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Showing posts with label Tax. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tax. Show all posts

Monday, 29 January 2018

$1375 an ounce - A Crucial Mark for gold

This past week will be remembered for the cracks it revealed in the global monetary and trade building. At the Davos conference, the expression became unusually vociferous and purposeful with accusations and threats flying in all directions. Contradictory statements being mocked at and investment opportunities being knocked at.

The one thing the brewing currency and trade wars are likely to inspire among the local populace is strong gold and silver demand in both its physical and paper forms. Speculators will be looking to capitalize on currency and market instability while private and institutional investors are likely to step up their hedging strategies.

The inverse relationship between the dollar and gold has gathered strength both from the administration’s protectionist policies and the massive increase in deficit spending projected to result from recent changes to U.S. tax law. Equities remain strong, but the dollar has fallen, as might be expected, and gold prices have benefited with the drop in the U.S. dollar.


The price of gold rose 13% last year, about half as much as the Dow Jones Industrial Average and less than half as much as the Nasdaq Composite. On Thursday it reached a 12-month peak at over $1,362 an ounce, following what have now been characterized as misconstrued comments by U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on the Trump administration’s view that a weak dollar is a positive for U.S. exports.

With potentially conflicting comments, the weakness of otherwise of The U.S. dollar from U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and President Trump, the gold market didn’t know which way to run. 

In morning trade on Thursday, gold jumped to its best level since August 2016 touching a high of $1,365.40 an ounce after comments from US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin at the World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland sent the dollar lower.

Mnuchin had to backtrack, but not particularly convincingly, on his weaker dollar being beneficial to the U.S. economy statement lest he be accused of talking the dollar down in conflict with U.S. assurances that it would not do so. 

The dollar was on track for its biggest weekly decline since May. President Donald Trump’s comments on Thursday that he wanted a “strong dollar” failed to lend much support, a day after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said a weaker greenback would help short-term U.S. trade balances.

President Trump’s Davos statement suggested he was in favour of a stronger dollar, contrary to his earlier position on the currency, and following this the dollar rose, and gold fell on Thursday.
The metal reversed course in the afternoon after US President Donald Trump told CNBC that Mnuchin’s comments had been misinterpreted:

“The dollar is going to get stronger and stronger and ultimately I want to see a strong dollar,” Trump said.

Gold prices rose on Friday, after falling from 1-1/2-year highs in the previous session, as the dollar remained weak despite U.S. President Donald Trump backing a stronger currency.
Spot gold had climbed 0.6 percent to $1,355.16 per ounce during Friday trading hours.

 The US dollar reverted to lower levels in Friday afternoon trade in the U.S. and gold rose back above $1,350 before activity in the futures markets and gentle dollar support brought gold back to heel and the yellow metal ended the week a fraction under the key $1,350 level.

Gold and the US dollar usually move in opposite directions and the greenback has declined sharply against major currencies since Trump's inauguration. The euro has gained 15% against the US currency, the British pound more than 13% and the Canadian dollar nearly 8% in little over a year.

Gold has gained more than $100 an ounce since mid-December. Large-scale speculators increase their exposure to gold on derivatives markets by doubling net long positions – bets that gold will be more expensive in future – in the space of three weeks to the equivalent of 20m ounces.
Retail and institutional investment in gold-backed exchange traded funds (ETFs) also continues to grow.

According to data compiled by Bloomberg ETF vaults now hold around 2,250 tonnes, the most since May 2013, as investors piled in ahead of a US government shutdown.
         
The break above $1,330 has given fuel to gold's rally and the first target of this movement could be seen at $1,375 and if it crosses this mark then the rally could continue with targets at $1,390 and potentially at $1,415.

To an impartial (relatively) external observer of the market, the gold price did appear to be trying to rebound back above $1,350 but kept being knocked back again.  Whether it can build sufficient momentum to breach the $1,350 level permanently remains to be seen, but one suspects it will do so barring any major adverse news or data.


Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Will 2017 end on a negative note for gold

It was a soft week for gold as we saw prices declining over a strengthening U.S Dollar.
The U.S dollar recovered at the start of the week after the US Senate passed its tax reform bill. This created pressure on gold and hence the yellow metals price declined during Asian trading hours on Monday, 4th December.

The dollar strengthened over tax reform bill passed on Sunday, 3rd December. With both bills calling for a reduction in the corporate tax rate to 20%, US tax reform progress is expected to help sustain growth in corporate capital investment.


The upside for the yellow metal was capped after the dollar rose and equities markets rejoiced in response to the US Senate passing the bill. A House- Senate conference committee will now work to resolve the differences between the House and Senate tax bills

Moreover, markets now gear up for the next Fed meeting due to be held this week from 12- 13 December. Now with the market expecting an interest rate rise, the weakness we are seeing is a pre effect of this expectation.

