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

Monday, 12 March 2018

A turbulent week for gold

It was certainly a turbulent week for the yellow metal, as the combination of political uncertainty and U.S. rate hike expectations attracted both buyers and sellers. Though there was lot of volatility in the market, the precious metals continued to hold a well-defined range after turning sharply from key support last week and prices struggled to hold on to the early March gains.

On Friday, gold managed to pare some of its early losses to fresh weekly lows but held in negative territory through the mid-European session.

Gold prices extended losses into a third session on Friday as the dollar strengthened against the yen on hopes of easing tensions between the United States and North Korea and ahead of U.S. non-farm payroll data later in the day.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday he was prepared to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for the first U.S.-North Korea summit, marking a potentially dramatic breakthrough in nuclear tensions with Pyongyang.

A combination of diverging factors has failed to provide any meaningful drive and has led to subdued/range-bound price action. The rampant watchful sentiment around European equity markets was seen lending some support to the precious metal's safe-haven appeal and helped bounce off lows.

However, a follow-through US Dollar buying interest, supported by a goodish pickup in the US Treasury bond yields might continue to keep a lid on any further meaningful up-move for dollar-denominated commodities - like gold.

Investors were glued to the keenly watched US monthly jobs report, which was expected to influence Fed rate hike expectations and eventually provide some fresh impetus for the non-yielding yellow metal's near-term trajectory.

Once data was released there was lot of upheaval in the market.

  • A strong jobs report on Friday offered some support to gold prices with U.S. Non-Farm Payrolls (NFP) topping expectations with a print of 313K for the month of February.
  • A strong read on labour force participation also highlighted underlying strength in the employment sector with a print of 63% (highest since September). 
  • Despite the job gains however, wage growth remained sluggish a downward revision to last month’s average hourly earnings accompanied by a miss in February at just 2.6% y/y (previously 2.8% y/y). 

The release is unlikely to alter the Federal Reserve’s expectations for three rate-hikes this year with gold finding solace into the close of the week.

Gold prices ended higher Friday, erasing their loss for the week, as monthly data revealed a strong rise in U.S. jobs, but disappointing growth in wages.

The U.S. dollar weakened in the wake of the employment data. Gold and the greenback often move inversely as a weaker dollar can raise the appeal for investors using other currencies to buy the precious metal.

The latest snapshot of the U.S. labour market showed strong job growth and a higher participation rate, with the nation adding 313,000 new jobs in February. But the 12-month increase in pay slipped to 2.6% from a revised 2.8% in January.

The jobs numbers initially sent gold lower, but also the wage growth data was not too robust at 2.6% and this has allowed traders to buy the dip and/or keep their long positions heading into the weekend.

Markets had braced for a stronger wages reading after an inflation scare within this report a month earlier helped sink stocks. Rising inflation could add pressure on the Fed to speed up its rate rises, which could strangle the stock market. Gold, in turn, although impacted negatively by higher interest rates, could attract hedging demand against too-hot inflation.

Overall, however, the jobs report kept the Federal Reserve on track with interest-rate hikes this year.
The U.S. dollar had tumbled to 16-month lows against the safe-haven yen late last week as fears of a trade war rattled markets after Trump announced his plan for imposing tariffs on imported steel and aluminium.  This being said, the markets seem to be bearish for gold at the present moment
One could make the argument that if nothing changed in the world, but simply the free market was able to determine the gold price, that it would be well north of $1900 per ounce. Now factor in what is going on in the world, just how fragile the dollar-based economic system is at this point, and the likelihood of more quantitative easing, and owning gold makes more sense than ever.

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Tug of War for Gold

Till date, 2018 has been quite an interesting year for global financial markets. While the year started with the untying of the crypt currencies market, with the main assets falling by more than 50% and creating a huge wave of uncertainty across all asset class.

Following that, global financial markets started to fall, proving that the markets could drop even further

And when that was not enough, Trump flustered the financial markets by talking about tariffs to the Steel and Aluminium imports in a bid to protect local companies.

The Trump administration said that the tariffs would protect U.S. industry, but the dollar and Wall Street shares slumped as the plan sparked fears of a trade war and worries about its potentially negative impact on the world's largest economy.
This will definitely open doors to a new trade war across the globe. As past events have shown, trade wars are never beneficial to any country.

An announcement by President Donald Trump regarding intentions to levy steep tariffs on imported steel and aluminium sparked a substantial sell-off in broader equity markets with traders finding relief in perceived safety of Gold.

The move fuels concerns that retaliation from competing countries could instigate a global trade war.

Meanwhile, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said on Thursday there was no evidence the U.S. economy is overheating, and labour markets may still have room to improve as the central bank sticks with a gradual pace of rate hikes.           

These consecutive evens have lead to a rise in the demand for the safe haven asset, thus pushing its prices high . Gold finally broke out of its Asian/early European session consolidation phase and spiked to fresh session tops in the last hour of the trading session on Friday.

A fresh wave of US Dollar selling interest, triggered by the US President Donald Trump's tweet on trade war, provided some lift to dollar-denominated commodities - like gold.

Adding to this, global risk aversion trade, as depicted by a sea of red across European equity markets, was further seen underpinning demand for traditional safe-haven assets and remained supportive of the precious metal's uptick.

Further, a goodish pickup in the US Treasury bond yields, amid growing speculations about faster Fed monetary policy tightening cycle, continued capping any strong gains for the non-yielding yellow metal.

This year, gold has traded within a narrow range. It has had a high of $1,365 and a low of $1300.  At the current price of $1307, gold has had a 50% retrenchment from its peak price of $1365. Ultimately, a combination of global risks and increased inflation may push the price higher.

After a busy week of economic data and hawkish commentary from Powell, there were only two reports on Friday. Revised University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment came in at 99.7, beating the 99.4 estimate, but coming in under the previous 99.9. Revised University of Michigan Inflation Expectations came in unchanged at 2.7%.

The focus now shifts to key central bank rate decisions next week from the RBA, BoC, BoJ and ECB with the release of the February U.S. Non-Farm Payroll figures (NFP) highlighting the economic docket.

 For gold, the importance will remain on the wage growth numbers coming Friday as the inflation outlook remains central focus for the Federal Reserve. As it stands, market participants are factoring three rate hikes this year, (starting with this month) and if the inflation picture improve expectations for higher rates may weigh on demand for gold which does not pay a dividend.

