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Showing posts with label US. Show all posts
Showing posts with label US. Show all posts

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.


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.

Thursday, 24 January 2019

Gold has not Lost its lustre yet

Gold was at a life time high of $1921 an ounce in September 2011 when the US Federal Reserve was concluding its bond buying program (QE). During that period gold was everyone’s favourite metal. But by the end of 2015, gold prices declined to $1046. Sometime around that, the Federal Reserve, led by Janet Yellen has raised its key interest rates for the first time in 7 years. That’s the reason gold plunged. But now it seems that gold is finally emerging from an 8 year bear market. And that’s the reason we feel that gold has not lost its lustre yet.


They say that gold has an inverse relation with the dollar. When the dollar is strong gold is weak and vice versa.

It seems that gold has finally made a comeback and there are many factors responsible for this -
Gold seems to be driven by the fact that the current political standoff in Washington will lead to an escalation in crisis. Further the longest government shutdown in U.S history along with a gradually growing economy and rising global debt levels will add fuel to the fire. And when geopolitical issues are mentioned we can’t ignore the fact that the trade tensions between US and China have not been resolved yet. These factors strengthen the speculation of a push in gold prices.

Even though the dollar was up during the week, markets still prefer to stay loyal to gold.

Market watchers say the dollar may also come under pressure as the U.S. government shutdown begins to weigh on domestic growth. Having said that, gold prices are bound to rise.

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Is 2019 the year for Gold

2018 has a highly volatile and fluctuating year for gold as it faces many headwinds. A strong dollar, rate hikes by the US Federal Reserve (the Fed) coupled with accommodative policy from other central banks and a US economy buoyed by tax cuts, fuelled positive investor sentiment and pushed US stock prices higher through the start of October.

However, as geopolitical and macroeconomic risks increased, emerging market stocks pulled back and developed market stocks eventually followed.


As 2019 begun, have seen a sharp deterioration in risk sentiment following soft macroeconomic data in December and renewed concerns about the future direction of growth, particularly the risk of U.S. growth catching down towards weaker economies. December was a volatile month which generated a safe haven appeal for the yellow metal.

Lately gold has outperformed other assets in its class. Risk assets took a big hit in 2018, with the stock market suffering the worst in December but gold fared much better as it grew around 4 percent.

If we see the demand graph for gold for the next 6 to 8 months, we expect it to rise as it will benefit from the interplay of market risk and economic growth, with key dynamics, such as financial market instability, monetary policy, the dollar and structural economic reforms.

Rising geopolitical tensions- A fragile political alliance in Spain along with fending off secessionism, an instable monetary union in Italy, and internal turmoil in Europe and lastly social unrest in France- all of these clubbed together gave a very instable global picture. This growing uncertainty and the expansion of protectionist economic policies are making gold an increasingly attractive hedge tool.

Slow economic growth- Weak economic numbers coming from the US has spooked the markets. The U.S. manufacturing PMI (Purchasing Managers Index) hit a 15-month low in the same month. Manufacturers' confidence in business also slipped to the lowest level in nearly two years. This in turn affects the rate hike frequency thus influencing gold prices.

Federal Reserve’s monetary policy- The Fed had been tightening monetary policy aggressively. But on Jan. 4 Fed Chairman Jerome Powell signalled Wall Street that policymakers will be patient with policy moves and are attuned to the messages coming from markets. While gold may face headwinds from higher interest rates and dollar strength but currently the effect of the same seems to be limited on gold as the Feds stance is neutral. Any delay in rate hike will push gold prices higher.

Demand for gold as a hedge tool- Globally, there were net positive flows into gold-backed exchange-traded funds in 2018. However, North American funds suffered significant outflows in the second and third quarters, with this trend only reversing in the fourth quarter as risks began to intensify. But in 2019, global investors are expected to favour gold as an effective diversifier and hedge against systemic risk on multiple global metrics

Central Bank Buying- In addition, central banks continue to buy gold to diversify their foreign reserves and counterbalance fiat currency risk, particularly as emerging market central banks tend to have high allocations of US treasuries. Higher demand once again means higher prices for gold.

Time and again it is proved that gold has delivered returns and has performed better than other assets in its class. Moreover, its liquidity and risk adjusted returns makes it an investors favourite and hence its looks more relevant this year.



Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Gold benefits from equity slide

Reserves Reserves Reserves - it was all about piling up gold in the past week. And when I Say piling I mean in huge numbers.

Peoples Bank China shocked the world when it’s released the figures of gold reserves that it sits on.  China's gold reserves had been steady at 59.240 million fine troy ounces from October 2016 to November 2018, according to data from the People’s Bank of China, and suddenly jumped to 59.560 million fine troy ounces at end-December.

The People’s Bank of China increased holdings to 59.56 million ounces by the end of December, or about 1,853 metric tons, from 59.24 million ounces previously, according to data on the central bank’s website. They had been unchanged since about 130,000 ounces were added in October 2016.
China has long been wanting to reduce its dependency on the US dollar. The ongoing trade war is threatening its economic growth.


Several large emerging economies, which today fuel most of global growth prospects, and major oil exporters, are intrigued by the idea of re-coupling gold with a multilateral currency basket to avoid excessive exposure to US dollar-denominated energy and commodity markets.

 Spot gold had its strongest month in almost two years as those fears spurred a whirlpool in equities and the dollar and boosted demand for the precious metal as a haven. And hence the world’s biggest producer and consumer boosted holdings of bullion.

But it was not an overnight thing. China has been piling reserves since quite some time. It had last released the figures in 2016 and now suddenly. And it’s not just China that has been doing this.  As Bloomberg reports, Poland and Hungary surprised the market in 2018 by adding to their gold holdings for the first time in many years.

Furthermore, there have been interesting shifts in gold reserves. While advanced economies, such as the US and Germany, still own most global gold reserves, the US has increased its gold holdings in the past decade only marginally, while Germany has been forced to cut its reserves. In contrast, China has tripled its reserves, while Russia has nearly quintupled its gold (after dumping billions of US Treasuries), despite rounds of sanctions.

