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Showing posts with label QE3. Show all posts
Showing posts with label QE3. Show all posts

Sunday, 16 November 2014


by Mr. Prithviraj Kothari, MD, RSBL

Gold's long term appeal continues to remain clouded by doubt. The dollar is getting stronger and the US economy is on the forefront and traders believe that interest rates will rise faster which weighs on gold as they lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets.

Till Thursday, gold price remained in a tight trading range. Precious metals sliced back early gains on Thursday after the lower than expected jobs number were released. Unemployment claims climbed 290000 more than the estimated 282,000 and Jolts jobs opening disappointed at 4.74 million against the expected 4.81 million.

The WGC released its Gold demand Trends report for Q3 and it showed that gold demand has been lying low along with the declining demand for jeweller, falling investment demand for bars and coins and reducing central bank purchases.

For the past few days gold has been hovering around $1159.20. But lately, gold has stabilised. After hitting its weakest level of the year till date on November 7.

But on Friday gold got the big push after a sudden weakening of the US dollar . Gold surged 2.5 percent on Friday to just shy of $1,200 an ounce.

Bullion secured more that $40 to a two -week high at $1,193.34 in New York after dropping more than 1 percent in early trade to test the $1,145 level, where strong support was seen twice in the last four sessions, triggering pre-weekend short covering.

Now that the dollar has been moving back and forth and everybody is watching the dollar very closely.

The dollar lately has hit a two-year high against the euro and seven-year high against the Japanese yen, fuelled by diverging interest-rate outlooks.

There are expectations that the US monetary policy will tighten next year as it is considered to be a stronger economy than Japan or the Euro zone. Which further dictates the fact the US dollar will strengthen  as precious metals often move inversely to the U.S currency, it means that they are bound to decline. 

Gold is often bought as an alternative currency when the dollar weakens, and vice-versa, while a muscular dollar also makes all commodities more expensive in other currencies and thus can hurt demand.

Next week a number of key economic indicators are lined and all investors will be closely watching over these. 

Monday- Industrial production and the New York Federal Reserve’s Empire State manufacturing index
Tuesday-  The producer price index 
Wednesday-  Housing and the Federal Open Market Committee releases minutes of its last meeting.
Thursday-  Jobless claims, the consumer price index, existing home sales and Philadelphia Fed manufacturing survey.

Moreover on Wednesday one of the key influential factors will the upcoming US economy data which will be a deciding factor for the Fed to decide as to when it is likely to increase the interest rates.

Apart from the key economic indicators traders will also we keeping an eye on physical demand for gold and the Swiss refendrum.

Demand -China and India are the world’s two largest gold-consuming nations. The Indian wedding season will primarily witness gold buying and the Chinese too stock up the metal ahead of the country’s New Year festivities.

Swiss referendum- Swiss gold referendum is scheduled for Nov. 30. In this referendum the Swiss voters will decide whether the Swiss National Bank would have to hold at least 20% of its assets in the precious metal. This would open doors for more demand for gold as the central bank would have to accumulate much more gold, adding to the requirement side of the equation. Also, the referendum asks voters if the SNB should be banned from selling gold and whether all of its gold reserves should be held in Switzerland.

With the Dollar Index at a four-year high, the U.S. stocks reaching new highs, disinflation occurring in Europe and Asia, and commodity prices plunging, the gold prices have a hard time rallying. 

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 -
"Is Gold Being Completely Controlled By The Dollar?"

Sunday, 2 November 2014


by Mr. Prithviraj Kothari, MD, RSBL

Since December 2008 to June 2011, gold rose 70 % as the Fed bought debt and held borrowing costs near zero percent. 

Last year being the worst performing year for gold, as prices slumped 28 per cent as the markets had expected that the central bank would taper its monthly stimulus program which was the main reason for the spark rise in gold in 2011. 

After spending much of the month bouncing off a triple-bottom low around $1,180 made on Oct. 6, and previously in December and June 2013, gold prices turned weaker and spent the last week and a half drifting lower.  

The U.S. Federal Reserve had dismissed financial market volatility, a slowdown in Europe and a weak inflation outlook as factors that might undercut progress towards its unemployment and inflation goals.

The hawkish comments and the strong economic data dulled gold’s appeal as a hedge. This continued to put pressure on gold. 

