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Showing posts with label Donald Trump. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Donald Trump. Show all posts

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Trade war fails to weaken the dollar

Gold prices have not managed to stay above the $1300 level- it could be due to a strong dollar or maybe profit taking or even price manipulation. Currently, out of all, gold prices seemed to have been highly influenced by a strengthening dollar.

Gold prices fell to new 2018 lows against a rising Dollar on Tuesday in London, hitting $1274 per ounce as President Trump threatened to hit back at China's retaliation over last week's new US trade tariffs with extra charges on another $200bn of Chinese imports.


Accused of "blackmail" by Beijing, Trump says these extra 10% tariffs will only come into force if China “refuses to change its practices."

This news gave a boost to gold in the Asian markets.

However the metal failed to extend further as offers [to sell around] $1283 restricted top-side gains.

Gold remains bearishly offered, and it’s all about the dollar strength as the greenback rockets higher on EM commodity and the China meltdown. And at least for the time being the markets have utterly forsaken the idea that the US trade war escalation could become ultimately detrimental for the dollar.

Now currently the matter of concern is that why is the dollar showing sign of strength despite an apparently escalating trade war which is unlikely to do anyone any good?

At the moment the dollar strength is two-fold. Key currencies like the Euro, the British pound, the Canadian and Australian dollars and the Chinese Yuan are being driven downwards (hence the dollar appears to be rising), but also money will be flowing into the dollar as perhaps more of a safe haven in times of an ensuing global financial crisis than gold and other precious metals.  We think that this will only be in the short term and we need to wait for some concrete events that will bring in volatility in the markets.

Thursday, 14 June 2018

Fed Rate Hike Fails to Dampen Gold Prices

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Gold witnessing the silence before the storm

Gold prices have continued trading in a quiet manner, unable to break the narrow range that has been established in recent weeks.

Recently prices have remained stuck- between $1282 and $1307 – for three weeks now, as risk-off developments that would typically raise demand for the precious metal were counterbalanced by a strengthening dollar. Gold – which is priced in dollars – tends to weaken when the US currency appreciates, as it becomes more expensive for investors using foreign currencies to buy it.

There seems to be a determined effort to prevent the gold price from moving back above US$1,300 with the movement in the U.S. dollar up or down – which usually has an almost instantaneous effect on the price of the yellow metal

 There are too many debatable geopolitical issues about to happen, any one of which could trigger a substantial gold price rally

NORTH KOREA- The summit between US and North Korea is back on the agenda for next week, and although it may only produce symbolical results, that still bodes well for market sentiment in the sense that the risk of military confrontation is decreasing.

If this happens, we still can’t see the U.S. nuking North Korea, nor the latter attacking U.S. Territories or its allies.  The potential fallout is too extreme.  Nor do we think the U.S., for all its military might, would contemplate a ground war.  The North Korean army is too strong and the potential for unacceptable losses on the American side is too high.  So yet another contentious impasse will likely result but with a return to the escalation in tensions which could be the trigger to set the gold price alight.

But even if Presidents Trump and Kim Jong Un do reach some kind of verbal agreement there are plenty of other imminent flashpoints out there. 

ITALY- In politics, Italy grabbed the spotlight for a few days, but that storm seems to have passed for now. Markets calmed down after the nation finally formed a government, avoiding the scenario of early elections, something that was being framed as an implicit referendum on the euro, with investor anxiety around that prospect sending shock waves across risk assets globally. 

RUSSIA- Russia which may well have a military armoury to match, or even exceed, that of the U.S. has remained aloof from what might be seen as military provocation by the U.S. and its allies.  To perhaps calm things down a little may have prompted President Trump’s call, for Russia to be re-admitted to the global summit meetings – returning the G7 to a G8, although this was rejected by the other G7 members, but could yet be seen as a preliminary move to try and ease tensions.

If this happens, we still can’t see the U.S. nuking North Korea, nor the latter attacking U.S. Territories or its allies.  The potential fallout is too extreme.  Nor do we think the U.S., for all its military might, would contemplate a ground war.  The North Korean army is too strong and the potential for unacceptable losses on the American side is too high.  So yet another contentious impasse will likely result but with a return to the escalation in tensions which could be the trigger to set the gold price alight.

But even if Presidents Trump and Kim Jong Un do reach some kind of verbal agreement there are plenty of other imminent flashpoints out there. 

