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Showing posts with label Gold. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gold. Show all posts

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Markets wary of the war

Last week the yellow metal was all green over escalating tensions of the US China trade war. Early in the week, spot gold prices rose 1.1%, registering their best one-day percentage gain in nearly three months after China announced that it would impose retaliatory tariffs on a range of U.S. goods.
After Witnessing its biggest one day percentage loss in a month on Thursday, gold managed to stabilise at around $1286.27 an ounce.

Spot gold fell 0.8% on Thursday, its biggest one-day percentage decline in a month after risk sentiment improved.


Gold welcomed a series of key data, important numbers and crucial news over the week.

The equities and dollar have boosted due to strong corporate earnings created pressure on gold as equities and dollar strengthened. A firm dollar, placed gold in the red marks. 
Furthermore, U.S. stock indexes extended gains on upbeat earnings as well as robust economic data that underlined the strength of the domestic economy. Meanwhile, the dollar index hit a two-week high against a basket of currencies.
The U.S. housing data showed home building increased more than expected in April, while unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week, pointing to sustained labor market strength that should underpin the economy.
The pullback in risk aversion lifted treasury yields. The rise in yields underpinned the U.S. dollar.


Stronger dollar makes gold more expensive for holders of non-U.S. currency.
Meanwhile, Thursday’s fall in gold prices has worsened the technical picture for the metal. Gold is on its third negative trading day as it seesaws near $1276.50 ahead of the European open on Monday. Bullion traders were happy initially as reports concerning the geopolitical tensions between the US and Iran, coupled with the US-China trade pessimism was released.

Investors couldn’t take much leverage of the gains as markets alter shifted focus on Australia’s surprise election results and optimism surrounding the trade relationship between the US, Canada, and Mexico.

Continuing on last week’s sentiments, , Gold fell to a more than two-week low on Monday as investors preferred the safety of the dollar, with the currency underpinned by robust economic reports out of the United States, even as geopolitical risks and trade tensions persist.

Spot gold was steady at $1,277.86 an ounce during Monday’s trading session, having touched $1,273.22 for its lowest since May 3.
Some believe that the bullish trends have started hovering around gold. People have started diversifying their finance into equities and dollars. They are currently proving to be attractive modes of investments.

A strengthening dollar is creating pressure on gold, the dollar held strong over the following news-
After strong U.S. housing data and a report pointing to lower unemployment helped the U.S. currency to mark its biggest weekly rise last week since early March.
Renewed U.S.-China trade fears have also helped the dollar to mimic its trajectory from last year, when it was preferred to gold as a perceived safe-haven asset.
Investment demand for gold failed to pick up. Even with geopolitical tensions, no safe-haven demand  emerged.

Gold will be an attractive safe-haven asset as rising trade tensions weaken the U.S. economy and drag down the U.S. dollar, according to a recent report from Morgan Stanley. U.S. President Donald Trump has until May 18 to decide whether he will impose a 25% tariff on car imports from the European Union. The deadline comes 90 days after the U.S. Commerce Department said in a study that auto imports pose a threat to American national security.

Apart from the current trade war there are some other factors that attract attention-

Risk airing from the European Union economy
Voting in the next crop of MEP’s
OECD will probably downgrade its global economic outlook.
The Fed might unnerve investors further by reiterating that hopes for a lifeline from monetary policy are almost certainly misplaced in the near term
A speech from Chair Powell and minutes from May’s FOMC meeting will probably hammer home officials’ preference for a “wait-and-see” approach

Amongst all this, the trade war definitely acts as a wild card. Prices have proven to be responsive to the running commentary on negotiations from media outlets linked to the government in Beijing as well as US President Donald Trump’s Twitter account. Nonetheless any statement released from any side will run volatility waves into the market.


Friday, 10 May 2019

Gold struggles to sustain bullish sentiments

Gold performed well in April. In fact it had a fairly moderate performance given the fact that a lot of macro factors were playing around its prices. US equities, Fed comments, US China trade war, were among the key macro factors that were highly influencing gold prices. Still it managed to stay stable for the month of April.


This week too, gold prices were more or less unchanged. Gold prices were little changed on Thursday ahead of Sino - U.S. trade negotiations, while demand for government bonds, Japanese yen and a key technical resistance limited gains for the safe-haven metal.

In fact after a fairly dismal start to the new month, it began to trade upwards and was some $3 higher by the New York close, and then moved higher on Wednesday.

Once again, gold saw some interesting influencers in the market-

Equities - U.S. equities all fell sharply and gold began to trade upwards. Now it’s not clear, whether gold's rise and the fall in equities were interlinked, but probably the two were connected in some respects.

Demand from Indian Markets - Indian demand and imports were reported by Bloomberg to have risen sharply in April, ahead of the Akshaya Tritiya Festival.  This is seen as an auspicious time to buy gold and silver in the sub-continent and, coupled with lower gold prices over the past few weeks, seems to have boosted demand. As Indians celebrated this Festival on 7th May, we saw jewellers and bullion  traders piling their stocks in the month of April, thus resulting in a rise in demand as reported by Bloomberg.

Demand from China - India used to be the world’s largest gold consumer, but has been comfortably overtaken in this position by China in recent years.  The nation’s central bank has been announcing monthly gold purchases again since December last year and in April it reported it added 14.93 tonnes of gold to its reserves – its highest monthly total since it commenced re-reporting monthly increases and the fifth successive month of reported increases.  This reported figure still puts China in 6th place among national holders of gold, almost 280 tonnes behind Russia in fifth place, but we think China’s true gold reserve figure could be far higher, if one takes into account the nation’s track record of holding substantial amounts of gold in accounts it has, in the past, deemed not re-portable to the IMF.

Trade war - Washington has accused Beijing of backtracking on commitments made during trade negotiations and U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened to hike existing tariffs on Chinese goods on Friday and impose fresh levies soon if there is no deal.
President Trump’s aggressive statement on raising tariffs on some $200 billion of Chinese imports with a deadline on Friday re-ignited trade war fears.

Supply - Demand - New gold supply is pretty flat at the moment given that there are few significant new gold mining projects coming on stream and the price has not been high enough to stimulate any additional scrap sales.  Even if the gold price rises sharply the lead time taken to bring new projects into production is long.  Indeed higher gold prices could conversely lead temporarily to a production downturn as miners open up lower grade sections to prolong mine lives.  And lower grades at unchanged mill throughput's means lower output.

Keeping the current global scenario in mind, it seems that gold will continue to hold its bullish position for which it has been struggling to sustain since a few months. Nonetheless, any news that will be bad for the world will prove to be good for the yellow metal.

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Tuesday, 7 May 2019

Akshaya Tritiya - Where Gold IS loved by All

Akshaya Tritiya’ a day for GOLD?

India is probably the only country where a religious day is linked to a practice of gold buying. It is the Akshaya Tritiya festival day and we are talking tons of gold here. According to estimates, Indian consumers bought about 20 tonnes of the precious metal on this festive day in 2010. However this was much lower than the buy in 2009 due to soaring prices. India, the world's largest consumer of the yellow metal, bought some 45 tonnes of Gold in 2009. So what makes Akshaya Tritiya a day for GOLD?


