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Showing posts with label USA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label USA. Show all posts

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Markets wary of the war

Last week the yellow metal was all green over escalating tensions of the US China trade war. Early in the week, spot gold prices rose 1.1%, registering their best one-day percentage gain in nearly three months after China announced that it would impose retaliatory tariffs on a range of U.S. goods.
After Witnessing its biggest one day percentage loss in a month on Thursday, gold managed to stabilise at around $1286.27 an ounce.

Spot gold fell 0.8% on Thursday, its biggest one-day percentage decline in a month after risk sentiment improved.


Gold welcomed a series of key data, important numbers and crucial news over the week.

The equities and dollar have boosted due to strong corporate earnings created pressure on gold as equities and dollar strengthened. A firm dollar, placed gold in the red marks. 
Furthermore, U.S. stock indexes extended gains on upbeat earnings as well as robust economic data that underlined the strength of the domestic economy. Meanwhile, the dollar index hit a two-week high against a basket of currencies.
The U.S. housing data showed home building increased more than expected in April, while unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week, pointing to sustained labor market strength that should underpin the economy.
The pullback in risk aversion lifted treasury yields. The rise in yields underpinned the U.S. dollar.


Stronger dollar makes gold more expensive for holders of non-U.S. currency.
Meanwhile, Thursday’s fall in gold prices has worsened the technical picture for the metal. Gold is on its third negative trading day as it seesaws near $1276.50 ahead of the European open on Monday. Bullion traders were happy initially as reports concerning the geopolitical tensions between the US and Iran, coupled with the US-China trade pessimism was released.

Investors couldn’t take much leverage of the gains as markets alter shifted focus on Australia’s surprise election results and optimism surrounding the trade relationship between the US, Canada, and Mexico.

Continuing on last week’s sentiments, , Gold fell to a more than two-week low on Monday as investors preferred the safety of the dollar, with the currency underpinned by robust economic reports out of the United States, even as geopolitical risks and trade tensions persist.

Spot gold was steady at $1,277.86 an ounce during Monday’s trading session, having touched $1,273.22 for its lowest since May 3.
Some believe that the bullish trends have started hovering around gold. People have started diversifying their finance into equities and dollars. They are currently proving to be attractive modes of investments.

A strengthening dollar is creating pressure on gold, the dollar held strong over the following news-
After strong U.S. housing data and a report pointing to lower unemployment helped the U.S. currency to mark its biggest weekly rise last week since early March.
Renewed U.S.-China trade fears have also helped the dollar to mimic its trajectory from last year, when it was preferred to gold as a perceived safe-haven asset.
Investment demand for gold failed to pick up. Even with geopolitical tensions, no safe-haven demand  emerged.

Gold will be an attractive safe-haven asset as rising trade tensions weaken the U.S. economy and drag down the U.S. dollar, according to a recent report from Morgan Stanley. U.S. President Donald Trump has until May 18 to decide whether he will impose a 25% tariff on car imports from the European Union. The deadline comes 90 days after the U.S. Commerce Department said in a study that auto imports pose a threat to American national security.

Apart from the current trade war there are some other factors that attract attention-

Risk airing from the European Union economy
Voting in the next crop of MEP’s
OECD will probably downgrade its global economic outlook.
The Fed might unnerve investors further by reiterating that hopes for a lifeline from monetary policy are almost certainly misplaced in the near term
A speech from Chair Powell and minutes from May’s FOMC meeting will probably hammer home officials’ preference for a “wait-and-see” approach

Amongst all this, the trade war definitely acts as a wild card. Prices have proven to be responsive to the running commentary on negotiations from media outlets linked to the government in Beijing as well as US President Donald Trump’s Twitter account. Nonetheless any statement released from any side will run volatility waves into the market.


Thursday, 2 May 2019

A very important week for gold


Although the gold market has struggled to attract the attention of general investors, the precious metal might not be as unloved as one would think.
The metal posted its biggest daily percentage gain in seven weeks on Friday after the dollar fell against a basket of currencies, as investors overlooked the strong economic growth in the United States to focus on the pain points.

Gold prices were mostly unchanged on Monday, trading near the more-than one week high touched in the previous session, on bets that the U.S. Federal Reserve might cut interest rate this year after a recent data showed inflationary weakness. Spot gold mildly eased by 0.1 percent to $1,284.31 per ounce at 0626 GMT, having hit its highest since April 16 at $1,288.59 in the previous session.


The main reason for rally in gold prices, were the important data numbers released from the US over the past few days.

