a few dollars again.
There were important key events that occurred during the week.



Let’s have a look at all that has been affecting gold - 

US Economic Data - Data on Wednesday showed that U.S. service sector activity accelerated to a 21-year high in September and another report showed that private sector hiring increased at the fastest pace in seven months in September.

US Dollar - Gold prices inched down on Thursday as the dollar strengthened on positive U.S. economic data. Rising U.S. Treasury yields were also cited as headwind for the precious metal.
The dollar hit an 11-month high against the yen and stood tall against other its peers on Thursday, boosted by a spike in Treasury yields following upbeat U.S. data and comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell that were seen as hawkish.

Rupee at an all time low - Rupee was at an all time low of 73.34 on Wednesday, which further spikes gold prices in spite of a global down fall. Increased buying by the world’s second-biggest gold consumer would support global prices that have traded near $1,200 an ounce since late August, but also widen India’s trade deficit and add to pressure on the Indian rupee.  Rupee is consistently falling and we don’t know how much it will fall further. It is prompting investors to hedge their risk with exposure to gold.

Domestic gold prices - Gold prices crossed the Rs 32,000 per 10-gram mark on Wednesday at the bullion market as fresh buying by local jewellers ahead of the festive season pushed up prices. Positive global cues also supported the price move. Prices of the yellow metal surged by Rs 555 to reach Rs 32,030 per 10 gram.

Demand for gold - Traders in India,  said that they are building up inventory ahead of Diwali and Dhanteras next month. Also, globally sentiments for gold improved after US and Canada reached an agreement to salvage a North American free trade deal. India’s gold imports may rise in the fourth quarter as investors seek alternatives to faltering equity markets and a plunging rupee. Traditional buying will also rise during the festival season, said several sources involved in the market.

Meanwhile we expect the gold price to continue hovering around the $1,200 mark, give or take a few dollars.  There does seem to be an appetite to take it higher, but every time it does so it seems to be knocked back.

What will probably drive gold in the following few months -
Positive or negative U.S economic data
Any news on Chinese gold demand which will surface once the Chinese Golden Week holiday ends
Euro zone trials
Italian Debt Situation
Brexit negotiations
Keeping the above events in mind, a mixed bags of reactions is expected from the markets for gold.

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Gold might take time to recover

Last week, the Fed had indicated that it will pursue a tighter monetary policy. This prompted the dollar to strengthen; and it’s after effect was seen on gold. Immediately gold prices dipped.

The Fed raised U.S. interest rates last week and said it planned four more increases by the end of 2019 and another in 2020, amid steady economic growth and a strong job market.
Spot gold was down 0.5 percent at $1,186.29, as of 0748 GMT. In the previous session, gold touched it’s lowest since Aug. 17 at $1,180.34 an ounce.


Since quite some time gold has been dancing to the tunes of the dollar. Prices have remained almost dependent on the dollar and the movement has been inverse. And dollar is further dependent on the US economy which has been showing positive developments and better than expected progress.  Efforts by the Trump administration to reduce the trade deficit from an economic point of view has been friendly for the greenback as well.

Gold has fallen about 13 percent from an April high, largely because of the stronger dollar, which has been boosted by a vibrant U.S. economy and fears of a global trade war. Investors have bought the greenback instead of gold as a safe investment.

The release of the final U.S. gross domestic product for the second quarter “put downward pressure on the yellow metal. Moreover, the pace of [economic] growth was confirmed as strong in the U.S. which validated the more hawkish views within the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC).

Last Wednesday, the Fed on lifted federal-funds rates for the third time this year, to a range between 2% and 2.25%, and signaled it was prepared to increase again in December.

The spill over effect of previous and future hikes was seen on gold at the beginning of this week too. Gold prices lowered in Monday and remised in the negative zone.

There is still a lot of downward pressure for gold before it picks momentum. The widening of interest rate differentials, and the upward trends in U.S. economic performance are weighing on gold. At least in this quarter, fundamentally it is very difficult to long gold.

But as I have mentioned in my previous blogs, is that though gold has not lived up to its safe haven image, the central banks are still piling up its reserves.

Gold, known as a "safe haven," has come to be preferred by central banks as well as individual investors since the outbreak of the global financial crisis. Central banks in the first half of this year added 193.3 tons of gold to their reserves, the highest level since 2015. With 125.8 tons of gold, Turkey was named the second country achieving the highest increase in gold reserves since early 2017.

Russia, Turkey and Kazakhstan played an important role in the purchases in question. In the first half of the year, 86 percent of total gold purchases were made by these three countries.

Rank wise standing of countries in terms of purchase of gold made-
No1. In gold - Russia
No. 2- Turkey
No.3- Kazakhstan

The reason for these piling reserves of gold is to reduce its dependency on dollar reserves. What people have understood lately that US President Donald Trump’s attitude have been disturbing global financial markets. This could worsen further. In anticipation of avoiding future problems, central banks and other countries have started increasing their gold reserves; On the other hand, the rise in geopolitical risks in the Middle East was also instrumental in increasing the demand for gold.