CHINA- Looking at recent developments, the global trade outlook has grown even more uncertain, and the situation looks likely to deteriorate further before it improves. Whereas things were looking rosy a couple of weeks ago, with the US and China citing progress in talks and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin saying “we are putting the trade war on hold”, the White House soon ‘ruined the party’ by announcing it is considering $50bn worth of tariffs on Chinese goods. The US will announce on June 15 which products will be targeted. Unless the US backs off by then, China is likely to strike back with its own measures in tit-for-tat fashion, reigniting concerns that this could spiral into an actual trade war and potentially triggering another round of risk aversion.

Given signals of a weaker US dollar, U.S. debt, and positive physical demand, it’s only a matter of time until gold breaks above $1,300 an ounce and climbs to $1,400 and gold, which is traditionally viewed as a safe-haven asset in times of economic weakness, should gain its shine again as the current economic cycle reaches its late stages and with expectations that the equity bull market is coming to an end.

While the geopolitical arena seems to be posing less of a risk for markets, developments around global trade have not been as encouraging, leaving investors with little motivation to alter their exposure to havens like gold. That might change soon though, depending on how the US-North Korea summit and the upcoming Fed meeting play out, alongside whether the White House will finally impose another round of tariffs on China.

Whether gold has been weak because of a stronger dollar, a seeming easing of immediate geopolitical tensions, U.S. Fed interest rate moves, seeming strength in the U.S. economy, or due to continuing moves to suppress the price by the powers that be as some would have it, the bears are currently taking advantage, but this could turn around quickly should any of the stronger potential geopolitical issues blow up in our face.

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Has the golden streak ended

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, 16 April 2018

Get ready to see Gold on a roller coaster ride

While in the domestic markets we saw jewellers preparing in full swing for Akshaya Tritiya, in the global markets we saw gold moving in full swing.

Jewellers are expecting 15-20 per cent increase in sales this Akshaya Tritiya, mainly on the back of positive market sentiment, stable prices and ongoing wedding season.

Apart from the auspicious occasion of Akshaya Tritiya the wedding season is also lined up for the month of April, May and June, which has raised the demand for gold further. As buyers expect further rise in gold prices, they have started making their purchases to avoid any further price rise.


Overall there is a positive sentiment in the market so a sales growth of 15-20 % is expected this Akshaya Tritiya.

Globally so far, gold has risen more than 3 percent this year, marked by international tensions and volatility in equities, but has yet to emerge from a tight trading range in the face of an expectation for rising U.S. interest rates.

Prices for gold this week rose to their highest levels since Jan. 25, as escalating tensions in Syria, U.S. sanctions on Russia and the U.S.-China trade stand-off weighed on global equities and the U.S. dollar index.

Gold's safe haven status was tested this week as Donald Trump's economic war threatened to turn into a shooting war, with a number of global spots getting hotter. Precious metal moved from a close of $1325.69 an ounce on April 5 to $1337.90 on April 12, dipping on Thursday after reaching a high of $1364.50 during Wednesday morning trading – the highest it's been since Feb. 14
So far, Gold has also outperformed all other precious metals this year.

The headlines this week have been full of escalations of continuing and new conflicts around the world. Here is a rundown-

Trade Wars- Countries over the world are now dependent on each other for exports and imports.
Many major American companies that are household names such as Starbucks (SBUX), Boeing (BA) and Apple (AAPL) rely on their exports (and imports) from China for a sizable portion of their overall sales and profits.

But the escalating trade war between China and US could hurt the revenues of these companies as each country is retaliating with its own harsh measures.

But there are news revolving in the markets that has China just recently launched a new $1.6 billion initiative called “Made in China 2025.”

This initiative would focus on an increase in research and development spending thus making China more self dependent which will further help companies to rely less on international technology and equipment. The more China buys internally, the less it will buy American products or need to export to the U.S.

That means it could shift its trade focus away from the U.S., while purchasing fewer American goods. All of that could hurt manufacturers in both countries and increase volatility into the share prices of companies involved.

Geopolitical- There is rising tensions on the geopolitical front as US is expected to attack Syria any moment now in response to the chemical attack against civilians last week. But Russia has warned that in this course if Russian military personnel are harmed in any manner then US should be ready to face “grave consequences"

Now that President Trump has John Bolton as his National Security Adviser, the geopolitical spot has increased even further. On Feb. 28, Bolton published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal supporting a preemptive nuclear strike against North Korea.

On Wednesday Trump cranked up the threats, tweeting “Get ready Russia, because [missiles] will be coming, nice and new and 'smart'!” which caused the spike in the gold price. Later he appeared to open a window to a more peaceful solution, tweeting that “it could be soon or not so soon at all,” causing gold to lose its earlier momentum.

