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Showing posts with label Federal Reserve. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Federal Reserve. Show all posts

Thursday, 19 July 2018

A negative environment awaits for gold

Gold prices fell Friday to their lowest settlement in nearly a year, with the precious metal failing to find safe-haven support from the U.S.-China trade dispute, as the U.S. dollar gained for the week.
old prices were muted on Friday, stuck in a tight trading range, as the dollar extended rally from the previous session when strong U.S. inflation data and trade war concerns boosted demand for the greenback.

Gold prices fell again versus a rising Dollar on Friday in London, heading for a 1.3% weekly drop at new 2018 lows beneath $1240 per ounce as the US currency pushed higher on the FX markets amid President Donald Trump's ongoing tour of Europe.

The dollar was upbeat near a 10-day peak versus a basket of currencies on Friday, supported by Treasury yields that edged higher on expectations the U.S. inflation rate will rise.     


U.S. consumer price data on Thursday showed a steady build-up of inflation that could keep the Federal Reserve on a path of gradual interest rate increases.                 

Spot gold was down 0.1 percent at $1,245.54 an ounce during Fridays trading hours. For the week, the metal was down 0.7 percent.

Lately, the dollar has been very influential and one of the most prime mover for gold prices.
A stronger dollar—which has drawn haven demand amid the clash over trade between the U.S. and China and pushed higher on rising-rate expectations—has been the most significant headwind for gold. A strengthening greenback can make commodities linked to the monetary unit, such as gold, more expensive to buyers using other currencies

Market sentiments have been largely positive on the greenback as investors turned around from the safe haven asset despite rising geopolitical risks.

Currently, there is a lot of uncertainty prevailing in the markers as far the trade was is concerned.

The United States and China could reopen talks on trade but only if Beijing is willing to make significant changes.

If this uncertainty continues and there is any sort of escalation in the crisis then we might see the yellow metal gaining its luster.

During times of uncertainty gold prices can receive a boost as the metal is widely considered a safe-haven asset but bullion has failed to benefit from recent trade disputes.
   
But this is not the end of it.  Right now even the inflation numbers are not helping gold. This is because inflation numbers support higher interest rates and this will create negative impact on gold. Gold, which is seen as a traditional hedge against price pressures, has shown little interest in the latest inflation data, which hit their highest level in six years

Furthermore, The Federal Reserve’s hawkish tightening cycle, a strong economy, and a higher U.S. dollar will steal all of the market’s attention this year as the trade war tensions pause, pressuring gold prices even further. All of these clubbed together, can create a significantly negative atmosphere for gold.

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Dollar gains safe haven appeal

With the first half of 2018 now drawn to a close, much of the financial medias’ headlines and commentary relating to the gold market has been focusing on the fact that the US dollar gold price has moved lower year-to-date. Specifically, from a US dollar price of $1302.50 at close on 31 December 2017, the price of gold in US dollar terms has slipped by approximately 3.8% over the last six months to around $1252.50, a drop of US $50.

It’s been a choppy first half. After trading above $1,300 since the start of the year, prices ticked lower in mid-May and went into free fall two weeks ago, erasing the year’s gains. Investors shunned bullion and favoured the dollar and Treasuries instead as they weighed the uncertainties surrounding the impact of a U.S.- China trade war on global growth.


Gold’s losses in June, driven by an ascendant dollar, have put the precious metal on course for its biggest monthly drop since November 2016, when markets were roiled by Donald Trump’s victory in the U.S. election.

The metal dropped 3.6 percent in the month of July, while a gauge of the greenback is up for a third straight month amid escalating global trade tensions.

Investors have moved to the US dollar as a preference choice for safe haven .This has benefited the dollar and weakened gold. It has indirectly led to gold-price weakness, as the dollar and gold typically move inversely to each other. With the emergence of inflation, gold is likely to find a bottom, as the dollar’s gains weaken.

On the contrary, Suddenly, On Friday, gold finally gained support near $1245 after falling to a six month low.

Reasons being-

  1. U.S. Final GDP Disappoints – The gross domestic product was expected to grow at a pace of 2.2%, but the actual figure fell to 2%. Consequently, the weakness in the U.S. dollar underpinned gold. 
  2. EU Leaders Agreed on Conclusion – The Chairman of the talks, Donald Tusk said, “EU28 leaders have agreed on (summit) conclusions, including on migration”.
In response to this news, the investors moved their investments from Greenback to Euro. Therefore, the Euro jumped over 0.7% on Friday and dollar index fell 0.3%, causing a bullish reversal in gold.

