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Showing posts with label UK. Show all posts
Showing posts with label UK. Show all posts

Monday, 5 February 2018

Where is Gold Heading To

AN upbeat U.S data and a strong dollar played key roles to pull down gold prices during the week. A lot was expected to happen over the number of data releases-

US employment report, ahead of that there is
Data on Spanish unemployment,
UK construction PMI
EU PPI
Italian CPI
US data on factory orders
University of Michigan consumer sentiment
Inflation expectation.

Of these, markets remained focussed on U.S nonfarm payrolls data and gold seemed to be behaving reacting to this influential factor


An expectation of strong economic number coming in from US strengthened the dollar. Spot gold was down 0.3 percent at $1,345.22 an ounce as the dollar ticked up against the euro ahead of hotly anticipated U.S. non-farm payrolls data, which would further give fresh clues on the outlook for U.S. interest rates.

Stronger than expected numbers could shore up expectations for the Federal Reserve to press ahead with interest rates hikes this year thus increasing the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion

The dollar rose 0.2 percent against the single currency in early trade, though it remained on track for a seventh straight weekly loss. Its early signs of strength pressured gold, which is priced in the U.S. unit. Once data was out, gold didn’t show that great reverse effect as expected.

 Gold ended the week little changed, after rising in six out of the last seven weeks and hitting its highest in 17 months last week at $1,366.07.

 Data released was as follows -   

Nonfarm payrolls and unemployment rate- non-farm payrolls grew by 200,000 in January and the unemployment rate was 4.1 percent, while wages saw their biggest jump since the end of the Great Recession, the Bureau of Labour Statistics said in a closely watched report Friday.

Hourly Earnings- More importantly, average hourly earnings increased 2.9 percent on an annualized basis, the best gain since the early days of the recovery in 2009. In addition to the solid payroll growth, average hourly earnings were up 0.3 percent for the month, matching estimates and reflecting an annualized gain of 2.9 percent. That was the best since mid-2009 as the two-year economic slump was coming to a close. However, the average work week fell two-tenths to 34.3 hours.

Within the jobs report, Wall Street and policymakers are watching wage numbers closely. While job gains have been solid and consistent, salary growth has been elusive. This report could change the narrative and might push the Fed to get more aggressive with interest rate hikes.

The Fed held interest rates unchanged after its latest policy meeting this week but raised its inflation outlook and flagged "further gradual" rate increases.           
 
During the December meeting, the Federal Reserve said that it expects that economic conditions “warrant gradual increases,” in the federal funds rate, and added that inflation declined in 2017 and was running below 2%.

Should the Federal Reserve reaffirm expectations for three rates hikes, bond yields could surge.
Some market participants warned, however, that the yellow metal may face a period of weakness as physical gold demand is expected to decline as seasonality is starting to fade ahead of the Chinese New Year.

With many other asset classes already at record price levels, there is a risk of corrections either while geopolitical developments unfold or as inflation and interest rates rise to the extent that investors take profits. Investors may well see gold as offering a relatively cheap safe haven while corrections unfold in other markets

Now gold has already broken above its 2017 high of $1357, as we had expected, before retreating over the past few days. It has now taken out some short-term support levels in the process, but the key support levels such as $1335 and $1325 are still intact, so the long-term technical bullish outlook remains in place for the time being. If we are going to see new highs for the year in the coming days, then gold will have to break back above those short-term broken levels, which are now acting as resistance. Among these, $1344/45 is an interesting level to watch today. If there’s acceptance above it then don’t be surprised to see gold go back above $1357 – the 2017 high – soon. And if gold were to get back to these levels then it would increase the probability of it reaching for liquidity that is resting above the 2016 high of $1375 next. On the flip side, if $1335 gives way first, then one will have to consider the bearish argument, more so if it also goes below $1325.



Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Effect of Presidential Election and BREXIT on Bullion Market

So Far, bullion has witnessed a 9.6 percent rise in prices mainly due to the prevailing political uncertainty over Trump’s unorthodoxy, European elections and Brexit ruffle confidence.
The yellow metal reached near a four month high last week amid intensified political uncertainty in the U.S. and the EU.

All precious metals have made gains, gold, silver, platinum and palladium, as both the euro and the dollar weakened over the week. Let's take a look as to what factors contributed to the rise and how far an important role will they play in the near future.

US uncertainty- Gold prices have hit a four month high to reaching their highest level since Donald Trump won the election.


The metal is considered as a safe haven asset for money and values rise when markets are in turmoil or in times of uncertainty. This sentiment has raised the demand for gold especially from investors thus pushing  its prices higher.

As markets await a major speech by US president Donald Trump, we saw equates retreating and dollar hesitating thus strengthening gold prices and shaking off most of the losses incurred following the surprise election result, as markets continue to unwind Trump trade.

Fed Rate Hike- Last Wednesday's release of minutes from the last FOMC meeting on January 31 – February 1 struck a slightly more hawkish tone as Fed members discussed the appropriateness of another rate hike 'fairly soon.' concerns over the risks and uncertainties surrounding the Trump Administration's fiscal stimulus plans as well as a strengthening US dollar tempered that hawkish stance. In the end, markets were once again left with continued ambiguity regarding the pace of monetary policy tightening in the coming months. Indeed, the Fed Fund futures market still saw a low percentage probability of a March rate hike – in the high-teens to low-20's – a day after release of the FOMC minutes. This sustained policy uncertainty helped weigh on the dollar while boosting the price of gold further. Reduced expectations of a US rate hike in March following the release of the minutes from the US Federal Reserve's last meeting are also helping gold.

EU elections- Despite the virtually relentless rally in US and global equity markets, geopolitical risks continued to abound, particularly in Europe. Article 50, which officially begins the process of separation between the UK and European Union ('Brexit'), is slated to be triggered no later than in March. A former European Commission official has recently stated that the triggering of Article 50 could lead to a 'complete breakdown' of UK/EU relations.

Additionally, France's far-right, anti-EU presidential candidate, Marine Le Pen, is leading in polls for the first round of the upcoming French elections. Although she is not currently favored to win against frontrunner Emmanuel Macron, any surprise victory by the populist/nationalist Le Pen will undoubtedly lead to serious questions about the future of the EU.

Geopolitical worries and political concerns in the EU continue which is leading a flight to safety bid in gold futures market and gold exchange traded funds (ETFs) and demand for safe haven gold bullion.

Dollar- The dollar looks vulnerable due to the uncertainty about US President Donald Trump and the new U.S. administration's policies. Overnight Trump attacked China and accused the Chinese of being ‘grand champions’ of currency manipulation.

This alone is quite bullish for gold. It does not create confidence about trade relations between the world's two biggest economies and it suggests that we may be about to embark on the next phase of the global currency wars.

The US president is to deliver his first speech to US Congress next week, after US Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin on Thursday said the impact of fiscal stimulus this year on the economy might be limited.

Amid these uncertainties in Europe as well as those in the US under the Trump Administration's still-hazy policy trajectory and the Fed's murky monetary policy, gold has continued to extend its sharp uptrend that began after price bottomed out around the $1125 support area in late December.