For Indians buying gold is a popular activity on Akshaya Tritiya day, as it is the ultimate symbol of wealth and prosperity. This day is important to both Hindus and Jains. According to the traditional panchang Akshaya Tritiya falls on the third day (Tritiya) of the new moon of Vaishakh month (April-May) every year.

Akshaya in Sanskrit means one that ‘never diminishes’ (akshaya) and the day is believed to bring good luck and success. Hindus believe they can get lasting prosperity by buying precious metals on the day. Akshaya Tritiya is traditionally earmarked for beginning new ventures, for investing and purchasing valuables especially gold, jewellery and diamond. It is no surprise Indians buy gold on Akshaya Tritiya as it is considered very auspicious and a safe investment. It is also believed that any meaningful activity started on this day would be fruitful.

We all know that 2011 was the best performing year for gold wherein the yellow metal gave highest returns compared to all assets in it class.

Economically this day is quite productive for marketers as they cash in on the festivity to boost their sales. Marketers indulge in high voltage advertisement campaigns especially the jewellery stores. In fact people in India and overseas book jewellery in advance and take delivery on Akshaya Tritiya day. It’s a day of frenzy buying for all precious metals especially gold. Sales on Akshaya Tritiya day usually increases four to five times compared to normal days. Traditionally the preference for customers is to buy light-weight jewellery, diamond jewellery but today’s economic superpower India sees several buyers preferring diamond jewellery purchases.

India is a secular country and each religion has its own story behind the celebrating Akshaya Tritiya and buying gold on this auspicious occasion.

Let’s have a brief look at the different stories behind each celebration.

According to Hindu astrology, the entire Akshaya Tritiya day is auspicious. So there is no need to look for an auspicious time i.e. no ‘Muhurat’ required on this day. This is the only day in any year when the Sun which is the lord of the planets and Moon which is the lord of creativity are in exaltation meaning at their peak of radiance. Astrologically this is extremely auspicious. That also makes this day one of the most popular dates in Hindu calendar for marriages and partnerships.
Glance through the annals of ancient Indian heritage and one finds that on this Tritiya day of Vaishakh month many significant things of great spiritual importance happened. According to Jain legends, this day is auspicious as people from Ayodhya bought gold and jewellery to offer to their Tirthankara Rshabhdev who was the King of Ayodhya centuries ago. Jains, even today, observe long term fast to commemorate their first Tirthankara Rishabhdev and break their fast on Akshaya Tritiya day with sugar cane juice as Rishabhdeva broke his fast with that juice after 1 year.

According to the ancient Hindu religious texts like the Puranas, this day marked the beginning of the "SatyaYug" or the Golden Age - the first of the four Yugas. It is believe that on this day Lord Krishna gave Draupadi a bowl - Akshaya patara (where food came in abundance) when the Pandavas were in exile. Traditionally this third day in the bright fortnight of Vaishakh is also the day of the sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu ~ the ‘preserving’ manifestation of God in the Hindu Trinity.

On this day of Akshaya Tritiya, Maharishi Veda Vyas along with Lord Ganesha started writing the great epic Mahabharata. It is also the day the most sacred river of the Hindus, Ganga descended to earth. On this day Sudama visited his childhood buddy Lord Krishna with a hearty gift of a handful of beaten rice (poha). The good returns (prasad) he got in return for his devotion to the Lord is a classical story told in Hindu households. On such a day associated with Lord Krishna the story of Sudama’s offering is mentioned along with Lord Krishna’s affirmation in his Holy Gita ~ “Whoever offers a leaf, a flower, a fruit or even water with devotion, that I accept, offered as it is with a loving heart “.

Thus, many are the reasons for Akshaya Tritiya to be considered a wish fulfilling day. Any worship performed or daan (donation) given on this day is considered extremely good karma. Good karma is considered meritorious and is supposed to bestow beneficial results.

Wold over, gold never seems to lose its sheen and in the domestic market it seems to glitter perpetually. And festivals like Akshaya Triritya keep adding shine to the yellow metal. And there are plenty of instrument apart from jewellery, like coins, bars and exchange traded funds (ETF) that one can invest in.




Thursday, 2 May 2019

A very important week for gold


Although the gold market has struggled to attract the attention of general investors, the precious metal might not be as unloved as one would think.
The metal posted its biggest daily percentage gain in seven weeks on Friday after the dollar fell against a basket of currencies, as investors overlooked the strong economic growth in the United States to focus on the pain points.

Gold prices were mostly unchanged on Monday, trading near the more-than one week high touched in the previous session, on bets that the U.S. Federal Reserve might cut interest rate this year after a recent data showed inflationary weakness. Spot gold mildly eased by 0.1 percent to $1,284.31 per ounce at 0626 GMT, having hit its highest since April 16 at $1,288.59 in the previous session.


The main reason for rally in gold prices, were the important data numbers released from the US over the past few days.

Data showed that U.S. first quarter growth of 3.2 percent was only motivated by the short term stimuli of a dwindling trade deficit and the largest accumulation of unsold merchandise since 2015 which may later weigh on the country’s economic picture.
Core personal consumption expenditure price index figure, the Fed’s preferred metric of inflation, increased at only a 1.3 percent rate versus 1.8 percent in the prior quarter.
About a third of economists polled by Reuters on April 25, already expect one real rate cut by 2020
Lower interest rates in the U.S. put pressure on the dollar and bond yields, making greenback-denominated gold less expensive for holders of other currencies. It also increases the appeal of non-yielding assets such as bullion.


Apart from the data released, we now look forward to the series of events that are lined up. It’s going to be a very busy week ahead with the calendar packed full of market data and events across the globe.
From Monday 29th April to Friday 3rd May a host of data releases await the markets

USD Employment Cost Index
USD Chicago Purchasing Manager
USD Pending Home Sales
USD Consumer Confidence Index
USD Pending Home Sales
EUR ECB Vice President Guindos Speaks in London
USD ISM Manufacturing
USD ISM Employment
USD Continuing Claims
USD Non Farm Productivity
EUR Euro Zone Producer Price Index
EUR Euro-Zone Producer Price Index
EUR Euro-Zone Consumer Price Index Core
EUR Euro-Zone Consumer Price Index Estimate


Japan will be closed celebrating ‘Golden Week’ thinning liquidity in Asian hours, leaving markets vulnerable to ‘spike’ moves.

 In such conditions, gold would normally grab a bid but with the US dollar continuing to weigh on the precious metal, a neutral stance looks justified.
But all this doesn’t end here. These were the main data releases/events. A look at the calendar shows that there are a 28 ‘high importance’ data releases and events, all of which could change the risk landscape. A few highlights include, the latest interest rate decisions from the Bank of England and the Federal Reserve, the monthly US Labour report and various GDP and inflation releases across the Euro-Zone. Now we need to see how positively it affects the yellow metal or plays a spoiler instead.