But this week opened on a negative note for gold. Gold prices edged lower on Monday as the dollar firmed after last week’s U.S. inflation data supported the Federal Reserve’s outlook for future interest rate increases. The dollar strengthened against a basket of currencies and extended its gains against the yen to hit a fresh six-week high of 111.06 yen, supported by the relative strength of the U.S. economy and on prospects of further rate hikes from the Federal Reserve.

US dollar strengthens by any normalization of monetary policies thus weakening the yellow metal.
U.S. consumer prices accelerated in the year to May, with a measure of underlying inflation hitting the Federal Reserve’s 2 percent target for the first time in six years, data showed on Friday
The rise in price pressures will probably not shift the Fed from its stated path of gradual interest rate increases as policymakers have indicated they would not be too concerned with inflation overshooting its target.

Gold is highly sensitive to rising U.S. interest rates, which increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion, while boosting the greenback.

Thursday, 28 June 2018

Long term looks favorable for Gold


Gold has fallen out of favour as investors prefer havens such as the dollar, Treasuries and yen amid fears that a looming trade war will damage global growth, hurt earnings and drag down stock markets and other risk assets. 

Gold has not fared well lately despite rising global trade tensions that have knocked down equities. Gold has been hurt by expectations for more Federal Reserve hikes complemented by a strengthening US dollar which further pulled down gold prices.

Many believe that gold has lost its shine. Each time it gets close to break the $1350 level, it fails and is unable to generate returns in a rising yield environment and the biggest obstacle for the yellow metal currently is the rally in US dollar .

Hence, precious metal’s “biggest disappointment” this year has been that it keeps failing to attract safe-haven inflows in a meaningful way.

Some even believe that gold has not bottomed out yet and there is further scope for a downfall as gold is oversold. With gold back to trading near six-month lows and prices struggling to catch a break during the past few weeks, analysts are saying that gold is failing to attract safe-haven interest due to a surging U.S. dollar.

However, given the recent equity-market correction and talk of a trade-driven slowdown in the global economy, it is likely that the market will start to get a lot less enthusiastic about aggressive Fed tightening and the US dollar. On the positive note, the interest-rate environment is becoming more favourable for gold, with inflation expectations rising — a good sign for the precious metal that has traditionally been viewed as an inflation hedge,

The Federal Reserve will probably raise interest rates two more times this year, and twice in 2019, while the European Central Bank will likely start tightening in September next year. That should shift the monetary policy divergence in favour of the euro relative to the dollar and be positive for gold in the greenback.

On top of that, lower gold prices might encourage more physical buying in key markets, including China and India.

So in the long term things look favourable for gold and the yellow metal might once again get into the safe haven mode.

Monday, 25 June 2018

Gold expected to be markets favorite soon

Last week we saw divergence in U.S and European Monetary policies. European politics too witnessed similar events. This affected gold prices and it hit a six month low as the dollar hit an 11 month high.

Gold prices are down for the second consecutive week with the precious metal off more than 0.70% to trade at 1269 ahead of the New York close on Friday.

The Federal Reserve hiked U.S. interest rates again this month, while the European Central Bank said its benchmark rates would not rise until after the summer of 2019.


Rate hike strengthened the US dollar while. Gold is trading at a six-month low in the global market.
The decline came in alongside losses in global equity markets this week as mounting geo-political tensions regarding a looming trade war continue to weigh on risk appetite.

TRADE WAR - The intensification of rhetoric between China and the U.S. has continued to weigh on market sentiment as investors weigh the impact of an all-out trade war between the world’s largest economies. While these concerns would typically be supportive for the yellow metal, expectations for higher rates and persistent strength in the US Dollar have kept prices under pressure with gold breaking to fresh yearly lows this week.

US Data - things have been quiet on the data front but look for that to change next week with U.S. Durable Goods Orders and the third and final read on 1Q GDP on tap. Highlighting the economic docket will be the May read on Core PCE (personal consumption expenditure) on Friday. Consensus estimates are calling for an uptick in the Fed’s preferred inflationary gauge to 1.9% y/y. A strong print here would likely see traders continue to price in a fourth rate-hike from the central bank this year- a scenario that would weigh on gold prices.

Gold prices edged up on Friday from six-month lows as the dollar slipped, but the modest nature of the recovery suggested speculators might still be poised to punish the metal further.