Post FOMC, gold dropped more than $20. The market recouped some losses edging back up to $1215, but early London were aggressive sellers, pressuring the market another $20 lower to a low of $1196.50.

Moreover, on Wednesday, The Fed ended its monthly bond purchase program and dropped a characterization of U.S. labour market slack as "significant" in a show of confidence in the economy's prospects. As the Federal Reserve ended its asset purchase program amidst signs of a growing and improving US economy, gold lost its appeal as a safe haven asset and demand to won gold declined. 

Gold is 0.6 % lower in October after losing 6.2 % last month, and the metal during the last session erased the year’s advance as Dollar Spot Index rose to a three-week high. Gold traded USD 1160.85 while Silver and Platinum tested respective support levels of 15.80 and 1220. Gold support for the short term is expected at $1150.

Apart from this, there were few other reasons responsible for the crash in gold and silver prices.

Central Bank Interest Rate - The central bank, which has held its key rate at zero to 0.25 percent since 2008, this week cited an improving job market in deciding to end bond buying, while maintaining a commitment to keep rates low for a considerable time. It also said inflation is running below its 2 percent target.

SDPR Gold Trust- Reflecting bearish sentiment, SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 0.16 percent to 741.20 tons on Thursday, the least since Oct. 2008.

US DataPrecious metals cratered, hit by a double-whammy of the rather hawkish Fed policy statement, coupled with a stronger-than-expected US GDP report. Fed officials this week cited an improving job market in deciding to end bond-buying, while maintaining a commitment to keep interest rates low for a considerable time. 

Dollar- Gold and silver were hit hard after the dollar rose to a near four-week high against a basket of major currencies on Friday, Reuters reported. The greenback got a boost from strong US gross domestic product data and the Bank of Japan’s surprise move to expand its massive monetary easing that weakened the yen.

Bond Buying Program- Gold was languishing near a three-week low on Thursday after the U.S. Federal Reserve ended its bond-buying stimulus program and expressed confidence in the economic recovery, dimming bullion's safe-haven appeal.

Lack Of Support From Asian markets- Gold failed to get any support from the Asian physical markets, a factor that could likely push it to further lows. Physical demand usually provides a floor to dropping prices.

China's factory activity unexpectedly fell to a five month low in October as firms fought slowing orders and rising costs in the slow moving economy.

Buyers in top consumer China failed to emerge despite the drop below $1,200. Gold of 99.99 percent purity on the Shanghai Gold Exchange - the main platform for physical trades in the country - sank as much as 3.1 percent to 230.05 Yuan per gram ($1,172.35 an ounce), the lowest level this year, Bloomberg reported. Volumes tumbled to a one-month low on Friday.
For the coming week, gold is expected to be influenced by any comments coming in from the ECB and also any important data cropping from the October U.S nonfarm payroll report. Following Thursdays GDP growth reports news, the Federal Reserve is more upbeat on the labour markets and the Federal Open Market Committee meeting to be held on Wednesday expects a strong data report. This may make the bearish sentiments strong for gold.


Gold/Silver price range
Gold/Silver price range
$1150 - $1200 
an ounce
Rs.25,500 - Rs.26,750 
per 10gm
$15.00 - $17.00 
an ounce
Rs.34,000 - Rs.37,500 
per kg

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 - "Gold Once Again Surrenders In Front Of Gold"

Sunday, 14 September 2014


by Mr. Prithviraj Kothari, MD, RSBL

Over the fortnight gold has witnessed a severe decline in prices. The first week kicked off with a plunge in gold prices and the same continued this week too. Historically September month has been the best performing month for gold, however this year it kicked off on a negative role as we saw that gold prices have declined by 3%. On Friday, a low of $1225.90 was set when lower than expected Chinese industrial production for the month of August was released. A strengthening US dollar and the expected change to the FOMC's policy have played an important role in this decline in gold prices. Gold has been destabilized by the lethal combination of a stronger US dollar and a supple equities. Adding to it is the lack of inflation in the major economies. 

Let's have a look at major factors which could continue to play negative on gold:

Euro tumbled to multi year lows last week after ECB slashed interest rate by 0.1% across the board as inflation and growth remained a concern.