Fresh comments coming in from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Friday, got in a fresh rally in gold prices. The statements released boosted the chances that the central bank will pause interest-rate increases. Speculation that the Federal Reserve may pause its interest rate hikes has given further strength to gold’s rally into the new year and assets in bullion-backed exchange-traded funds are at a seven-month high. Spot gold was trading 0.5 percent higher at $1,291.83 an ounce as the week ended. Strengthening of the yellow metal has further weakened the greenback.

Gold was out of favour for much of 2018 as a result of the strong dollar and interest rate increases in the US. The precious metal traded as low as $1,174 an ounce in August, despite rising geopolitical tensions.

However, sentiment began to improve towards the end of the year, as volatility increased further and US stocks suffered.

THOSE analysts who believe that fear has made a comeback argue that gold is benefiting as equities slide and investors are increasingly concerned about the economic prospects of the United States (US), China, Europe and Japan. Yet, even at $1,290, gold still remains more than 30 percent behind its all-time high of $1,898 in September 2011 amid the US debt-limit crisis.

Monday, 3 December 2018

Will gold witness an upward trend soon

Gold was following a wave like movement during the week as we saw it moving up till Thursday and then diving down by the end of the week.
Gold edged higher for the second consecutive session on Thursday and was placed at the top end of its weekly trading range, around the $1227-28 region during the trading hours.

Spot gold has stood strong against a weaker dollar, with the precious metal’s spot price hovering at around $1228 – one of the highest levels it has seen since 11 November where it hit $1230 per ounce.

The Fed Chair Jerome Powell's comments that rates are just below the neutral level now triggered a broad-based US Dollar weakness and prompted some short-covering trade around the dollar-denominated commodity. This weakness further strengthened the yellow metal and pushed prices higher.



The USD bearish pressure now seems to have abated, though expectations of a slowdown in interest rate hikes, reinforced by sliding US Treasury bond yields, kept pushing the non-yielding yellow metal higher through the mid-European session on Thursday.

Even the prevalent positive mood around European equity markets, which tends to undermine demand for traditional safe-haven assets, did little to prompt any fresh selling around the precious metal or stall the ongoing positive momentum.

The price of gold shot up on Thursday, following Bank of England statement (on 28th November), in which the BoE forecast the UK economy’s performance in the face of the various Brexit outcomes and warned of serious economic contraction with any ‘No Deal’ Brexit.

But post the U.S. data released on Friday, the dollar which was lying flat, gained momentum. Reports released were above expectations and this strengthened the dollar thus pushing gold prices down.

Further, Gold prices fell in the domestic markets too. Investors took this dip as an opportunity to buy. The appreciating (Indian) rupee has brought down prices. At this price level, jewellers and retail buyers are quite comfortable in making purchases.

Local gold prices were trading near their lowest in about three months as an appreciation in the rupee made overseas buying cheaper. Physical gold demand in the world’s second biggest bullion consumer India got a fillip this week from a slide in local rates due to gains in the rupee, while buying was steady in other top Asian hubs.

Though gold hasn’t shown an eye catching gain, it still holds importance in the portfolio of many. If we see closely, gold has been falling since the past seven years. It’s down by more than a third over that period. So clearly, the metal is cheap and makes itself more appealing as a safe haven asset.

The precious metal has been in free fall most of 2018, losing roughly 11% of its value since its January peak. And this year's performance is a continuation of the longer-term trend.

Gold has slowly been trending higher since August. The metal is up a little more than 3% since then. And prices appear to be hitting what analysts describe as "higher lows."

Gold prices have been falling for years. Investors recently hit their most extreme negative sentiment levels in nearly two decades. And now, the price is starting to move back up.

With investors now pricing in only one more rate hike in 2019, markets feel positive for gold and hence it has once again found acceptance in an investment portfolio. Will we see gold in an upward trend soon? Well the answer lies in 2019 as 2018 is about to end and which a holiday mood in the air markets are not expected to be much volatile in the coming days.


Thursday, 15 November 2018

Investors mantra - Stay Calm

Gold has lost around $30/oz. in less than one week as the US dollar charge continues. Last week’s FOMC meeting confirmed that US interest rates will continue to climb this year and next, while the Democrats’ victory in the House of Representatives is being taken as a USD positive so far, as it makes US President Trump more accountable for his actions. The precious metal was also unable to pick up a risk-off bid after US and Asian stock markets crumbled overnight on tech - mainly due to Apple - and worries that US-China trade wars may escalate.



Apart from the above mentioned acts, the way things are going- default concerns and inflation expectations are rather low by historical standards. As a result, financial markets could take a hard hit if investors ever wake up and demand a higher price for accepting credit and/or inflation risk. Such a scenario could make holding gold a particularly interesting option.

The recent weakness in gold is not over. In fact, we are worried about another leg down getting underway. While some believe that gold is moving to the bears there are some players in the market who still believe that gold prices will rally in the near future. Long term investors and speculation are making a shift from a bear to a bull market. Their belief is strongly supported by a few factors which these market players expected to occur soon-


  • First and foremost, the current gold price does not seem to be high and there is a lot of scope for recovery till it reaches its all time high
  • In a risk-on scenario, there is a good chance that the gold price will move up
  • Bargain hunting and weakness in equities, such as the sharp fall in U.S. stock market on are helping put a floor under gold during the metal’s recent slide. The fact that gold has not fallen further “is probably due to the correction on the stock markets, which has made gold attractive as an alternative investment
  • Oiling of gold reserves is a clear indicator that central banks do not want to be dollar dependent. A gold driven economy will definitely raise the demand for the yellow metal and furthermore its prices.
  • Gold is the only financial asset that’s not simultaneously somebody else’s liability. Hence the liking for this metal always remains high.
  • With uncertain world financial assets, there’s an excellent chance there’s going to be a volatile markets and hopefully a one that favors gold.


Currently we see investors acting very calm in the market. Maybe they await a strong and concrete signal from the global markets to get back into action mode.



Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Wait and watch approach

Gold was down last week till Wednesday but again gained momentum on Thursday. It saw a sharp rally from Wednesday’s bottom but pulled back once again on Friday.