That gives us an insight into what policy recommendations President Trump might be provided with now.

Even the perceived threat of diplomatic fallout and rumors of a military response can elevate volatility. War games between the U.S. and North Korea would be expected recoil — and that would mean uncertainty over China’s response.

That would give greater rise to volatile conditions in trade, regional security and stability on the Peninsula. By isolating China — North Korea’s top economic partner and military alley — tensions would only escalate.

Needless to say, any armed conflict between two nuclear powers carries great potential risk. One single incident could trigger an escalating spiral.

US Political Risk- November will also bring along a lot of volatility and uncertainty as midterm elections are going to be held.

The U.S would be caught up in more political instability that will harm market stability which further raises concerns that markets are being left uncertain and pondering to guess what happens next?

The world has become a much more dangerous place in the last few weeks. Between competing naval exercises in the South China Sea, a chemical weapons attack in Syria, US and European sanctions on Russia, a likely showdown over the Iran nuclear deal, and a host of other (i.e. India v Pakistan) conflicts not even mentioned here, investors have reason to turn to safe-haven assets – and gold has benefited.

Threats of war are always factored into the safe-haven value of gold on any given day, but we may be witnessing a sea-change where it is difficult to imagine a return to any sense of normalcy anytime soon – especially given Trump's determination to put America's interests first despite ruffling a lot of feathers with both allies and adversaries.

Given these hotspots for the next three months or even further, we expect gold to move on a rollercoaster ride.


Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Gold expected to rise moderately

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, 2 April 2018

A bad week but a good quarter for gold

It wasn’t a much pleasant week for gold as it posted its biggest one-day percentage fall in nearly 9 months.

On Wednesday, the yellow metal suffered its biggest one-day loss since February to settle at a one-week low, reacting to a firmer dollar as it deepened a pullback from the more than one-month highs seen earlier in the past week.

Though there was a moderate weakness seen in the US dollar, the yellow metal didn’t much benefit from it. Gold continued to remain under some selling pressure consecutively on Wednesday and failed to employ any positive movements.




Wednesdays’ fall saw gold retreating around 2.5% from near 6 week tops that it touched on Tuesday. Gold posted its biggest one-day percentage fall in nearly nine months on Wednesday after robust U.S. data lifted the dollar, which steadied at those strong levels on Thursday.
   
Gold prices are currently flat after a big move down on Wednesday. The culprit for the move in gold appears to be recent strength in the US dollar. As gold is traded against US dollars, a stronger currency pushes down the precious metal in relative terms.

Even the ongoing slide in the US Treasury bond yields did little to lend any support and stall the non-yielding yellow metal's downfall to over one-week lows.

On the other hand, the European equity markets created bullish sentiments for gold. Furthermore, gold prices held largely steady on Thursday, as tensions over North Korea and global trade eased.
 
North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un pledged his commitment to denuclearisation and meet U.S. officials, China said on Wednesday after his meeting with President Xi Jinping, who promised China would uphold friendship with its isolated neighbour.

Gold prices slipped on Thursday as the U.S. dollar held its strong gains from the previous session, but simmering tensions over Russia and a potential trade war offered underlying support.

Moscow threatened to retaliate after the United States and other Western countries expelled more than 100 Russian diplomats over the poisoning of Russian former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in England with a military-grade nerve toxin.
                         
Though gold had a bad week, but for the quarter gold fared well. Often seen as an alternative investment at times of political and financial uncertainty, gold was on track for a third straight quarter of gains, up 1.7 percent as of Thursday as United States precious metals markets were closed on Friday for the Good Friday holiday.

While spot bullion was little changed at $1,325.17 an ounce on Thursday, the metal was up 1.7 percent this quarter, following a 1.8 percent gain in the final three months of last year. The rise comes even as the Federal Reserve has been pulling the trigger consistently on U.S. interest rates and despite Wednesday falling by the most since July.

Gold’s haven qualities have come back in focus this year as a series of events were witnessed-

  • President Donald Trump’s administration picked a series of trade fights with friends and foes escalating global tensions.
  • Investors worry about equity market wobbles that started on Wall Street and echoed around the world. 
  • Geopolitical tensions with North Korea 
  • Trump’s pick of John Bolton as his new national security adviser spurred speculation of a potentially harder line against Iran


As these series of events will increase safe haven buying in gold, what raises concerns is whether this rising demand will be met. Furthermore growing geopolitical risks could concerns of supply-side issues in the oil market.