Monday, 29 April 2019

Gold Not Concerned about a rising dollar

Spot gold fell for a second straight month in March even after the Federal Reserve said it would pause on interest rate hikes for the rest of the year, which lead to a surge in equities instead.  The global spot gold prices were trading slightly higher at $1,274.20 an ounce, while silver was trading up at $14.93 an ounce in New York.

Meanwhile on Wednesday, in the domestic market, gold prices were down by Rs. 50 to Rs.3270 per 10 gm in the capital over weak demand from the jewellers.


It’s proving increasingly difficult for Gold bulls to prove their case under present market conditions, thanks to a broadly stronger Dollar, equity markets hanging on to most of their year-to-date gains and cautious optimism over US-China trade talks.
However, dark clouds still linger over the global economy, and data points that signal a turn for the worse for the worldwide context could spark a massive rebound for Gold back towards the $1,300 handle. The ongoing geopolitical crisis, trade wars, dovish Fed comments will add up to the rally in gold prices.

Gold prices are expected to remain higher by 3.2 per cent this year on account of strong demand and an extended pause in interest rate hikes by the US Federal Reserve, World Bank Commodity Outlook for April 2019 said. The yellow metal rates surged in the first quarter by 6.1 per cent after hitting a downward path in September last year. The rise may be attributed to the support offered by robust demand and decline in the real interest rates, the report said.

We can’t ignore the constant buying by central banks. The  share of gold holdings have been increased by the central banks of the emerging markets such as China, India, Russia and Turkey so as to diversify their asset base, the World Bank report said. The investors have increased their net long positions in the gold-backed exchange traded funds, this has lead to an increase in demand and furthermore an increase in the prices of the yellow metal.

The Dollar’s year-to-date climb has kept Gold rooted near its lowest level in 2019, below the psychologically-important $1,280 level, as markets keep an eye on the $1,265 support line.
Still, the longer term outlook is more bullish as central bank purchases should be supportive of prices, with inflows running as high as last year, and a rally of $1,450 an ounce over 12 months awaits.


Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Gold is here to stay

Gold was set for a decline last week over strong economic growth numbers. Last week, gold fell ahead of first-quarter earnings season as the dollar gained while the precious metal slumped to its lowest level of the month. Gold fell 1.23 percent at the close of Thursday’s trading session to settle at a price of $1.295.15. Nonetheless, analysts maintain that this is only a temporary setback.

Although equities are doing their part to weigh on gold in the near-term, it is just part of the story. Relative and resilient strength in the U.S. dollar is another factor weighing on the precious metal.

Gold was pulled down over strong economic numbers coming in from the Chinese economy-

China’s economy expanded more than expected in the first quarter of 2019
While industrial output and retail sales for March were also better than expected.
Trade and credit data that came out last Friday also exceeded forecasts

Strong numbers coming in from China, imply that a global slowdown has been diminished to quite some extent. Furthermore, according to the minutes published at its last Federal Open Market Committee meeting, the Federal Reserve did leave open the possibility of possible rate hikes this year if the economic data suggests warranting such a move. This, of course, wouldn’t bode well for gold.
The minutes confirmed that if the economic data continue to support the economy, a rate hike could be on the table at the back end of this year. Luckily for the dollar bears, this wasn’t the majority view, at least, not for the time being.

Does this mean the gold will soon lose its sheen?

Well, gold is being supported by ongoing geopolitical issues (U.S.-China trade war and Brexit, among others), concerns around slowing global economic growth and recession fears, and a more dovish U.S. Federal Reserve (no rate hikes in 2019).
Though many investors are shunning gold and shifting focus to equities, there is a set of market analysts that still believe that gold needs to be added in ones portfolio as its gives an insurance cover.

A crisis is expected and it’s soon we realise that one needs to protect his/her finances in times of crisis. And which metal can best prove to be a safe haven asset other than gold?
Gold had faced a similar situation in 2011. Gold was widely ignored since 2011 as an asset class for institutional portfolios. In 2018, bullish sentiment for gold was at a multi year low. Not many people were interested in owning gold.

But then investors realised that they need to own gold in order to protect themselves in times of crisis.

Given the current situation and what is expected in the near future, we can say that gold is here to stay. Even though equities are rising, the momentum won’t sustain in the long run. Fed is not expected to hike rates in 2019. Less hikes and a rate cut would translate to dollar weakness–an open path for strength in gold. Other headwinds include increasing concerns of slowing global economic growth, which could spur a move to safe havens like gold.

And hence this is a very good time for people to get a little bit more defensive and use gold to reserve the wealth they have made in equities.

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Gold declined but still a favorite

Since the turn of the century, the gold industry has experienced a roller coaster ride, with prices rising from $255 an ounce in 2001 to highs of $1,906 a decade later, before falling to $1,056 by December 2015. After a gap of almost 4 years, gold is being seen on the green path once again.

Lately, Gold prices have largely been stuck in a range of between $1,217 to $1,330. Though gold started the year on a positive note, last week it did witness a decline in prices.


The sentiments continued to flow in this week too. Gold prices slipped on Monday and they further slipped for a fourth straight session on Tuesday as recent upbeat economic data and signs that Washington and Beijing were making headway in a nearly year-long tariff skirmish boosted risk sentiment.

The main reason for the decline in gold prices were the data numbers coming in from world economies.

Pressures were created on gold as improved economic data came in from China. China reported better-than-expected credit and export figures last week that allayed concerns regarding the pace of economic growth.

Coming to the U.S., the dollar held firm on Friday after strong U.S. labour and inflation data soothed concerns about the world’s largest economy. As we all know that dollar and gold are inversely related and hence a strengthening dollar pulled gold prices down.
Furthermore, falling oil prices weighed on commodity-linked currencies such as the Canadian and Australian dollars.
The number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits fell to a 49-1/2-year low last week, pointing to sustained labor market strength that could temper expectations of a sharp slowdown in economic growth.
U.S. producer prices increased by the most in five months in March, but underlying wholesale inflation was tame.
U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday expressed a willingness to hold a third summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un but said in talks with South Korean President Moon Jae-in that Washington would leave sanctions in place on Pyongyang.
European Union countries gave initial clearance on Thursday to start formal trade talks with the United States, EU sources said; a move designed but not guaranteed to smooth strained relations between the world’s two largest economies.
The six-month delay of Britain’s exit from the European Union avoids the “terrible outcome” of a “no-deal” Brexit that would further pressure a slowing global economy but does nothing to lift uncertainty over the final outcome, the head of the International Monetary Fund said on Thursday
Moreover, growing optimism over a US-China trade war resolution strengthened the dollar.
Better economic conditions stoke investors to pivot towards equities that are interest-bearing assets, and shun the non-yielding bullion

But still gold is expected to perform better in the following months. Gold has been witnessing a great start in the current year and many market players believe that it will continue to do so in the near term-  mainly due to
Concerns over global economy
Geopolitical issues
Federal Reserves less aggressive stance on interest rates. The view is that there won’t be any interest rate rises this year, which again will be supportive for the precious metals sector
Global uncertainties
Central bank buying
US China trade war
De dollarization

Gold is expected to garner safe-haven interest as investors look to protect themselves against an impending recession which might even push gold above $1400 an ounce by the second half of 2019.