In 2018, gold was highly influenced by a wide variety of factors -

  • Brexit
  • Election of U.S President Donald Trump
  • Geopolitical events
  • US China trade war
  • Global equities
  • Iranian Sanctions in Venezuela
  • Midterm elections
  • Cyber attacks
  • Collapse of peace talks with North Korea


These all have the highest likelihood of impacting markets in 2018 and 2019 and thus creating volatility which will likely bring about a rally in gold prices.

Since these series of events are either on going or about to happen, markets player are now following the wait and watch approach.

US midterm elections will definitely have a major impact on global currencies and assets across all classes. Hence investors and traders are not being much active and are waiting for something concrete to occur as Midterm elections may stimulate safe-haven buying,”

Interestingly gold has not only bounced, it has shown this behavior in spite of stability in the dollar. Gold is expected to rise further

Interestingly, gold, largely left for dead, has rallied. Not only has gold bounced, but it has done so despite a steady dollar. Which raises the question: Why is gold rallying now? Here are some potential reasons:

Steady dollar - While the DXY Index is pushing against the upper end of its five-month range, the dollar has been relatively stable since May. This is important as a rapidly strengthening dollar, as we witnessed last spring, has historically been a headwind for gold.

Inflation - Besides the dollar, the biggest challenge for gold in 2018 has been rising real rates, i.e. interest rates after inflation. Higher real rates raise the opportunity cost of an asset that produces no income. Between January and early October, real 10-year yields advanced by 50 basis points. However, since then, real rates seem to have temporarily peaked near the levels reached in 2013 and hence its stability will bring in a rise in gold prices.

Volatility - While real rates and the dollar are key fundamental drivers for gold, demand for a hedge against volatility also drives gold prices. With the exception of the brief correction in February, that attribute has not been in demand until recently. Prior to the recent swoon, U.S. equities were well on their way towards another year of double-digit gains. Unfortunately, this pleasant trajectory has been interrupted. Equity market volatility has doubled since early October. This is important, as gold has a history of performing best versus stocks when volatility is spiking.


These factors have historically proved that in such a volatile environment gold always acts as a safe haven asset and a hedge tool. Give this characteristic of gold it’s obvious that any minor crisis will also bring about a rise in the demand for the yellow metal which will further push the prices higher.

Moving to the domestic markets, sales have dampened this Diwali. Physical gold demand in India was lacklustre this week, with dealers offering discounts for the metal ahead of a traditionally busy festival week for the first time in at least three years, as high prices kept consumers away.

Prices in India, the second biggest gold consumer after China, held near 33,000 Indian rupees per 10 grams, the highest since September 2013, ahead of the Dhanteras and Diwali festivals next week, when buying gold is considered auspicious.

This Dhanteras, jewellers and bullion traders witnessed a drop in demand. Retail buyers are not interested in buying at this level. Furthermore, The Indian currency has lost more than 12 percent of its value against the U.S. dollar so far in 2018, making purchases of commodities denominated in the greenback more expensive.

Post Diwali, jewellers still have hope of a rise in the demand during the wedding season.
Like global investors and markets players, jewellers in India too are following this approach- to wait and to watch.


Monday, 22 October 2018

Gold - once disowned ; now being adopted

After tentatively stabilizing in September, the gold price staged a $50/oz, rebound in early October, setting up the potential for a further short covering rally. 

Gold traded higher on Friday and is heading for the third straight weekly increase on the back of a rise of demand due to equity market volatility and a softer dollar. The market opened the day at 1229.70/1230.70. After the open, gold prices traded between a high level of 1230.46/1231.46

The gold in euro terms was trading at a three-month high near €1,070 per troy ounce. The conflict between Italy and the EU [European Union] over the Italian draft budget for 2019 is escalating.

The EU too seems to be taking a strong line against member states (Poland and Hungary are examples) which diverge politically from the consensus policies and rules. There is perhaps a fear here that the EU might break up if too many member states fall out with the EU hierarchy, which is probably why such a hard line is being taken on Brexit. A consensus deal is in both sides’ interests, but intransigence may well win the day, with adverse economic consequences for the U.K. and the EU as a whole.


Concerns that the euro-zone crisis could flare up again should support demand for gold as a safe haven.

Lately, US have been very aggressive in its trade policies and imposition of sanctions against countries like Russia and China. Indirectly the other counties that wish to trade with these sanctions hit economies will also suffer in the long run. They too will become victims of U.S. trade sanctions and imposed tariffs.

This is the main reason that countries like Russia and China have accelerated their gold reserves. Leading countries are trying to reduce dollar dependency, thus replacing it with gold.

The Russian central bank has announced yet another increase in its gold reserves in September – this time it has added a massive 1.2 million troy ounces (37.3 tonnes) to the gold in its Forex holdings. This brings the overall total to 65.5 million ounces (2,037.3 tonnes) and means it has added just short of 200 tonnes of gold to its reserves in the first 9 months of the current year which represents an increased acceleration in its reserve increases over the prior few years

The big European holders – Italy and France – in the global gold reserve table which respectively report holdings of 2,451.8 tonnes and 2,436 tonnes.

China on the other hand has been constantly increasing its reserves but not reporting to the IMF. It’s expected to be in the sixth place, but it could be higher given that the numbers are not reported to. The current trade war between the US and China has propelled China to reduce its dependence on dollar holdings in its reserves and perhaps use that money to buy more gold, but yes, without reporting it to the IMF.

Chinese officials and academics have intimated in the past that they would like to at least reduce the dollar’s dominant position in world trade and as a global reserve currency. It is already taking measures towards this by negotiating oil and other contracts in Yuan (convertible into gold if wanted) rather than in dollars, which is another reason why it may be building its gold reserves as well.
As we have mentioned before gold may be facing short term headwinds, but longer term prospects look to be ever increasingly positive.

The sentiment shift is still subtle, but it’s both real and widespread. After a few years of being ignored and/or dismissed as basically useless and almost being disowned by investors, gold is stable again, attracting positive press and increasing accumulation by big investors.