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Economic & Political Uncertainty key drivers for gold

Gold has now recovered from being negative to close higher on three occasions in as many days since Friday. The yellow metal’s has performed well since Friday’s jobs report was released. The precious metal has been supported above all by the dollar, which has remained under pressure. The greenback was unable to benefit meaningfully from Friday’s jobs report, which showed strong gains in non-farm employment and weak wage growth in February. On Tuesday, economic and political pressures were hitting dollar thus resulting in a weak performance.

The dollar has also been damaged by ongoing political concerns at the White House, which also had allusions for the stock markets as it elevated investor ambiguity.  Donald Trumps’ stand on international political issues mainly The Iran Nuclear deal and the North Korean regime changes are not seen with much respect globally.



Moreover, the appointment of Pompeo will be yet another supporter of Trump’s protectionist trade policies, which is what the stock markets worried about on Tuesday.

The highly anticipated Consumer Price Index measure of inflation for February failed to better expectations and after Friday’s weakness in wage growth, it underscored expectations that prices are not as hot as had been expected, decreasing the odds of aggressive rate hiking from the Federal Reserve. However, the Fed is highly likely – almost certain – to raise interest rates by 25 basis points next week

But it is not only about the current rate hike- what matters is the FOMC’s outlook for interest rates further into 2018 and beyond, which will be the main focal point for the markets. If recent data, including Tuesday’s relatively moderate inflation numbers, have helped to weaken policymakers’ urgency for higher interest rates then this could put further downward pressure on the dollar and support buck-denominated gold.

However, if the Fed turns out to be more in favour of higher interest rates, perhaps because of expectations that high levels of employment may lead to higher wages and therefore higher inflation in the future, then this could be the trigger for a dollar rally, and a gold sell-off.
Over the next few days, the $1300 per ounce mark will be tested for the yellow metal and in case gold prices recover again after the Fed meeting then markets remain bullish for gold.




Monday, 12 March 2018

A turbulent week for gold

It was certainly a turbulent week for the yellow metal, as the combination of political uncertainty and U.S. rate hike expectations attracted both buyers and sellers. Though there was lot of volatility in the market, the precious metals continued to hold a well-defined range after turning sharply from key support last week and prices struggled to hold on to the early March gains.

On Friday, gold managed to pare some of its early losses to fresh weekly lows but held in negative territory through the mid-European session.



Gold prices extended losses into a third session on Friday as the dollar strengthened against the yen on hopes of easing tensions between the United States and North Korea and ahead of U.S. non-farm payroll data later in the day.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday he was prepared to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for the first U.S.-North Korea summit, marking a potentially dramatic breakthrough in nuclear tensions with Pyongyang.

A combination of diverging factors has failed to provide any meaningful drive and has led to subdued/range-bound price action. The rampant watchful sentiment around European equity markets was seen lending some support to the precious metal's safe-haven appeal and helped bounce off lows.

However, a follow-through US Dollar buying interest, supported by a goodish pickup in the US Treasury bond yields might continue to keep a lid on any further meaningful up-move for dollar-denominated commodities - like gold.

Investors were glued to the keenly watched US monthly jobs report, which was expected to influence Fed rate hike expectations and eventually provide some fresh impetus for the non-yielding yellow metal's near-term trajectory.

Once data was released there was lot of upheaval in the market.

  • A strong jobs report on Friday offered some support to gold prices with U.S. Non-Farm Payrolls (NFP) topping expectations with a print of 313K for the month of February.
  • A strong read on labour force participation also highlighted underlying strength in the employment sector with a print of 63% (highest since September). 
  • Despite the job gains however, wage growth remained sluggish a downward revision to last month’s average hourly earnings accompanied by a miss in February at just 2.6% y/y (previously 2.8% y/y). 


The release is unlikely to alter the Federal Reserve’s expectations for three rate-hikes this year with gold finding solace into the close of the week.

Gold prices ended higher Friday, erasing their loss for the week, as monthly data revealed a strong rise in U.S. jobs, but disappointing growth in wages.

The U.S. dollar weakened in the wake of the employment data. Gold and the greenback often move inversely as a weaker dollar can raise the appeal for investors using other currencies to buy the precious metal.

The latest snapshot of the U.S. labour market showed strong job growth and a higher participation rate, with the nation adding 313,000 new jobs in February. But the 12-month increase in pay slipped to 2.6% from a revised 2.8% in January.

The jobs numbers initially sent gold lower, but also the wage growth data was not too robust at 2.6% and this has allowed traders to buy the dip and/or keep their long positions heading into the weekend.