It is this pull and push war between interest rate expectations and the perceived threat of inflation / geological risk that has fueled four swings of more than 4% on either side over the past two months.
 The precious metals market would continue looking out for interest rates along with the dollar's movement. A stronger dollar and higher interest rates reduce demand for non-interest bearing gold as the metal becomes more expensive for holders of other currencies.
It would now be interesting to see if bulls are able to maintain their upper hand or the uptick is being sold into amid absent market moving economic releases from the US.

Thursday, 22 February 2018

Gold being bought on dips

Last week saw gold record its sharpest weekly gain in more than a year, as it fed off the dollar’s slump. As the week began, gold fell modestly on Monday in electronic trade, though in thinner action, as many traders took the day off for the Presidents Day holiday.

Gold prices were hit on Tuesday, with the commodity booking its sharpest daily decline in more than a year, against a backdrop of a strengthening dollar and stabilizing equities.

Gold seemed struggling to gain any grip and remained within striking distance of one-week lows. A strong follow-through US Dollar buying interest, further supported by a positive tone surrounding the US Treasury bond yields, continued to dampen demand for dollar-denominated commodities - like gold.

The precious metal dropped to an intraday low level of $1325 but further losses remained limited in wake of reviving safe-haven demand on the back of a sharp turnaround in European equity markets.

Precious metals lost ground as the dollar sprung higher following last week’s sharp decline, which has mostly extended a protracted downtrend for the commodity-pegged currency. A weaker dollar can boost commodities priced in dollars, because it makes them cheaper to buy for holders of other currencies.

Another turn-around in the dollar has weighed on gold, especially as it happened when gold prices were once again challenging recent highs.

The rebound, however, lacked any strong certainty amid expectations for a faster Fed monetary policy tightening cycle. Hence, the key focus would remain on the highly anticipated FOMC meeting minutes, which would help determine the next leg of a directional move for the non-yielding yellow metal.

Even though gold lost its lustre, market players saw this dip as a good buying opportunity. Exchange-traded funds increased holdings of gold and silver this week, reports Commerzbank.  Investors appear to be viewing the price slide as a buying prospect, as gold ETFs saw inflows of 2.7 tonnes

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
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.

Monday, 22 January 2018

Gold - A Store of Value

Though gold headed for its first weekly drop in six week, it remained in the positive territory - thanks to U.S uncertainties, Bitcoin crisis, ECB hawkish comments to name a few.

Spot gold has declined 0.5 per cent so far this week, its worst week since early December.

Spot gold was up 0.4 per cent at $1,332 an ounce by 0659 GMT. On Thursday, it touched its weakest level since Jan. 12 at $1,323.70, having fallen from recent four-month highs.

Amid worries of a possible US government shutdown, the dollar weakened and gold strengthened with prices rising higher on Friday. Legislation to stave off an imminent federal government shutdown encountered obstacles in the US Senate late on Thursday, despite the passage of a month-long funding bill by the House of Representatives hours earlier.

Legislation to avoid a US government shutdown at midnight on Friday advanced in Congress, as the House of Representatives on Thursday night approved an extension of federal funds until February 16, although the bill faced uncertain prospects in the Senate.

The dollar has fallen since 2017 largely on expectations central banks besides the Federal Reserve are seeking to end their policy of ultra low, even negative, rates that they adopted to combat the 2008 global financial crisis and the recession that followed.

Furthermore, reacting to ECB’s hawkish language, gold prices rose during Asian morning trading hours. The yellow metal gained momentum as ECB’s December meeting minutes and soft US data weighed on the dollar.

ECB’s December minute were claimed to be hawkish due to a discussion of a gradual shift in guidance from early 2018 - much earlier than had previously discussed.

A disappointing US data lowered the dollar. The dollar index was down by 0.5% at 91.81 as of 11:57 am Shanghais time.

The December Producer price index fell 0.1% against an expected increase of 0.2%
Unemployment claims rose to 261,000 this week. Marking the fourth consecutive weekly increase and a more-than-three- month high.
As mentioned above, another reason that has favored the rise on gold prices is the much hyped Bitcoin. Is it a bubble or a boom? Bitcoin, the world’s most popular crypt currency, has seen a major correction, losing over 40 percent of its value in less than a month, prompting investors to dump the crypt currency in exchange for the precious metal.

As of this writing, the cryptocurrency, which skyrocketed from below $1,000 in early 2016 to the historic milestone of $20,000 in December 2017, was hovering around $11,600 per a coin, according to CoinDesk. On Wednesday, the price of Bitcoin dropped to $9,400 at one point.

Currently Bitcoin look quite uncertain. It was easy to get into it but now investors are finding it difficult to come out. AS we see that currently with Bitcoin and dollar facing a decline in vale, gold on the other hand ahs rallied 7.5% in the past month and also carries with itself a history of being a safe haven asset and a store of value.

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

2018 kicks off a good start for gold

Recent weeks have shown strong rallies for precious metals and its looks like ass id prices are now consolidating. There may be a pull back in prices over a strengthening U.S dollar, but the rebounds since mid-December show that the sentiments for precious metals, especially gold, has turned more bullish. Once again the yellow metal has found place in an investor’s kitty and these commodities are back in vogue again.

Last week we saw gold prices rising during Asian trading hours on Thursday, 11th Jan after the dollar continued to drift lower following news that Chinese officials have recommend the country slow or halt its purchase of US bonds.

The yellow metal benefited for reasons more than one over the past week and its effect continued to spread in the current week too.