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Time To Add Gold In Your Portfolio

Gold has fallen more than 8% this year as concern about trade disputes; currency weakness in emerging markets and rising US interest rates has strengthened the dollar, making bullion more expensive for buyers with other currencies.


TRADE DISPUTE - Gold is trading back above $1,200/oz ahead of the expected announcement from the White House that China is about to get hit by additional tariffs on goods valued at up to $200 billion. The latest US trade balance for July showed the US in the red by $50.1 billion while the trade deficit with China rose to a fresh record of $36.8 billion.

Investors have been waiting for a fresh round to be fired in the Sino-U.S. trade war after a public comment period for proposed U.S. tariffs on a list of $200 billion worth of Chinese imports, which includes some consumer products, ended late last week.

With his domestic agenda being challenged by the upcoming midterm elections, less-than-flattering comments from White House insiders, and the ongoing Mueller investigation, President Trump is unlikely to step back from his fight with the Chinese.

The prospect of an escalated trade war continues to make matters worse for emerging market bonds, stocks and currencies.

The trade war and its effect on the USD/CNY exchange rate remains the primary determinant of Gold prices in dollar terms. Until either the trade war ends or the dollar falls, either of its own accord or due to a Fed reversal in policy, USD/CNY is likely to go higher and gold lower.

The escalating trade war crisis continued to spill its effect on gold in the past week too. Gold prices rose on Friday due to a lower dollar and jitters about an escalation in the U.S.-China trade dispute after fresh threats by President Donald Trump, although bullion is still heading for its fifth straight monthly decline.

Spot gold was up 0.6 percent at $1,206.19 an ounce during Fridays trading hours- a gain of 4 percent from the 19-month low of $1,159.96 hit on Aug. 16.



CURRENCY WEAKNESS - Lately positive U.S. economic numbers have been showing signs of a strengthening U.S economy. This has further strengthened the dollar against major basket of currencies. In India too rupee was at a record low of 72.17, sliding by 44 paise against the US dollar on rising demand from US dollars by bankers and importers.

Like the trade war, the dollar prices continued to show its effect on gold this week too.
The dollar traded higher against a basket of currencies on Monday amid fears of a potentially major escalation in the China-U.S. trade conflict, while Sweden's crown rose following the previous day's election.

U.S. President Donald Trump warned on Friday that he was ready to slap tariffs on virtually all Chinese imports into the United States, threatening duties on another $267 billion of goods in addition to the $200 billion already facing the risk of duties.

The index also found support after data showed U.S. jobs growth accelerated in August and wages notched their largest annual increase in more than nine years, boosting the prospect of faster interest rate rises by the Federal Reserve.

Non-Farm payrolls led to some modest downward pressure on gold. Furthermore, though the dollar will continue to weigh on gold, and as long as the dollar is strong, gold will remain constrained.

RISING INTEREST RATES - Gold prices held steady during Asian trade on Tuesday as investors remained on the sidelines amid expectations of a U.S. interest rate hike this month and on fears of an escalation in the Sino-U.S. trade war.

Strong U.S. payrolls data last week cemented expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will raise interest rates in September, in what would be its third hike this year, with expectations of one rise more in December.

Higher rates increase bond yields, making the non-yielding bullion less attractive and tend to boost the dollar.

Now what’s interesting to note is that though gold is being hammered lately, financial advisors in Asia, are suggesting their clients that this is the right time to include gold in their portfolio. They have been asking them to take advantage of dips and to stockpile to protect assets against pounding equity markets.

Gold has sold off over the past few months as USD interest rates have increased, so there is more opportunity to buy. For clients who do not have an allocation of gold in their portfolios, now is the time to add gold.

Friday, 31 August 2018

Political Turmoil Expected to influence Gold

Gold turned negative on Tuesday as U.S. Treasuries rose after the United States and Mexico struck a trade deal, with analysts saying ongoing U.S.-China tensions would continue to weigh. Spot gold lost 0.4 percent to $1,206.39 per ounce during Tuesdays trading hours.

Following suit, Gold price fell on Thursday and is set to record a fifth monthly fall on expectations of a higher interest rate, while the dollar also edged lower.  Powell’s speech came after U.S. President Donald Trump said earlier this month that he was “not thrilled” about the Fed’s decision to hike rates. A potential hike in interest rates in general decreases demand for gold, which yields no interests.



Meanwhile, the U.S. reported on Wednesday the strongest growth of its second-quarter GDP in a decade, expanding at an annual rate of 4.2%.

Markets widely expect the Federal Reserve to hike interest rates in September and December following last week’s Jackson Hole symposium, where Fed’s chairman Jerome Powell defended policy of interest rate hikes, adding that he expected a low but gradual growth of interest rates as inflation is reaching the country’s 2% target.

On the other hand, metals investors are wondering if political turmoil could bring in volatility several for gold and silver prices.

Furthermore, what gained focus over the week were the recent prosecutions of prominent Trump campaign figures that now have Democrats giddy over the possibility of being handed grounds for impeachment. The chances for impeachment did get a boost, although it would seem to hinge primarily on whether the Republicans lose the House and Senate in November. It’s a very daunting political task. Only two presidents have ever been impeached – Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton. Neither were convicted in the Senate and removed from office, however. That can only be done with a ⅔ majority vote.

If the threat of impeachment somehow becomes more credible based on the revelation of more serious crimes, then all bets are off. It will move markets. But, for now at least, it remains a long shot.

Major political turmoil is just one of many reasons to buy insurance in the form of gold and silver bullion. Investors can add upheaval in Washington to a longer list, which, at the moment, also includes:

Precious metals looking oversold.
Extremely bullish relative positioning of banks versus speculators in the Commitment of Traders data.

Monday, 27 August 2018

Time to Divert Our Attention Outside America

The precious metal is down 8% so far in 2018, and nearly 14% on an annualized basis - making it the worst-performing major asset class this year.

Gold has weakened this year alongside many emerging-market currencies because the dollar strengthened and US interest rates became more attractive. On August 13, gold fell below the key technical level of $1,200 an ounce for the first time since early 2017. It traded up 0.7% to $1,202.90 an ounce on Friday.

