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Showing posts with label China. Show all posts
Showing posts with label China. Show all posts

Thursday, 17 January 2019

Gold gaining popularity

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

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



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

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

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

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

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, 18 December 2018

Series of Events await for the precious metals market

Gold has been on a five month high, where prices climbed on Monday, with declines in a leading dollar index, Treasury yields and the U.S. stock market, as well as comments from a well-known fund manager, prompting prices to settle at their highest in just over a week.

The gains in gold come ahead of key central-bank policy decisions this week and uncertainty around concrete trade developments between the U.S. and China.



There were a host of reasons responsible for this positive splurge in gold prices-

US Dollar - On Monday, the ICE U.S. Dollar Index was down 0.4% at 97.054. Gold is often sensitive to movements in the dollar. A weaker U.S. unit typically boosts demand for commodities priced in dollars as it makes them less expensive to users of other currencies.

US stock - Benchmark U.S. stock indexes, meanwhile, traded broadly lower as gold futures settled, after ending last week in a rout that pushed the Dow Jones Industrial Average back into correction territory. Stock weakness generally supports gold resulting in an upward movement.

Fed rate hike - Market expectations for 2019 Fed rate increases, once put at three to four more increases, have also begun to lessen on the back of dovish comments from Fed officials, including Chairman Jerome Powell. Fed rate-hike expectations are plummeting. Fed fund futures imply only a good 70% probability of a rate hike at the Fed’s meeting next week, with the probability of another by the end of 2019 likewise at only around 70%.

Expert advice - Double line Capital Founder Jeff Gundlach predicted the U.S. dollar would struggle in the coming new year, and that U.S. equities will enter a bear market. Post this statement; Prices for the metal got an added boost to intraday highs.

Brexit - Brexit is another geopolitical factor whose uncertainty is supportive for haven metals, though, again, the reaction has been muted so far. In the U.K., solutions to the Brexit dilemma are still hard to come by, a background story that is keeping the dollar bid, but not offering much extra boost for precious metals.

Apart from the ongoing activities there are a series of events that await the precious metals markets-

And other monetary policy updates this week, the Bank of Japan will make an announcement late Wednesday and the Bank of England meets on Thursday. The dollar has enjoyed relative strength against the yen and the pound, in part because of the interest-rate differential between the U.S. and its major economic allies. the Bank of Japan will make an announcement late Wednesday monetary policy updates this week, and the Bank of England meets on Thursday China’s Central Economic Work Conference a speech by President Xi Jinping There have been signs if panic in the market resulting in higher volatility. Riskier assets have been under pressure due to geopolitical events.
Currently the highlight is the ongoing US china trade spat and the market needs to see some real signs that point towards resolving some of their differences.


Monday, 10 December 2018

Has the scenario changed for gold

Last week, gold prices had a chance to close at their highest since the middle of July. The fundamental backdrop was a combination of declines in the US Dollar and local front-end government bond yields. Since gold is priced in USD, a weaker greenback makes the precious metal relatively more expensive. As for the latter, when bond yields decline, the non-interest bearing asset looks comparatively more appealing.

Though markets have shown a drastic behavior in the past 10 days, things still good for gold. Though gold has been down almost 4 per cent for the year till date, last week was fairly positive for the yellow metal. No doubt equities have outperformed gold so far but any rally in gold prices and any further weakness in U.S equities will see a reverse behaviour thus gold outperforming stocks in the near future.



The Fed has already appeared to express doubts on the future pace of tightening, although the markets do not anticipate it holding off on the likely 25 basis point interest rate increase at the FOMC meeting in just over one week’s time.  Although a further sharp fall in U.S. equities in the coming week might, just, cause the Committee to change its mind.  It is likely to be under pressure from President Trump to keep interest rates, and thus the dollar, down given his tariff impositions seem to be having the effect of increasing the dollar index and, ultimately, putting up the cost of manufactured goods to the U.S. consumer.

The volatility in equities and dollar was influenced buy the ongoing trade war between China and U.S which appears to have backfired rapidly on the greenback.

The arrest in Vancouver of China’s Huawei Technology’s CFO and the company founder’s daughter in Canada has potentially inflamed the trade relations again.