Monday, 15 April 2019

Gold vs Stocks

Past 3 to 4 years haven’t been that exciting for gold. In fact gold has surfaced to the current $1300 an ounce, a level that was previously seen 6 years ago. Gold has been trading in a tight range for quite some time.

Gold is an investment that people prefer when the times are uncertain. It’s not a type of investment that can be left to itself. There are times that are just right to enter the market. People buy at dips and try to make the most of every opportunity to buy gold. Physical gold also has a very high liquidity which again increases its appeal as an investment asset.

Today we are in a position where gold is liked more as a hedge tool, an asset that gives you protection against uncertainties. And this characteristic of gold helps in keeping its prices high when there is a global crisis. In fact many are even switching over from equities to gold.


Though the first half of 2018 was dull for gold, it did gain momentum in the second half. 2018 on a weekly chart produced 2 clear trends, and some pretty nice ones at that. We started the year flat, and then had a bear trend from May to October, then a nice rally taking it up. If we’re just holding gold all this time, this really won’t matter, but gold still moves and we can’t call it a complete dog over all this time, even though it’s been one from a longer-term perspective.

This year too, till date gold is up 2% and is expected to rise further given the factors that will influence the yellow metal and create bullish sentiments in the market.

Since the high of February, with each lasting a week or two, gold is producing some pretty well-defined moves, including the current upward one.

But just by seeing the current trends it won’t be possible to exactly predict a future upward movement. We need to consider the past too. We at least need to preface this by mentioning the current bull move with gold, and you won’t really discover that by just looking at its year to date, you have to go back to the beginning of the current move in October. It’s not that we can go back in time and buy some then, but if we’re looking to predict a future up move, we need to at least account for how much we’ve moved up thus far.

The number in play here is $1184 an ounce, the low last October 1. This is also around the time where the stock market started to sink, and when money started to flow out of the stock market more, with some making its way into gold.

We’ve been able to sustain a move of 10% through the subsequent stock market rally, so while the bearish turn with stocks may have given us a push forward, the better performance of gold involved more than this, perhaps our looking to recapture the amount that the market oversold it by earlier in the year.

This is what makes us say that gold is expected to rise further. For 6 years now, gold has been unable to move up much past where it is now. This doesn’t mean that it won’t happen. A weak US economy, Fed policies, US China trade war, Brexit, piling gold reserves, bearish stock markets  are some of the many key influencers that will cause a wave in the market and bring about a rally in gold price.

Tuesday, 9 April 2019

Fed Continues to be a key driver for gold and dollar

Gold has been going strong since the mark of 2019. As we completed a quarter of the current year, gold continues to show the same sentiments as the second quarter began.  Gold prices rose to a more-than-one-week peak on Monday as the dollar slipped after data showed U.S. wage growth slowed last month, while investors awaited minutes of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s March meeting later this week.
Spot gold gained 0.4 percent to $1,296.87 per ounce by 0746 GMT, after touching its highest since March 29 at $1,297.86 earlier in the week.


Let’s have a look at each factor individually : 

Data - Soft data coming in from the US strengthened the yellow metal. Though the non-farm payrolls data was better than expected, the manufacturing jobs fell which is a bad signal for the sector and doesn’t show a very bright picture of the economic outlook. Marginally better Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) reading out of China over the weekend, along with the never-ending optimism about a trade deal, were touted as the reasons. Cyclical outperformed and the yield curve steepened, suggesting that recession fears sparked by the prior week’s inversion were overblown. A slightly better PMI in the US added to this better mood. Contrasting with the stronger soft data were weak retail sales in the US and evidence that inventory continues to build in the channel. Auto and home sales also remain fairly weak. Friday’s labor report was definitely good news and much better than last month. However, some of the leading data from that report, like temporary hiring, continued to soften and bear watching.

DOLLAR - The dollar was down 0.1 percent against key rivals as U.S. Treasury yields extended their decline after the U.S. jobs report signalled a slowdown in wage growth even as employment accelerated from a 17-month low in March. The dollar was also weighed down by softening bond yields. The greenback was 0.3 percent lower at 111.385 yen after briefly popping up to a three-week high of 111.825 on Friday following the U.S. jobs report.

CHINESE GOLD RESERVES - According to the latest Chinese reserve data, the country's gold reserves rose to 60.62 million ounces in March from 60.26 million a month earlier, according to data on its website. This was the fourth consecutive month of gold increases: last month’s inflow was 11.2 tons, following the addition of 9.95 tons in February, 11.8 tons in January and 9.95 tons in December. The recent buying spree resumed after a 25 month hiatus, as China stopped reporting gold purchases in October 2016. This trend broke in December, when Beijing announced it had once again started accumulating gold

RUSSIAN GOLD RESERVES -  The world's isn't sitting on its hands, as governments worldwide added a whopping 651.5 tons of bullion in 2018, the second-highest total on record, according to the World Gold Council, and nobody more so than Russia which quadrupled its reserves within the span of a decade amid President Vladimir Putin’s quest to break the country’s reliance on the U.S. dollar. The one country that has decided it will no longer be part of the USD monetary sphere of influence is Russia, which has been dumping dollars and buying gold at the fastest pace in decades.


Summing up the previous week and why gold rose or dollar fell, we can say - Disappointing European manufacturing data in combination with a more “dovish” Fed led the 10-year treasury yield to fall the most in two years and U.S. investment grade bonds to rise the most in four years. The Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged, while signalling no rate hikes for the balance of 2019, acknowledging global uncertainty and muted inflation pressures. Markets responded favourably at first, with both bonds and equities rallying on the news, but the markets gave back these gains as the focus turned to what the Fed’s pause might mean about the underlying health of the economy. The Fed will likely continue to be a key driver of equity markets as officials negotiate the balance between rates, inflation and a healthy but slower-growing economy

Tuesday, 2 April 2019

Dollar dependency reduces. Benefits gold

Why is gold being reconsidered as a mode of investment globally? Why is the dollar dependency reducing? Why are central banks world over piling up their gold reserves?

Well the answer to this looks simple but the reasons behind it are quite complex.

There are so many things happening in the international markets. Gone are the days where just The U.S. economy played an important role in influencing world market. Today there are many other factors that are responsible for the movement of equities, commodities and other markets.


This week too, while the dollar strengthened against the British Pound, gold premium eased in China. Where we saw weakening imports of gold in China on one hand, on the other bullion reserves rose in Russia.

Dollar against the pound - The British Pound was the worst-performing, adding to losses after the UK Parliament was unable to reach a consensus for an alternative Brexit strategy.

Arguably the best-performing major on Thursday was the US Dollar, which climbed alongside rising front-end government bond yields. This is despite a flurry of disappointing domestic economic news flow. US GDP missed expectations, clocking in at 2.2% q/q in the fourth quarter of 2018 against 2.3% anticipated and from 3.4% in Q3.