It may have gained by the end of the week, but it’s still a weak asset currently.  Spot gold was up one percent at $1,196.39 an ounce during Friday’s trading session, about 3 percent higher than last week’s 2018 low below $1,160.00.



Growing U.S. political uncertainty, reinforced by the legal woes of two of U.S. President Donald Trump’s former advisers this week, is keeping the dollar under pressure despite tighter U.S. monetary policy, analysts say.

By Friday, 27th August, gold prices saw a rally as investors took Powell’s speech as a more dovish stance, which seemed to rule out the need for a more aggressive tightening as he suggested a lack of inflationary pressure and put the warning for further gradual increases in interest rates on a continuation of current economic strength and a strong labor market.

In his speech, Powell indicated that there was no clear sign of an acceleration above the Fed’s 2% inflation objective and said there did not seem to be an elevated risk of the economy overheating.

Gold prices traded higher on Friday as Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell emphasized the central bank’s plans for gradual interest rate hikes would be conditioned on the continued strength of the U.S. economy and labor market.

Higher interest rates tend to weigh on demand for gold, which doesn’t bear interest, in favour of yield-bearing investments. The remarks also weighed on the dollar, extending the greenback’s losses and increasing the demand of the precious metal for holders of foreign currencies.
As the most recent FOMC statement indicates, if the strong growth in income and jobs continues, further gradual increases in the target range for the federal funds rate will likely be appropriate.

Gold is usually favoured as a safe haven during market turmoil, but even all the back and forth on trade between the US and China has not stirred up a bid for the metal as the dollar still hold strong.
The commodities market has been adversely impacted by the strong dollar and the discussion of a trade war possibility, which may already be happening. With the economies of America, Europe and Asia picking up, most investors are asking, why buy gold or silver? The dollar is the key. When it starts dropping, we will see the price of gold, silver and all commodities improve.

Many foreign governments and companies have borrowed in dollars, thinking the dollar will go lower relative to their own currencies. But the dollar has done the complete opposite. So now, these borrowers of $US are being squeezed as their borrowing costs have risen dramatically. This is creating financial distress in certain corners of the world. At these locations the price of gold will be seen climbing quickly.

But when will this happen? Will the dollar weaken? When will we see the gold prices going up? Will global uncertainties rise? There are many questions floating in the market currently.
And hence we all need to divert our attention to some of the developing problems that exist outside America and how it will impact America and furthermore the dollar.



Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Gold expected to end the year on a positive note

Spot gold, which is down over 6 per cent this year, is close to a one-year low of $1,211.08 touched on July 19 as the dollar powered to a one-year high on expectations of higher US interest rates this year.


Gold's appeal has been fading this year with prices sliding near to the key US$1,200 level, partly because of an upbeat outlook on the US economy that's strengthened the dollar.

Gold prices were higher on Friday, after disappointing jobs data pushed the U.S. dollar lower but still remained near two-week lows. A stronger dollar and rising interest rates have weighed on gold in recent months.

Gold prices are seeing just modest gains in the aftermath of a U.S. non-farm jobs number that did not meet market expectations.

The U.S. employment report for July showed –
A significantly lower-than-expected non-farm payrolls rise of 157,000 jobs. The number was forecast at up 190,000, but after
Wednesday’s ADP national employment report for July that showed a rise of 219,000, many were looking for a non-farm jobs number north of 200,000.

Markets believe that U.S economy is on its path of gradual progress and hence they didn’t react much to these numbers. One more reason for less volatility could be the vacation season in U.S and Europe that continue to keep the, markets calm until U.S. Labour Day holiday.

Even though these numbers were below expectations, it did strengthen the Federal Reserve action to gradually increase interest rates.

The Fed left interest rates unchanged on Wednesday, as expected, but pointed to the potential for increased rate hikes due to strong U.S. economic data.

Higher rates are a negative for gold as the precious metal, which does not pay interest, struggles to compete with yield-bearing assets when rates rise.

Furthermore, the metal saw some relief on Friday as U.S. hiring cooled in July and China moved to support its currency.

But markets are now positive towards gold. Many analysts believe that we are already at the bottom of this cycle for gold, and they believe that gold prices will pull up from here in the next 6 months.
Reasons being-

Trade War- the US and China imposed import tariffs on each other, fraying nerves on financial markets. A further escalation in the trade war crisis will definitely push up gold prices.

Demand- After a slow season in Mat, gold is all set to run higher during the coming 6 months over rise in its demand.


The above chart shows what happened towards the end of each of the past five years, as Chinese and Indians loaded up on gold for Spring/Summer wedding gifts and as savings for post-harvest cash. There’s no reason to expect them behave differently next time around.

Dollar dependency-  the analyst are convinced that gold will continue to grow in value relative to currencies, particularly as more states seek to rid themselves of their dollar holdings.

Gold Holdings- According to the latest estimates, Russia and China are in 5th and 6th place in total gold holdings, respectively.  The US is estimated to have over 8,100 tons of gold. Germany, which recently repatriated its gold from the US, is in second place, with 3,371 tons; Italy is in third with 2,452 tons, and France in fourth with 2,436 tons. Moscow's historical record in total gold reserves was reached in 1941, when the USSR stockpiled some 2,800 tons of gold just before the start of the Second World War.

Looking at the above mentioned events, we think that gold is expected to bounce back from its year lows and wil head positive towards the year end.

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Gold - Half year analysis

We are half way through 2018 and we have already seen gold showing some interesting movements.

The first half of 2018 has been quite action packed for global financial markets. In US and Asia, most of the growth was captured by tech stocks. Equities experienced a few pullbacks during the first 3 months as geopolitical tensions increased. So far, investors seemed to have shrugged off the escalating trade war rhetoric between the US and many of its trading partners.

Gold was up by more than 4 % in the first few months of the year, but finished on a negative note by the end of June. This downward trend continued in July as gold dropped further. Though gold was volatile till the first quarter, it has been moving in a relatively low range since.


The three main reasons being-

  • A strengthening US dollar
  • Soft physical demand for gold in the first half of 2018
  • Higher investor’s threshold for headline risk

Now coming to the second half of 2018. This year, there are plenty of factors which could lead to a medium-term gold price reset which could put that $1,400 price target back in its sights. This may sound over optimistic, but a lot of hope in being built mainly over the belief that we still have 6 months and of those, a lot of things are expected to happen over the second half.

