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Showing posts with label INTEREST RATES. Show all posts
Showing posts with label INTEREST RATES. Show all posts

Saturday, 26 December 2015


By Mr. Prithviraj Kothari, MD, RSBL

Holiday fever, kept the markets calm with very little volatility in gold prices.

After the Federal Reserve’s interest-rate rise last week, trading remains cautious while investors assess conditions in a non-zero bound environment for the first time in seven years.

Gold prices ended the U.S. day session and a holiday-shortened trading week modestly higher Thursday. Some short covering in the futures market and perceived bargain-basement buying in the cash market heading into a long weekend gave gold its lift.

There were no major international news developments Thursday and the marketplace worldwide was very subdued ahead of the Christmas holiday on Friday.

Spot gold was last at $1,073.60/1,073.90 per ounce, a $2 increase on Wednesday’s close. The yellow metal has climbed away from five-year lows from the start of the month of just $1,046.40.

The gold price was higher on Thursday morning, tracking the recovery in the oil price and a slight decline in the dollar, in thin pre-Christmas trading conditions.

Now that we have rounded up for the week, I would also like to share my view on gold outlook for 2016.

As we all have seen that after increasing consecutively for 11 years, gold started giving negative returns since 2013.  Formerly gold was seen as the highest return generating asset in its class. But now economies have changed and people have shifted to other modes of investment like equities and hence gold has lost its appeal as a safe haven asset.

Will gold bottom further? Has it reached its support level? What’s in store for gold in 2016
 Well these questions have been constantly rotating the market since the past fortnight, especially after the fed rate hike.

Everyone in the markets had hopes that the Fed will raise interest rates for the first time in a decade. The day the Fed increased its rates we saw ETF gain 18.6 tonnes for the first time in the past three years. Everyone thought that a rate hike would slosh gold prices but gold managed to stabilize at 1075$ and did not decline as expected.

Moreover, if we see from the mining aspect, the mining cost of gold is around 1000 $- 1050 $ and I don’t see gold going below that level. Now that gold has already witnessed this bottom. I think this year gold might appreciate around 7-8 per cent compared to last year.

Moving on to the Indian markets. As far as the Indian markets are concerned, the INR is gradually appreciating which is in turn affecting gold prices. If you see the international market. Gold may bottom at 1000/1050 dollar and may witness an upswing towards 1200-1300 dollars. But at the same time the rupee appreciating will bring gold in the range of Rs. 24,000- Rs.30, 000 in 2016.

The population of India is 125 crore. Every year 800-900 tonnes gold is imported whether the price is $1900 or $700. A matter of concern is the custom duty that is currently 10 percent. Due to this, there is a huge difference between off shore and domestic markets. This duty increases gold prices by Rs.2, 50,000 per kilo. 

Due to high duty the quantity of gold smuggled into the country is also rising.  Last year around 200 tonnes of gold was smuggled. And this year the figure might touch and 300 tonnes thus bringing the official import figures down to 500-600 tonnes. 

The government has been trying its best to get some viable and profitable schemes into the market like the gold monetization scheme and gold sovereign bonds. Gold sovereign bonds are not a viable option as prices are fixed at Rs.26840 and currently the prices are almost 5per cent down.

Gold monetization is a scheme where the temples are more willing to deposit gold in banks. This scheme may take time for proper implementation but once it pick up we are really positive that the idle gold lying in the temples and Indian household) almost 500-1000 tonnes) will be flushed into the market and this would really help the economy.
To conclude I would say that 2015 was a year with nervous sentiments. But 2016 could be the golden year literally especially the jewelers and the investors.

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

- Previous blog -
"Markets Remain Calm For Gold: RSBL" 

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.

- Previous blog -

Sunday, 6 September 2015


-By Mr. Prithviraj Kothari, MD, RSBL

Firstly,I would apologise to all my readers for not drafting a blog for last week. 

I would like to present you an in depth analysis of this weeks gold movement.