The surging US dollar has been acting as a bearish factor for the precious metals. The dollar index was at a 14 month high on Friday and was steadily on track to post its ninth consecutive week of gains. A strong US data and a fall in Euro has strengthened the dollar even further and raised expectations that the US Federal Reserve would soon raise interest rates.

On the geopolitics front, U.S. President Obama said Wednesday evening that the U.S. military will use more air strikes against the ISIS terrorists, but will put no troops on the ground in the Middle East. That news was not unexpected and had little markets impact. The Russia- Ukraine cease fire was holding up and the Ukrainian President on Wednesday quoted that most Russian troops have pulled away from the Russia- Ukraine border. 
With geopolitical concerns seems to be easing out, there seems to be little support for gold.

Moreover, Investment demand in Gold has been showing no improvement.  Weak investor sentiment was reflected in the SPDR Gold trust that saw holdings drop 0.32 tonnes to 788.40 tonnes on Friday. Hedge funds and money managers cut bullish futures and option bets in Gold to their lowest in nearly three months, the Commodity Futures Commission said on Friday.

The demand for gold globally has not picked that well this year. Asian countries aren't witnessing the same patterns of buying when the rate was the same in the previous years. Moreover in the past, such price falls would have attracted bargain hunters. Not now.

The 11-year rally in gold prices created a perception that they will only go up. This price fall has broken that conviction, Now people are diversifying their Investments. This trend will increase in the coming years but expectations of a tightening in super-loose U.S. monetary policy would weigh on gold.

Although, gold prices have been declining since last year, the metal does remain an attractive investment in China. Demand for gold in China will grow steadily as the middle class expands and the Yuan is further internationalized which will require an increase in gold reserves.

Looking ahead, the near term outlook for Gold and silver looks towards downside in international dollar terms. This is the direct impact of improving US economy and looming interest rate rises which will continue to discourage investor buying and in fact lead to selling. I do feel that slowly and steadily the rates will be hiked depending on the economy's growth. This will provide the breather for both the metals.

Traders and investors are already looking ahead to next week, and a more robust batch of economic data points, highlighted by the meeting of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee (FOMC). Its one of the most important meeting where it would debate on  potential overhaul of its guidance on interest rates and would decide on how QE3 can be exited. Next week is also the much-anticipated referendum on Scotland’s independence from the U.K


$1202 - $1252.70 
an ounce
Rs.26,200 - Rs.27,500 
per 10 gm
$18.20 - $19.70 
an ounce
Rs.39,500- Rs.43,500 
per kg

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 - "A Booster Month For Gold"

Monday, 16 June 2014

Safe haven buying returns: Gold in picture!

          - by Mr. Prithviraj Kothari, MD, RSBL

As the week ended, Gold once again became the centre of attraction in the commodities market.  

Bullion metals rallied on Thursday. Gold was at a three week high on Thursday, sustained by safe haven buying following outbreak of violence in Iraq and disappointing economic news out of the US. Last month it was Ukraine, this month it’s Iraq.

Iraq was once again the topic of discussion as civil war has broken out in that country amid escalating violence. Crude oil prices were sharply higher on Thursday, mostly on the Iraq news. The bigger worry is that the violence in Iraq could spread to other Arab countries. Insurgents linked to al-Qaeda seized northern cities of Mosul and Tikrit on Wednesday. Post this, gold and silver prices shot up due to their safe-haven appeal. The U.S. said that it is working with Iraq's leaders on a coordinated response to regain lost territory and would provide additional assistance to Baghdad. 

Along with this crisis, came in a report from the US that was not as per expectations. US unemployment claims and retail sales came in below expectations, giving investors an excuse to sell equities with sentiment relatively risk averse were also friendly for the gold market.

Claims increased by 4,000 to 317,000. That was roughly in-line with the consensus estimate, which was pegged at 315,000. Total retail sales for May increased 0.3%. Excluding autos, they were up 0.1%. Those results were below the consensus estimates, which called for increases of 0.7% and 0.4%, respectively. Separately, April business inventories rose 0.6%, while the consensus expected an uptick of 0.4%. This followed the prior month's unrevised increase of 0.4%. In other overnight news, industrial production in the European Union rose 0.8% in April from March and was up 1.4% year-on-year. The increase was a bit larger than forecast.

