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Showing posts with label 2018. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2018. Show all posts

Monday, 18 February 2019

Gold preserves your wealth

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

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




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Is 2019 the year for Gold

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Gold benefits from equity slide

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

Gold looks moderately bullish in 2019

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Wait and watch approach

Gold was down last week till Wednesday but again gained momentum on Thursday. It saw a sharp rally from Wednesday’s bottom but pulled back once again on Friday.

In 2018, gold was highly influenced by a wide variety of factors -

  • Brexit
  • Election of U.S President Donald Trump
  • Geopolitical events
  • US China trade war
  • Global equities
  • Iranian Sanctions in Venezuela
  • Midterm elections
  • Cyber attacks
  • Collapse of peace talks with North Korea


These all have the highest likelihood of impacting markets in 2018 and 2019 and thus creating volatility which will likely bring about a rally in gold prices.

Since these series of events are either on going or about to happen, markets player are now following the wait and watch approach.

US midterm elections will definitely have a major impact on global currencies and assets across all classes. Hence investors and traders are not being much active and are waiting for something concrete to occur as Midterm elections may stimulate safe-haven buying,”

Interestingly gold has not only bounced, it has shown this behavior in spite of stability in the dollar. Gold is expected to rise further

Interestingly, gold, largely left for dead, has rallied. Not only has gold bounced, but it has done so despite a steady dollar. Which raises the question: Why is gold rallying now? Here are some potential reasons:

Steady dollar - While the DXY Index is pushing against the upper end of its five-month range, the dollar has been relatively stable since May. This is important as a rapidly strengthening dollar, as we witnessed last spring, has historically been a headwind for gold.

Inflation - Besides the dollar, the biggest challenge for gold in 2018 has been rising real rates, i.e. interest rates after inflation. Higher real rates raise the opportunity cost of an asset that produces no income. Between January and early October, real 10-year yields advanced by 50 basis points. However, since then, real rates seem to have temporarily peaked near the levels reached in 2013 and hence its stability will bring in a rise in gold prices.

Volatility - While real rates and the dollar are key fundamental drivers for gold, demand for a hedge against volatility also drives gold prices. With the exception of the brief correction in February, that attribute has not been in demand until recently. Prior to the recent swoon, U.S. equities were well on their way towards another year of double-digit gains. Unfortunately, this pleasant trajectory has been interrupted. Equity market volatility has doubled since early October. This is important, as gold has a history of performing best versus stocks when volatility is spiking.


These factors have historically proved that in such a volatile environment gold always acts as a safe haven asset and a hedge tool. Give this characteristic of gold it’s obvious that any minor crisis will also bring about a rise in the demand for the yellow metal which will further push the prices higher.

Moving to the domestic markets, sales have dampened this Diwali. Physical gold demand in India was lacklustre this week, with dealers offering discounts for the metal ahead of a traditionally busy festival week for the first time in at least three years, as high prices kept consumers away.

Prices in India, the second biggest gold consumer after China, held near 33,000 Indian rupees per 10 grams, the highest since September 2013, ahead of the Dhanteras and Diwali festivals next week, when buying gold is considered auspicious.

This Dhanteras, jewellers and bullion traders witnessed a drop in demand. Retail buyers are not interested in buying at this level. Furthermore, The Indian currency has lost more than 12 percent of its value against the U.S. dollar so far in 2018, making purchases of commodities denominated in the greenback more expensive.

Post Diwali, jewellers still have hope of a rise in the demand during the wedding season.
Like global investors and markets players, jewellers in India too are following this approach- to wait and to watch.


Thursday, 23 August 2018

Winds of change for Gold

Though gold has not performed as per expectations, we saw it glittering once again by the end of the previous week.

Friday saw the gold price pick up significantly to end at over $1,180 after spending much of the period in the low $1,170s, but the rise was almost all due to a turnaround in the U.S. dollar index which slipped back a little.

Dollar was going weak in the first quarter of 2018.This led to a rise in gold prices which reached above $1350 in April. There were positive sentiments for the yellow metal and traders expected it to cross $1400. 


But from mid April, with the rhetoric around the Trump trade tariff impositions taking centre stage, it all turned around. The dollar started to strengthen and the gold price, along with most other metal and mineral commodities priced in U.S. dollars, began to slip accordingly. As the tariff impositions moved from conjecture (many thought President Trump might be bluffing) to reality and counter measures were threatened and put in place by affected nations, the dollar started to rise and has not really looked back apart from the odd stutter since.