  • The important data that weighed on the dollar and other global news that benefited the yellow metal-
  • The December produce price index fell 0.1% against an expected increase of 0;2%
  • Unemployment claims rose to 261,000 in the past week marking the 4th consecutive weekly increase and a more than three month high.
  • The dollar remained soft after important news was released from China regarding US bind purchase on Thursday. This kept the dollar on the defensive which ultimately benefited the yellow metal.
  • Hawkish language contained in the ECD December meeting minutes pushed gold prices further on Friday
  • What added to the rally was a soft US data that released on Friday. This weighed on the dollar and pushed gold prices higher.
  • A disappointing US data further raised negative sentiment for the dollar. The weak dollar amidst increased demand for equity market hedge has made the environment even more glitter for the shining metal.
  • Adding a touch of bullishness to gold was data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission on Friday, which showed hedge funds and money managers raised their net long positions in COMEX gold and silver in the week to Jan. 9.
  • U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday delivered an ultimatum to European signatories of the deal to fix the “terrible flaws” in the agreement with Iran, or the United States would pull out.
  • Iran’s president said on Sunday the United States had failed to undermine a nuclear deal between Tehran and major powers, and hailed the accord as a “long-lasting victory” for Iran, state television reported

A weaker U.S. currency makes dollar-denominated assets such as gold cheaper for holders of other currencies, while higher rates could dent demand for non-interest-paying gold.
The global spill over effect was seen in the domestic markets too. In the national capital, gold of 99.9% and 99.5% purity advanced by Rs100 each to Rs30,750 and Rs30,600 per 10 grams, respectively — levels last seen on 18 November.
 Apart from positive global cues, buoyed by a slump in the dollar, sustained buying by local jewellers at the domestic spot market kept gold prices elevated

Summing it up, gold has moved up sharply in dollar terms in the past few days despite mixed economic data out of the USA. So gold investors should treat the latest rise in the gold price purely as a wealth protection exercise.  That is what gold is good at over time.  If the dollar declines further then gold will rise further, as will all the major precious metals – and most other commodities too.

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Glitter metal gives Bright performance

2018 has definitely given gold the good launch platform. This year, gold began with its highest opening price for a calendar year. This opening has been its highest in the past 5 years after rising by around 13 per cent last year.

Last year, gold managed to close above $1300 an ounce and has been seen hovering on the range. In the currency year too gold reached its highest level since it opened on Jan 1st.

This marks only the fourth time ever that gold has opened the year above $1,300 an ounce.
The main reason for this bright performance of the glittering metal can be accrued to a weak US dollar which fell by 10% last year against a basket of major traded currencies – the worst yearly performance since 2003.

In large part, the performance of gold, and indeed the performance of many dollar-denominated asset prices have been justified by the dollars weak performance.

The US dollar weakened across the board after the release of the US employment report and pushed gold to the upside. The metal rose $6 in a few seconds, from $1316/oz to $1323 to test daily highs. It failed to break higher but it was holding near that area and also close to Thursdays high of $1326.

Before the report realised gold was trading in a negative territory, pulling back from the monthly high that it had attained. But once the U.S. data was released gold rebounded as it found support at $1315.

According to the Labour Department,
The US economy added 148K jobs in December, below the 190K estimated by market analysts.
Average earnings rose 0.3% (as expected)
While the unemployment rate remained at 4.1% (17-year low).

A few minutes after the report the greenback recovered most of its losses. Despite being below expectoration the data continue to signal a strong labour market and it did not alter significantly Fed rate hike expectations.

As we have already discussed this before that Gold started out 2018 strongly, drawing support from a soft U.S. dollar. But the demand for the yellow metal in the Asian markets hasn’t picked up well. 

Spot metal hit a high of $1,321.45 an ounce overnight, its strongest level since mid-September, before easing back slightly.

Signs of seasonal Asian buying are yet to be seen in any meaningful way, which does make it difficult to chase this move higher, although we do expect this to begin filtering in over the next week or so.

We all know that gold has always proved to be a safe haven asset in times of uncertainties and has also been one the highest return generating asset in its class. And the same is expected to continue, keeping in mind gold's past years performance and current year’s opening.

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Gold - Past performance future prediction

As the year comes to a close, let’s take a look back at the main gold trends this year, from the impact of US Federal Reserve interest rate hikes to widespread geopolitical uncertainty, how it performed and how the outlook is in 2018.

Though gold made double digit gains in some currencies, it did have a tough year. The precious metal has had some harsh criticism from the mainstream media and unfair comparisons to lubricious assets, such as bitcoin and US equities.

Few have acknowledged gold's impressive performance in the face of rising interest rates, tightening monetary policies and the ongoing equity bull market.

When we see gold’s performance over the past 12 months, I think it would be better to divide it over 4 quarters to get an enhanced understanding of gold, its performance and the reason behind its volatility.

Quarter 1- The main driving force for gold prices in this quarter was Trumps uncertainty.
Concerns about US President Donald Trump and anticipated rate hikes from the Fed caused worries, as did the Brexit process and European elections. All of those factors combined in the first three months of the year to drive the yellow metal’s price
During the first quarter, gold traded between $1,184.62 and $1,257.64.
The gold price made its eighth Q1 gain in 10 years in the first quarter of 2017, buoyed by safe-haven demand from anxious investors.
Early in 2017, GFMS noted a gradual rise in gold demand complimeeyed by a reduction in global mine output, resulting in smaller surplus in 2017. This supply demand gap further reflected a bright year for gold and gold stocks in particular in the first quarter.

Quarter 2- Herein steps the Fed, whose hawkish tone influences the market and gold prices in particular.
The gold price stalled in the second quarter of the year as concerns about geopolitical tension faded away. The Fed increased interest rates for the second time of the year in June — that hurt the yellow metal as gold is highly sensitive to rising rates.
Demand for gold dropped 14 percent year-on-year in the first half of 2017 due to a sharp fall in ETF inflows, according to the World Gold Council (WGC). Total global demand for gold reached 2,003.8 tonnes from January to June, down from 2,318.7 tonnes in the same period the year before.
The yellow metal traded between $1,218.80 and $1,293.60 during the quarter.

Quarter 3- a Series of uncertain events leading to geopolitical crisis once again put gold on the top list of safe haven assets.
The gold price gained more than 3 percent in the third quarter, even though September was one of its worst months of the year.
A weaker US dollar and geopolitical tensions between the US and North Korea supported gold over the quarter. Gains were offset by the Fed’s hawkish tone, which pointed to another interest rate hike later in the year and three more in 2018.
At the end of the quarter, most analysts agreed that worldwide political developments, as well as the US dollar, were set to be key drivers for the gold price for the rest of the year.
Gold traded between $1,212.20 and $1,348.60 during the quarter.

Quarter 4- The most awaited Fed meeting becomes the focus globally. 
The gold price remained almost neutral in the last quarter of the year, and was on track for a quarterly loss of less than 1 percent. Trump’s new Fed chair nomination and the expectation of another rate hike in December were some of the key factors driving prices during the period.
The yellow metal has been trading between $1,285.50 and $1,298 during the quarter.
So as we saw that in spite of witnessing volatilities, 2017 was a tough yet good year for gold.
Now what we need to pay heed to is that whether the above mentioned factors will continue to influence gold in 2018 or do we have many more surprise for the yellow metal in the following year-

The gold price is likely next year to continue the rise it commenced two years ago. The main contributory factors here remain the extremely

Loose monetary policy pursued by nearly all key central banks, resulting in ongoing very low to negative interest rates.