India's monsoon season is off to a slow start, and this could have implications for gold should it continue. A lack of rainfall would have a detrimental effect upon the wealth of Indian farmers, which in turn could inhibit the ability to buy gold in one of the world’s key gold consuming nation

In 2013, gold has entered the bear market after a long period of time. This tremendous dip in prices, led to a huge demand for gold in Asia. in April 2013 Asian demand came in, in tremendous force and drained the gold market of all of that tonnage from U.S. sellers of gold taking out a total from the developed world, over the entire year of 2013 around 1,188 tonnes of gold, refining it to 1 Kg bars in Switzerland before shipping it into Asian markets, particularly that of China. The gold price was halted in its fall at $1,280 making a double bottom at that price later in the year.

Now we see more than one reason for gold prices to move even further-
  1. Demand for gold from China remains robust with an annualized +2100 tonnes (approx.) set to being withdrawn from the Shanghai Gold Exchange in 2014. While this is less than the amount seen on 2013 it is sufficient to buoy the gold price at current levels
  2. The pricing power of the U.S. gold market that came with the 1,280 tonnes of gold has been used up. With the U.S. accounting for only 7.35% of global gold demand, the U.S. markets would have to rely on the influence of the derivatives market of COMEX.
  3. Gold is currently trading at $1280 and on the lower side it has a good support at $1210. So gold is more vulnerable to shoot up from here,
  4. Indian demand could reignite on the easing of gold import restrictions that severely curtailed Indian gold demand since August last year. The new ruling party is expected to review these restrictions in the budget in the next week or so.
  5. Geo-political tensions will play a key role as they have been doing over the years.

As Gold inches up, so will the Silver do! But Silver from a fundamental perspective of it being used in Industries will give it a boost as the economy shows sign of improvement. Moreover with the depreciation of rupee, Gold is expected to move upto the levels of USD 1300 and in India terms INR 28500 to 29000. 

Finally, one of the most awaited Headline: Platinum strike deal reached ‘in principle’. An agreement in principle has been reached between platinum producers and trade union AMCU, the companies said on Thursday. “AMCU will be discussing these in principle undertakings with its members to seek a mandate to accept the offers which, if given, will bring to an end the 21-week-long strike,” the platinum producers’ spokeswoman Charmane Russell said in a statement. Platinum lost 40 USD and traded down to a low of 1436.

USD may be under some downside pressure ahead of the US CPI also due tomorrow. The marquee event of the week has to be the FOMC decision due on Wednesday where the Fed is expected to leave its tapering course intact which will bring down the monthly asset purchase to $35 billion with the end date still likely to be October according to Fed Fisher. Traders will keep a close eye on the updated economic forecast which may be a tad more upbeat than previously which will help to give the USD a prop. Fed Chief Yellen's conference will also be closely eyed.

I expect gold to be in the range of $1265- $1305 and INR 26,800 – INR 28,500 in the international and domestic markets respectively.

On the other hand silver is expected to move in the range of $18.75- $20.10 and INR 40,100 - INR 45,000 in the international and domestic markets respectively.

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 -

Sunday, 8 June 2014


                                                     - by Mr. Prithviraj Kothari, MD, RSBL

Once again, gold was surrounded by a cloud of doubt.....doubt of gold being a safe haven asset...doubt of gold being the most dependable asset in times of uncertainty.

While Thursday showed signs of gold on the path of recovery, the US jobs data released on Friday once again proved fatal for gold. Bullion climbed 0.8 percent on Thursday, reaching the highest since May 30, after the euro strengthened against the dollar as the market discarded the European Central Bank’s unparalleled effort to weaken the single currency and strengthen growth. On Thursday, The European Central Bank announced a new and aggressive monetary stimulus package. This once again raises a question over the global economic recovery. This package along with dovish corresponding remarks from ECB president Mario Draghi  considered stock market and European bond market bullish. 

This move of the ECB has reinforced the notions of some in the market place that the U.S. Federal Reserve may be forced to back off its plan of “tapering” its quantitative easing. 

This has created a contradictory environment in the economic world where the European Union is stimulating its monetary policy while at the same time the Fed is tapering its monetary easing.