The same sentiment was witnessed in the past week. On 13 August 2018, the price of gold fell below 1.200 USD/oz, declining to a 1.5 year low. There are many factors that have triggered this down fall.
Even thought gold jumped up on Friday, the yellow metal is around $170 down on its peak earlier in the year. That’s over 9% down on the year to date and over 12% down from its peak.


Let’s have a look at the key influential factors-

Demand for US Dollar - Given recent market uncertainty – amongst other things due to the Turkish Lira crisis and other emerging market currencies being affected by the turmoil – investors have substantially increased their demand for the Greenback. It does not only serve as a "safe haven" currency, but it also offers a positive interest rate (e.g. 2-year US bills offering a yield of around 2.6 per cent). In the international context, this is a rather attractive combination from an investor's point of view. What follows is an appreciating US dollar and – as its flipside – a decline in the price of gold in US dollar terms.

Fed Rate Hike - the Fed's hiking cycle might be closer than the market expects. The reason lies in the growing international US dollar indebtedness. In the period of extreme low US interest rates, many foreign borrowers – in particular, those from emerging market economies – have taken on US dollar denominated debt. An appreciating US dollar causes them quite some trouble: It increases the costs of serving their debt. What is more, it makes rolling-over maturing US dollar debt more difficult: Lenders become hesitant to renew loans, and if they do, they can be expected to charge higher interest rates

Dependence on U.S Economy - Due to the high dependence of many economies around the globe on the US dollar, the Fed can no longer gear its monetary policy to the needs of the US economy alone. It can no longer ignore the consequences its monetary policy is most likely to have on other economies around the world. While the US economy may well need higher interest rates, many countries will have significant problems coping with US borrowing costs going up. As soon as the financial markets find out that the Fed cannot continue its US economy-centred monetary policy, there is a decent chance that the reserve currency status of the US dollar will be critically reviewed. So there is quite a possibility that the currently unshakable belief in the Greenback's safe-haven status will lose some of its shine.

But we can surely say one thing - The wind of change is definitely in the air for gold prices
After the Labor Day holiday in the U.S. in the first week in September things could start to change though as perhaps some of the trade war rhetoric will cool, China will come back to the negotiating table and the dollar index may ease giving gold some welcome respite.

Physical demand is coming back, which is a great sign for prices in the second half of the year.  Lower gold prices are starting to stimulate better physical demand, particularly from India. This might lead to rally in gold prices in the near future.

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Gold - Half year analysis

We are half way through 2018 and we have already seen gold showing some interesting movements.

The first half of 2018 has been quite action packed for global financial markets. In US and Asia, most of the growth was captured by tech stocks. Equities experienced a few pullbacks during the first 3 months as geopolitical tensions increased. So far, investors seemed to have shrugged off the escalating trade war rhetoric between the US and many of its trading partners.

Gold was up by more than 4 % in the first few months of the year, but finished on a negative note by the end of June. This downward trend continued in July as gold dropped further. Though gold was volatile till the first quarter, it has been moving in a relatively low range since.


The three main reasons being-

  • A strengthening US dollar
  • Soft physical demand for gold in the first half of 2018
  • Higher investor’s threshold for headline risk

Now coming to the second half of 2018. This year, there are plenty of factors which could lead to a medium-term gold price reset which could put that $1,400 price target back in its sights. This may sound over optimistic, but a lot of hope in being built mainly over the belief that we still have 6 months and of those, a lot of things are expected to happen over the second half.

We see a lot of factors that can reset gold price to $1400, we can broadly categorise them into 4 groups-

  • Economic development and capital growth
  • Global market uncertainties
  • Capital flows and price trends
  • Competing assets

So now where do we see the yellow metal in the coming months? Well we think that the outlook for gold will mainly be influenced by a few macro trends-

TRADE WARS AND THEIR IMPACT ON EXPORT IMPORT- President Trump’s planned tariff impositions against imports from China and elsewhere have been seen as positive for the dollar and the U.S. economy.  No matter that these tariffs are potentially inflationary in the domestic marketplace and that tit-for-tat measures being imposed on American exports could be very damaging to certain targeted U.S. exporters.

The counter tariffs being put in place could also see a downturn in export-oriented company stock prices, which could lead to a drift downwards in other equities and a drift down could spread to become a rout given the seemingly overbought state of the markets. Thus will have a positive impact on gold and may well push prices high.

EQUITIES - The long equities bull market, which does seem as though it may have come to an end this year, is seen as at least partly responsible for the lack of interest in precious metals investment.  A serious downturn in equities could thus drive investors back in the perceived safe havens of gold and silver.