In the bigger picture, The Fed is in a dilemma over a few factors that don’t fall under its control but will play an important role in the growth of the US economy which will further  influence any decision related to rate hike-

Immigration - President Donald Trump's crackdown on immigration, which translates into fewer workers, especially those willing to take lower-wage jobs, and therefore higher wages

Wage- state-level minimum wage boosts that amount to government-mandated wage inflation.
Truck driver shortage- the countrywide truck driver shortage, which has become "a major reason for all sorts of companies to raise prices  in order to make their customers eat higher shipping costs
Trade war- is the United States' trade dispute with China, further escalated this week by the arrest of the CFO of Huawei, one of China's most important companies. While Trump and China's president seemed to agree to a ceasefire over the weekend, the arrest makes the odds of a good trade deal most unlikely.

All four of these ongoing issues directly affect the Fed's policy, and that's what's putting this independent entity in a bind when it comes to planning for the year ahead and maneuvering other major, economy-altering changes like the rise of workplace automation.

The Fed is simply helpless and can’t do anything about the above mentioned trends. Just in case they won’t work in its favour then rate hike might be delayed which will surely push gold prices high.

Speculators are currently neutral for gold. They don’t believe it will dip neither they have faith in its upside potential. Though markets feel that chances if it going lower are high.
But if we see the long run, gold looks attractive.

Gold prices for the year have decline but look positive in the coming two years. A lower dollar, lower US Treasury yields, a recovery of the Chinese Yuan and higher jewellery demand will result in the upward trend.


Thursday, 15 November 2018

Investors mantra - Stay Calm

Gold has lost around $30/oz. in less than one week as the US dollar charge continues. Last week’s FOMC meeting confirmed that US interest rates will continue to climb this year and next, while the Democrats’ victory in the House of Representatives is being taken as a USD positive so far, as it makes US President Trump more accountable for his actions. The precious metal was also unable to pick up a risk-off bid after US and Asian stock markets crumbled overnight on tech - mainly due to Apple - and worries that US-China trade wars may escalate.



Apart from the above mentioned acts, the way things are going- default concerns and inflation expectations are rather low by historical standards. As a result, financial markets could take a hard hit if investors ever wake up and demand a higher price for accepting credit and/or inflation risk. Such a scenario could make holding gold a particularly interesting option.

The recent weakness in gold is not over. In fact, we are worried about another leg down getting underway. While some believe that gold is moving to the bears there are some players in the market who still believe that gold prices will rally in the near future. Long term investors and speculation are making a shift from a bear to a bull market. Their belief is strongly supported by a few factors which these market players expected to occur soon-


  • First and foremost, the current gold price does not seem to be high and there is a lot of scope for recovery till it reaches its all time high
  • In a risk-on scenario, there is a good chance that the gold price will move up
  • Bargain hunting and weakness in equities, such as the sharp fall in U.S. stock market on are helping put a floor under gold during the metal’s recent slide. The fact that gold has not fallen further “is probably due to the correction on the stock markets, which has made gold attractive as an alternative investment
  • Oiling of gold reserves is a clear indicator that central banks do not want to be dollar dependent. A gold driven economy will definitely raise the demand for the yellow metal and furthermore its prices.
  • Gold is the only financial asset that’s not simultaneously somebody else’s liability. Hence the liking for this metal always remains high.
  • With uncertain world financial assets, there’s an excellent chance there’s going to be a volatile markets and hopefully a one that favors gold.


Currently we see investors acting very calm in the market. Maybe they await a strong and concrete signal from the global markets to get back into action mode.



Tuesday, 13 November 2018

December likely to be more volatile

Just when gold had become investor’s favorites, it started losing sheen. Friday, Gold closed at a one-week low amid investors shifting to riskier assets on the back of a higher dollar and the Federal Reserve's policy statement.

Gold eased to a one-week low on Thursday, as a recovery in the dollar and improved appetite for riskier assets pushed investors away from bullion.

Spot gold fell 0.13 percent to $1,224.09 per ounce, after touching its lowest since Nov. 1 at $1,219.59 Just when gold had become investor’s favorites, it started losing sheen. Friday, Gold closed at a one-week low amid investors shifting to riskier assets on the back of a higher dollar and the Federal Reserve's policy statement.