It was this tapering of the FED that gold saw its worst performance in 2013. It was in 2013 that we saw the yellow metal dropping almost 28 percent over expectations that the Federal Reserve will taper its monetary stimulus programme as the US economy strengthened. Since January, 2014, The Fed has made four tapers as we saw US moving gradually towards the path of recovery

This week too gold dropped on positive jobs data released on Friday. Gold prices fell on Friday as the dollar index swung back into positive territory, after a closely watched U.S. employment report came in almost exactly in line with expectations, showing a solid pace of hiring in May. Friday morning’s U.S. employment report for May showed a slightly higher than expected rise of 217,000 in non-farm payrolls. The key in the report was forecast to rise by 210,000. Nonfarm payrolls increased last month, the Labor Department said on Friday, against expectations for a 218,000 rise, while data for March and April was revised to show 6,000 fewer jobs created than previously reported.

The bearish trend in the international market is further expected to bring down gold prices in the near term. This sentiment further strengthened as premium on gold in the domestic markets dropped. 

At the same time, gold consumers in India are waiting to exhale. Consumers in India are following the "wait and watch" policy as they expect prices to decline below the crucial Rs.25,000 level in the near future as the market expect customs duty to decline.

Post election, gold premiums have dropped drastically. premiums had slid from 10% to 1% and 2%, soon after the government allowed premier trading houses to import gold and increased the availability of the metal in the market. and markets have a positive feel towards a lot of sectors including precious metals. Investors and traders now await a new gold policy to be unveiled by the government.

Many have even postponed their purchases as they feel that prices will decline further.
Jewellers expect prices to slide further in the next 4-6 days, given the price slump in the international market.

In the international markets people have shifted focus from gold to equities. Following suit, In India too, stocks are stealing the lime light as gold has been sidelined. Moreover, customers expect a further fall in import duties after which gold prices are anticipated to fall further. Demand in the domestic market is also expected to remain slack for the next two months, as there is no festive season.

Many traders who had resorted to hoarding gold due to supply concerns would refrain from doing so now, as import norms for exporters have been relaxed to a certain extent, said jewellers. Moreover, June is considered a slow month as far as demand is concerned.

So as of now gold is just hanging around. While some people have shifted focus to equities and physical demand for gold isn't strong, the announcements of the ECB meeting has found some cover for gold.

Most people will just wait for the market to make a decisive move before entering at this dip.

While the only mantra now is wait and watch I expect gold to be in the range of $1238- $1273 and Rs.26,200- Rs.27,500 in the international and domestic markets respectively.

On the other hand silver is expected to move in the range of $18.15- $20.15 and Rs.39,500- Rs.41,000 in the international and domestic markets respectively.

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 -
"A Dreadful Week For Gold"

Monday, 19 May 2014

MODIfying India

-By Mr. Prithviraj Kothari, MD, RSBL (RiddiSiddhi Bullions Ltd.)

Firstly, heartiest congratulations to Mr. Narendra Modi on his historic win. It was a time for celebration for entire India. messages, jokes, headlines etc were exchanged as Mr. Narendra Modi enjoyed a momentous win in the worlds largest democracy.

As India welcomes its most awaited PM with open arms, we saw Mr. Modi's effect extending across all assets class.

Friday at the prospect of a stable government led by Mr. Modi, whose own state, Gujarat, prospered under his leadership. stocks and the rupee jumped on optimism that Modi will make good on campaign promises to create jobs and attract foreign investment in all sectors except for multi-brand retail.

Indian rupee also benefited, strengthening to an 11-month high of 58.63 rupees to the U.S. dollar Friday. and Sensex sky rocketed at 25,000 (1400 points up.) while results were still being out.
This appreciation of the rupees pushed bullion prices down.

Gold and silver tumbled terribly on Friday. Though in the international market gold was at a weekly gain, in India , the prices declined as the rupee strengthened. Gold plunged almost 350 rupees and silver was down 825 rupees on the commodities exchange. Meanwhile, in the international market gold was playing a different move.

After dropping more than 1 percent on Wednesday, spot gold prices gained on Thursday as investors digested comments by Federal Reserve chair person that central banks are in no rush to reduce the size of its balance sheet. 

The yellow metal was also supported by escalation of geo-political tensions as pro-Moscow separatists in eastern Ukraine ignored a call by Russian President Vladimir Putin to postpone a referendum on self-rule, a move that could lead to war. However, comments from European Central Bank President Mario Draghi's that the bank may act to stem falling inflation at its June meeting knocked the euro and the strength in dollar capped sharp gains in prices.

