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Showing posts with label Geopolitical tension. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Geopolitical tension. Show all posts

Sunday, 29 November 2015


By Mr. Prithviraj Kothari, MD, RSBL

Recently, gold is being pulled apart by two significant forces. On one side where the escalating tensions in the Middle East are igniting gold prices a December rate hike is pulling them down on the other side.

Off late, there has been some excitement regarding gold as tensions escalate in Middle East. Turkey had downed a Russian Military Jet, accusing violation of air space, which Russia denied. Russia warned Turkey over serious retaliation and now sending an advanced air defense system to protect its air crafts. NATO members are scratching their heads over how Russia might retaliate.

Gold made some gains overnight on a slight softening in the dollar and heightened geopolitical tensions after Turkey shot down a Russian warplane but these proved short-lived.

Gold prices edged lower on Wednesday morning in London on growing expectations of a December interest-rate rise by the US Federal Reserve, which continued to weigh on sentiment.
The spot gold price traded at $1,073.70/1,074 per ounce, down $1.50 on Tuesday’s close. 

Markets were focused on the economic data that was released in the US ahead of the Thanksgiving holidays on Thursday. The reports included the core durable goods orders, unemployment claims, the core PCE price index, durable goods orders, personal spending and new home sales.

In spite of the release of these reports, market volatility had been low on Thursday due to Thanksgiving holiday in the US.

The metal is trading at its lowest levels since February 2010 as investors weigh the prospects of higher US interest rates after data pointed to a strengthening economy. With gold typically seen as a haven asset, demand for the metal is falling on the prospect of higher returns in US securities.

Moreover gold will lose its appeal post a rate hike. Raising rates “increases the opportunity cost of holding gold. Gold has zero yields — it actually costs you money to hold it — so there’s more incentive to put your money into a yield-earning dollar investment and hence the demand for gold will decline.

Currently market participants currently see a 78 percent chance of a US rate lift-off by year-end, according to the CME Group Fed Watch – a tool to gauge the market’s view of an interest rate hike. 

If the rate hike expectations are met, the US dollar is likely to gain further. Gold tends to move inversely to the greenback. A stronger dollar pressures all commodities since it makes them more expensive in other currencies, plus some investors are less likely to buy gold as an alternative currency when the greenback is muscular.

Thanksgiving may be over in the U.S., but traders will still have a full plate next week.

Fed Meeting- The US Federal Reserve will meet on December 15-16 to decide if will lift interest rates from near-zero levels for the first time in almost a decade.

Moreover, markers will watch Yellen’s comments to see if she offers any further clues on what to expect in the way of monetary policy when the Federal Open Market Committee meets. Yellen is scheduled to appear before the Economic Club of Washington on Wednesday.

Major reports- Other major U.S. reports next week include :-

  • The Chicago Purchasing Managers Index on Monday
  • Institute for Supply Management manufacturing PMI Tuesday  
  • The ADP private-sector jobs and Fed Beige Book report Wednesday 
  • Non-manufacturing index and weekly jobless claims on Thursday.
The robustness of the November employemnt  report may put the final nail in the rate raise coffin, one way or another. Employment will have to be very weak for the Fed not to go ahead with rate liftoff.

ECB- the European Central Bank will meet next Thursday and expectations are for it to expand its asset purchase program and cutting its deposit rate. ECB will announce further loosening of monetary policy while the Fed starts tightening. The ECB holds a monetary-policy meeting. Expectations have been growing for the central bank to increase its asset-purchase program known as quantitative easing, particularly after ECB President Mario Draghi said last week that “we will do what we must” to raise inflation to an acceptable level.

ECB monetary policy and US NFP report for November scheduled next week is happening close to a key support area and is very critical for gold.  As a result, traders will be on the lookout for the November report next Friday.

The primary purpose of this blog by Prithviraj Kothari - MD, RSBL, is to educate the masses of the current happenings in the Bullion world.

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Sunday, 22 November 2015


 By Mr. Prithviraj Kothari, MD, RSBL

The week began with a lot of geo political uncertainty and these rising tensions were expected to ignite gold prices.
But geopolitical tensions  took more of a backseat, with the minutes from the FOMC’s latest policy meeting set to be scrutinized later in the week for clues on the timing of a rate rises in the US.

The gold price had risen to a one-week high on Monday following Friday’s terrorist attacks in Paris, which fuelled safe-haven demand.

On Friday, 13 November, a coordinated terrorist plot in Paris led to over 100 deaths and hundreds injured. The Islamic State boasted and claimed responsibility for the deadly attack, which follows recent attacks by the organization in Lebanon and a suspected bombing of a Russian airliner.