Political uncertainty is also likely to be a constant feature throughout the year. One example worth mentioning is the difficult process of forming a government in Germany, the outcome of which remains unclear. Parliamentary elections will probably be held in Italy in the spring of 2018 and could spark renewed unrest in the Euro zone

Brexit is likely to become an increasingly hot topic during the course of the year if agreement is still not reached in the negotiations between the EU and the UK and the UK’s disorderly exit from the EU becomes more likely in the spring of 2019.

 That the second year of Donald Trump’s presidency in the US will run any more smoothly in terms of domestic or foreign policy than the first one did.

The implementation of the tax reform and the possible implications for monetary policy are likely to keep the market just as much on tenterhooks as the ongoing investigations into contacts between Trump’s election campaign team and Russia.

A prediction of the future approach of the Fed towards the monetary policy gets difficult as, Trump will next year make several new appointments to the Fed’s Board of Governors.

What is more, midterm elections to the US Congress will be taking place in the autumn of 2018, which is likely to increase pressure on Trump and the Republicans to implement the tax reform. Otherwise there is a risk of the high-flying US stock markets correcting, which would benefit gold

The numerous geopolitical crises should likewise generate latent uncertainty. These include in particular the North Korea conflict, the growing tensions in the Middle East between Saudi Arabia and Iran, and the conflict between the West and Russia over Russian influence in the US elections and in Eastern Ukraine.

Admittedly, the Fed has already raised interest rates twice this year, and is likely to do so for a third time in mid-December. Our economists expect three further rate hikes next year. However, this does not necessarily preclude a rising gold price, as 2017 has shown. This is because other central banks apart from the Fed – such as the Bank of England and the Bank of Canada – have also increased interest rates in the meantime, which reduces the benefits of the rate hikes for the US dollar.

 Physical gold demand should generate somewhat more tailwind next year. It was fairly subdued in 2017. The World Gold Council (WGC) expects gold demand in India ultimately to reach a mere 650-750 tons after a strong first half of the year, putting it at a similarly low level as last year. Demand fell away when a goods and services tax was levied on gold purchases with effect from 1 July.

Gold ETFs On balance, ETF investors have hardly bought any gold at all since the end of September. By contrast, the world’s largest gold ETF – the SPDR Gold Trust that is listed in the US – recorded only minor net inflows. The numerous uncertainties and low real interest rates suggest that we will also see net inflows into gold ETFs in 2018. How pronounced these turn out to be will depend to a large extent on whether stock markets continue to fly high or whether they correct.

Numerous political uncertainty factors in Europe and the US, as well as a number of potential sources of geopolitical crisis, are likely to boost demand for gold additionally. Gold demand in Asia should have bottomed out and increase moderately in 2018. The gold price is likely to rise during the course of the year and to be trading at $1,350 per troy ounce by the end of 2018.

One risk factor for gold is the US tax reform. If this is fully implemented, the rally on the stock markets could continue, meaning that gold is in less demand accordingly.

So as we always say, gold is expected to have its share of highs and lows in 2018 and of the influencers discussed above, which happens first and how severely it happens will decide the fate of the yellow metal.

Monday, 18 December 2017

Fed Hike fails to cap gold

Spot gold headed for the biggest gain in three weeks after Federal Reserve officials stuck with a projection for three interest-rate increases in the coming year, easing concerns that speeding up economic growth would spur an even faster pace of monetary tightening.

Gold prices rose on Wednesday, extending gains to 1 per cent as the dollar fell after the US Federal Reserve raised interest rates as expected but left its outlook unchanged for coming years.
The spot gold price rallied to US$1,256.87 after the Fed raised its benchmark interest rates by 25 basis points, or a quarter of a percentage point.

Gold prices on Friday held onto gains made after this week’s interest rate rise by the U.S. Federal Reserve and were set for their first weekly rise in four weeks.

The U.S. Federal Reserve decided to increase the U.S. interest rate by 25 basis point on its latest Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting held on 12th and 13th December.

By a 7-2 vote, the Fed on Wednesday raised the benchmark lending rate by a quarter percentage point, its third hike this year. In a statement following a two-day meeting, the Federal Open Market Committee omitted prior language saying it expected the labor market would strengthen further.

This move was highly anticipated by the market and hence was being priced against gold well ahead of the meeting. However, despite the action being against the attractiveness of gold as an investment, gold prices  closed on a higher note on December 13th.

Generally, a rate hike pulls down gold prices. But contradictory situation was witnessed on Wednesday, where gold prices remained high even after a rate hike.

 “Gold moved up in its initial reaction because Fed is dovish in terms of a rate hike vision for 2018, and it sees only three rate hikes, not four.

This vision weakened the US dollar which gave the required push to gold prices.

The U.S Dollar Index (DXY) measures the value of the dollar against a basket of six major foreign currencies. The index fell roughly by .6% during the Fed's announcement on the 13th, which was otherwise gaining momentum ahead of the meeting. Although, an interest rate hike should have ideally strengthened the position of the dollar, the Fed's decision negatively impacted the currency as the meeting kept its projection for interest rate hikes for 2018 unchanged.

 This was despite the fact that the Fed sees a consistent recovery in the U.S. economy in the upcoming year. The Fed expects 3 additional rate increases in 2018 and another 2 in 2019, in line with its September projections. However, GDP growth expectation was increased by .4% higher than its previous estimate of 2.1%, mainly due to the impact of the implementation of the U.S. tax reform
GOLD BARS rose above 1-week highs against most major currencies in London trade Friday, extending their recovery from this week's multi-month lows as world stock markets slipped for a second day from new all-time highs.

The dollar was on the defensive on Friday after wrangling over a bill to change the US tax code dented confidence, while the euro sagged after the European Central Bank signaled it would maintain stimulus for as long as needed

As the Fed and ECB reverse sharply from their unprecedented easing of recent years to unprecedented tightening in the coming years, these record-high, euphoric, bubble-valued stock markets are in serious trouble.  As they roll over and sell off, investors will rush to prudently diversify their stock-heavy portfolios with counter-moving gold.  There’s nothing more bullish for gold investment demand than weakening stocks.