It all began on a positive note for gold. The yellow metal entered the positive territory on the first day of the week and investors once again gained confidence of gold being a safe haven asset. But as we moved further, it once again lost its glitter. Gold prices fell by the end of the week and there were a varied reasons responsible for this fall.

Gold was marginally higher on the first morning of the week but remained rooted within a narrow range. Gold was vulnerable to a fresh wave of selling from funds poised to increase bearish bets.

In Shanghai, poor PMI dampened the sentiment and this decline in Asian markets boosted gold’s safe haven appeal as gold continued its gradual positive trend in European trading and was up around $6 an ounce to $1,141- around two per cent off a recent high reached a little over a week ago.

Gold has been struggling to gain from equities volatility in recent weeks, but it reverted to its inverse correlation with wider markets on Wednesday as spot prices recorded the sharpest fall in a week.

Gold found "no help" on Thursday as a spate of economic data from Europe and the US reduced inflation expectations. This sent the dollar higher, weighing down on the value of a precious metal that is often treated as a proxy currency and typically moves in the opposite direction to the greenback.

Gold fell 1 percent on Thursday as the dollar jumped versus the euro after the European Central Bank (ECB) cut inflation forecasts, while a U.S. jobs report that could provide clues on the timing of a Federal Reserve rate rise remained in focus.

The ECB left interest rates unchanged at record lows as expected, but lowered its forecasts for inflation and economic growth, citing a slowdown in emerging markets and weaker oil prices.

As a traditional hedge against inflation, gold suffered from the downward revision.

Spot gold had hit its lowest in a week during trading sessions on Thursday after comments from the ECB president Mario Draghi boosted the dollar against the Euro.

The president warned of negative inflation in the months to come, while noting that the Euro zone recovery has been weaker than expected.

The central bank left its benchmark interest rate at 0.05 per cent, a move that was widely expected whit Euro zone inflation currently at 0.1 percent.

By Friday afternoon, gold slipped about 0.4 percent in Europe following the release of a mixed US labor report.

The spot gold price was last at $1,120- $1,120.5 per ounce- almost down $4.70 from Thursday’s close. The US nonfarm payroll employment increased by 173,000 in August- below the forecast of 215,000 but on the contrary the unemployment rate fell to 5.1 per cent from 5.2 per cent in the prior month.

While average hourly earnings rose eight cents to $25.09 following a six cent gain in July- the hourly earnings rose 2.2 percent over the year.
Gold that was trading in a narrow range but on a positive side- immediately moved to the negative territory after the release of the report.

Though the reports were conflicting in nature- overall it did support the fact the interest rate hike may happen in September itself.
Reasons to justify this was a strengthening dollar and a strengthening gold, both of which happened after the data release. Their usual inverse relationship trend as broken which reflected some speculation surrounding a September interest rate hike.

The jobs report has taken on greater importance ahead of the September FOMC meet. The Fed is deciding whether to raise the Federal Interest rate for the first time since 2006.

After from the Euro zone and the US, In India a less than optimal monsoon will surely affect the demand for gold which may pull down gold prices further.

On the other hand demand for gold from China too seems to be weak. Chinese markets will be closed until Monday after the September 3-5 celebrations to mark the allied victory over Japan in the World War 2. The two day holiday in China also had some bearing on gold.

Currently we don’t see any help for gold from any of the world economies.

The primary purpose of this article by Mr. Prithviraj Kothari is to educate the masses of the current happenings in the Bullion world.
- Previous blog -
"Optimism For Gold"

Sunday, 16 August 2015


By Mr. Prithviraj Kothari, MD, RSBL

It was China v/s U.S or rather to be precise it was the devaluations of the Yuan v/s the positive economic numbers from U.S.
While one was trying to give the much needed push to gold prices, the other, on the contrary was pulling gold prices down.

Till the middle of the week, gold prices moved upwards and the market was just about to its faith in it. But once the US numbers were out, gold was once again losing its sheen.
Gold got the much needed lift when China roiled global markets by devaluing its currency. Till then gold was travelling on a mostly lower route since mid-June. By the end of the week, however, it appeared the situation was stabilizing, with Chinese authorities on Thursday saying there was no reason for the Yuan to fall further.