An equities collapse, which many commentators have been predicting, could initially bring precious metals down with it with investors and funds struggling for liquidity and needing to sell good assets to stay afloat.  We saw this in the big market downturn in 2008, but gold, in particular, recovered any losses quickly and was rising when equities were still turning down.  This is a pattern which could well be repeated.


INCREASED GOLD HOLDINGS - Gold may well be one of the mechanisms being used to help reduce reliance on U.S. denominated reserve assets – certainly by Russia and probably by China which shrouds its central bank gold holdings in secrecy.  But even so this seems to be having little or no impact on the gold price at the moment – but it could have implications in the longer term.

In the long term we do feel that gold has a good future with falling supply and rising demand.  The big question is when will the price turn back upwards again?

Some say soon, while some still support the bears market. But we cannot ignore the fact that a lot can happen in the markets in five and a half months.  We would expect the dollar to start to fall back as the true impact of the Trump tariffs begins to be felt.  U.S. Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s latest fairly optimistic statement to Congress, seen as responsible, at least in part, for the latest gold price dip, in reality only confirmed what had been said before.

We think there’s a good chance that this will happen sometime in the final four months of the year and we might see the gold price reaching $1400 level by year end.

Monday, 5 February 2018

Where is Gold Heading To

AN upbeat U.S data and a strong dollar played key roles to pull down gold prices during the week. A lot was expected to happen over the number of data releases-

US employment report, ahead of that there is
Data on Spanish unemployment,
UK construction PMI
EU PPI
Italian CPI
US data on factory orders
University of Michigan consumer sentiment
Inflation expectation.

Of these, markets remained focussed on U.S nonfarm payrolls data and gold seemed to be behaving reacting to this influential factor


An expectation of strong economic number coming in from US strengthened the dollar. Spot gold was down 0.3 percent at $1,345.22 an ounce as the dollar ticked up against the euro ahead of hotly anticipated U.S. non-farm payrolls data, which would further give fresh clues on the outlook for U.S. interest rates.

Stronger than expected numbers could shore up expectations for the Federal Reserve to press ahead with interest rates hikes this year thus increasing the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion

The dollar rose 0.2 percent against the single currency in early trade, though it remained on track for a seventh straight weekly loss. Its early signs of strength pressured gold, which is priced in the U.S. unit. Once data was out, gold didn’t show that great reverse effect as expected.

 Gold ended the week little changed, after rising in six out of the last seven weeks and hitting its highest in 17 months last week at $1,366.07.

 Data released was as follows -   

Nonfarm payrolls and unemployment rate- non-farm payrolls grew by 200,000 in January and the unemployment rate was 4.1 percent, while wages saw their biggest jump since the end of the Great Recession, the Bureau of Labour Statistics said in a closely watched report Friday.

Hourly Earnings- More importantly, average hourly earnings increased 2.9 percent on an annualized basis, the best gain since the early days of the recovery in 2009. In addition to the solid payroll growth, average hourly earnings were up 0.3 percent for the month, matching estimates and reflecting an annualized gain of 2.9 percent. That was the best since mid-2009 as the two-year economic slump was coming to a close. However, the average work week fell two-tenths to 34.3 hours.

Within the jobs report, Wall Street and policymakers are watching wage numbers closely. While job gains have been solid and consistent, salary growth has been elusive. This report could change the narrative and might push the Fed to get more aggressive with interest rate hikes.

The Fed held interest rates unchanged after its latest policy meeting this week but raised its inflation outlook and flagged "further gradual" rate increases.           
 
During the December meeting, the Federal Reserve said that it expects that economic conditions “warrant gradual increases,” in the federal funds rate, and added that inflation declined in 2017 and was running below 2%.

Should the Federal Reserve reaffirm expectations for three rates hikes, bond yields could surge.
Some market participants warned, however, that the yellow metal may face a period of weakness as physical gold demand is expected to decline as seasonality is starting to fade ahead of the Chinese New Year.

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

Now gold has already broken above its 2017 high of $1357, as we had expected, before retreating over the past few days. It has now taken out some short-term support levels in the process, but the key support levels such as $1335 and $1325 are still intact, so the long-term technical bullish outlook remains in place for the time being. If we are going to see new highs for the year in the coming days, then gold will have to break back above those short-term broken levels, which are now acting as resistance. Among these, $1344/45 is an interesting level to watch today. If there’s acceptance above it then don’t be surprised to see gold go back above $1357 – the 2017 high – soon. And if gold were to get back to these levels then it would increase the probability of it reaching for liquidity that is resting above the 2016 high of $1375 next. On the flip side, if $1335 gives way first, then one will have to consider the bearish argument, more so if it also goes below $1325.



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.

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.