Gold tumbled last Friday after repeatedly failing to surmount the $1,300 level as speculators rushed to liquidate long positions and others put on bearish positions.

The dollar pulled back from an 11-month peak against a basket of major currencies on Friday, as the euro strengthened after a survey showed euro zone private business growth recovered in June. A weaker greenback makes dollar-denominated gold cheaper for holders of other currencies.
Now a matter of concern is that even though the dollar weakened, gold did not react much to it. Now we need to keep an eye on the movement of the yellow metal as too many powerful forces are expected to drive gold prices higher.

Geopolitical fear is the major force that is expected to exert its pressure on gold.  The crises in Syria, Iran, the South China Sea, and Venezuela are not going away. Despite Trump’s summit with Kim Jong Un, don’t expect the North Korean nuclear issue is over.

The headlines may fade in any given week, but geopolitical shocks will return when least expected and send gold soaring in a flight to safety.

Moving on to Italy. Italy’s debt to GDP ratio is amongst the highest in the world.  As the new government in Italy seeks to stimulate growth through increased borrowing, gold’s attractiveness as an asset which is not replicable and is no one’s liability will become more apparent.

Gold is the most forward - looking of any major market. It may be the case that the gold market sees the Fed is tightening into weakness and will eventually over-tighten and cause a recession.

At that point, the Fed will pivot back to easing through forward guidance. That will result in more inflation and a weaker dollar, which is the perfect environment for gold.

Meanwhile, there are numerous risks such as international trade conflicts, political crises, the dispute over Iran sanctions and high-priced stock markets that could be ripe for corrections.

Thursday, 14 June 2018

Fed Rate Hike Fails to Dampen Gold Prices

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


Monday, 21 May 2018

Gold to rise soon

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Has the golden streak ended

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, 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.
   

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Sentiment Shift In The Market

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

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



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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, 5 February 2018

Where is Gold Heading To

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

 Data released was as follows -   

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Thursday, 1 February 2018

Is gold no longer being affected by a Rate Hike

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

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


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

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

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

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

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.

Monday, 18 December 2017

Fed Hike fails to cap gold


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Friday, 15 December 2017

Gold feels the winter chills

Temperatures dropped and so did gold prices at the start of the week.  Gold weakened over a firm dollar on Monday

Spot gold was almost unchanged on Monday morning as a firm dollar stood steady with expectations of higher US interest rates and healthy data from the US.


Gold steadied near its weakest level in almost five months on Wednesday amid expectations the Federal Reserve would raise interest rates again at the conclusion of its last policy meeting this year.
The Fed has increased rates twice in 2017 and is still expected to push through three more hikes next year.
           
 Spot gold was down 0.1 percent at $1,242.18 an ounce during Wednesdays early trading hours. That was not far above Tuesday's low of $1,235.92, which was gold's lowest level since July 20.   
   
However later in the day, gold started gaining momentum and  settled higher, recovering part of the losses suffered over the last four sessions that sent prices to a nearly six-month low.

Further as the dollar continued to weaken, gold prices climbed higher in the wake of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s decision to raise interest rates, as expected, for the third time in 2017.

The central bank lifted a key short-term U.S. interest rate to a range of 1.25% to 1.5% and stuck to its earlier forecast for just three rate hikes in 2018.

Gold reacted positively to this and the year-end rate hikes served as key instruments to bring about big rallies in gold.

The Fed’s plans for rate normalization have been side-tracked by economic reality in the New Year. However, also judging from the past two years, it could take a couple of days or a couple of weeks for gold to begin rebounding more strongly.



Monday, 4 December 2017

Some clear drivers for Gold

A lack of clear drivers has kept gold prices between $1,265 and $1,300 an ounce throughout November, its narrowest monthly range in 12 years. Despite the volatility overnight, it was another subdued session across the precious complex in Asia, with gold struggling above $1,285 an ounce consistently.

The dollar was firm after Wednesday’s uplift on third-quarter U.S. economic growth revised upwards to 3.3 percent, making dollar-priced gold costlier for non-U.S. investors.


Global equities were on course to finish November with a 13th consecutive monthly gain, though a dive in U.S. tech stocks left investors wondering whether the longest global equity bull run in living memory might be starting to splutter.

Also denting investor optimism and signalling underlying support for gold going forward, investors were growing wary about the staggered progress of U.S. tax reform legislation.