The U.S. dollar benefited Friday from sterling’s slide after parliament for the third time rejected Prime Minister Theresa May’s proposed deal to pull Britain out of the European Union.

The pound fell as much as half a percent to the day’s low of $1.2976. Sterling’s move led the dollar index higher, last up 0.07 percent to 97.274, helping it recover from an earlier drop on the weaker-than-expected report of U.S. inflation data, which added to the conviction that the country’s economy is losing momentum.

U.S. economic numbers - U.S. consumer spending barely rose in January and income increased modestly in February. The report from the Commerce Department also showed price pressures muted in January, with a measure of overall inflation posting its smallest annual increase in nearly 2-1/2 years. Consumer spending accounts for more than two-thirds of American economic activity.
With growth slower and inflation benign, Friday’s data bolstered the Fed’s case for ending its three-year monetary tightening campaign.

Spot gold was up 0.7 percent at $1,298.80 per ounce by the end of the week, testing resistance at the key $1,300 level.

Bullion was also set to notch up about a 1.2 percent gain for the quarter, helped mainly by a dovish U.S. Federal Reserve and concerns about the global economy.

However, gold was still bound for a second consecutive monthly drop, losing about 1 percent, which would be its biggest decline since August last year. The metal fell by about 1.5 percent on Thursday, the most in more than seven months.

Premium - Gold premiums in China eased in the past week as worries about a slowdown in the world’s top bullion consumer prompted some customers to hold off on purchases, while a price dip buoyed appetite in other Asian hubs.

In China, premiums of about $12-14 an ounce were being charged over global benchmark prices, a slight reduction from last week when they rose to the highest since March 2017 at $14-$16.
The country’s net gold imports in February via main conduit Hong Kong fell 13.6 percent from the previous month.

Gold Reserves - Central bank buying has helped support gold prices in recent years. Bullion has risen 20% since the start of 2016.

Within the span of a decade, Russia quadrupled its bullion reserves and 2018 marked the most ambitious year yet. And the pace is keeping up so far this year. Data from the central bank show that holdings rose by one-million ounces in February, the most since November.

The data shows that Russia is making rapid progress in its effort to reduce its dependency on the US dollar and to diversify away from American assets. Analysts, who have coined the term de-dollarization, speculate about the global economic impacts if more countries adopt a similar philosophy and what it could mean for the dollar’s desirability compared with other assets, such as gold or the Chinese Yuan.

For Russia, experts are starting to question whether it can afford to keep up its intense pace of buying. Some say the country will import more gold to guard against geopolitical shocks and the threat of tougher US sanctions as relations between the two powers continue to deteriorate. Gold buying last year exceeded mine supply for the first time. Still, others argue that Russia’s bullion demand is set to slow.

But it’s not single handed Russia that’s piling its reserves. Given the constant geopolitical unrest, more and more banks are shifting focus to the yellow metal, which leads us to conclude that gold prices are soon to rise further.

Monday, 25 March 2019

Fed puts the dollar in red

Gold is traditionally used to hedge against economic uncertainty. As sanctions fall into place and the screws tighten on other nations, the U.S. dollar loses power within the world economy.

Where 2011 gold saw its life time high at 1917.90, in 2015 it bottomed at $1047. That was followed by a 31% rally to $1375 in July 2016, since when gold has established a triangular consolidation pattern. Last August, the price sold off to $1160, becoming oversold to record levels. That established the second point of a rising trend, marked by the lower solid line.

As 2019 started, gold was seen on a positive note. Gold has rallied and established support at $1280-$1305. And it is expected to move further from here.


Last week, Precious metals surged upward in Asia-Pacific trading, building on gains from Wednesday following a dovish construed U.S. Federal Open Market Committee. 
Gold has been as high as $1,319.80.

While the dollar saw some respite from the late New York declines, precious metals continued to firm as participants considered the implications of the Fed’s growth projections.
Gold saw the $1,310 pivot level remain intact, while seeing a generally orderly ascent throughout the session toward $1,320.

Global markets look deteriorating in the new future. Hence we will see a rise in government borrowing in the deficit countries. Dependency on dollar denominated assets will reduce.
Once again Gold has established itself as an asset with great safe haven appeal. It has become the investor’s favourite due to many reasons and is expected to do so in the near future too.

Reasons being -

Global economies - wave of monetary inflation suggest that the dollar-based financial order is coming to an end. But with few exceptions, investors own nothing but fiat-currency dependent investments. The only portfolio protection from these potential dangers is to embrace sound money - gold. And hence demand for the yellow metal will rise resulting in an increase in its prices.

Dovish comments from FED - Some speculators appear to have gambled badly on the likely content of U.S. Fed chair, Jerome Powell’s latest statement following Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting.  Ahead of the statement the gold price dipped back under $1,300, albeit briefly, for the first time in several days.  But following the release of Powell’s statement it surged higher hitting the $1,320 level very briefly for the first time in just over 3 weeks.

Monetary policies - The global economy is at a cross-road, with international trade stalling and undermining domestic economies. Some central banks, notably the European Central Bank, the Bank of Japan and the Bank of England were still reflating their economies by suppressing interest rates, and the ECB had only stopped quantitative easing in December. The Fed and the Peoples’ Bank of China had been tightening in 2018. The PBOC quickly went into stimulation mode in November, and the Fed has put monetary tightening and interest rates on hold, pending further developments.

Central bank buying - Russia is not alone in seeking to diversify out of U.S. debt holdings and transfer wealth into precious metals. As Per the World Gold Reserve, Gross purchases of 48 tonnes (t) and gross sales of 13t led to global gold reserves rising by 35 tonnes on a net basis in January, with sizable increases from nine central banks. This is the largest January increase in gold reserves in our records (back to 2002) and illustrates the recent strength in gold accumulation.

The primary factor cited in gold purchases seems to be global economic uncertainty. If sanctions grow tighter and more numerous, the global economy will continue to shutter. The stage is ready for gold transfers in the hundreds of tons this year, with several countries building growing gold stockpiles.

Rate hike - The latest statement was interpreted as predicting no further Fed interest rate increases this calendar year and perhaps only one rate rise next year.  It was further interpreted to suggest no rate rise in 2021, but that is, in reality, too far ahead for this position not to be materially altered one way or the other at a later meeting. A delay in a possible rate hike has compelled gold to move higher. And if it continues to do so till 20121, as expected by many market players, then we will gold reach new level highs in a few years. Bur back to Powell’s post-FOMC meeting statement.  There wasn’t anything too surprising in it – or at least there shouldn’t have been – as it largely confirmed what most economic analysts had been predicting regarding Fed tightening over the next several months.  But then perhaps the aforementioned analysts needed semi-official confirmation of their assumptions.

Inasmuch as worries about Fed rate rises had been instrumental in keeping the gold price restrained over the past two to three years, the prospect of the Fed backtracking should be positive for gold and negative for the dollar were it not for a similar, or worse, downturn in the global economy.  This may keep the dollar stronger than the Fed, or President Trump, would like.  That correlation would tend to boost imports and hinder exports, thus exacerbating America’s already dire current account deficit and countering any positive effect from the Trump tariff impositions.