Gold prices fell on Thursday on positive US unemployment claims data which weakened the precious metals complex while dollar strength added to the bearish sentiments.
Stronger growth is expected post the poor winter growth. backed up by data this week showing strong housing starts and an uptick in consumer prices, might move up the Fed's plans for raising benchmark interest rates from near zero.

Half of the sates in US now have unemployment rates below 6 per cent. This figure shows that the jobs market in US is improving but at a slow pace. While employers in 39 states added jobs, we see that hiring too is picking up well.

On Friday, Gold saw slight gains in Asia before it fell to $1291.95  and then bounced back to $1296.09 in the next four hours of trade, but it then dropped to a new session low of $1288.02 after  housing data was released and the yellow metal ended with a loss of 0.19%.  Silver slipped to as low as $19.271 and ended with a loss of 0.62%.

The Economy

Housing Starts
Building Permits
Michigan Sentiment


For now, the gold market’s key drivers are, first and foremost, the flow of U.S. economic indicators as they affect expectations about prospective Federal Reserve monetary policy . . . and, second, of a more temporary nature, the ebb and flow of geopolitical anxieties arising from events in and around Ukraine.

Now that India has formed  a stable government and that the world picture is minutely fading and getting clear, market players are once again expected a rally in gold prices.

Reasons Being- 

Import duty reforms in India- The his morning, for example, as I write the news has come through that India’s ruling Congress party has conceded defeat in the world’s biggest democratic election to Narendra Modi’s BJP which may even win enough votes to take power on its own without its coalition partners. The BJP is thought to be more sympathetic to gold and could repeal, or reduce, the import restrictions that have led to India falling from first place as the world’s biggest gold consumer. 
This will lead to a rise in demand for gold from India which in turn will push gold prices high.

Physical Demand- Demand for gold from China is also expected to provide support for gold. This factor will give gold a wild card entry into the bulls market. over the next three to five years the demand from Asia and, also from Central Banks which have been buying gold rather than selling it over the past couple of years, will actually be sufficient to drive the gold price higher.

U.S. Economy- Many traders expect the US economy to deteriorate further which will compel the Fed to rethink about its policy prospects. The recent statistical improvement in the U.S. economy is little more than a bounce back from the past winter’s weather-induced economic chill. 

As a more realistic view of economic prospects takes hold, the financial markets will re-assess expectations of Fed policy – and this could be the catalyst triggering a resumption of gold’s long-term bull market. 

At the same time, equities are due for a setback – perhaps mild, more likely not so gentle. Either way, the competition for investment funds between equities and gold – a competition that equities have won in recent years – will shift increasingly toward bullion
when we expect to see a deterioration in the economic indicators and a reassessment of Fed policy prospects.

De- Dollarization- Russia is actively pushing on with plans to put the US dollar in the rear-view mirror and replace it with a dollar-free system. Or, as it is called in Russia, a “de-dollarized” world.
Russian Ministry of Finance wants to reduce the share of dollar denominated transactions and is hence ready to green light a plan to radically in the role of Russian ruble in export operations. Dollar will then be replaced by gold. This too will give a support to gold prices.

Geo-political tensions in Russia-  as we all know, tensions in Russia can escalate any moment thus increase the chances of a war. Any spark in the geo-political crisis in Russia will shoot up gold prices.

Meanwhile, gold is expected to range between $1272 to $1310 in the international market and Rs. 28,000- Rs.29,000 in the domestic market. 
On the other hand silver is expected to range between $18.80-$20.00 and Rs.40,000- Rs.42,500 in the international and domestic markets respectively.

The primary purpose of this blog (Prithviraj Kothari's view on Bullion Markets - MD, RSBL(Riddisiddhi Bullions Ltd.)) is to educate the masses of the current happenings in the Bullion world.

- Previous blog- "Gold on a see-saw"

Monday, 28 April 2014

Gold Gains Momentum, Investors Gain Confidence!

- By Mr. Prithviraj Kothari, MD, RSBL

While gold gained momentum, investors gained confidence in gold. Gold spurred the longest price rally in six months. Initially gold was on low, but prices got pushed higher by the end of the week.