This negative sentiment for gold continued throughout the week, as we saw gold prices dropping over Thursday.

Gold surrendered majority of the early modest recovery gains and was placed at the lower end of its daily trading range, around the $1245 region.

However, the precious metal edged up during the Asian session on Friday as investors resorted to bargain hunting, especially after the overnight slump to its lowest level in more than four months. The initial uptick, however, turned out to be short-lived and was being capped by a strong follow-through US Dollar, which tends to dent demand for dollar-denominated commodities - like gold.

Meanwhile, a goodish pickup in the US Treasury bond yields was also seen driving flows away from the non-yielding yellow metal. Moreover, the prevalent risk-on mood, as depicted by strong gains across global equity markets, further dented the precious metal's safe-haven appeal and collaborated to the slide over the past hour or so.

Currently the scenario is such that entire focus is on the fact that is pulling down gold prices.

Rising equity markets,
A rising dollar on the back of a likely tax deal out of Congress before yearend,
The certainty of more Fed rate hikes
The next Fed meet on December 13 - and
Other attractive speculative alternatives including art, real estate, bitcoin, etc

Are all putting a dent in the short term investment prospects for the yellow metal as investors look for better returns elsewhere. 

However we can’t just ignore the currently subtle uncertainties out there which could turn the scenario around for gold – notably
Mueller’s investigation, a geopolitical crisis per se North Korea
Trump Administration internal problems 
A further possible Middle East conflagration
An escalation in the Trump/Iran rhetoric (which some suggest could lead to military action), the much predicted crash in equities markets and
A possible bursting of the bitcoin bubble
Even though all of the above mentioned points don’t seem to erupt in the near future, it may extent to 2018, but still they can’t be ignored as they will be playing a significant role in the gold price movement in the long run.




Monday, 13 February 2017

GOLD STABILISES AMIDST UNCERTAINTIES

While when gold was just about to continue to maintain its 3 month high last week, there was a sudden pull back and gold prices moved lower by the end of the week.

Gold steadied on Friday, but remained below the week's three-month top as the U.S. dollar and Treasury yields came off their highs after the currency initially jumped on U.S. President Donald Trump's promise of a major tax announcement.


Gold was being pushed and pulled amidst various factors that played key roles in influencing gold prices-

Interest Rate - Gold slid on Thursday from a three-month high in the previous session after strong U.S. economic data pointed to a robust economy, increasing the possibility that the Federal Reserve will raise U.S. interest rates.
U.S. economic data has also strengthened talk that the Federal Reserve would press ahead with U.S. interest rate hikes sooner rather than later.
Gold is highly sensitive to rising U.S. interest rates which increases the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion while boosting the dollar  in which it is priced.

Dollar and Data - U.S. economic data also underpinned the dollar. Initial jobless claims unexpectedly dropped last week to a nearly 43-year low, while inventories at wholesalers surged in December for a second straight month. U.S. import prices rose more than expected in January.
The data showing rising U.S. wholesale inventories and an unexpectedly low number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits further pushed up the dollar and U.S. bond yields.                        
A stronger dollar makes gold more expensive for holders of other currencies, while higher yields increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion. Higher interest rates would lift yields further.
           
Tax Announcement - Donald Trump plans to announce the most ambitious tax reform plan since the Reagan era in the next few weeks, the White House said.
On Thursday, sending stock prices and the dollar higher on hopes leading to a cut in corporate tax rates.

French Elections - Investors are concerned about the strong showing in the French presidential race of far-right candidate Marine Le Pen, who has promised to take France out of the euro zone and to hold a referendum on European Union membership.

Gold held near 3-month highs on Thursday as political risks from elections in Europe and worries over U.S. President Donald Trump's policies buoyed safe haven demand for the bullion.

While gold was stabilised by Friday. It was still amongst the favourites for investors. Many of them are being bullish for gold – Reasons being :

  • Controversy over U.S. President Donald Trump's temporary travel ban on people from seven Muslim-majority countries has recently boosted gold as a safe-haven asset.
  • Further geo-political uncertainties, increasing hostilities in the Ukraine, Greek bailouts, French elections, Iran-U.S. sabre-rattling have supported gold prices and drawn interest from investors who seek support in safe haven assets.
  • Investors' bullish stance on gold is reinforced by an increase in net longs by speculators and a rise in holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund. (SPDR holdings rose 0.68 percent to 832.58 tonnes on Wednesday from Tuesday, rising for a sixth straight session.)

Increasing uncertainties has increased the demand for gold as a hedge. Amidst all this, gold prices are expected to rise till Mid Feb. Once January CPI data is released, it will give an idea about the possibility of a rate hike in March which will then be a deciding factor in the movement of gold prices.