We see a lot of factors that can reset gold price to $1400, we can broadly categorise them into 4 groups-

  • Economic development and capital growth
  • Global market uncertainties
  • Capital flows and price trends
  • Competing assets

So now where do we see the yellow metal in the coming months? Well we think that the outlook for gold will mainly be influenced by a few macro trends-

TRADE WARS AND THEIR IMPACT ON EXPORT IMPORT- President Trump’s planned tariff impositions against imports from China and elsewhere have been seen as positive for the dollar and the U.S. economy.  No matter that these tariffs are potentially inflationary in the domestic marketplace and that tit-for-tat measures being imposed on American exports could be very damaging to certain targeted U.S. exporters.

The counter tariffs being put in place could also see a downturn in export-oriented company stock prices, which could lead to a drift downwards in other equities and a drift down could spread to become a rout given the seemingly overbought state of the markets. Thus will have a positive impact on gold and may well push prices high.

EQUITIES - The long equities bull market, which does seem as though it may have come to an end this year, is seen as at least partly responsible for the lack of interest in precious metals investment.  A serious downturn in equities could thus drive investors back in the perceived safe havens of gold and silver.

An equities collapse, which many commentators have been predicting, could initially bring precious metals down with it with investors and funds struggling for liquidity and needing to sell good assets to stay afloat.  We saw this in the big market downturn in 2008, but gold, in particular, recovered any losses quickly and was rising when equities were still turning down.  This is a pattern which could well be repeated.


INCREASED GOLD HOLDINGS - Gold may well be one of the mechanisms being used to help reduce reliance on U.S. denominated reserve assets – certainly by Russia and probably by China which shrouds its central bank gold holdings in secrecy.  But even so this seems to be having little or no impact on the gold price at the moment – but it could have implications in the longer term.

In the long term we do feel that gold has a good future with falling supply and rising demand.  The big question is when will the price turn back upwards again?

Some say soon, while some still support the bears market. But we cannot ignore the fact that a lot can happen in the markets in five and a half months.  We would expect the dollar to start to fall back as the true impact of the Trump tariffs begins to be felt.  U.S. Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s latest fairly optimistic statement to Congress, seen as responsible, at least in part, for the latest gold price dip, in reality only confirmed what had been said before.

We think there’s a good chance that this will happen sometime in the final four months of the year and we might see the gold price reaching $1400 level by year end.

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Gold May Regain its Safe Haven Status

In January, precious metal prices peaked. Since then they have fallen substantially by 9% (gold prices).

In recent weeks, the sell-off has accelerated. There are several reasons for this price weakness.

Trade War - a looming trade war between the US and China has weighed on prices, especially cyclical precious metals such as platinum and palladium.

US Dollar - Rising U.S. Fed rates and rising real interest rates – up 20% from the start of the year as measured by 10-year bonds — are supporting the dollar. While the dollar remains strong, gold is being depressed.
To some effect, the metals markets are experiencing the same depressing impact on prices.
 The recovery of the US dollar is negative for all precious metal prices.

Euro - a downshift in expectations about the euro zone economy has been a negative for precious metals.


Global Markets - weakness in emerging markets has lowered all precious metal prices as well. More recently the substantial fall in the Yuan has accelerated the decline in precious metal prices. Yuan weakness reflects the heightened trade tensions between the US and China and nervousness about Chinese corporate bond defaults. China is a crucial consumer of precious metals. So fears of lower Chinese demand are negative for prices.

But this may not be the end as markets believe that this downfall may continue. The US dollar is expected to strengthen further due to strong economic data and ongoing Fed Hike.

Furthermore, markets look negative for gold as the 10y US Treasury yields is expected to rise.
Gold and other precious metals are highly sensitive to these issues and hence analysts believe the gold, in the near-term, is expected to fall.

In addition, trade tensions between the US and China will probably linger on and there may be more volatility in the Chinese Yuan in the near term. These are also negatives for precious metal prices.
Finally, it is likely that concerns about Italy will return if Italy’s fiscal balance will get into focus again later in the summer. This will weigh on the euro but also on platinum prices as the euro zone is an important market for platinum

In such an environment, holding gold is seen as a cost, not an opportunity. Although market turnover has been high, the bulls have not been in evidence and prices have remained depressed.
BUT HOPE STILL PERSISTS.

Though precious metals are expected to fall, hope still prevails over the factors that support gold prices.

U.S. - By the end of the year US dollar and 10y Treasury yields are expected to peak. Which further pours in the thought that it might pull down from its peak? Lower US growth could result in a downward adjustment in demand.

Moreover, we expect the fall in the Chinese Yuan to come to an end as Chinese authorities will probably intervene to calm sentiment. We find it hard to imagine the Chinese authorities letting the Yuan drop in an uncontrolled manner. However, in the near-term, Yuan weakness may yet continue. In addition, our base case scenario is that a significant escalation of the trade conflict is averted. This should support all precious metal prices.

We expect gold prices to bottom out between USD 1,200 and 1,250 per ounce and silver prices between USD 15.2 and 15.6 per ounce. We see these levels as an opportunity to position for higher gold and silver prices next year.

If sentiments were to change and, for example, growth was to slow in the U.S. in reaction to trade concerns, then gold could make headway. But while the dollar is king, gold will remain lackluster despite rising tensions.

In the near term, we expect weakness in gold to persist, before investors flock to gold’s safe haven status in light of the ongoing trade and geo-political tensions – and the attendant negative consequences that might ensue

Thursday, 28 June 2018

Long term looks favorable for Gold


Gold has fallen out of favour as investors prefer havens such as the dollar, Treasuries and yen amid fears that a looming trade war will damage global growth, hurt earnings and drag down stock markets and other risk assets. 

Gold has not fared well lately despite rising global trade tensions that have knocked down equities. Gold has been hurt by expectations for more Federal Reserve hikes complemented by a strengthening US dollar which further pulled down gold prices.