Gold eased to a one-week low on Thursday, as a recovery in the dollar and improved appetite for riskier assets pushed investors away from bullion.

Spot gold fell 0.13 percent to $1,224.09 per ounce, after touching its lowest since Nov. 1 at $1,219.59 earlier during the day.

Gold prices fell to their lowest in a week on Friday, and were set for their biggest weekly fall since August, on a firmer dollar as the U.S. Federal Reserve indicated they will continue to raise interest rates, lowering demand for bullion.

In the past fortnight we saw the dollar going week on the belief that losses for U.S. President Donald Trump's Republican Party in the midterm elections would make further fiscal stimulus measures unlikely.

But it didn’t take too long for the dollar to get back into action. The dollar has mounted a significant rally. Many reasons were cited for this bounce back-

The Fed kept interest rates steady on Thursday
It reaffirmed its monetary tightening stance.
Robust U.S. economy kept the currency underpinned
Investors positioned for a Federal Reserve interest rate rise next month
Political risks in Europe put pressure on the euro and the pound.
Fears about a no-deal Brexit gave dollar the push
Growing rift in Europe over Italy's budget
Reload of long dollar positions by investors
Vulnerability of European currencies
Weakening of the Euro over concerns about Rome's tussle with the European Commission over its 2019 budget
Weakness in Italy's banking sector
The melancholy in Europe has been good news for dollar
Easing of China-U.S. trade tensions
Weak China data
Weakening euro zone economy is expected to trigger further euro-selling pressure.


All these factors clubbed together strengthened the dollar and hence the dollar rallied to a 16-month high on Monday.

The dollar extended its recovery following a sigh of relief across markets after the U.S. midterm election results, and as investors turned their attention towards the Fed.

Gold has always been keeping a watch on the dollar and moving accordingly. Currently too it is dollar-watching and keeping an eye on the interest rate decisions. Gold has come under pressure because of a stronger dollar. Also the FOMC meeting showed no change in the interest rates. Gold might turn to the bears as any news that is positive for the U.S. dollar and the U.S economy as a whole will bring about a fall in the yellow metal and push prices down.

A lot is expected to happen by the end of year and these activities will sure create volatility on a global level. Ongoing trade disputes. Escalating Saudi- Arabian tensions and Brexit are all in line to occur. December is likely to be more volatile and hence a lot is expected to happen as we get closer to end the year.




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.


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.

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.

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.

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.


Monday, 17 September 2018

Is It Time To Go For Gold

Gold prices have tumbled in 2018, dropping, despite fears of a global trade war and turmoil in emerging-market economies. Such issues are risks that the market has mostly shrugged off, but the precious metal could be well positioned to provide some safety in the event those factors escalate and start to have a bigger impact on equities.

Gold is historically an asset class that does well during turbulent financial markets. As a safe-haven, the precious metal attracts risk-averse investors during such times. But when markets are doing fine, gold moves in a range, giving no gain for long periods of time.

But now many investors are rethinking on these lines and are shifting their focus on the yellow metal. Though gold has declined in the current year, lately it has shown dome positive developments.


Past week too gold was lying low till Thursday but gained momentum the following day. Gold prices slid on Thursday as investors purchased riskier assets instead of seeking a safe haven in gold, amid hopes for a new round of U.S.-China trade talks. Spot gold declined 0.3 percent to $1,202.30 per ounce during Thursdays trading hours, after earlier hitting its highest level since Aug. 28 at $1,212.49.

But after the economic numbers came in from U.S., gold prices gained rally.

Gold rose on Friday as the dollar faltered after softer-than-expected U.S. inflation data dimmed the case for a faster pace of policy tightening by the U.S. Federal Reserve, amid signs of movement in the Sino-U.S. trade standoff.  Spot gold was up 0.5 percent at $1,206.10 an ounce thus gaining 0.9 percent for the week. The main reason for this positive developments were-

U.S. consumer prices rose less than expected in August
Underlying inflation pressures also appeared to be slowing,
Suggesting the Federal Reserve’s pace of rate hikes could slow.
The data falling short of expectations, investors are thinking that the Fed may not go for a rate hike in December
The dollar’s index against a basket of six major currencies was a shade lower at 94.442 after slipping to a session low of 94.427, a bottom since July 31.
The months-long trade rift between Washington and Beijing has prompted investors to buy the U.S. dollar in the belief that the United States has less to lose from the dispute.