Furthermore future events may lead to volatility, once again a favourable zone for gold

Trade wars
The risk of natural disasters and
Geo political wars
All of these might have an impact on world economies and further on gold thus raising its demand as a safe haven asset.


Friday, 28 September 2018

Investors continue to favour gold

I have been talking in a few of my previous blogs about the right time to buy gold. Should we jump into the wagon or should we wait. Every time the market feels that now we should consider gold, each time gold has been failing at proving its worth.

This week too gold showed some similar trends. The Fed on Wednesday lifted federal-funds rates for the third time this year, to a range between 2% and 2.25%, and signaled it was prepared to increase again in December


On Thursday, gold fell back below $1,190 to a six-week low. The precious metal is now on track for its sixth straight month of losses, its longest losing streak since 1989.

Spot gold has been a path to ruins on the back of the dollar's spike on market optimism over the impressive run of economic performances in the US economy, streaks ahead of its 'competitors' and the latest Durable Goods and in line GDP data gave the dollar a boost.

The release of the final U.S. gross domestic product for the second quarter “put downward pressure on the yellow metal. The pace at which the U.S economy is growing has been tagged as strong and was further validated by the comments coming in from the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC).

The Fed balanced their hawkish statement by mentioning that the committee is a little less optimistic about the long-term future outlook and this part alone was enough to keep the dollar index in check and this was the reason that though gold slipped, the down fall wasn’t as severe as expected.

The reason why people are still favouring gold is that it hasn’t dropped that far. There are buyers for gold at $1180 also, because the bears have not moved underneath $1,150.

But does that mean a gold price rise is coming soon? Overall market watchers attending the show seem to agree that while an increase is coming it won’t necessarily be in the near term.

Monday, 24 September 2018

The time for Gold should come soon

Gold prices gained on Friday and were at weekly record gains, while the dollar also traded higher although it is still hovering near two-month lows.

The dollar fell to a nine-week low against a basket of major currencies on Thursday as investors shifted their focus from a trade row between China and the United States to the Federal Reserve’s monetary tightening plans.

Currency markets have become more settled since reacting strongly to new tariffs announced by Washington and Beijing on Tuesday.



The fall in dollar this week came as safe-haven demand for the U.S. currency ebbed amid continued relief that fresh U.S. and Chinese tariffs on reciprocal imports were less harsh than originally feared.

On Monday, the U.S. slapped tariffs of 10% on $200 billion in Chinese goods, before they rise to 25% by the end of 2018, rather than an outright 25%.
China retaliated by putting tariffs on $60 billion in U.S. goods. However, China will put a 10% tariff on some goods it had previously earmarked for a 20% levy.

Reports of the tariffs imposed by the U.S. and China on each other's goods being set at lower levels than expected were cited as headwind for the dollar prices, which is widely seen as safe-haven assets.
The dollar was also under pressure after a report said that the U.S. and Canada are unlikely to reach an agreement on NAFTA this week.

While trade disputes gained momentum, there was one more thing that has kept the markets on its toes. The next Fed meeting. Investors looked ahead to the next Federal Reserve policy decision to be announced on Sept. 26.

U.S. economic data has remained strong, and the dollar has tended to act as a safe-haven trade, gaining as tensions between Washington and Beijing escalate.

Markets currently expect the Fed to hike rates by a quarter of a point, while fed fund futures price in an additional increase at the end of the year at more than an 80% probability.

Looking ahead, markets would be paying close attention to next week’s Federal Reserve meeting. The U.S. central bank is widely expected to hike rates and discuss paths for future rate hikes. Higher rates dent demand for non-interest yielding gold and in turn boost the dollar in which it is priced.

The Federal Reserve is next week expected to raise benchmark borrowing costs and shed more light on its future rate path.

One more noteworthy thing that happened over the week was gold buying by Russian central bank.  As mentioned in my blogs earlier, the Russian central bank has been piling up its reserves and the latest figures released , stated that it has added a further 1 million ounces of gold (31.1 tonnes) to its reserves that month bringing the grand total to just over 2,000 tonnes as we suggested a month ago. It now has the holdings of Italy (2,451.8 tonnes) and France (2,436.0 tonnes in its sights to become the third largest national gold holder after the USA (8,133.5 tonnes) and Germany (3,369.9 tonnes) – all figures as reported to the IMF.

Russia and China are both believed to by buying gold as they feel the yellow metal will have an important role to play in the ongoing development of the global financial system. Russia and perhaps China too, are also believed to be buying gold, amongst other moves, to reduce their dollar-related forex holdings.

All these considerations suggest one thing- . Gold should shine not only due to the lower real interest rates and as an inflation-hedge, but also as a safe-haven asset hedging against the potential overshooting by the Fed.  We don’t expect any major financial crisis or that there won’t be a rate hike—what we think keeping these considerations in mind- the time for gold should come soon.