French President Francis Hollande responded by launching a massive airstrike on the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa in Syria.
In tumultuous periods, gold harvests safe-haven appeal as investors seek physical assets like gold versus other investments like bonds or equities. 

However, Gold failed to attract safe-haven buying as a strong dollar offset geopolitical concerns. The dollar placed a cap on the market as it traded at a 7-month high.

Gold received only a small safe-haven lift from the terrorist attacks over the weekend in Paris and Beirut. It rose to $1,097 on Monday but those gains faded away as a strengthening dollar ended the rally. The dollar remained well-supported by broad expectations that the first US interest rate hike in nearly a decade could likely be initiated by the US Federal Reserve in December.

Gold prices dropped to a 5.5-year low on Tuesday, pressured in part by rallying U.S. and world stock markets early this week. 

U.S. economic data released Tuesday was a mixed bag thus leaving the markets confused.

  • A heavy data day, US consumer price index month-over-month for October rose  0.2percent, in-line with expectations.
  • The core CPI also increased 0.2 percent.
  • The capacity utilization rate at 77.5 percent was as forecast.
  • US industrial production over the same period dipped 0.2 percent, below the forecast 0.1 percent.
  • The NAHB housing market index for November was 62, just missing the estimate of 64.
  • The spot gold price was last at $1,081/1,081.30 per ounce, down $2.40 on Monday’s close.

While in the US, market players still expect the Federal Reserve to raise rates for the first time in nearly a decade at the mid-December Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC); Fed chairwoman Janet Yellen has argued for an increase in the Federal Funds rate before the end of the year, citing worries of prolonged periods of cheap capital and its long-term effects on the economy.

On Wednesday, investors’ focus shifted to the minutes from the FOMC’s October policy meeting.
Spot gold was last at $1,075.1/1,075.4 per ounce, up $3.50 on the Wednesday closing level.

Seventy percent of market participants believed the Fed will raise rates next month, according to the CME Group Fed Watch.

The minutes released showed that most members of the Federal Open Market Committee at the October meeting said the conditions for a rate rise could be met by December. A minority, however, said the data may not support a hike and suggested the Fed may need to add monetary stimulus if the economy unexpectedly slows.

The release of the minutes from the October FOMC meeting suggested that  it “could well be” time to raise short-term interest rates at the December policy meeting and as a result the committee chose to alter the wording of their policy statement to ensure their options were open for a move next month.

Gold prices climbed on Thursday morning in London as the dollar fell back even though a majority of US Federal Reserve members believe a December rate hike is becoming more appropriate.

Gold prices climbed on Friday morning in London, boosted by short-covering and fresh buying despite the October FOMC minutes suggesting the Fed will lift interest rates from December. But later in the day gold prices declined.

With the US essentially closed for half the week for Thanksgiving, it’s a quieter week for news and gold may continue to consolidate. All the potentially market impacting fundamental news is packed into Tuesday and Wednesday morning. The key report is U.S. GDP which could potentially impact gold through the U.S. dollar as it could impact speculation on a FOMC rate hike next month.

Sunday, 5 July 2015



                                                                                  By Mr. Prithviraj Kothari, MD, RSBL


Considering the ongoing Greece crisis, there was a global assumption that gold would rise in a flight to safety- in fact it happened the other way round- it has fallen around two percent this week, around 1.5 percent in June and more than six percent from its May peak of $1,232.50 per ounce.

Gold prices slumped to their lowest since March as back-and-forth developments over Greece’s debt talks are providing an incentive for investors to disassociate with the Eurozone and its currency.
The gold price tested three-and-a-half-month lows on Thursday morning ahead of the release of the monthly US jobs report.

Spot gold was last at $1,165.20/1,166.00 per ounce, down $2.70 on the previous session’s close – earlier it came within 20 cents of matching it’s lowest since March 19 and is heading for its fourth consecutive lower session.

Thursday’s non-farm payrolls report showed that the US created 223,000 new jobs in June against consensus of 231,000, which has lent some support to precious metals towards the back end of the week.

The gold price made modest gains on Friday after US labor market data came in slightly weaker than expected in the previous session, lending support to precious metals.

In the US jobs report on Thursday, released a day early due to Independence Day celebrations the unemployment rate dropped to its lowest since April 2008 at 5.3 percent, a level the US government considers to be ‘full employment’, average hourly earnings were stagnant, missing predicted growth of 0.2 percent.
A negative jobs reports means and slowly progressing economy which in turn no make majority of the market participant believe that interest rate hike by the US Federal Reserve won’t come in soon. 