Now the current upward trend is propelling investors to once again make place for gold in their portfolio as it can be used tactically as a potential hedge for a stock market correction and/or a reversal in the dollar and real interest rates.  A reasonable 3 to 5 per cent of the portfolio can surely be allocated to gold.

It’s not only the investors, but leading banks and financial institutions that have also been adding up their gold reserves. Starting in 2008, central banks have been continuously adding gold to their reserves, though gradually and in relatively small amounts. In 2008 and 2009, such institutions added 580,000 and 210,000 ounces of the yellow metal (source- CPM data) and since then the reserves have been piling up, with around 11 million ounces getting purchased in 2017 and similar trend are expected this year too.

Russia too has been diversifying its monetary reserves. Most central banks are diversifying away from the dollar.

What’s even more interesting is that the RBI has bought 8.46 tonnes of gold in the financial year 2017-18. This was its very first purchase in almost nine pears. The last time RBI purchased gold was in Never 2009 when it has bought 200 tonne of yellow metal from the IMF.

Now currently domestic investors are thinking as to what to do with gold that has not given many gains in the last five years. Well the market experts believe that investors will be guided by expectations about where the Indian financial markets are headed and may give more though to gold in the coming months.

Though gold has not moved much over the past five years, some are still confused with the thought that with the current global trade wars and currencies dropping against the dollar is it time to go for gold?

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Time To Add Gold In Your Portfolio

Gold has fallen more than 8% this year as concern about trade disputes; currency weakness in emerging markets and rising US interest rates has strengthened the dollar, making bullion more expensive for buyers with other currencies.


TRADE DISPUTE - Gold is trading back above $1,200/oz ahead of the expected announcement from the White House that China is about to get hit by additional tariffs on goods valued at up to $200 billion. The latest US trade balance for July showed the US in the red by $50.1 billion while the trade deficit with China rose to a fresh record of $36.8 billion.

Investors have been waiting for a fresh round to be fired in the Sino-U.S. trade war after a public comment period for proposed U.S. tariffs on a list of $200 billion worth of Chinese imports, which includes some consumer products, ended late last week.

With his domestic agenda being challenged by the upcoming midterm elections, less-than-flattering comments from White House insiders, and the ongoing Mueller investigation, President Trump is unlikely to step back from his fight with the Chinese.

The prospect of an escalated trade war continues to make matters worse for emerging market bonds, stocks and currencies.

The trade war and its effect on the USD/CNY exchange rate remains the primary determinant of Gold prices in dollar terms. Until either the trade war ends or the dollar falls, either of its own accord or due to a Fed reversal in policy, USD/CNY is likely to go higher and gold lower.

The escalating trade war crisis continued to spill its effect on gold in the past week too. Gold prices rose on Friday due to a lower dollar and jitters about an escalation in the U.S.-China trade dispute after fresh threats by President Donald Trump, although bullion is still heading for its fifth straight monthly decline.

Spot gold was up 0.6 percent at $1,206.19 an ounce during Fridays trading hours- a gain of 4 percent from the 19-month low of $1,159.96 hit on Aug. 16.



CURRENCY WEAKNESS - Lately positive U.S. economic numbers have been showing signs of a strengthening U.S economy. This has further strengthened the dollar against major basket of currencies. In India too rupee was at a record low of 72.17, sliding by 44 paise against the US dollar on rising demand from US dollars by bankers and importers.

Like the trade war, the dollar prices continued to show its effect on gold this week too.
The dollar traded higher against a basket of currencies on Monday amid fears of a potentially major escalation in the China-U.S. trade conflict, while Sweden's crown rose following the previous day's election.

U.S. President Donald Trump warned on Friday that he was ready to slap tariffs on virtually all Chinese imports into the United States, threatening duties on another $267 billion of goods in addition to the $200 billion already facing the risk of duties.