Markets had braced for a stronger wages reading after an inflation scare within this report a month earlier helped sink stocks. Rising inflation could add pressure on the Fed to speed up its rate rises, which could strangle the stock market. Gold, in turn, although impacted negatively by higher interest rates, could attract hedging demand against too-hot inflation.

Overall, however, the jobs report kept the Federal Reserve on track with interest-rate hikes this year.
The U.S. dollar had tumbled to 16-month lows against the safe-haven yen late last week as fears of a trade war rattled markets after Trump announced his plan for imposing tariffs on imported steel and aluminium.  This being said, the markets seem to be bearish for gold at the present moment
   
One could make the argument that if nothing changed in the world, but simply the free market was able to determine the gold price, that it would be well north of $1900 per ounce. Now factor in what is going on in the world, just how fragile the dollar-based economic system is at this point, and the likelihood of more quantitative easing, and owning gold makes more sense than ever.


Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Tug of War for Gold


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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, 29 January 2018

$1375 an ounce - A Crucial Mark for gold

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Rally vs Regression for Gold

It was a decent week for gold as it was up 0.6 per cent on Friday posting a second straight weekly gain.

Gold rose on Friday as the dollar softened on uncertainty about the progress of what would be the biggest overhaul of U.S. taxes since the 1980s.

The U.S. House of Representatives approved on Thursday a package of tax cuts, while a Senate panel advanced its version of the legislation that has President Donald Trump’s backing. The dollar weakened against a basket of six major currencies and was set for its biggest weekly loss in more than a month.


An exhaustion of the equity market is proving to be supportive for gold in the near future.
Though the week ended on a positive note, Monday blues were creating its effect on gold.Gold drifted lower through the early European session on Monday and eroded part of Friday's strong up-move to one-month tops.

Gold eased on Monday due to a stronger U.S. dollar, but remained near a one-month high hit in the previous session on uncertainty over progress on a potential overhaul of the U.S. tax code.

Currently trading around the $1290 region, testing session lows, a modest pickup in the US Dollar demand seems to have prompted some profit-taking off dollar-denominated commodities - like gold.

However,following factors we seen triggering a fresh wave of risk aversion trade in the market-
Breakdown in German coalition talks- The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six rival currencies, gained 0.2 percent as the euro faltered after German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s efforts to form a three-way coalition government failed, raising concerns over political uncertainty in the euro zone’s largest economy.

Sliding US Treasury bond yields- The latest US political jitter from subpoenas on Trump campaign staff and skepticism over the passage of a historic US tax cut legislation might continue to lend support and help limit deeper losses, at least for the time being.

These factors combined have underpinned the precious metal's safe-haven appeal.

Currently gold is once again been pulled between bullish and bearish markets.A little bit of momentum is sneaking in this market and, a little bit of volatility is slinking up in other financial markets.

If we see the ear market for gold , we can support a price drop keeping in mind the US interest rates, higher US interest rates with the target range for the Fed Fund rate likely to be moved up by 0.25% to 1.25%-1.50% at the next Federal Reserve meeting on December 13.  US interest rates are also expected to be hiked another three times next year, adding more downside pressure on gold.

On the other hand, a strong bull market is supported by the fact that Gold is starting to regain its safe-haven shine as political upheaval increases and investors become more risk-averse. Venezuela is on the verge of default after missing payments on sovereign debt and bonds issued by the state-owned oil firm PDVSA, while Zimbabwe is gripped by yet another political crisis after President Robert Mugabe was placed under military custody while the army took control of the streets of Harare.

And in a sign that investors are starting to pare back on risk, investors are shunning high-yield bonds.

In absence of any major market moving economic releases, investors would keep a close eye on the US tax reform developments. Meanwhile, broader market risk sentiment and the USD price dynamics would remain key determinants of the commodity's movement at the start of a new trading week.

Monday, 13 November 2017

Negative atmosphere for gold

Gold prices fell to one week lows on Friday as the dollar gained ground after upbeat U.S. factory orders and service sector data offset the impact of a weaker than expected employment report for October.

The dollarturned positive after the following data release-
U.S. factory orders
ISM non-manufacturing PMI data.
Another report showed that new orders for U.S. made goods rose for the second straight month in September
Orders for core capital goods rose more than expected.




The reports raised the probability of the FederalReserve's rate hike at a faster pace in the coming months. Higher rates tend to make the dollar more attractive to yield seeking investors.The dollar had earlier fallen to its lows on Friday after the release of October U.S. nonfarm payrolls, which came in below expectations.