Apart from the interest rate hike the market is also closely watching al movements regarding the Greek Debt crisis.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ aggressive decision to exit negotiations and announce a referendum for Sunday seems to be backfiring. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has reportedly put off a decision until the referendum is voted on by the Greek citizens.

A yes vote would display a total lack of confidence in Tsipras and his left wing-coalition party, Syriza, likely resulting in a reelection. A rejection of the creditor’s proposal would continue the months-long impasse and could signal the end for Greece in the bloc.

The tit-for-tat fails to answer why gold remains in a suppressed state, as the yellow metal is historically viewed as a safe haven for investors during periods of uncertainty.

Gold is failing to make anything of its supposed safe-haven qualities this week despite Greece’s grip on Eurozone membership now at its weakest.   Despite the uncertainty and heavy pressure on global equity markets as a result of the situation in Greece, gold is confounding the widely held assumption that it would rise in a flight to safety.  

What this suggests is that investors either do not value gold’s credentials as a safe haven or do not yet regard this situation as a crisis yet – even though the country is going to the polls on Sunday.

The market is focused on Sunday’s referendum on its creditors’ proposed cash-for-reforms deal. Greece requires additional bailout funds of around 50 billion euros until 2018 under the existing bailout conditions, the IMF claimed, cutting its Greek growth prospects for 2015 to zero from 2.5 percent previously.

Opinion polls released as voting ended suggested a slight lead for the "No" vote.
No exit polls were published. The first official results are expected in the coming hours.
The government had urged people to vote "No", while the "Yes" campaign warned that this could see Greece ejected from the eurozone

Usually such crisis renders support to precious metals. But in this case precious metals haven’t received much lift in spite of the ongoing uncertainties. But markets still remain very much focused on the Greek Debt crisis. 

The Greek people will go to the polls on Sunday to decide whether or not to accept its creditors’ apparently final proposals. No talks on debt relief are likely until after the referendum takes place.

Without additional lending, Greece will default on its July 20 repayment to the European Central Bank (ECB) after missing a payment to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Tuesday.

This story may help gold on two grounds- a default on its payments in Tuesday and the risk it will exit the Eurozone. Both these results are strengthening safe-haven demand for gold. Moreover, there is a mounting risk that this will start to struggle on the currency bloc and then the global economy, providing another reason for the FOMC to stay its hand over rate rises.

The primary purpose of this blog by Prithviraj Kothari - MD, RSBL, is to educate the masses of the current happenings in the Bullion world.”

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"It's A Greece Game For Gold"

Monday, 8 June 2015


                                              By Mr. Prithviraj Kothari, MD, RSBL


Over the past year and to be precise, lately, there has been a strong belief in the market that the U.S. is on it way of raising its rates. While evidence of continued improvement in the US economy is not gold-friendly and ultimately acts as an obstacle for the price rise in yellow metal.

Let’s have a quick glance to the important highlights during the last week:

Non farm payrolls data: 
       The most awaited or rather the most influential factor this week was the jobs report. The US created 280,000 new jobs in May, significantly above analysts’ estimates of 222,000 and the highest climb in jobs figures seen in months. US indicators have increased in importance at the moment as the Federal Reserve specifically identified US jobs data as one of the key factors on its decision when to raise interest rates from near zero.
      The unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 5.5 percent. Private sector job growth has increased 63 straight months, a US record.


      In the Eurozone, French trade balance in April was a negative three billion, above forecasts of four billion, while German factory orders month-over-month in April was up 1.4 percent, beating consensus of 0.6 percent. With investor sentiment for gold so weak gold prices may well continue lower, but we do feel this is leading to a better buying opportunity and given developments in Greece and with potential for corrections in other asset classes, it may not be too long before the markets start looking for a safe-haven again.


    The dollar jumped to a 13-year high against the yen and gained against most major currencies, cutting the appeal of precious metals as alternative assets. The expectation of an interest rate hike has benefited the dollar and it has enjoyed a dramatic and sustained rally. 


      Meanwhile in Greece, the country delayed a 300-million-euro repayment to the IMF until the end of June and bundling all the payments together, increasing the risk of a Greek exit from the bloc. 
      Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras reportedly rejected proposals put together by its lenders, arguing that any deal to unlock crucial bailout funds must be based on his own side’s conditions. But the two sides remain “very close” to agreeing a deal, after creditors supposedly proposed lower primary surplus goals.

Geopolitical Tension:

       Ukrainian troops and pro-Russian separatists on Wednesday fought their first serious battles in months and Ukraine's defense minister said an attempt by rebels to take the eastern town of Maryinka had been thwarted.