So contrary to recent weeks’ and months’ erroneous view that Fed rate hikes are bearish for gold, history proves just the opposite is true.  Gold has thrived in the 11 modern Fed-rate-hike cycles before todays, and it has powered higher on balance in this 12th one.  While you wouldn’t know it after this past year’s extreme Trumphoria rally, Fed rate hikes are actually bearish for stocks and thus quite bullish for gold.

Friday, 15 December 2017

Gold feels the winter chills

Temperatures dropped and so did gold prices at the start of the week.  Gold weakened over a firm dollar on Monday

Spot gold was almost unchanged on Monday morning as a firm dollar stood steady with expectations of higher US interest rates and healthy data from the US.

Gold steadied near its weakest level in almost five months on Wednesday amid expectations the Federal Reserve would raise interest rates again at the conclusion of its last policy meeting this year.
The Fed has increased rates twice in 2017 and is still expected to push through three more hikes next year.
 Spot gold was down 0.1 percent at $1,242.18 an ounce during Wednesdays early trading hours. That was not far above Tuesday's low of $1,235.92, which was gold's lowest level since July 20.   
However later in the day, gold started gaining momentum and  settled higher, recovering part of the losses suffered over the last four sessions that sent prices to a nearly six-month low.

Further as the dollar continued to weaken, gold prices climbed higher in the wake of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s decision to raise interest rates, as expected, for the third time in 2017.

The central bank lifted a key short-term U.S. interest rate to a range of 1.25% to 1.5% and stuck to its earlier forecast for just three rate hikes in 2018.

Gold reacted positively to this and the year-end rate hikes served as key instruments to bring about big rallies in gold.

The Fed’s plans for rate normalization have been side-tracked by economic reality in the New Year. However, also judging from the past two years, it could take a couple of days or a couple of weeks for gold to begin rebounding more strongly.

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 November 2017

Negative atmosphere for gold

Gold prices fell to one week lows on Friday as the dollar gained ground after upbeat U.S. factory orders and service sector data offset the impact of a weaker than expected employment report for October.

The dollarturned positive after the following data release-
U.S. factory orders
ISM non-manufacturing PMI data.
Another report showed that new orders for U.S. made goods rose for the second straight month in September
Orders for core capital goods rose more than expected.

The reports raised the probability of the FederalReserve's rate hike at a faster pace in the coming months. Higher rates tend to make the dollar more attractive to yield seeking investors.The dollar had earlier fallen to its lows on Friday after the release of October U.S. nonfarm payrolls, which came in below expectations.

On Monday, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York confirmed that William Dudley, among the most influential monetary policymakers throughout the financial crisis and its aftermath, expects to retire by mid-2018.

That raised another question over leadership at the central bank, less than a week after Trump chose a new Fed chief.

There are a lot of uncertainties over the Federal Reserve which makes it difficult for the markets to trade and hence most of the focus shifts to the tax reforms.

The dollar slipped to a more than one-week low against the yen on Wednesday, pressured by worries over possible delays to President Donald Trump's tax reform plans.

U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan on Wednesday left the door open to a possible delay in implementing a huge corporate tax cut, following a Washington Post report that his fellow Republicans in the Senate are exploring the option.

Any potential delay in the implementation of tax cuts, or the possibility of proposed reforms being watered down, would tend to work against the U.S. currency, analysts said.

Some investors believe the data was distorted by the effects of recent hurricanes in the U.S. Investors were also focused on the proposed tax overhaul outlined by Republican lawmakers on Thursday.
Gold was higher on Thursday as a weaker dollar pushed prices during the session to a three-week high for the second time in successive days.

Gold had gained momentum till Thursday but lost its shineby the end of the week over a strengthening US dollar.

Gold prices closed lower after early weekly strength failed to gain enough upside momentum to continue the move. Bullish traders didn’t seem to be surprised by the release of the Republican version of U.S. tax reform, the Fed dropping hints of a December rate hike in its November monetary policy statement and President Donald Trump’s nomination of Federal Reserve Governor Jerome Powell to be the next Fed chair.

The market traded high for most of the week, but collapsed on Friday after the U.S. Dollar rose in reaction to the October U.S. Non-Farm Payrolls report.

Supporting the market were concerns over political and geopolitical events. Resistance was being fuelled by rising Treasury yields, a firmer U.S. Dollar and strong appetite for higher- risk assets.

Some traders believe tax reforms could bolster growth which would lead to a stronger growing U.S economy , further creating pressure on the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates and this pushing gold prices down.

Though gold still drew short-term support from uncertainty over the U.S. tax bill, “the overall trend has shifted into a neutral to negative trend.

It’s the current geo political and financialuncertaintythat’s creating a negative atmosphere for gold as the year comes to an end. We hope December gets in some great surprises for gold.

Friday, 10 November 2017

Gold tracks the U.S Currency

Bullion moved up on Wednesday as geopolitical tensions between US& North Korea and in the Middle East prompted investors to flock to safer assets. Gold was positive by almost half a percent and tested high in the international markets.

Gold prices edged higher on Thursday, after marking a near three-week high in the previous session, as the dollar eased.

Spot gold rose 0.2 percent at $1,283.91 per ounce at 0844 GMT. On Wednesday, it rose 0.4 percent and touched it’s highest since Oct. 20 at $1,287.13 an ounce.

Initially what pushed gold prices were factors like geo political uncertainties and safe haven buying. But currently, the severity of these influential factors has subsided and hence gold has been probably tracking the US dollar as its driver for price movement.

The dollar slipped to a more than one-week low against the yen on Wednesday, pressured by worries over possible delays to President Donald Trump's tax reform plans.

Any potential delay in the implementation of tax cuts, or the possibility of proposed reforms being watered down, would tend to work against the U.S. currency.

On Monday, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York confirmed that William Dudley, among the most influential monetary policymakers throughout the financial crisis and its aftermath, expects to retire by mid-2018.

That raised another question over leadership at the central bank, less than a week after Trump chose a new Fed chief.

Currently the markets are in a fix, wondering what exactly to look for while making their trade. It’s difficult for them to trade even the Fed at the moment and hence as of now all eyes will remain focussed on the tax reforms for any further movement in the precious metals market.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Winter demand good for gold but prices likely to fall

Gold prices were hovering near multi-week highs for most investors outside the US Dollar and Euro on Thursday, as the Bank of England followed the Federal Reserve's widely expected "no change" decision by raising UK rates off an all-time record low as analysts and traders had forecast.
However in Friday, Spot gold was down 0.2 percent at $1,267.01 per Ounce and touched a one-week low of $1,265.16 over positive economic data and central bank decisions.