On Monday, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York confirmed that William Dudley, among the most influential monetary policymakers throughout the financial crisis and its aftermath, expects to retire by mid-2018.

That raised another question over leadership at the central bank, less than a week after Trump chose a new Fed chief.

There are a lot of uncertainties over the Federal Reserve which makes it difficult for the markets to trade and hence most of the focus shifts to the tax reforms.

The dollar slipped to a more than one-week low against the yen on Wednesday, pressured by worries over possible delays to President Donald Trump's tax reform plans.

U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan on Wednesday left the door open to a possible delay in implementing a huge corporate tax cut, following a Washington Post report that his fellow Republicans in the Senate are exploring the option.

Any potential delay in the implementation of tax cuts, or the possibility of proposed reforms being watered down, would tend to work against the U.S. currency, analysts said.

Some investors believe the data was distorted by the effects of recent hurricanes in the U.S. Investors were also focused on the proposed tax overhaul outlined by Republican lawmakers on Thursday.
Gold was higher on Thursday as a weaker dollar pushed prices during the session to a three-week high for the second time in successive days.

Gold had gained momentum till Thursday but lost its shineby the end of the week over a strengthening US dollar.

Gold prices closed lower after early weekly strength failed to gain enough upside momentum to continue the move. Bullish traders didn’t seem to be surprised by the release of the Republican version of U.S. tax reform, the Fed dropping hints of a December rate hike in its November monetary policy statement and President Donald Trump’s nomination of Federal Reserve Governor Jerome Powell to be the next Fed chair.

The market traded high for most of the week, but collapsed on Friday after the U.S. Dollar rose in reaction to the October U.S. Non-Farm Payrolls report.

Supporting the market were concerns over political and geopolitical events. Resistance was being fuelled by rising Treasury yields, a firmer U.S. Dollar and strong appetite for higher- risk assets.

Some traders believe tax reforms could bolster growth which would lead to a stronger growing U.S economy , further creating pressure on the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates and this pushing gold prices down.

Though gold still drew short-term support from uncertainty over the U.S. tax bill, “the overall trend has shifted into a neutral to negative trend.

It’s the current geo political and financialuncertaintythat’s creating a negative atmosphere for gold as the year comes to an end. We hope December gets in some great surprises for gold.

Friday, 10 November 2017

Gold tracks the U.S Currency

Bullion moved up on Wednesday as geopolitical tensions between US& North Korea and in the Middle East prompted investors to flock to safer assets. Gold was positive by almost half a percent and tested high in the international markets.

Gold prices edged higher on Thursday, after marking a near three-week high in the previous session, as the dollar eased.



Spot gold rose 0.2 percent at $1,283.91 per ounce at 0844 GMT. On Wednesday, it rose 0.4 percent and touched it’s highest since Oct. 20 at $1,287.13 an ounce.

Initially what pushed gold prices were factors like geo political uncertainties and safe haven buying. But currently, the severity of these influential factors has subsided and hence gold has been probably tracking the US dollar as its driver for price movement.

The dollar slipped to a more than one-week low against the yen on Wednesday, pressured by worries over possible delays to President Donald Trump's tax reform plans.

Any potential delay in the implementation of tax cuts, or the possibility of proposed reforms being watered down, would tend to work against the U.S. currency.

On Monday, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York confirmed that William Dudley, among the most influential monetary policymakers throughout the financial crisis and its aftermath, expects to retire by mid-2018.

That raised another question over leadership at the central bank, less than a week after Trump chose a new Fed chief.

Currently the markets are in a fix, wondering what exactly to look for while making their trade. It’s difficult for them to trade even the Fed at the moment and hence as of now all eyes will remain focussed on the tax reforms for any further movement in the precious metals market.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Winter demand good for gold but prices likely to fall

Gold prices were hovering near multi-week highs for most investors outside the US Dollar and Euro on Thursday, as the Bank of England followed the Federal Reserve's widely expected "no change" decision by raising UK rates off an all-time record low as analysts and traders had forecast.
However in Friday, Spot gold was down 0.2 percent at $1,267.01 per Ounce and touched a one-week low of $1,265.16 over positive economic data and central bank decisions.



The past week was a significant week for central banks. The Bank of England raised interest rates for the first time in ten years, the Federal Reserve indicated that a December rate hike may happen and President Trump named Powell as his choice for leader of the Federal Reserve.

But still uncertainty prevails as there is no surety that how economies will manage when the central bank support is withdrawn. Moreover none of the financial centers have managed to meet inflation targets which they were all so vocal about.