Post the US job data release, gold prices tumbled as the economy showed strong signs of recovery after a lackluster first quarter.
Investors have been barring gold on signs that the economy has grown enough adhesion to damp the need for haven assets, encouraging worry that better progress will push policy makers to raise rates. 

It’s not possible to give a clarity to what exactly the price of gold is going to be tomorrow. Nor it is easy to take a buy call in Silver as the metal continues to follow gold with the risk to the downside. There are many factors that support and upper drive and a contrary lower drive for gold prices.

First, we think about international geopolitical tensions. Second, the uncertainty coming from Greece is still lingering in the minds of traders and captains of industry. Third, strategic or policy-related bullion purchases by central banks remain significantly high: After eight quarters of capital outflows from the ETF industry, the first quarter of 2015 saw a rebound in gold purchases.

However, two factors might hamper the bullion’s technical ascent, reducing the precious metal’s value over time. The first element comes from long-term charts: Gold is still in a long-term bearish trend, which has caused the precious metal to drop 30% in value from the peak reached during the summer of 2011. Second obstacle to higher gold prices: the strong US dollar and the historically negative correlation between the American currency and the yellow metal. To add Hedge funds and money managers cut net long positions in gold and silver during the week ended June 2, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed on Friday.

A stimulating clash awaits for bulls and bears in the coming months! But, as usual, the final word rests with the markets.


$1151 - $1191 an ounce
Rs.25,700 - Rs.27,300 per 10g
$15.70 - $17.00 an ounce
Rs.36,500 - Rs.39,500 per kg

The primary purpose of this blog by Prithviraj Kothari - MD, RSBL, is to educate the masses of the current happenings in the Bullion world.”

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"Calmness before the big move in Gold and Silver"

Sunday, 17 May 2015


                                                           By Mr. Prithviraj Kothari, MD,RSBL

Overall, it was a good week for gold as prices rallied with a weekly gain of 3.1 percent, following a spate of negative numbers from the US which unsettled investors and weighed on the dollar.
Let’s have a look at the important highlights of the week:
  •  US retail sales on Wednesday at 0.0 percent missed consensus of 0.3 percent while the core figure at 0.1 percent fell short of the expected 0.4 percent gave the yellow metal the impetus to move higher
  • Holdings in the world's largest gold backed exchange traded fund, SPDR Gold Shares, fell 0.61 percent on Thursday to a four month low of 723.91 tons
  • Physical buying slowed in Asia as higher prices kept some consumers away. In China, premiums eased about 50 cents to $1 an ounce over the global benchmark on Friday, from premiums of $2-$3 earlier in the week
  • Industrial production in the U.S. declined in April, reflecting a drop in mining and utilities output, a report from the Federal Reserve showed Friday.
  • Hedge fund and money managers increased net long positions in Gold and Silver ended May, 12th - U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed on Friday.
  • Geopolitical tension surged in Iraq where Islamic State militants said they had taken full control of the western Iraqi city of Ramadi on Sunday in the biggest defeat for the Baghdad government since last summer. 
  • A surprise drop in US producer prices in April, signaled heightened disinflation risks plaguing the world’s biggest economy
  • Silver has been a part of 8% rally which places it strongly in the channel where it leads the precious metals group with gains over the whole year. 

There have also been reports that Europeans are snapping up gold in fear that a Greek exit from the euro zone could wreak havoc on the economy. 

While on US front, The longer the flow of poor data exists, the greater will be the doubts on US economy.  Economists predicts that the Fed may raise short term interest rates in September while the other chunk of the market predicts that the hike may get delayed until later in fourth quarter or even next year.

I do agree that US data continues to dominate the market's movements with physical support going a bit low as the price rise, but for this rally to sustain, I strongly feel that all the factors of momentum need to be pressed at the right time. Otherwise the rally is bound to fade. A key technical resistance of US$1238 needs to be taken out of GOLD.

If we see all the factors that are influencing Gold and precious metals price movement, one common rule is generated which needs to be followed. You should not abandon precious metals be it Gold or Silver or Platinum. They are rare, have the status of safe haven, central banks monetary policy support and used in something that everybody loves: jewellery. Every buy on dips is worth the money.


$1210 - $1250 an ounce
Rs.27,000 - Rs.29,000 per 10g
$17.00 - $18.00 an ounce
Rs.39,000 - Rs.42,000 per kg

The primary purpose of this blog by Prithviraj Kothari - MD, RSBL, is to educate the masses of the current happenings in the Bullion world.”

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