The index also found support after data showed U.S. jobs growth accelerated in August and wages notched their largest annual increase in more than nine years, boosting the prospect of faster interest rate rises by the Federal Reserve.

Non-Farm payrolls led to some modest downward pressure on gold. Furthermore, though the dollar will continue to weigh on gold, and as long as the dollar is strong, gold will remain constrained.

RISING INTEREST RATES - Gold prices held steady during Asian trade on Tuesday as investors remained on the sidelines amid expectations of a U.S. interest rate hike this month and on fears of an escalation in the Sino-U.S. trade war.

Strong U.S. payrolls data last week cemented expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will raise interest rates in September, in what would be its third hike this year, with expectations of one rise more in December.

Higher rates increase bond yields, making the non-yielding bullion less attractive and tend to boost the dollar.

Now what’s interesting to note is that though gold is being hammered lately, financial advisors in Asia, are suggesting their clients that this is the right time to include gold in their portfolio. They have been asking them to take advantage of dips and to stockpile to protect assets against pounding equity markets.

Gold has sold off over the past few months as USD interest rates have increased, so there is more opportunity to buy. For clients who do not have an allocation of gold in their portfolios, now is the time to add gold.

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Gold might increase but with a lag

The yellow metal is down about 8 percent this year amid rising U.S. interest rates, trade disputes and the Turkish currency crisis, with investors parking their money in the dollar, which is being viewed as a safe-haven asset.

Firm U.S. dollar makes gold more expensive for holders of other currencies, with safe-haven demand for gold this year overshadowed by the metal’s relationship with the greenback
Gold's weakness in the international market is primarily on account of the US Federal Reserve's hawkish stance. It has hinted at four rate hikes this year and more next year. The US Fed is also shrinking its balance sheet.


On one hand the US Fed is raising rates and on the other hand central banks are doing completely opposite. This action is strengthening the dollar and hitting on gold.
An increase in rates is expected soon because the Fed believes that the US economy is strong enough to support a hike. This belief has led to an increased pressure on gold.

Following this sentiment, Gold prices edged down on Tuesday as the dollar hit a more-than-one-week high on the back of intensifying global trade tensions and economic worries in emerging markets.
Spot gold was down 0.3 percent at $1,196.90 an ounce during Tuesdays trading hours.

Many currencies world over have suffered setbacks against a strengthening dollar.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies, hit its highest since Aug. 24 at 95.410.

Now what will hold great importance for the dollar and the gold is the US economic data. Markets are closely watching the economic number, including a manufacturing survey on Tuesday and an employment report on Friday, which could influence gold’s moves this week as investors look for clues on the pace of U.S. interest rate increases.

Meanwhile, worries over an escalation in trade conflicts between the United States and other countries have kept participants in broader markets on the edge.

The threat of trade wars has only impacted currencies as of now. Analysts are expecting gold prices to start rising with a lag.

Currently we have been witnessing global economic crisis. This is making the other currencies weak and benefiting the dollar and time and again we have seen that any rise in dollar pulls down gold prices.

But if we see the domestic market, the gold dollar relationship is behaving in a very interesting manner.

Dollar and gold have an inverse relation so when the dollar strengthens, gold prices fall.

But when the dollar strengthens the rupee weakens, and a falling rupee offsets the fall in gold prices in India. So, while the price of gold may fall 7% in dollar terms, it may drop only 5% in rupee terms.
Any economic or political crisis results in an upsurge in gold prices and similar behavior as expected over the trade crisis between US and China. But it seems that gold’s rally has been totally offset by a strengthening dollar.

Analysts believe that gold could revive if the ongoing trade dispute between the US and China flares up into a full-fledged trade war. If the US economy suffers, gold would benefit from this.
Given the risks that exist today in the global economy, gold can prove to be a useful portfolio diversification tool and can help reduce overall portfolio risk.

Global inflation, rising interest rates, tightening of monetary policies by central banks, high crude prices are all positives for gold. 

Monday, 27 August 2018

Time to Divert Our Attention Outside America

The precious metal is down 8% so far in 2018, and nearly 14% on an annualized basis - making it the worst-performing major asset class this year.