Adding to the uncertainty is the issue that three of the world’s four most important central bank chiefs are nearing the end of their terms and may be well replaced. The rally in the gold price and fall in the dollar is just the first indication with how markets feel about such changes.

Gold held steady on Monday, but hovered near a one-week low hit in the previous session, as largely upbeat U.S. economic data reinforced the prospects of another rate hike by the Federal Reserve next month.

U.S. jobs growth accelerated in October, although wage growth was tepid, adding to the Fed’s assessment last week that “the labor market has continued to strengthen”, with the sluggish wage data doing little to change expectations.

JP Morgan Chase & Co on Friday raised its forecast on the number of U.S. interest rate increases by the Federal Reserve next year to four from three as the October payrolls data reinforced the view of a tightening domestic labor market.

Markets are increasingly confident the Fed will hike interest rates in December, which has weighed on the precious metals complex,

Higher interest rates tend to boost the dollar and push bond yields up, putting pressure on gold prices by increasing the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.

The Federal Reserve looks likely to raise interest rates, and that should bring up the value of the US dollar in general. If that’s the case, then gold could roll over a bit. Ultimately, this is a market that will continue to be just as mixed up as many others are right now, as we do not know with any type of certainty that the Federal Reserve is going to do one thing or the other.

Analysts said the yellow metal could also find support after U.S. President Donald Trump, who kicked off a 12-day Asia trip, looked to present a united front with Japan against North Korea.
Moreoverdemand for gold is likely to rise not only in the domestic market butinternationally too.
While we see the onset of the wedding season in India, normally winter is also a good time for gold globally with men buying their significant others jewellery for Christmas and lots of New Year’s Day marriage proposals

This rise in demand is expected tousher in renewed interest for bullion in coming week.

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Gold Expected to Drift Lower by Year End

Firstly, wishing everyone a very Happy Diwali and a Prosperous year ahead.

And indeed it was a Happy Diwali for domestic jewellers, as the slump in gold demand had finally gained momentum this October.

Demand for gold jumped in India this week on account of Dhanteras and Diwali, but high prices took some sheen off the yellow metal's lure during the key festival period this year.

Demand in the world's second largest gold consumer generally rises during the final quarter as the country welcome the festive and wedding seasons, where buying bullion is considered auspicious and propitious.

Though a lull was witnessed in gold demand during Dussehra, it significantly improved during Dhanteras and Diwali.


Gold prices spurted by Rs 290 to 3-week high of Rs 31,000 per 10 grams on the eve of Diwali at the bullion market on increased buying by local jewellers to meet festive demand.

Demand was expected to be even better, if global prices had shown similar movements. However in Asia and other international markets, gold prices were seen falling down.

CHINA - Elsewhere in Asia, there was a slight uptick in demand for physical gold, with benchmark spot gold rates headed for a weekly decline after touching a one-week low of $1,276.22 an ounce on Thursday, pressured by a firmer dollar.

However, investors remained cautious, awaiting direction on economic policy and market reforms during the 19th Communist Party Congress in China which kicked off on Wednesday and were also focused on the upcoming elections in Japan.

In top consumer China, premiums charged ranged between $8 and $12 per ounce over the benchmark this week, compared with $9-$14 a week earlier

JAPAN - Gold hit its lowest in more than two weeks on Monday as expectations that Japan’s ultra-loose monetary policy would stay in place after Shinzo Abe’s election victory at the weekend lifted the dollar to a three-month high versus the yen.

Japanese Prime Minister Abe’s win also fed into positive sentiment in equity markets that were buoyed last week by fresh optimism about tax cuts in the United States, curbing interest in gold as an alternative asset.

U.S. DOLLAR & U.S. ECONOMY- Gold prices touched the lowest in more than one week on Thursday, as the dollar stood firm on rising U.S. Treasury yields, with investors focusing on who would replace Janet Yellen as the next chair of the Federal Reserve.

Financial markets are now awaiting guidance on who will succeed Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen, whose term expires in February.

U.S. President Donald Trump is considering nominating Fed Governor Jerome Powell and Stanford University economist John Taylor for the central bank’s top two jobs. Powell is considered less hawkish than Taylor, who is seen advocating higher interest rates.

Moreover, the economy expanded at a modest to moderate pace in September through early October, despite the impact of hurricanes on some regions, the Fed said its latest snapshot of the U.S. economy thus hinting markets that the US economy is doing well which will further create a downward pressure on gold.