The past week was a significant week for central banks. The Bank of England raised interest rates for the first time in ten years, the Federal Reserve indicated that a December rate hike may happen and President Trump named Powell as his choice for leader of the Federal Reserve.

But still uncertainty prevails as there is no surety that how economies will manage when the central bank support is withdrawn. Moreover none of the financial centers have managed to meet inflation targets which they were all so vocal about.

Adding to the uncertainty is the issue that three of the world’s four most important central bank chiefs are nearing the end of their terms and may be well replaced. The rally in the gold price and fall in the dollar is just the first indication with how markets feel about such changes.

Gold held steady on Monday, but hovered near a one-week low hit in the previous session, as largely upbeat U.S. economic data reinforced the prospects of another rate hike by the Federal Reserve next month.

U.S. jobs growth accelerated in October, although wage growth was tepid, adding to the Fed’s assessment last week that “the labor market has continued to strengthen”, with the sluggish wage data doing little to change expectations.

JP Morgan Chase & Co on Friday raised its forecast on the number of U.S. interest rate increases by the Federal Reserve next year to four from three as the October payrolls data reinforced the view of a tightening domestic labor market.

Markets are increasingly confident the Fed will hike interest rates in December, which has weighed on the precious metals complex,

Higher interest rates tend to boost the dollar and push bond yields up, putting pressure on gold prices by increasing the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.

The Federal Reserve looks likely to raise interest rates, and that should bring up the value of the US dollar in general. If that’s the case, then gold could roll over a bit. Ultimately, this is a market that will continue to be just as mixed up as many others are right now, as we do not know with any type of certainty that the Federal Reserve is going to do one thing or the other.

Analysts said the yellow metal could also find support after U.S. President Donald Trump, who kicked off a 12-day Asia trip, looked to present a united front with Japan against North Korea.
Moreoverdemand for gold is likely to rise not only in the domestic market butinternationally too.
While we see the onset of the wedding season in India, normally winter is also a good time for gold globally with men buying their significant others jewellery for Christmas and lots of New Year’s Day marriage proposals

This rise in demand is expected tousher in renewed interest for bullion in coming week.

Monday, 30 October 2017

Rally expected in gold in near future

Gold’s rally this year came to a halt in September. And the prices continued to weaken in October mainly due to higher US nominal and US real yields. The yellow metal fell from $1357 an ounce to $1260 on 6thOctober, thus signalling markets that the rally in gold prices has almost ended.

Post the decline, gold prices in October have stabilised. During the past week, gold prices declined by mid-week and then rose again on Thursdayamid a weaker dollar and equity market sell-off, while market participants turned their attention to the European Central Bank’s (ECB) monetary policy meeting.

The spot gold price was quoted at $1,280.20-1,280.50 per oz, up $1.45 from the previous session’s close.

The decline in equities helped turn around a sell-off in the gold market, as investors pushed back into safe-haven assets. Moreover a simultaneous fall in the US dollar also pushed the demand for gold.

Even though gold prices rose on Thursday and Friday, the week ended on a negative note for gold. Gold prices were down for the second consecutive week with the precious metal off by .75% to trade at 1270 ahead of the New York close on Friday. The losses come amid continued strength in the U.S. Dollar as it gained due to a sharp sell-off in the Euro after a dovish ECB President Mario Draghi suggested that interest rates would likely remain at present levels for "an extended period of time" after the QE program ends.

The broader bid in the U.S. dollar as markets factor in a more hawkish Fed chairperson and with the Fed on track to hike the Fed funds rate by 25 bp in December also weighed on commodities in the past week.

Gold prices were under pressure and the other precious metals are following its lead – again the firmer dollar and potential for more dollar strength, while the geopolitical scene seems calm, are weighing on prices. Needless to say, North Korea also remains a potentially bullish factor.

Gold edged higher on Friday, reversing earlier losses after the Catalonian parliament’s independence declaration from Spain led investors to seek safety from political upheaval.

Catalonia’s declaration was in defiance of the Madrid government, which was preparing to impose direct rule over the region.

Bullion is often used as a safe haven in times of geopolitical and economic uncertainty, while riskier assets such as equities are generally sold off.

Though gold managed to reach a session high of$1271 per ounce, it couldn’t sustain the strengthening US dollar and hence headed for its second weekly decline.

However, markets are still bullish for gold as the yellow metal is expected to rise to $1,350 an ounce between January and March 2018, and end the year with a more positive performance, as rates are expected to average at $1,450 an ounce.

The longer-term trend in gold prices is also positive, mainly because we markets are negative on the US dollar.

Coming to this week, a decline in gold prices can be expected as gold is expected to weaken over a strong UD dollar.

Currently, all eyes fall on the Fed with the FOMC rate decision slated for Wednesday. While no change to the benchmark rate is expected, traders will be looking for any changes to the accompanying statement- specifically as it pertains to the inflationary outlook. Keep in mind markets have largely priced in a December hike with Fed Fund Futures currently showing an 87.1% probability for an increase of 25bps. However with both 3Q GDP and the Core Personal Consumption Expenditure (PCE) coming in stronger-than-expected on Friday, the question now becomes the future pace of subsequent rate-hikes.

Thursday, 21 September 2017

FOMC Meet breaks down gold

It is rather remarkable to think that less than a month ago, gold shot up on the back of a missile firing in North Korea and the assorted baggage that came with that. The market was scared and gold was the major beneficiary. Now here we are, with the price of gold almost fifty dollars lower, but nothing has really changed. Trump is threatening total annihilation of North Korea, to which I am sure Kim Jong Un will have something to say or do. And now in addition to that, the US President is picking another fight, this time with Iran, with inflammatory comments at the UN yesterday. It does indeed seem that the markets have very, very short memories. But among all this, this week’s focus shifted to the much awaited FOMC meet, its concluding statement and what the Fed would say about balance sheet reduction.

On Nov 25, 2008 The Fed announced it would begin buying assets for its own account to save the world. In Oct 2014, The Fed ended its QE3 buying program but continued to reinvest the proceeds to maintain its $4.4 trillion balance sheet. Today, Janet Yellen announced the balance sheet will be allowed to normalize, with reinvestment slowed/stopped starting in October.