Data showed that U.S. first quarter growth of 3.2 percent was only motivated by the short term stimuli of a dwindling trade deficit and the largest accumulation of unsold merchandise since 2015 which may later weigh on the country’s economic picture.
Core personal consumption expenditure price index figure, the Fed’s preferred metric of inflation, increased at only a 1.3 percent rate versus 1.8 percent in the prior quarter.
About a third of economists polled by Reuters on April 25, already expect one real rate cut by 2020
Lower interest rates in the U.S. put pressure on the dollar and bond yields, making greenback-denominated gold less expensive for holders of other currencies. It also increases the appeal of non-yielding assets such as bullion.


Apart from the data released, we now look forward to the series of events that are lined up. It’s going to be a very busy week ahead with the calendar packed full of market data and events across the globe.
From Monday 29th April to Friday 3rd May a host of data releases await the markets

USD Employment Cost Index
USD Chicago Purchasing Manager
USD Pending Home Sales
USD Consumer Confidence Index
USD Pending Home Sales
EUR ECB Vice President Guindos Speaks in London
USD ISM Manufacturing
USD ISM Employment
USD Continuing Claims
USD Non Farm Productivity
EUR Euro Zone Producer Price Index
EUR Euro-Zone Producer Price Index
EUR Euro-Zone Consumer Price Index Core
EUR Euro-Zone Consumer Price Index Estimate


Japan will be closed celebrating ‘Golden Week’ thinning liquidity in Asian hours, leaving markets vulnerable to ‘spike’ moves.

 In such conditions, gold would normally grab a bid but with the US dollar continuing to weigh on the precious metal, a neutral stance looks justified.
But all this doesn’t end here. These were the main data releases/events. A look at the calendar shows that there are a 28 ‘high importance’ data releases and events, all of which could change the risk landscape. A few highlights include, the latest interest rate decisions from the Bank of England and the Federal Reserve, the monthly US Labour report and various GDP and inflation releases across the Euro-Zone. Now we need to see how positively it affects the yellow metal or plays a spoiler instead.



Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Gold is here to stay

Gold was set for a decline last week over strong economic growth numbers. Last week, gold fell ahead of first-quarter earnings season as the dollar gained while the precious metal slumped to its lowest level of the month. Gold fell 1.23 percent at the close of Thursday’s trading session to settle at a price of $1.295.15. Nonetheless, analysts maintain that this is only a temporary setback.

Although equities are doing their part to weigh on gold in the near-term, it is just part of the story. Relative and resilient strength in the U.S. dollar is another factor weighing on the precious metal.

Gold was pulled down over strong economic numbers coming in from the Chinese economy-

China’s economy expanded more than expected in the first quarter of 2019
While industrial output and retail sales for March were also better than expected.
Trade and credit data that came out last Friday also exceeded forecasts

Strong numbers coming in from China, imply that a global slowdown has been diminished to quite some extent. Furthermore, according to the minutes published at its last Federal Open Market Committee meeting, the Federal Reserve did leave open the possibility of possible rate hikes this year if the economic data suggests warranting such a move. This, of course, wouldn’t bode well for gold.
The minutes confirmed that if the economic data continue to support the economy, a rate hike could be on the table at the back end of this year. Luckily for the dollar bears, this wasn’t the majority view, at least, not for the time being.

Does this mean the gold will soon lose its sheen?

Well, gold is being supported by ongoing geopolitical issues (U.S.-China trade war and Brexit, among others), concerns around slowing global economic growth and recession fears, and a more dovish U.S. Federal Reserve (no rate hikes in 2019).
Though many investors are shunning gold and shifting focus to equities, there is a set of market analysts that still believe that gold needs to be added in ones portfolio as its gives an insurance cover.

A crisis is expected and it’s soon we realise that one needs to protect his/her finances in times of crisis. And which metal can best prove to be a safe haven asset other than gold?
Gold had faced a similar situation in 2011. Gold was widely ignored since 2011 as an asset class for institutional portfolios. In 2018, bullish sentiment for gold was at a multi year low. Not many people were interested in owning gold.

But then investors realised that they need to own gold in order to protect themselves in times of crisis.

Given the current situation and what is expected in the near future, we can say that gold is here to stay. Even though equities are rising, the momentum won’t sustain in the long run. Fed is not expected to hike rates in 2019. Less hikes and a rate cut would translate to dollar weakness–an open path for strength in gold. Other headwinds include increasing concerns of slowing global economic growth, which could spur a move to safe havens like gold.