The dollar had already posted its biggest one-day gain in a month on Friday after the U.S. Senate approved a budget blueprint for the 2018 financial year, allowing Republicans to pursue a tax-cut package without Democratic support.

The dollar hit its highest in about two weeks versus the yen, supported by this week's rise in U.S. bond yields, with U.S. President Donald Trump set to make a decision in the "coming days" on Yellen, who is also one of the five candidates being considered for the job.

Higher interest rates tend to boost the dollar and push bond yields up, putting pressure on gold by increasing the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.

Tensions on the Korean peninsula, however, continue to weigh upon gold and the metal could drift down towards the $1,250 level by early December weighed down by the prospect of a further increase to U.S. interest rates in December.


Thursday, 21 September 2017

FOMC Meet breaks down gold

It is rather remarkable to think that less than a month ago, gold shot up on the back of a missile firing in North Korea and the assorted baggage that came with that. The market was scared and gold was the major beneficiary. Now here we are, with the price of gold almost fifty dollars lower, but nothing has really changed. Trump is threatening total annihilation of North Korea, to which I am sure Kim Jong Un will have something to say or do. And now in addition to that, the US President is picking another fight, this time with Iran, with inflammatory comments at the UN yesterday. It does indeed seem that the markets have very, very short memories. But among all this, this week’s focus shifted to the much awaited FOMC meet, its concluding statement and what the Fed would say about balance sheet reduction.





On Nov 25, 2008 The Fed announced it would begin buying assets for its own account to save the world. In Oct 2014, The Fed ended its QE3 buying program but continued to reinvest the proceeds to maintain its $4.4 trillion balance sheet. Today, Janet Yellen announced the balance sheet will be allowed to normalize, with reinvestment slowed/stopped starting in October.

Let take a quick look at the key highlights over the Feds statements of the meet:

  • Hurricanes are unlikely to change economy’s course medium term
  • Economic activity has risen moderately and job market has strengthened
  • Rates kept unchanged as Fed plans balance sheet runoff in October
  • Fed signals another hike in 2017 and 3 more in 2018


As expected, the Fed announced it will begin reducing bond reinvestment's, starting by $10 billion per month and growing to $50 billion.

Gold prices settled higher Wednesday but slipped in electronic trading after the U.S. Federal Reserve's decision to keep interest rates unchanged

The price of spot gold has cracked back below the $1300 on the run up in the dollar after the FOMC decision. The precious metal is trading at the lowest level since August 28th.

In electronic trading after the Fed statement, prices traded lower at $1,310.70. The central bank said it will taper its $4.5 trillion balance sheet by $10 billion per month, the first reduction in nine years. Meanwhile, the Fed's interest rate projections, known as the dot plot, suggested a rate hike in December and three more in 2018.

A spill over effect of this meeting was clearly seen on gold as it broke the important trading level of $1300.

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Gold steady ahead of Sept. FOMC Meet

After rising for 3 days, gold prices weakened globally and on the domestic front too on weak global cues and easing demand by local jewellers.

Trump reached a surprise deal with Democrats on Wednesday to raise the short-term US debt ceiling, reducing concerns over a potential government shutdown and denting safe-haven demand.


President Donald Trump on Wednesday warned that the US would no longer tolerate North Korea's actions but said the use of military force against Pyongyang will not be his "first choice".

Gold stabilised early on Thursday, sustained by a weaker dollar and enduring concerns over North Korea, as markets awaited the outcome of a European Central Bank (ECB) policy meeting.

Spot gold was little changed at $1,334.06 per ounce during Thursdays trading hours, after easing 0.3 per cent in the previous session.

The dollar edged down against the yen on Wednesday, pushed back toward a recent 4-1/2-month low by the simmering tensions over North Korea and by comments from a Federal Reserve official about subdued US inflation.

Following suit, the dollar remained submissive on Thursday and the euro stood firm ahead of the ECB meeting where President Mario Draghi is expected to start laying the groundwork to withdraw monetary stimulus.

Currently, the escalating geopolitical tensions are bringing a rally in gold prices and the chances of the unrest rising further are high. If North Korea does another missile test, it will trigger risk-off trade thus proving to be of further help to gold.

The market is likely to continue focusing on geopolitical tensions, but it will start to shift focus to the Federal Reserve meeting in September, looking for details on reducing the balance sheet.

The two-day Federal Open Market Committee meeting (FOMC) is due to begin on Sept. 19 and the US central bank is widely expected to leave rates unchanged.

This could create some plunging pressure on gold starting next week and a rebound in the dollar for a short term.