Gold drew a certain degree of support in early Asian-Pacific trading from the most recent North Korean missile test, even though the yellow metal did not charge ahead on the latest geopolitical threat, said MKS (Switzerland) S.A.

North Korea said it now has a missile capable of striking the U.S. Wednesday's Asian session adhered to the recent range-bound status quo, however, afternoon headlines out of North Korea did give price action a modest boost.

The latest advances in missile technology in North Korea should provide an underlying bid tone for bullion, with the threat of a potential strike on the U.S. mainland increasing (albeit largely theoretical).

In recent times, such geopolitical tensions have resulted in only short-term price buoyancy and without further headlines to drive interest; participants will turn focus to the upcoming U.S.

Gold prices were down on Wednesday over a statement released by US Federal Reserve chair woman Janet Yellen that economic growth was broad based. This seemed to have convinced investors that rates would go higher soon.

This sentiment was further backed by a strong US economic data which strengthened the dollar further. In response the dollar pushed to a one week high of 93.44 late on Wednesday which further weakened the demand for the yellow metal.  Indeed, spot gold prices fell to $1281.75 per ounce on Wednesday, the lowest since November 23.

How ever amidst geopolitical tension, gold once again regained its safe have status. Reports that North Korea had fired a missile last week, lent support to gold and it moved slightly up in early trading on Thursday. Gold prices have been up and down due to a battle between the positive outlook on a US interest rate and concerns over North Korea firing a missile again.

By Thursday, gold prices were strengthened over a weak US dollar. Moreover, Gold was seen spiking as stocks and the dollar sank after headline reports from ABC that Michael Flynn promised "full cooperation to the Mueller team" and is prepared to testify that as a candidate, Donald Trump "directed him to make contact with the Russians."

Gold and U.S. Treasury prices have rallied to their session highs in late-morning action Friday, with T-Bonds and T-Notes futures posting strong gains, on news reports that former Trump  Administration national security adviser Michael Flynn is set to cooperate with the special prosecutor overseeing the probe of Russian tampering with the U.S. presidential election.

Traders were extrapolating this news to potentially mean that President Trump may be in very serious trouble, if he did indeed collaborate with the Russians on the U.S. election tampering. The U.S. stock market quickly sold off on this news, which also helped to lift safe-haven gold.

A follow-through USD weakness, coupled with a notable slowdown in China's manufacturing activity, as reported by a private survey, was seen lending some additional support to the precious metal.

Despite the supporting factors, resilient US bond yields continued exerting some downward pressure and kept a lid on any meaningful up-move for the yellow metal





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.

Friday, 6 October 2017

September proves to be the worst month of 2017 for gold so far

September was an action-packed month, with North Korean rockets and a succession of monster hurricanes all coming at the markets almost at the same time. Not forgetting the comments coming out from the Federal Reserve that contributed to thefrenzy by giving a clear signal of a December rate hike. In the process, it perhaps single-handedly helped the dollar index recover from a three-year low hit earlier in the month.

Amid a resurgent dollar, the month of September proved to be worst for gold since November 2016. However, as geopolitical tensions soar, with the standoff between the U.S. and North Korea probably topping the list, demand for precious metals surged with Gold ETF holdings rising most since Feb 2017.



Last week, gold prices ended lower on Friday as weak U.S. consumer spending and inflation data did little to alter expectations for a third interest rate increase by the Federal Reserve this year.
The dollar has risen in recent weeks as investors grow more optimistic about the prospect for U.S. rate hikes and tax cuts that some expect to boost the U.S. economy.

Data on Friday showed that
U.S. consumer spending barely rose in August.
Inflation also remained sluggish with the core personal consumption expenditures price index rising 1.3% year-on-year, slowing from 1.4% in July.
The core personal consumption expenditures price index is the Fed’s preferred inflation measure and has a 2% target.

The data did little to temper rate hike bets after Yellen indicated earlier in the week that the central bank was sticking to plans for a third rate hike this year and three in 2018.

The metal recorded its biggest monthly decline so far this year in September, despite netting a quarterly rise of nearly 3 percent partly due to geopolitical tensions including North Korea’s missile tests.

The U.S. currency recorded its best week of the year on Friday, despite benign inflation data for August, as expectations that the Fed would raise interest rates again in December loomed large after Fed Chair Janet Yellen said the central bank planned to stay on its current rate hike path.
Higher interest rates tend to boost the dollar and push bond yields up, weighing on greenback-denominated gold

The dollar’s rise paused on September 28 and 29, but was seen gaining momentum on Monday morning.