Many believe that gold has lost its shine. Each time it gets close to break the $1350 level, it fails and is unable to generate returns in a rising yield environment and the biggest obstacle for the yellow metal currently is the rally in US dollar .

Hence, precious metal’s “biggest disappointment” this year has been that it keeps failing to attract safe-haven inflows in a meaningful way.

Some even believe that gold has not bottomed out yet and there is further scope for a downfall as gold is oversold. With gold back to trading near six-month lows and prices struggling to catch a break during the past few weeks, analysts are saying that gold is failing to attract safe-haven interest due to a surging U.S. dollar.

However, given the recent equity-market correction and talk of a trade-driven slowdown in the global economy, it is likely that the market will start to get a lot less enthusiastic about aggressive Fed tightening and the US dollar. On the positive note, the interest-rate environment is becoming more favourable for gold, with inflation expectations rising — a good sign for the precious metal that has traditionally been viewed as an inflation hedge,

The Federal Reserve will probably raise interest rates two more times this year, and twice in 2019, while the European Central Bank will likely start tightening in September next year. That should shift the monetary policy divergence in favour of the euro relative to the dollar and be positive for gold in the greenback.

On top of that, lower gold prices might encourage more physical buying in key markets, including China and India.

So in the long term things look favourable for gold and the yellow metal might once again get into the safe haven mode.

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Trade war fails to weaken the dollar

Gold prices have not managed to stay above the $1300 level- it could be due to a strong dollar or maybe profit taking or even price manipulation. Currently, out of all, gold prices seemed to have been highly influenced by a strengthening dollar.

Gold prices fell to new 2018 lows against a rising Dollar on Tuesday in London, hitting $1274 per ounce as President Trump threatened to hit back at China's retaliation over last week's new US trade tariffs with extra charges on another $200bn of Chinese imports.


Accused of "blackmail" by Beijing, Trump says these extra 10% tariffs will only come into force if China “refuses to change its practices."

This news gave a boost to gold in the Asian markets.

However the metal failed to extend further as offers [to sell around] $1283 restricted top-side gains.

Gold remains bearishly offered, and it’s all about the dollar strength as the greenback rockets higher on EM commodity and the China meltdown. And at least for the time being the markets have utterly forsaken the idea that the US trade war escalation could become ultimately detrimental for the dollar.

Now currently the matter of concern is that why is the dollar showing sign of strength despite an apparently escalating trade war which is unlikely to do anyone any good?

At the moment the dollar strength is two-fold. Key currencies like the Euro, the British pound, the Canadian and Australian dollars and the Chinese Yuan are being driven downwards (hence the dollar appears to be rising), but also money will be flowing into the dollar as perhaps more of a safe haven in times of an ensuing global financial crisis than gold and other precious metals.  We think that this will only be in the short term and we need to wait for some concrete events that will bring in volatility in the markets.

Thursday, 14 June 2018

Fed Rate Hike Fails to Dampen Gold Prices

After two days of meetings regarding monetary policy, the US Federal Reserve officially announced the second interest rate hike of the year on Wednesday, June 13.

The Fed lifted the target federal funds rate by 25 basis points, from 1.75 to 2 percent, but the increase had little impact on gold, which remained just below the psychological barrier of US$1,300 per ounce
The US Federal Reserve raised interest rates on Wednesday, and signaled two additional hikes by the end of this year, compared to one previously. Expectations of further US interest rate increases lowers demand for the non-interest-paying asset. Gold as expected to drop post a rate hike, but nothing like that happened.

Gold prices were higher on Thursday, rising above the $1,300 level as the dollar lost the momentum from a decision by the U.S. Federal Reserve to raise interest rates.
Gold prices jumped to $1,303.2 from below the $1,300 level overnight after the Fed’s rate hike decision hit the markets. The prices have held on well above the $1,300 level since then.


Gold prices are denominated in U.S. dollars, so the movement of the U.S. dollar index impacts the gold price. On Thursday, the U.S. dollar index that measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies was down 0.03% to 93.53, giving up gains despite a promising outlook for the U.S. economy.

This no reaction movement in gold prices was because a lot of safe-haven demand is expected to take place. The trade war drama is not going to end anytime soon, it is probably going to be exasperated over the next month or so as the geopolitical uncertainties have not been resolved yet.

Rounding out the Fed’s meeting comes the knowledge that the central bank expects US GDP to grow by 2.8 percent in 2018, with economic activity projected to expand by 2.4 percent in 2019. Overall, the economy is expected to grow 2 percent in 2020. The median average of the central bank’s updated forecasts rose from March’s projection to 2.8 percent.

In addition to Wednesday’s interest rate hike, the markets are also reacting to the Fed’s guidance regarding future interest rates. Reports that US President Donald Trump will meet with his top trade advisers on Thursday to decide whether to activate threatened tariffs limited gold’s losses.

Reports that President Trump was preparing to put tariffs on billions of dollars of Chinese goods as soon as Friday raised concerns in the market that economic growth would be impacted. This saw some safe-haven buying emerge and saw gold prices not dropping cosiderbly in spite of a rate hike.


Monday, 28 May 2018

Gold might rally soon

Gold has performed quite well over past few years.  In late 2015 it touched $1,050 an ounce, it had a nice progression into 2016 and 2017. Here we are in 2018, and the gold price has been up above $1,300 through most of the year, and it looks like it’s very well supported, for varied reasons.

There are many factors that are influencing or rather supporting gold at this point of time.

Gold has actually been in a rather tight trading range, trading from the upper $1,200s to $1,300 an ounce to $1,370 an ounce, probably because there’s the view in the marketplace that there’s other opportunities, whether it’s in other equities or perhaps small-cap stocks, biotech, cannabis stocks or cryptocurrency-type stocks. And yet gold is doing what it’s supposed to do, it’s providing a hedge to monetary policy. Year-to-date, the dollar has been quite weak, and gold has actually done quite well.
Gold has been rising along with inflation, oil prices and commodity prices. Gold market is actually “rather constructive” right now due to a number of factors, including the amount of credit that’s being created and the recent US tax bill.