And hence this is a very good time for people to get a little bit more defensive and use gold to reserve the wealth they have made in equities.

Monday, 18 February 2019

Gold preserves your wealth

In 2018, gold fought against significant demand for traditional stock and mutual fund investments and weathered tremendous exchange-traded-fund outflows. Gold has been under pressure from a stable and slightly appreciating U.S. dollar. Still, gold has shown incredible resilience all year – especially through the first three quarters.

It rallied at year-end, suggesting a flat or slightly positive trend year over year. Much of this is due to the increase in central bank buying from countries like Russia, China, Turkey, Kazakhstan, Poland and others. It’s all part of a larger move to reduce U.S. dollar reserves in favour of gold.




In 2019, it looked as if gold was cashing on the struggle that it faced in the previous year. Gold prices have risen more than 12% since touching more than 1-1/2-year lows in mid-August, mostly on expectations of a pause in Federal Reserve rate hikes.  Investors have shifted their sentiments from bearish to bullish for the yellow metals over more than one reason-

Data - Soft data released from important economies has created a favourable situation for gold.  Gold and the U.S. dollar, both considered as safe-haven assets these days, gained on Friday in Asia following the release of weak U.S. retail sales and China inflation data.
The precious metal attracted some safe-haven bids last week after the Commerce Department reported U.S. retail sales tumbled 1.2% in December. Economists had forecast a gain of 0.1% for the period.

In Asia, China’s January Consumer Price Index (CPI) and Producer Price Index (PPI) both missed expectations, the National Bureau of Statistics reported on Friday, furthering dampening investor sentiment.

Elsewhere, reports that China and the U.S. have not been making much progress during trade talks this week also supported the yellow metal

Volatility - First, the increased volatility in international markets due to global and economic instabilities will foment the safe haven flows that began in 2018. And gold has a historical record of being a safe haven asset in times of uncertainties thus raised demand for the yellow metal and further pushing its prices.

Fed Rates - Lower rates are disadvantageous to interest-bearing assets such as the dollar, but work in favour of commodities like gold that offer a store of value to investors.

Alternate modes of investment - Alternative assets competing for your investment dollars are not expected to perform well in the coming year. The stock market should continue its descent, either with or without a last hoorah. Interest rates should stabilize in the coming year, so term deposits will continue to generate no real return. Bonds will not be attractive compared with gold.

Central bank buying - time and again central banks have been piling their reserves to reduce their dependency in the US dollar. This once again opens a green window for gold.

Gold’s characteristics - Gold may not give you income but it definitely preserves your wealth. It’s like taking insurance for your finances. And it is expected to play this role to its best in the following months,
Finally, unlike Most investors are waiting to see whether the anticipated rise in gold prices is for real. For them, a breach to the upside of $1,350 per ounce may not be enough. Most will look for confirmation of the breakout above $1,400 an ounce.

 In each of the last three years, gold has gotten off to a strong start only to fizzle as the year moved along.  A good many investors, fund managers and analysts think that 2019 might very well be the year when gold breaks the restraints and pushes to higher ground.

Our own view is that gold is due for a rise and most portents are favourable, but the yellow metal is pretty unpredictable in its price pattern.  Overall it serves as a good wealth protector and as catastrophe insurance.  We are not of the ilk predicting a rapid rise to $10,000 - it may get there eventually but probably not in many of our lifetimes.  However there’s enough geopolitical uncertainty around to carry the price back into the $1,400s this year should some of the more worrying scenarios come about.

Thursday, 17 January 2019

Gold gaining popularity

Gold ended 2018 on a high note, beating global equities and commodities for the fourth quarter. Gold is a highly liquid asset and hence investors are majorly diversifying their portfolio towards gold as it proves to be a hedge tool and a safe haven asset in times of uncertainties.

There is quite some scope for the yellow metal and commodities in general in 2019 because investors believe that the current rate hike cycle has peaked and the U.S. dollar looks to be in retreat, having lost about 1.7 percent over the past month.



After four rate hikes in 2018, the Federal Reserve pausing interest rates in 2019 could also result in a weaker dollar and stronger demand for gold.

Gold is currently trading at $1,290 and moved in the high and low range of $1,295 and $1,287 on Tuesday. But this pullback is expected to be short lived as China is stepping up monetary and fiscal stimulus efforts to support its sagging economy. The People's Bank of China (PBOC) injected a record CNY 560 billion via reverse repo operations earlier today. Further, China is reportedly planning large scale tax cuts to boost spending.