Gold has weakened this year alongside many emerging-market currencies because the dollar strengthened and US interest rates became more attractive. On August 13, gold fell below the key technical level of $1,200 an ounce for the first time since early 2017. It traded up 0.7% to $1,202.90 an ounce on Friday.

It may have gained by the end of the week, but it’s still a weak asset currently.  Spot gold was up one percent at $1,196.39 an ounce during Friday’s trading session, about 3 percent higher than last week’s 2018 low below $1,160.00.



Growing U.S. political uncertainty, reinforced by the legal woes of two of U.S. President Donald Trump’s former advisers this week, is keeping the dollar under pressure despite tighter U.S. monetary policy, analysts say.

By Friday, 27th August, gold prices saw a rally as investors took Powell’s speech as a more dovish stance, which seemed to rule out the need for a more aggressive tightening as he suggested a lack of inflationary pressure and put the warning for further gradual increases in interest rates on a continuation of current economic strength and a strong labor market.

In his speech, Powell indicated that there was no clear sign of an acceleration above the Fed’s 2% inflation objective and said there did not seem to be an elevated risk of the economy overheating.

Gold prices traded higher on Friday as Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell emphasized the central bank’s plans for gradual interest rate hikes would be conditioned on the continued strength of the U.S. economy and labor market.

Higher interest rates tend to weigh on demand for gold, which doesn’t bear interest, in favour of yield-bearing investments. The remarks also weighed on the dollar, extending the greenback’s losses and increasing the demand of the precious metal for holders of foreign currencies.
As the most recent FOMC statement indicates, if the strong growth in income and jobs continues, further gradual increases in the target range for the federal funds rate will likely be appropriate.

Gold is usually favoured as a safe haven during market turmoil, but even all the back and forth on trade between the US and China has not stirred up a bid for the metal as the dollar still hold strong.
The commodities market has been adversely impacted by the strong dollar and the discussion of a trade war possibility, which may already be happening. With the economies of America, Europe and Asia picking up, most investors are asking, why buy gold or silver? The dollar is the key. When it starts dropping, we will see the price of gold, silver and all commodities improve.

Many foreign governments and companies have borrowed in dollars, thinking the dollar will go lower relative to their own currencies. But the dollar has done the complete opposite. So now, these borrowers of $US are being squeezed as their borrowing costs have risen dramatically. This is creating financial distress in certain corners of the world. At these locations the price of gold will be seen climbing quickly.

But when will this happen? Will the dollar weaken? When will we see the gold prices going up? Will global uncertainties rise? There are many questions floating in the market currently.
And hence we all need to divert our attention to some of the developing problems that exist outside America and how it will impact America and furthermore the dollar.



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.

Monday, 6 August 2018

3 types of rates influencing gold

Gold lost its luster this week, as it touched to one year lows. Spot gold, which is down over 6 percent this year, is close to a one-year low of $1,211.08 touched on July 19 as the dollar powered to a one-year high on expectations of higher U.S interest rates this year.

Gold prices dropped as trade tensions between the U.S. and China resurfaced a day after the Federal Reserve affirmed its intention to lift rates further in 2018.




Gold prices declined as US Treasury bond yields advanced alongside the US Dollar in anticipation of a hawkish Fed monetary policy announcement, sapping the appeal of non-interest-bearing alternatives. Crude oil prices likewise fell as the stronger greenback applied de-facto pressure on assets quoted in terms of the benchmark currency .

The Fed on Wednesday upgraded its assessment of the U.S. economy and hinted at another interest-rate hike as soon as September.

Rising trade animosities between Washington and Beijing were in focus on Wall Street, as the Trump administration threatened to more than double proposed duties on $200 billion of Chinese goods to 25%, up from an original 10%.

Interest rate hike and escalating trade tensions are giving the U.S. dollar more buoyancy in recent trade, weighing on commodities pegged to the currency.

That has weighed on global stock markets but has provided the U.S. dollar a lift, as global trade tensions have recently flared up.

Rates remained unchanged as widely predicted, the statement released following the meeting of the policy-setting FOMC committee sounded decidedly confident on growth and inflation prospects. That bolstered the probability of a fourth rate hike in 2018 to 58.8 percent, up from 56.5 percent recorded a week earlier.