Friday, 15 March 2019

Market Sentiment Bullish

Generally in my blog, I have mentioned about how gold has been behaving, or the=e weekly outlook for gold etc. But in this blog I have mainly picked 4 factors that I personally believe will influence gold prices in the near future. It has been a good year for gold so far and investors believe that gold is here to stay.



A positive sentiment in the market is supported by the following factors-

Weak US dollar - We have always seen that gold is inversely related to the dollar. This relationship has proved to be fruitful strong and table for gold over a period of time. Gold has a tendency to rally when dollar weakens. Sometimes there has been strange behavior where gold and dollar both have declined together. But the situation was different at that time. It happened in an environment when US real yields rose, which depressed gold prices, while real yields elsewhere rose more than US real yields, pushing the US dollar lower. These situations are exceptional. If the US dollar weakens or strengthens in tandem with interest rate spreads than gold prices move in the opposite direction. If the US dollar weakens because of unfavorable spread movements, but US yields still move higher, gold prices will suffer versus the US dollar because gold doesn’t pay interest.

So keeping the exceptions apart, gold prices generally move opposite to the dollar. And in the near term, since dollar is expected to weaken, gold prices are expected to move higher.

Fed -When we mention dollar, we can’t forget to make note of the Fed as time and again dovish comments from Fed have influenced the dollar and furthermore the yellow metal.  The Fed to remain on hold, and other major central bank to hike less and/or later. Less hawkish central banks are a positive development for precious metal prices in general and for gold prices in particular. Moreover we expect the 10 year US Treasury yield and US 10y real yields to decline slightly. This should support gold prices.

Chinese economy - After the US, it’s the Chinese economy that stands second in influencing the yellow metal. The developments in the Chinese Yuan reflect the expectations for the Chinese economy and the US-China trade conflict.  With trade at war, China won’t sit quiet; it may continue to take some actions to strengthen its economy.these measure along with a possible US-China trade deal will support the yuan and gold prices.
Adding to it, we have seen that lately China ah been piling up its gold reserves. China is one of the leading consumers if gold and rising demand will surely push gold prices high.

Optimist sentiment - the technical picture of gold prices still looks positive. Despite the recent sharp decline in prices, prices are still above the 200-day moving average at around USD 1,250 per ounce. We are confident that prices will stay above this level. It is possible that prices drop towards this level and test it, but this would be an opportunity to position for higher gold prices. A sudden short-term rally in the US dollar or a temporary spike in 10y US Treasury yields (not our base scenario) could trigger profit taking on existing net-long gold positions. Later in the year we expect the positive momentum to build and gold prices to rally more strongly.

Monday, 11 March 2019

Gold expected to perform well in 2019

Last fortnight gold fell near two week lows. It was heading for its biggest weekly fall in nearly four months on 28th Feb. A strengthening dollar backed by rising equities created pressure on the yellow metal. Better sentiment on the stock markets and a reluctance by the physical gold investors are weighing on its price.

The dollar favored over the Jobs data and Gross Domestic Product news. This resulted in some long liquidation. The dollar, which gained impetus from better than expected fourth quarter U.S. GDP data, hit a 10-week high against the yen.


Rallies in the dollar were taking their toll on gold much more than they were a few weeks ago which is a clear sign that sentiment towards the yellow metal has shifted.

Just when the sentiment towards the yellow metal shifted, gold prices soared in the past week.  Gold prices soared to their highest level in 10 months on Tuesday, driven by technical buying, dovish central bank commentary and continuing uncertainty as the end of the 90-day trade truce between the U.S. and China draws near.

Just when investors became pessimistic about gold, some developments in the trade war resulted in the yellow metal hovering to its 10 month high on Wednesday mainly due to Fed comments and Equities.

Fed - Looking beyond the dollar’s relationship with gold, the yellow metals prices have been boosted by Fed commentary recently. The markets in general reacted favorably to the dovish tilt adopted by the Fed following its December rate hike.

Equity - Stocks were still climbing on Tuesday with key indices like the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average on a steady upward march since the beginning of the year. However, both indices started to struggle early Wednesday as investors awaited the latest commentary from the Federal Reserve.

Gold found further support from job numbers released in Friday.

On Friday, prices got a jolt after a report showed that US hiring last month was the weakest in more than a year. The news helped gold push back above US$1,300 an ounce amid renewed demand for a haven.

Spot gold later settled at US$1,298.30 an ounce, down 1.14 percent for the week.
Gold has been caught in a tug of war. Four straight months of price gains amid economic hand-wringing gave way to losses last month as the US dollar gained traction.

The two main factors that are expected to influence gold in the months to come-

Dollar - Despite the recent strength in the dollar, the U.S. currency is expected to weaken “noticeably.” When that finally does happen, it should boost gold prices further—if the usual negative correlation between the two assets returns. They believe “a fair amount” of the greenback’s length has been removed but still see it as “structurally overvalued.”

Central Bank buying - central banks, especially Russia and China, have boosted the share of gold in their foreign reserves. Other analysts have also pointed out this same thing recently. The World Gold Council estimated a 74% year-over-year increase in this “official sector demand” in 2018.

Short term factors like US economic numbers and long term including a more dovish U.S. Fed, U.S.-China trade war, Brexit, Italian recession, fear of global economic slowdown, equity volatility, and increased central-bank buying are expected to push gold higher and help it   perform well in 2019.


Monday, 25 February 2019

Go for Gold

Past 6 months have been really great for gold. Gold prices have surged 14% since late August, when the Nasdaq Composite Index last hit a fresh record, and stand at their highest level since last April (* source- the Journal).

Gold has been influenced lately by many factors clubbed together. All these combined, have been pushing gold prices higher despite last years Fed rate hike, so it’s clear that gold is not dependent on just one factor for its price movement. Though US plays an important role in influencing gold prices, currently there are many other factors that need to be considered where gold prices are concerned.




World economies - The recent increase in gold price is in fact a proof that the slowdown has already started. Interestingly though, the increase is not the result of investors seeking a safe haven in a year that seems financially and economically awkward. That is, there are low interest rates in developed economies, higher rates in developing and emerging ones, and hence relatively higher risks of investments. In addition to the above, an increasingly protectionist trend could undermine the flow of global trade and negatively impact countries with economies highly dependent on international trade for their diversification.

Safe haven - Gold prices have climbed as investors uncertain about global growth outlook hedge their portfolios. Amid global political and economic uncertainty, the precious metal has become a compelling choice for money managers seeking to hedge their portfolios at a time of anxiety over economic growth and trade conflicts between the U.S. and its partners.

Central bank buying - In a report by the “Financial Times”, China purchased gold in late 2018, while its last purchase was more than two years ago. Poland, which hasn’t purchased gold since 1998, has lately added to its gold reserves. According to the same report, countries through their central banks have increased their gold purchases by “almost 75 per cent” in 2018. An increase in demand leads to an increase in prices too.