 I think it’s had a number of attempts to break through that $1,365 or $1,370 mark and it might break through this level in 2018. There are definitely many aspects that are building whether it’s the deficits or the geopolitical environment. Gold was very responsive in March over the Syrian attacks and with the North Korean developments, but due to certain political uncertainties in the US, it was actually difficult to understand US’s political agenda which has kept the gold prices underpinned.

Until then, gold seems to have carried the green territory forward in the past week too. Gold prices posted the largest one-day gain in six weeks as global risk aversion sent capital flows rushing to the safety of Treasury bonds. That pushed yields lower and bolstered the relative appeal of non-interest-bearing alternatives epitomized by the yellow metal.

Gold prices surged on Thursday, propelled above $1,300 per ounce as the U.S. dollar weakened, after U.S. President Donald Trump called off a summit with North Korea, stoking political tensions. Trump cancelled the meeting with Kim Jong Un, planned for June 12, even after North Korea followed through on a pledge to blow up tunnels at its nuclear test site. The cancellation prompted investors to seek a safe store of value. Rising demand for the yellow metal pushed its prices higher.           
Spot gold gained 0.9 percent at $1,305.18 per ounce during Thursdays trading hours. Gold got momentum on news the North Korea meeting was cancelled but Before the North Korea news, spot gold was slightly firmer but had been losing ground for weeks, shedding 5 percent since touching $1,365.23 on April 11, the highest in nearly three months.

Currently, it’s a bit difficult to find any factor that would go against gold and influence its prices downward. The glittering metals safe haven appeal also glittered after the U.S.launched a national security investigation into car and truck imports that could lead to new tariffs similar to those it imposed on steel and aluminium.           
 
Furthermore, Turkey has been in the spotlight and the lira weakened more than 2 percent, the day after a huge emergency interest rate hike intended to stem its slide.       
  
Gold was also buoyed by a weaker dollar, which slipped to a near two-week low against the Japanese yen, and lower U.S. Treasury yields. Adding to the rally, we saw the minutes of the Fed meeting that were les hawkish on interest rates.

And if these reasons aren’t enough, the bullishness is also related to the fact that US' expansionary phase is in the late cycle.

Gold has historically rallied even after business cycle starts to turn. And also rallied even if the US economy starts to fall into recession and currently Dollar strength looks as f it will fade away soon.
We might also see the European and Japanese market strengthening which might further weaken the dollar and create an inverse relation with the yellow metal this creating a rally in gold prices once again.

The markets’ mood soured as President Trump called for a similar probe into auto imports that preceded the recent steel and aluminium tariff hike. Canada is a major importer of motor vehicles into the US, so the move casts a cloud over NAFTA renegotiation efforts. He then cancelled a June summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, ominously hinting that the US military is prepared to take whatever action necessary.

The gold price may not be as high as some investors want it to be, but according to Doug Groh, portfolio manager at Tocqueville Asset Management, the yellow metal is performing just as it should be.

“Gold is doing what it’s supposed to do, it’s providing a hedge to monetary policy,” he said at the sidelines of the recent Mines and Money conference in New York.

Groh emphasized that it’s important for investors to remember that gold is “not necessarily supposed to [put on] a performance in a portfolio … it’s a sense of security and store of value.” He added, “Gold offers an alternative in a portfolio in that it’s not correlated to other assets.”

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Gold expected to rise moderately

While gold has primarily been stuck within the US$1,310 to $1,350 range this year, it managed to rise 3.61 percent during Q1 2018.

The yellow metal gained some first-hand experience in market volatility during the period, as inflation gave it boosts while US Federal Reserve interest rate hikes brought pressure down
On the other hand, United states willingness to resolve an escalating trade fight with China, pulled back gold prices from one week highs reached in the earlier trading sessions.


The United States voiced willingness on Wednesday to talk with China after Beijing retaliated against proposed U.S. tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese goods by targeting key American imports.
As investors pulled out of gold, Asian equities rebounded from two-month lows with investors hoping a full-blown trade war between the world’s two biggest economies can be averted.

Spot gold was down 0.3 percent at $1,329.11 per ounce by 0409 GMT, after touching a one-week high of $1,348.06 on Wednesday.

But what looked like an eased out situation, became a bit tense after economic numbers came in from U.S. Gold prices rose on Friday, as Wall Street stocks tumbled and the dollar fell as rhetoric from U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese officials fed worries about a possible trade war, and after U.S. jobs data came in weaker than expected.

U.S. stocks fell, with the Dow down more than 450 points, after Trump on Thursday threatened to slap $100 billion more in tariffs on Chinese imports, and Beijing pledged a “fierce counter strike”.
Falling stock prices dragged the dollar against the yen and the euro. Also pressuring the U.S. currency was data showing the U.S. economy in March created the fewest jobs in six months, which might prompt the Federal Reserve to go more slowly on plans to raise interest rates.

An intense trade war between US and China kept gold exposed to fluctuations. And hence the market is paying very much attention to the dollar and bond market in terms of what the Fed is going to do.
While any escalation in geopolitical tensions will raise the demand for the yellow metal, we already see an increase in the demand from the Indian markets.  Though demand for gold in whole of Asia was muted, there is a slight pick-up in buying in India ahead of the wedding season and a key festival.

This month Indians will be celebrating the annual festival of Akshaya Tritiya, when buying gold is considered auspicious.

Moving back to global worries, gold in the near term is exacted to raise moderately – Reasons being

  • A weakening US dollar: A tightening monetary policy in Euro zone will result in the US dollars downtrend. And changed in the US fiscal policy will also have negative effect on US dollar, thus proving to be positive for gold.  The US dollar’s downtrend will resume later in the year. “One key reason behind this is the impending tightening of monetary policy in the Euro zone, given that the euro accounts for nearly 60% of the dollar index,” the report states. It also mentions changes to US fiscal policy, which could have a ripple effect on the US dollar yield curve.
  • Volatility in equity markets. - The markets are too optimistic and bullish for equities and this over confident attitude could backfire, resulting in spiking gold prices.

These not so extreme, but moderately influential factors might spike gold prices in the near term but not to a great extent.