Let take a quick look at the key highlights over the Feds statements of the meet:

  • Hurricanes are unlikely to change economy’s course medium term
  • Economic activity has risen moderately and job market has strengthened
  • Rates kept unchanged as Fed plans balance sheet runoff in October
  • Fed signals another hike in 2017 and 3 more in 2018

As expected, the Fed announced it will begin reducing bond reinvestment's, starting by $10 billion per month and growing to $50 billion.

Gold prices settled higher Wednesday but slipped in electronic trading after the U.S. Federal Reserve's decision to keep interest rates unchanged

The price of spot gold has cracked back below the $1300 on the run up in the dollar after the FOMC decision. The precious metal is trading at the lowest level since August 28th.

In electronic trading after the Fed statement, prices traded lower at $1,310.70. The central bank said it will taper its $4.5 trillion balance sheet by $10 billion per month, the first reduction in nine years. Meanwhile, the Fed's interest rate projections, known as the dot plot, suggested a rate hike in December and three more in 2018.

A spill over effect of this meeting was clearly seen on gold as it broke the important trading level of $1300.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Wait, Watch and Then Work

In 2016, gold was seen climbing 6% from $1050 to $1150 and another 10% gain during the first half of this year, in July and again in early August, gold prices dropped down to $1210, before rallying back up both times to $1290 and $1350 per ounce respectively. This back and forth price action has some investors worried if this is a real bull market in gold or yet another flash in the pan for the coveted yellow metal?

Reasons being more than one, Investors arereturning to gold again to prudently diversify their stock-heavy portfolios.  That’s very bullish for gold, as investment capital inflows can persist for months or even years.  This shift is most evident in the yellow metal.

There are a couple of issues pushing and pulling at the market. The reaction to the missile launch last week has been a bit negated by that better-than-expected (US) inflation number.

Spot gold slipped on Friday, shrugging off North Korea's latest missile launch over Japan, with strong US inflation data raising the spectre of another interest rate hike.

Let’s have a look as to how each factor was responsiblefor this wave like movement in gold prices.

North Korea - North Korea fired a missile on Friday that flew over Japan's northern island of Hokkaido far out into the Pacific Ocean, South Korean and Japanese officials said, further ratcheting up tensions after Pyongyang's recent test of a powerful nuclear bomb.

US Data - Geopolitical risks can boost demand for safe-haven assets such as gold and the Japanese yen. The yen slipped against the dollar on Friday, after earlier having risen on the news, with the greenback supported by strong US consumer inflation data.

Gold pared losses after data on Friday showed U.S. retail sales unexpectedly fell in August and industrial output dropped for the first time since January due to the impact of Hurricane Harvey.
Friday's numbers were in contrast to strong U.S. inflation data on Thursday which increased prospects of an interest rate hike in December.The Fed's next monetary policy meeting begins on Sept. 19 and now the marketis increasingly focusing on the Federal Reserve and its probability of another rate hike this year.

The Fed has a 2 per cent inflation target, and a series of subdued inflation readings have dampened expectations for further rate rises in the near term. Firming inflation could support the case for another rate hike. Interest rates tend to boost the dollar and push bond yields up, putting pressure on gold.

ECB - Gold fell on Friday after a European Central Bank official called for scaling back the bank's stimulus programme; although losses were capped when weaker than expected U.S. economic data raised questions about further rate hikes.

ECB board member Sabine Lautenschlaeger made the most explicit call so far from an ECB policymaker for paring the bank's 2.3 trillion euros money-printing programme.

Data showing that euro zone wages grew at their fastest rate in two years in the second quarter bolstered the case for reining in ECB stimulus.

This was rather a bad news for gold because this continues the trend of the market pricing in the normalization of monetary policy.

But he said there had already been plenty of headlines about the ECB planning an exit from its bond buying and the U.S. Federal Reserve reducing its balance sheet after its big quantitative easing programme.

Those "normalisation" actions by central banks tend to drive rates higher, push bond yields up and put pressure on gold, a non-yielding asset.

Summing it up, though the previous week saw gold moving like a see saw; the focus now shifts to the important FOMC meet due on 19th September. Wait, Watch and then Work would be the only trading tip for the time being.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Strong Rally in Gold Prices RSBL

We have seen gold nearing a 1 year high over the past few months. But what has supported this rally for the yellow metal? 

Lately, uncertainty in many forms has played a key role. This past week's nuclear test in North Korea shook investors, sending them fleeing to safe-haven investments such as gold. In addition, uncertainties over Congress's ability to pass corporate tax reforms, which are being counted on to boost U.S. GDP growth, have some pundits favouring gold relative to stock-based equities.
Last Friday, the spot gold price was trading at $1,352.50/1,352.90 per oz, up $5.2 from the previous trading day’s close. 

Gold prices were well-bid on Friday September 8 as weaker-than-expected US economic data and the ECB’s decision to leave interest rates unchanged, as well as continued geopolitical risks, maintained pressure on the dollar.

Let’s take c closer look at all the influences- 

US Dollar-Uncertainty and lower-than-expected inflation rates have been doing a number on the U.S. dollar. In recent weeks, the dollar hit multiyear lows against the euro and at least one-year lows against a handful of other major currencies. 

In recent months the dollar has suffered from multiple issues forcing it lower against other major currencies, including political failures, multiple climate-related disasters, geopolitical tensions and weak inflation in the US.

The latter, in particular, has made it more difficult for the Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) to justify hiking interest rates

The dollar index on Friday morning was down 0.08 to 91.45. Overnight US jobless claims surged to a two-year high because of Hurricane Harvey, which raised doubts over further US interest rate hikes in December.

The dollar and gold usually move in opposite directions, meaning the dollar's weakness has been a green light for gold investors.

ECB Meet- ECB policymakers indicated at their meeting overnight that the European central bank was not intending to weaken the common European currency, which is expected to support euro performance in the short-term. The ECB maintained rates and upgraded its growth forecast this year by 0.3ppt to 2.2%, but maintained its 2018-19 forecasts.

Hurricane- Meanwhile gold prices jumped today morning as an earthquake off the coast of Mexico added to the hurricane damage in the Caribbean and US east coast in driving demand for the traditional safe haven.

U.S Data- The tally was the highest level for initial claims since April 18, 2015, when it was also 298,000, the government said. 