China, the top gold producer and consumer, is beefing up holdings amid signs of slowing growth and uncertainty about whether the trade fight with the U.S. will get resolved.

US trade war - Though the severity of the trade war is hanging loose, but any progress in this regards immediately affects gold. Trump said on Sunday he would delay an increase in tariffs on Chinese goods that had been scheduled for later this week, citing “substantial progress” in Sino-US trade talks over the weekend, and that he and his Chinese counterpart would meet to seal a deal if progress continued. This statement weakened the dollar against the Yuan.

The offshore Yuan strengthened 0.6 per cent to 6.673 Yuan against the dollar, after hitting its highest level since mid-July, on the news that Trump might not raise tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports to 25 per cent from 10 per cent.

As we all know that gold and dollar are inversely related and hence any weakness in the green back pushes the metal prices up.

But what’s interesting to see that annually gold has not generated returns yet, but it still seems to be investors favorite especially when they done know where to park their cash. This favouritism comes amidst the fact there bank deposits are no longer financially viable and other assets in its class aren’t giving that safe haven appeal. 

As a result, the alternative is to go for gold and settle for capital return, an increase in gold price which needs to be high enough to exceed inflation plus profit to make purchasing and holding it worthwhile. The trend in gold price seems to be headed upwards, and it may be a good time to get in, even if the best time to get in was when it was at $1,200 an ounce level.

Gold prices, though hinting at a looming bearish correction on risk-on market sentiments, will remain firmly supported on rising economic uncertainties and heightened geopolitical risks in 2019. Therefore, in light of low interest rates and a lack of clarity with regard to the world’s economic prospects, the gold price is expected to continue climbing. As it does, it may not stop at the $2,000 per ounce level realized two years post the 2008 financial crisis, but possibly higher.

A similar trend was witnessed post the increase in 1971, except that in every cycle, previous records for the highest gold price reached are usually broken. Not only that, the time elapsed between one cycle and the next is getting shorter.



Thursday, 21 February 2019

Gold restores faith

The uptrend has once again moved into gold’s life. Gold leaped towards $1365 and the highs of almost a year ago. From the last two quarters of 2018 till date, gold has been climbing up the staircase, leaping higher, then consolidating and then moving up once more.

The middle two quarters of 2018 were bad for gold because the dollar was extraordinarily strong, so was the domestic equity market in the U.S. The influence of all that tended to wane in December, so gold picked up very, very nicely


A weaker U.S. dollar pushed gold up to 10-month highs on Tuesday, with April gold futures last trading at $1,339.70 an ounce, up 1.32% on the day.

With both the dollar and yen sliding, most notably after the BOJ's Kuroda told parliament the Japanese central bank can and will ease far more if necessary, it is perhaps not surprising that gold has surged higher, rising above $1,341/ounce, up over $140 from the early November levels when it was trading in the low-$1,200s, and the highest price since April 2018.

The recent rise in gold prices reflects solid demand from investors and, given that there is a relatively thin supply pipeline of metal between miner, refiner and trader, this is leading to a shortage of physical gold. Gold demand rose in 2018 and, although the US dollar gold price was down 1% over the year, it outperformed many other financial assets. Worries about a slowdown in global growth, heightened geopolitical tensions, and financial market volatility saw central bank demand hit its highest level since.

It is a matter of some speculation, but this story echoes reports that physical gold demand by Central Banks are at the highest since 1967, while institutional gold ETF off take hit an unprecedented 145 tonnes in December and January

Central banks added 651.5t to official gold reserves in 2018, up 74% on 2017 and the second highest yearly total on record. Net purchases jumped to their highest level since the end of US dollar convertibility into gold in 1971, as a greater pool of central banks turned to gold as a diversifier.

Most people are expecting gold to do well this year as gold has restored everyone’s faith in the market.

Monday, 18 February 2019

Gold preserves your wealth

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

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




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Dollar strengthens but sentiments for gold are positive

Gold started the week on its back foot, testing the $1,300 level mid week. The metal recovered sharply ending the week essentially unchanged. A key catalyst for the recovery in the USD gold price was the revelation that that Presidents Trump and Xi will not meet to resolve trade differences prior to the imposition of increased tariffs in March. U.S. President Donald Trump said last week that he had no plans to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping before a March 1deadline to achieve a trade deal.

We continue to see the US China trade conflict, Fed and ECB actions as key drivers of equity and USD volatility, in turn driving investors to safe haven gold.




Concerns regarding the Chinese economy, weak growth and political tension in the Euro zone, Brexit and lingering global trade tensions are weighing in on market sentiment and the dollar is once more sought after as a refuge asset.

Investors strongly believe that there is much scope for gold to rise and they cite 3 main reasons for that-


  • Geopolitical Risk. The U.S. trade war with China, the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela, and Britain's planned Brexit from the European Union are three examples of this. Each raises uncertainty for investors about the future, and that tends to make them anxious. Investors are also worried about the economic impact of U.S. government shutdown when global growth is already lean.


  • High Stock Valuations. Investors are also increasingly wary of the stock market that's pricey relative to projected earnings. So, some investors are cashing in at least part of their stock holdings and sending some of the proceeds to gold funds. With stocks now showing signs of rolling over in response to trade talks concerns and a weaker growth forecast, gold should find enough support once again to prevent a serious challenge at support, currently at $1,300 an ounce, followed by $1,275


  • Dollar - Gold is being pushed around by the U.S. dollar in the near term. Traders are getting out of anything to do with Europe on concerns of weakness in the region and going for safe-haven buying into U.S. treasuries, which is pushing up the dollar. But a possible shut down and impact of the US economy on its global counterpart, might make the dollar weak thus pushing gold further. 


  • The Federal Reserve.  The Fed also seems to be at "an inflection point" when it comes to U.S. interest rates. He notes that the investment community went from expecting the Fed to boost rates multiple times this year to now perhaps making no increases in 2019. Lower interest rates tend to weaken the U.S. dollar and boost inflation risks, making gold more attractive. Gold and dollar are inversely related so whenever there is any negative effect on the dollar, gold prices tend to rise.



For gold, a lot of the recent action is largely dictated by the fact that the dollar is holding firm over the past two weeks. That has seen gold fall from resistance around $1,326 to current levels. But as long as the figure level still isn't breached, there's still favorable momentum to for gold to continue its upside run since November last year. We remain of the view that the $1,350 level is viable in the coming months, and note the $1,360 technical resistance level many market participants are watching.



Monday, 4 February 2019

Key data shifts market sentiments

Last week a lot was happening for gold globally and in the domestic market. While there was important data released from the US, in the domestic market too all eyes were glued to the interim budget. While internationally, Fed rate hike is the topic of discussion, in India Gold duty cut was also being discussed strongly. We shall discuss the budget later.

Let’s have a look at the key economic numbers and how it affected gold and dollar.

  • Nonfarm payrolls rose more than 300K, which was significantly better than the 165K forecast and matched December's +300k rise
  • Manufacturing activity accelerated 
  • University of Michigan Sentiment index was revised slightly higher for the month of January. 
  • Stocks extended their rise. 