History shows that monetary and fiscal stimulus has a positive impact on gold. Further, current unrest and political uncertainty in the UK could boost demand for the yellow metal.

Though strong U.S. dollar might have thwarted gold, but global growth concerns and other broad market worries could give the precious metal a boost.
Currently the markets are uncertain, economic numbers are dipping and stock markets are volatile.  All these clubbed together are bound to give a push to the precious metals as investors look up to them as safe haven assets. 

Friday, 4 January 2019

Gold expected to outperform in 2019

Bullion hit a six-month high, nearing US$1,300 an ounce over the following concerns-

  • Report showing a contraction in China manufacturing sent global stocks tumbling on 3rd January, 2019. 
  • Concern over chains economic outlook
  • Sinking factory gauges in Italy and Poland
  • Wobbly U.S stock market
  • Weaker economic data coming out of the European Union



Volatile stock markets, dollar swings and a global trade war sent gold on quite a market ride in 2018, from a high of $1366 an ounce in January 2018 to $1159 in August. Some were disappointed as they couldn’t make much of the dips or failed to enter the market at the right time.

Gold prices are still stuck in a trading range that it hasn’t broken away from over a couple of years. But analysts believe that this is the time to enter the market and change your strategies. It probably to best time own gold as 2019 brings some positive price rise in the yellow metal; Equity markets will expect high levels of volatility and its wild fluctuation towards the end of 2018 speaks all for it. Moreover the US government is sitting over huge debts and there are grave concerns that the economy will over heat. Moreover the Fed policy makers have been sending mixed messages as to how many times they will increase the rates in 2019. Keeping this in mind, it seems that it’s the perfect scenario for investors to seek safety in gold as it is expected to be the best performing asset in its class in 2019.

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Series of Events await for the precious metals market

Gold has been on a five month high, where prices climbed on Monday, with declines in a leading dollar index, Treasury yields and the U.S. stock market, as well as comments from a well-known fund manager, prompting prices to settle at their highest in just over a week.

The gains in gold come ahead of key central-bank policy decisions this week and uncertainty around concrete trade developments between the U.S. and China.



There were a host of reasons responsible for this positive splurge in gold prices-

US Dollar - On Monday, the ICE U.S. Dollar Index was down 0.4% at 97.054. Gold is often sensitive to movements in the dollar. A weaker U.S. unit typically boosts demand for commodities priced in dollars as it makes them less expensive to users of other currencies.

US stock - Benchmark U.S. stock indexes, meanwhile, traded broadly lower as gold futures settled, after ending last week in a rout that pushed the Dow Jones Industrial Average back into correction territory. Stock weakness generally supports gold resulting in an upward movement.

Fed rate hike - Market expectations for 2019 Fed rate increases, once put at three to four more increases, have also begun to lessen on the back of dovish comments from Fed officials, including Chairman Jerome Powell. Fed rate-hike expectations are plummeting. Fed fund futures imply only a good 70% probability of a rate hike at the Fed’s meeting next week, with the probability of another by the end of 2019 likewise at only around 70%.

Expert advice - Double line Capital Founder Jeff Gundlach predicted the U.S. dollar would struggle in the coming new year, and that U.S. equities will enter a bear market. Post this statement; Prices for the metal got an added boost to intraday highs.

Brexit - Brexit is another geopolitical factor whose uncertainty is supportive for haven metals, though, again, the reaction has been muted so far. In the U.K., solutions to the Brexit dilemma are still hard to come by, a background story that is keeping the dollar bid, but not offering much extra boost for precious metals.

Apart from the ongoing activities there are a series of events that await the precious metals markets-

And other monetary policy updates this week, the Bank of Japan will make an announcement late Wednesday and the Bank of England meets on Thursday. The dollar has enjoyed relative strength against the yen and the pound, in part because of the interest-rate differential between the U.S. and its major economic allies. the Bank of Japan will make an announcement late Wednesday monetary policy updates this week, and the Bank of England meets on Thursday China’s Central Economic Work Conference a speech by President Xi Jinping There have been signs if panic in the market resulting in higher volatility. Riskier assets have been under pressure due to geopolitical events.
Currently the highlight is the ongoing US china trade spat and the market needs to see some real signs that point towards resolving some of their differences.


Thursday, 6 December 2018

Time to buy gold will arrive soon

So far this week looks good for gold as we saw its prices edging higher in Thursday In Asia and it traded near a 5 month high amid U.S. yield curve inversion.