Consensus expectations compiled by various news organizations called for initial claims to be around 241,000 to 242,000. The government left the prior week’s tally at the previously reported 236,000.
Gold prices rose after a Labor Department report Thursday showing that initial weekly U.S. jobless claims surged by 62,000 to a seasonally adjusted 298,000, with the government citing the impact of Hurricane Harvey.

Geopolitical tensions- Geopolitical risks also remain at front of mind, with the USA pushing hard for additional sanctions against North Korea. This kept safe-haven buying relatively strong 

Persistent North Korean tensions and general US dollar weakness propelled gold $15 higher to new 2017 highs overnight, touching $1,249.98 and closing just below at $1,249.50. 

Geopolitical events have boosted precious metals prices. Gold prices continue to push higher, underpinned by geopolitical concerns over North Korea. For any further escalation in the on-going tensions, gold is likely to remain in demand. 

FOMC Meet and Interest Rate Hike-A combination of stubbornly low core inflation and rising doubts about the Trump administration’s ability to pass new legislation has been underpinning the situation. 

Specifically, the failure of high asset prices and strong labour market growth to pass through into underlying inflation is bringing into question how much further the FOMC will be able to lift rates in the near term. While the healthcare bill fiasco and lack of detail around both tax reform and infrastructure spending have underlined the difficulty of turning rhetoric into reality when it comes to shifting growth onto a higher structural path. In consequence, markets have been remarkably sanguine about the FOMC’s anticipated announcement of balance sheet reduction at their September 20th meeting and are now only pricing 25% chance of another hike by year-end.

Prices are closing in on last year’s highs so some nervous profit-taking may emerge, leading to choppy trading, but the combination of North Korea, a weak dollar and low treasury yields are all supportive. Silver and platinum may well follow gold, but palladium prices that are already elevated, may struggle more.

Although this combination of factors clearly presents a constructive cyclical backdrop for gold prices, the extent of the recent rally has surpassed what can be explained by just US rates and the weak dollar. 

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Bullish sentiments for gold

Gold for the week ended with a good sign, as it posted gains in the Friday session, continuing the upward movement we saw on Thursday.

In the North American session, gold was seen trading at $1323.74, up 0.18% on the day. This rise was seen post the release of the labor report told prices have enjoyed a strong week, gaining 1.9%.
The metal showed some strong gains earlier on Friday, as the metal touched a daily high of $1329.05, its highest level since November 2016. These gains were triggered by the disappointing non farm payrolls and wage growth reports for August, both of which missed their estimates.

On the release front, US job numbers were unexpectedly soft. Non farm payrolls slowed to 156 thousand, well below the estimate of 180 thousand. Wage growth also disappointed, as Average Hourly Earnings posted a small gain of 0.1%, shy of the estimate of 0.2%.

Although the US labor market remains tight, investors are fretting about the lack of wage growth, which has contributed to the low inflation which continues to hamper the US economy.

The Federal Reserve will also be perturbed by small wage growth, as a December rate hike is very much in doubt due to inflation levels which obstinately remain well below the Fed's inflation target of 2.0%. Currently, the likelihood of a December rate hike stands at just 36%

Gold is traditionally considered a safe-haven asset, and often benefits when investors get jittery and lose their risk appetite. Such was the case last week, as renewed tensions between the US and North Korea early in the week propelled the metal above the symbolic $1300 level.

On Tuesday, North Korea fired a missile over Japanese territory, drawing sharp condemnations from Japan and the US, with President Trump declaring that "all options remain on the table"

In times of uncertainty or crisis, investors typically take refuge in “safe” options like the Swiss franc, gold or the US dollar, but under President Donald Trump the greenback has lost its lustre, especially to the euro.

Although, tensions have since eased somewhat, if North Korea decides to fire another missile towards Japan or the US military base on Guam, gold prices will likely move higher. As well, as the markets digest the disappointing job numbers, we could see risk appetite continue to wane early next week, which could extend the current gold rally.

The reaction to the lackluster U.S. Non-Farm Payrolls (NFP) report suggests gold will continue to exhibit a bullish behavior ahead of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) interest rate decision on September 20 as mixed data prints coming out of the economy sap bets for another rate-hike in 2017. Even though ‘the Committee expects to begin implementing its balance sheet normalization program relatively soon,’ the fresh forecasts from Chair Janet Yellen and Co. may ultimately heighten the appeal of gold if central bank officials attempt to buy more time and project a more shallow path for the Fed Funds rate.

In turn, U.S. Treasury Yields may stay depressed throughout the remainder of the year, and the precious metal may continue to retrace the decline from 2016 amid the shift in trader behaviour.
Weak U.S. economic data has effectively removed the Fed’s prospective rate rise scenario from the gold price equation – at least for a couple of months although may have an impact in November as speculation will reign over whether the Fed will implement another small rise in December, or kick the can down the road again.  The U.S. dollar is looking weak and a weak dollar tends to see the dollar gold price rise. And it is the dollar gold price which the market judges to be the most important indicator, even though the gold price in other currencies, like the euro or the yen, should perhaps be more relevant.

The seemingly increasing threat of war between North Korea and the USA, will likely give the gold price a huge boost in the days and months ahead with safe haven demand escalating worldwide – and particularly in Asia and the U.S. itself.

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Weekly Gold Forecast

The week began on a silent note for precious metals. Gold was up +0.1% which probably reflects a lull in the haven demand as investors appear risk-on at the beginning of the week. It was strange to see that demand for the yellow metal wasn’t much despite of the on-going geopolitical tensions.

OVER THE WEEKEND, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un warned of a second “Korean War” as US- South Korea military exercises, viewed as “reckless behavior” by the North Korean leader. But reactions in the market were contradictory as the market layers stayed calm. Hence the news which could have had strongly pushed gold prices further proved to be non-influential for gold.

After a firm price movement on Monday, precious metals were more or less stable on Tuesday morns. Spot gold prices were down by 0.2% at $1287.90.

On Wednesday, Gold prices edged slightly higher after news that sales of new U.S. single-family homes fell by 9.4% in July to a seasonally adjusted and annualized pace of 571,000, which was below forecasts.

Consensus estimates compiled by various news organizations called for sales to be around 610,000 to 620,000. The Commerce Department revised sales for June upward to 630,000 from the originally reported 610,000.

Apart from the geo political tension, the focus now shifts on host of global economic data that will be released throughout the week