Investors betting on a stronger U.S economy and higher interest rates have sought out the dollar, sapping any benefits gold and other so-called “safe havens” might have gained from global trade tensions between the world’s largest economies.

Some analysts and fund managers say the dollar has benefited because the U.S. economy would be more resilient in the face of a trade war.

Gold is now fighting varied types of rate. One side it’s the interest rate from the Fed, on the other side it’s the import rates and thirdly the Bank of England rates too. Now all these clubbed together will life gold prices or pull it down- we don’t know- but these combined will definitely influence gold prices significantly.


Monday, 30 July 2018

Is it time to go back to gold


Markets have been more volatile than normal so far this year due to many factors, including geopolitical tensions with North Korea and the Middle East, Italian government upheaval, rampant speculation related to interest rates and the spectre of potential trade wars involving the United States, Canada, China, and European powers as a result of tariffs.

Recently the gold price has depended on the dollar’s cross-border flows. They in turn have been driven by market perceptions of increasing credit risks in emerging market currencies, and the Fed’s policy of normalising interest rates while other major central banks are still applying monetary stimulus. The result has been a stronger dollar on its trade-weighted basis and a weaker gold price.

Spot gold dropped 0.4 percent to $1,225.89 an ounce during Thursdays trading hours, after it rose 0.6 percent on Wednesday. Earlier in the session, the metal hit $1,235.16, its highest in more than a week but eased by the end of the week due to a strengthening dollar.


Gold prices are back under pressure, with the U.S. dollar gaining ground against its major counterparts, and the precious metal may continue to consolidate over the remainder of the week as market attention turns to the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) interest rate decision on August 1.

Even though the FOMC is widely expected to keep the benchmark interest rate on hold, Chairman Jerome Powell & Co. are likely to implement higher borrowing-costs over the coming months as officials warn ‘gradually returning interest rates to a more normal level as the economy strengthens is the best way the Fed can help sustain an environment in which American households and businesses can thrive.’

In turn, a batch of hawkish comments may sap the appeal of gold as the FOMC appears to be on track to further embark on its hiking-cycle, and growing expectations for four rate-hikes in 2018 may reinforce a bearish outlook for gold prices on the back of expectations for higher U.S. Treasury yields.

One more interesting thing witnessed during the past week was gold reserves. It seems that strong economies have increased their gold reserves which are a good sign for gold.

CHINA – Officially, China has kept its gold holdings unchanged at 59.24 million ounces since October 2016, or 1,843 metric tons, valuing them at $74.1 billion at end-June. Globally, central banks continue to increase gold reserves, albeit at a slower pace, adding 371.4 tons in 2017, according to the World Gold Council.

However in the past too, China has spent long periods before without revealing increases in gold holdings. When the central bank announced a 57 percent jump in reserves to 53.3 million ounces in July 2015, it was the first update in six years.

So it seems that mysteriously China has been adding to its gold reserves.

RUSSIA- Russia‘s U.S. dollar reserves have shrunk from $96.1 billion in March to just $14.9 billion in May, according to the Russian Central Bank. Its governor, Elvira Nabiullina, says the decision will help protect the Russian economy and diversify the bank’s reserves.

Notably, the Bank of Russia has been buying gold every month since March 2015, overtaking China as the fifth-biggest sovereign holder of gold.

Russia added 500,000 ounces of gold (15.55174 tons) to reserves in June and bought some 106 tons of gold since the start of the year, with total reserves now approaching the 2,000-metric-ton mark. Last year, Russia added a record 224 tons of gold to the reserves.

The Russian central bank hinted that it could invest the money from the USD sale not only into gold, but also into International Monetary Fund (IMF) bonds and Chinese bonds.

But why have these economies diversifying to gold? Well, in periods of global financial or political crises, gold is much more useful than securities or cash, although gold is also prone to price fluctuations.

Moving further, it must be noted here that the gold price is affected, of course, by more factors than simply the US dollar and US interest rates. Equity markets can and do affect the gold price, oil prices too, and there is a long list of non-quantifiable factors that can have a dramatic impact on the gold price. Heightened global political and economic tensions on account of a highly erratic US President may encourage more investment demand for gold, for example. And can anyone fully rule out an Italian exit from the Euro zone and the financial crisis that would follow?