On Monday, gold fell to nearly a three week low as we witnessed outflows from the worlds biggest bullion backed Exchange Traded Fund (ETF). Moreover, a lack of a further increase in geopolitical tension also prompted selling in gold. Last week, the fund's outflows totalled 9.3 tonnes, erasing all the gains made in the year.  

Gold fell to its lowest since mid-February on Tuesday after U.S. housing data beat expectations, boosting confidence in the U.S. economic recovery and lifting stock markets, which hurt gold's appeal as an alternative investment. 

On Wednesday, gold had firmed its position above a two and a half month low of $1,268.24 due to firmer equities and a weaker technical picture that had triggered strong selling,

However, the tables turned on Thursday as rising geopolitical tensions and options related buying helped gold in moving in the opposite direction and reverse the early sharp losses

Bullion prices mounted after Ukrainian forces killed up to five pro-Moscow rebels as they closed in on the separatists' military stronghold in the east. 

In March, bullion Prices reached a 6 month high after Russia took over Crimea. But then it fell almost 9 percent on signs that peace would return. But once again Hostilities this week are bringing back the gold bulls. Tensions between Moscow and Western powers over Ukraine are lending gold support, but it remains in a somewhat fragile situation as interest from long-term investors is still absent.

Though on the basis of the economic indicators of the US economy, there were signs of recovery, the conflict between Russia and Ukraine spurred traders to unwind bets on a drop. The metal has risen 8.2 percent in 2014 even though economic recovery has pushed the Federal Reserve to reduce its monetary easing. This tapering was responsible behind the 28 per cent drop in gold in 2013 because if the Fed would scale back its bond purchase then gold would lose its appeal of being an inflation hedge tool.

Apart from the Ukraine crisis, another big news that made rounds in the market was that major international banks were jettisoning their commodities business.*

Around 20 US based investors have filed antitrust claims against major leading banks over the past two months.  These investors have accused Barclay, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Bank of Nova Scotia and Societe Generale of colluding to manipulate the gold price.

The court cases are complicating negotiations that Deutsche Bank had started with potential buyers after it announced in January that it was putting its seat at the fix up for sale, a source with knowledge of the matter said. In case any such decision is taking of discontinuing the commodity trading wings business then this will definitely calm down the price volatility of bullion prices.

Another fact the will play a major role in determining the gold prices is the worldwide demand from gold. CHINA- Chinese demand for gold is set to increase from the current level of 1,132 tonnes a year to 1,350 by 2017, cementing its place as the world’s largest gold market. According to report published by the World Gold Council, entitled:  ‘China’s gold market: progress and prospects’, private demand for gold in China will see sustained growth over the next four years.

China does not report any trade numbers. The only source of procuring these gold export numbers to China is through Hong Kong as its the prime medium of gold for China. But now that China has allowed Gold imports via Beijing, it may threaten Hong Kong’s export numbers to mainland.

INDIA- Physical demand in India over the next week is expected to rise as the country welcomes the auspicious occasion of Akshaya Tritiya on may 2. This could result in a slight pickup in gold demand , but with the heavy tariffs placed on gold, there are questions on how much buying will actually occur.

UK- Demand for gold from UK is tend to augment as investors are saving up for retirement with the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority considering adding bullion to its list of “standard assets. Last year, the FCA was replaced by The Financial Services Authority to oversee market regulation. They published a consultation paper with the list in 2012, asking whether other types of investment should be added. Various forms like Cash, bonds and exchange-traded commodities were included but  physical gold was not. There are expectations that gold may be added to the list by June. If any such possibility materializes then demand for gold from UK will definitely rise as gold is on the radar of more mainstream investors. 

Next week is full of revelation for gold as the market moving and price deterring event will unwrap for gold. With a Federal Reserve monetary policy meeting and April non-farm payrolls data set for release; additionally, any change in the standoff between Russia and Ukraine has the ability to move markets.

Moreover, The Federal Open Market Committee meets Tuesday and Wednesday, and economists said they expect the Fed to announce another $10 billion-a-month cut in its quantitative easing program, and on Friday the Labor Department is scheduled to release its April non-farm payrolls data.

Gold traders will have to be nimble next week as these headline-making events could cause volatile market action. Because of the uncertainty over the Ukraine situation, several gold-market players believe that gold prices will once again move upwards.


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