In the initial part of the week, Gold prices boosted and the metal regained its safe haven status as news out of China proves to be favorable for gold. The People’s Bank of China surprised markets on Tuesday when it devalued the Yuan against the U.S. dollar for three consecutive days, tumbling the currency by about 3%. 

Gold prices lacked direction on Friday as the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) increased the value of the Yuan while boosting its gold holdings.

The Chinese government released gold holding figures for the second time in recent weeks. The PBoC announced that it bought 19 tonnes of gold last month when prices were at five year lows and Total holdings were at 1,677 tonnes at the end of July, a one percent bump from the previous month.

The gold price continued to slide lower on Thursday afternoon after the dollar strengthened following upbeat US data, and as concerns over China’s economy eased.
Spot gold was last at $1,116/1,116.4 per ounce, down $8.20 on the previous close. Trade has ranged from $1,113.7 to $ 1126.8 so far.

The important numbers coming from the US were as follows-

  • PPI month-over-month in July was at 0.2 percent, above the 0.1 percent mark, while Core PPI in July rose 0.3 percent, besting the forecast of 0.1 percent.
  • The capacity utilization rate in July was at 78 percent, matching predictions, with industrial production month-over-month in July jumped 0.6 percent, above the consensus of 0.3 percent.
  • Preliminary University of Michigan Consumer sentiment in August was 92.9, just off the 93.5 forecast. Preliminary University of Michigan inflation expectations in August were at 2.8 percent, equaling the previous reading.
  • The Dow Jones industrial average and S&P were each up 0.3 percent, while the dollar was 0.3 percent stronger at $1.1120 against the euro.
  • Core retail sales month-over-month in July was in-line with forecasts at 0.4 percent, while retail sales month-on-month in July matched the consensus at 0.6 percent.
  • US weekly unemployment claims were 274,000, near the prediction of 272,000 and the previous reading of 270,000.

The timing of the first rate rise by the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) is becoming increasingly important to investors. The FOMC meeting is just over a month away and debate is ongoing whether the Fed should maintain near zero interest rates or raise rates by 25 basis points.

The two main highlights for the coming week are China and the FOMC. While everyone will be on a lookout for any further price-supportive developments out of China or if instead the Federal Open Market Committee says anything to rain on the yellow metal’s parade.

Currently China is proving to be one of the most influential factors for gold prices because the devaluation of their currency sparked interest in gold as a safe haven again and China has reignited the buying in gold.

If the Chinese markets remain more or less stabilized then focus will be shifted on expectations for the FOMC, which holds a policy meeting next month. The Federal funds futures have oscillated lately between factoring in a greater- or smaller-than-50% chance of a tightening in September.

The biggest factor will be Wednesday’s Fed meeting minutes as the minutes are from the July 28-29 meeting, after which there was no news conference.

The picture is expected to get clear on how the Fed is thinking about a potential September rate rise. 

An aggressive sentiment coming out of these minutes will probable pull down gold prices but on the other hand dovish minutes could offer some support

Additionally, traders will keep close tabs on U.S. economic data-

  • Monday- The New York Federal Reserve’s Empire State manufacturing
  • Tuesday- Housing
  • Wednesday- Consumer inflation
  • Thursday- jobless claims, the Philadelphia Fed’s business survey and sales of existing homes
The focus continues to be on what the Fed is going to do at its September meeting. It’s going to be the fundamental factor across the board as far as commodity markets are concerned, particularly gold.

Apart from this meeting, traders and analysts will also keep a watch on any comments coming out of the European Central Bank, in case policy-makers should hint at increased bond buying known as quantitative easing. Further QE could provide further support to gold prices. 

Given this picture, as of now majority of the market players expect gold prices to fare better in the week to come.

The primary purpose of this article by Mr. Prithviraj Kothari is to educate the masses of the current happenings in the Bullion world.
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"Gold To Be Pressured Downwards: RSBL"