Not only does this report tell us that the government shutdown had limited impact on the labor market but after revisions, job gains averaged 241K over the past 3 months. However even though the labor market is on fire, wage growth is slowing and there's a very good chance of downward revisions next month. More importantly the change in the Federal Reserve's monetary policy statement is significant enough to keep the US dollar under pressure so don't trust the rally.

Although employment continues to expand, wage growth remains tepid. The report said that average hourly earnings increased 0.1% last month or by 3 cents, missing expectations. Economists were expecting to see wages increase 0.3%. For the last 12 months wages increased 3.2%. The U.S. dollar rebounded against all of the major currencies on Friday on the back stronger economic data.  A lot of the Fed's concerns stem from events like Brexit, funding for the US government and US-China trade issues that could be resolved over the next few months

The gold market saw some selling pressure Friday after the U.S. labor market showed strong growth in January, according to the latest government employment data. This sentiment continued as the week opened on a negative note for gold.

Gold prices dipped slightly on Monday as the dollar held steady on upbeat U.S. jobs and factory data that prompted markets to reduce bets on a rate cut later this year.

In the Indian markets, gold markets weren’t much active as while jewellers held off on purchases in anticipation of the country’s budget presentation on Friday.
India’s bullion industry has been urging a tax reduction to combat smuggling, which has increased since the country raised the import duty to 10 percent in August 2013 to narrow its current account deficit.

However, the interim budget presented by the Indian government on Friday did not include a change in the duty and hence not much activity was seen.
But India’s counterpart China, was showing a different t picture altogether. The demand for gold in China was quite on the rise.

On the occasion of Lunar year (which falls in the first week of February), generally, gold is considered as one of the best gifting medium. Demand for physical gold gathered usually increases in China ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday.
Another interesting gold purchase figure that saw record highs was from the central banks. 

Official gold purchases reached a new record in 2018 as central banks continued to diversify away from the U.S. Dollar.  Not only was 2018 a banner year for central bank gold purchases, but it was also the highest amount for more than five decades.  Central banks haven’t bought this much gold in one year since Nixon ended the convertibility of the U.S. Dollar into gold in 1971.

Despite the latest economic reports, the economy is still slowing but if Congress passes a permanent spending increase, the UK reaches a withdrawal agreement with the EU and the US forgoes further tariffs on China, 2 rate hikes this year could still be justified. With that in mind, any one of these discussions could go south, sending the markets into turmoil. Press conferences after every meeting this year gives the Fed the flexibility to change policy as needed and so far, domestic and global uncertainty justifies the need for patience. There's not much in the way of US data, so the dollar could resume its slide.


Friday, 1 February 2019

Union Budget 2019

It’s an important week for gold, both internationally and in the domestic markets. Amidst the Fed chaos, our very own budget got overshadowed.

Many suggestions have been made to the government, for the better of the Gems and Jewellery industry.


The government had increased the import duty on gold in order to narrow the trade deficit.  But in the lead to do so, unknowingly it has also led to an increase in gold smuggling. The gems and jewellery sector has sought a reduction of gold import duty to 4 percent, cut and polished diamonds and cut and polished gemstones to 2.5 percent and relaxation of credit norms for working capital requirements in the forthcoming budget.

Furthermore, elimination of CTT tax has been proposed in order to curb dabba trading.
These and many other suggestions related to import duty, taxes, infrastructure, R&D and precious stones duty has been made to the government.

The stakeholders expect that the government will accept these or at least amend the current norms in favours of everyone.

The upcoming interim Budget will likely offer a fresh push to gold schemes, laying out plans to tweak existing ones and announce new products, as earlier efforts to draw people to park their idle holdings with banks yielded little. A comprehensive gold policy is being planned.

This is an election year so it (the government) will is expected to put in more money into hands of people. There will be a big amount of spending in a short span that would be good for gold. Before the election, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government could announces measures to help the nation's farmers, the biggest buyers of gold.

Keeping the bigger picture in mind, many new suggestions have been made, such that it creates a win win situation for the government, the jewellery industry and the end consumer. 

Thursday, 31 January 2019

Gold looks moderately bullish

This week is all about the much awaited FOMC meet. The Federal Open Market Committee meets between Jan. 29 and Jan. 30, and Chairman Jerome Powell is widely expected to acknowledge growing risks to the U.S. economy as global momentum weakens.

Speculations prevailed in the market that the Federal Reserve will keep its interest rates unchanged during its two-day policy meet. This led to a spike in gold prices, nearing a seven month high during the day. But later gold steadied.


Gold has a tendency to appreciate on expectations of lower interest rates, which reduce the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.

Currently, the European Central Bank is seeing downside risks to the economy. ECB President Mario Draghi warned last week that a dip in the euro zone’s economy could be more pronounced, comments seen as signalling a delay in the bank’s first interest rate hike.
Amongst this scenario gold is portraying a strong chance of solid upward movement.

Furthermore, the US Fed is also expected to be more accommodative. The Fed has already raised its interest rates four times last year. It has even given hints that it might life borrowing costs twice in 2019.  Analysts noted that Federal Reserve policymakers recently lowered their forecasts for 2019 from three rate increases to two. This should support gold.

This uncertainty is bringing about a rally in gold prices. Moreover, global equities, particularly Asian stocks rose higher, as Wall Street rallied after a deal was announced to reopen the U.S. government following a prolonged shutdown that had shaken investor sentiment.

There were great concerns over a slowing global economic growth and this shutdown has only increased the worries of the market. Not forgetting, the, signs of stress in corporate earnings and a still unresolved Sino-U.S. trade war.

Meanwhile we also expect a rise in demand for gold, especially in Asia. Usually gold is bought in Asian countries for weddings, occasions etc. But lately gold is being purchased for investment purposes. Investment demand for gold rises with an increase in wealth. In recent years, both China and India have rapid increase in the demand for gold, especially China. These countries have been active drivers of holding the metal in its physical form.

With regard to preservation of wealth, gold has an immensely long track record; providing a hedge against inflation, geopolitical risks, natural disasters and other crises. Currently private banks and wealth advisers might typically advise their HNW clients to hold about 3-5% gold in their investment portfolios. While an ETF provides gold exposure and is an excellent tool for short-term trading, physical gold is preferable for medium to long-term investment as it is highly liquid, lacks counterparty risk and affords investors more flexibility. Unlike property or stock funds, physical gold is a highly efficient wealth management tool for estate planning

Since gold has long been used as a safe haven asset the outlook for the yellow metal looks moderately bullish now.

The main trigger for sustained higher gold prices comes in the form of a gradual asset rotation from equities and other risky assets into bonds and safe-haven assets such as gold, as mainstream investors seek protection from market turbulences, potential recessions and growing bearish sentiment.

Moreover, the downside is somewhat limited, with current gold prices representing a floor, as bearish drivers are lacking, fundamentals are neutral and costs for the most expensive producers are close to current prices.