Gold slipped to its lowest in nearly seven weeks early on Monday, 2nd October as the U.S. dollar rose and equities gained, while growing expectations for a Federal Reserve interest rate hike in December also added to pressure.

Spot gold was down 0.3 percent at $1,274.90 an ounce by 0353 GMT, after earlier touching its lowest since mid-August at $1,273.55.

Gold prices fell in Asia on Monday as the dollar gained and the euro dropped as investors mulled the implications of the disputed referendum on Catalonia independence in Spain on the euro zone and a sentiment survey out of Japan in a thin trading day with China's markets shut for the week and holidays regionally expected to see thin flows.

Elsewhere,The Bank of Japan released its Tankan survey for the third quarter with investors focused on the large manufacturer’s index as it rose to 22, compared with an expected reading of 18.

This week, comments by Fed Chair Janet Yellen will be closely watched for further hints on the timing of the next rate hike along with Friday’s U.S. jobs report. Market watchers will be looking ahead to remarks by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi on Wednesday.

Gold, silver and platinum prices continue to correct and the stronger dollar and lull in tensions over North Korea, seem to be weighing on prices. We would let the corrections run their course, but the North Korean situation is likely to escalate again at some stage, so the next rally in gold prices may not be that far away.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Wait, Watch and Then Work

In 2016, gold was seen climbing 6% from $1050 to $1150 and another 10% gain during the first half of this year, in July and again in early August, gold prices dropped down to $1210, before rallying back up both times to $1290 and $1350 per ounce respectively. This back and forth price action has some investors worried if this is a real bull market in gold or yet another flash in the pan for the coveted yellow metal?

Reasons being more than one, Investors arereturning to gold again to prudently diversify their stock-heavy portfolios.  That’s very bullish for gold, as investment capital inflows can persist for months or even years.  This shift is most evident in the yellow metal.



There are a couple of issues pushing and pulling at the market. The reaction to the missile launch last week has been a bit negated by that better-than-expected (US) inflation number.

Spot gold slipped on Friday, shrugging off North Korea's latest missile launch over Japan, with strong US inflation data raising the spectre of another interest rate hike.

Let’s have a look as to how each factor was responsiblefor this wave like movement in gold prices.

North Korea - North Korea fired a missile on Friday that flew over Japan's northern island of Hokkaido far out into the Pacific Ocean, South Korean and Japanese officials said, further ratcheting up tensions after Pyongyang's recent test of a powerful nuclear bomb.

US Data - Geopolitical risks can boost demand for safe-haven assets such as gold and the Japanese yen. The yen slipped against the dollar on Friday, after earlier having risen on the news, with the greenback supported by strong US consumer inflation data.

Gold pared losses after data on Friday showed U.S. retail sales unexpectedly fell in August and industrial output dropped for the first time since January due to the impact of Hurricane Harvey.
Friday's numbers were in contrast to strong U.S. inflation data on Thursday which increased prospects of an interest rate hike in December.The Fed's next monetary policy meeting begins on Sept. 19 and now the marketis increasingly focusing on the Federal Reserve and its probability of another rate hike this year.

The Fed has a 2 per cent inflation target, and a series of subdued inflation readings have dampened expectations for further rate rises in the near term. Firming inflation could support the case for another rate hike. Interest rates tend to boost the dollar and push bond yields up, putting pressure on gold.

ECB - Gold fell on Friday after a European Central Bank official called for scaling back the bank's stimulus programme; although losses were capped when weaker than expected U.S. economic data raised questions about further rate hikes.

ECB board member Sabine Lautenschlaeger made the most explicit call so far from an ECB policymaker for paring the bank's 2.3 trillion euros money-printing programme.

Data showing that euro zone wages grew at their fastest rate in two years in the second quarter bolstered the case for reining in ECB stimulus.

This was rather a bad news for gold because this continues the trend of the market pricing in the normalization of monetary policy.

But he said there had already been plenty of headlines about the ECB planning an exit from its bond buying and the U.S. Federal Reserve reducing its balance sheet after its big quantitative easing programme.

Those "normalisation" actions by central banks tend to drive rates higher, push bond yields up and put pressure on gold, a non-yielding asset.

Summing it up, though the previous week saw gold moving like a see saw; the focus now shifts to the important FOMC meet due on 19th September. Wait, Watch and then Work would be the only trading tip for the time being.