The yield curve inversion triggered concerns about economic growth and a dollar sell-off recently. The two-year/10-year spread was at its flattest this week in more than a decade amid a sharp fall in long-term rates. A flatter curve is seen as an indicator of a slowing economy.


Any slower pace in the economy adds to negativity in growth. This has put pressure in the dollar and further strengthened gold prices. The greenback came under pressure last week when the market took comments from Fed chairman Jerome Powell as signalling a slower pace of rate hikes. Markets still expect the Fed to move forward with a quarter-point hike this month but have interpreted cautious remarks from policymakers to mean that further tightening in 2019 will have to be re-evaluated on economic and inflation data and hence the pull in prices has not been that high.

Furthermore, uncertainty prevails in the market over the upcoming Federal Reserve policy decision, as the Dec. 18-19 meeting looms just over the horizon.

On Wednesday gold hit a high of $1243 an ounce and plunge back to $1233. Though we have gold price moving up this year but the trading range has been sideways because it doesn’t stay at the peak for a long time.

Hence it has been containing most of the price especially since the 11th of October, between 1212 and 1243.  Gold bulls will need the Fed to halt its raising interest rate programme to see a major reversal in the price of gold. Once the Federal Reserve ends the tightening cycle, the time to buy gold will be near

So we can say that if the bulls keep running for gold then it will pick momentum from ere and will be seen crossing the $1243 territory and hopefully cross the July highs of $1257 an ounce.

The coming year looks positive for gold because the dollar is expected to weaken, US treasury yield might be lower, Chinese Yuan expected to recover and demand for jewellery predicted to rise.
And if all falls in place for the bulls then one wouldn’t be wrong if he expects gold to touch the $1400 level.




Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Investors stockpile gold

Gold witnessed a series of events in the past week which ultimately proved fruitful for gold. Gold was highly influenced positively by a series of following key events:



  1. Globally, equities markets plunged down sharply.
  2. Uncertainties over the results of the U.S midterm, elections. At the moment there appears to be a strong chance of the Democrats gaining a majority in the House of Representatives, but the Republicans comfortably holding on to their Senate majority. Such a scenario would probably be gold-positive in that it would lead to political gridlock.
  3. Trade war between China and US which was initiated by the implementation of tariffs on Chinese goods by the US governments
  4. Uncertainty in Europe over the fallout from a possible no-deal scenario for Brexit, 
  5. Nervousness over the forthcoming Italian budget which threatens to challenge the Euro zone hierarchy 
  6. Geopolitical fallout from the Khasoggi murder which could upset Middle Eastern alliances.


Apart from the ones mentioned above, we still expect some geopolitical difficulties to occur, which may further strengthen gold and help it in breaking its comfort zone.

Gold has been back above $1,200 an ounce for the last two weeks, helped by safe-haven buying due to weakness in global equities and geopolitical tensions. Last week, Gold rose to test monthly highs near $1,240/oz but lost strength and pulled back. The retreat from the top, continued after the ECB meeting and during the American session, amid a stronger US dollar against majors and despite an improvement in risk appetite.

When the yellow metal crossed $1200 mark, it saw many investors retuning to the market with a great interest in gold. Retail buyers have started making their purchased as they expect a further price rise. Further, the investors’ class is also taking some stock profits as Wall Street volatility increased and they’re moving some of those profits to safer or more opportune areas, including gold and silver.

It’s not only the small investor class but also major central banks that are adopting gold. Russia and China have also been trying to win support from global governments to create a new gold-backed currency, thereby removing the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency.

Gold’s impressive performance of late, coming amid USD [U.S. dollar] strength, suggests that gold finally is behaving like a safe-haven asset.  There has been a pickup in gold purchases by central banks, including Hungary, Poland, India, Turkey and Mongolia, in addition to regular gold buyers Russia and Kazakhstan. And if this continues we will soon see gold at record highs.

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Gold might increase but with a lag

The yellow metal is down about 8 percent this year amid rising U.S. interest rates, trade disputes and the Turkish currency crisis, with investors parking their money in the dollar, which is being viewed as a safe-haven asset.

Firm U.S. dollar makes gold more expensive for holders of other currencies, with safe-haven demand for gold this year overshadowed by the metal’s relationship with the greenback
Gold's weakness in the international market is primarily on account of the US Federal Reserve's hawkish stance. It has hinted at four rate hikes this year and more next year. The US Fed is also shrinking its balance sheet.


On one hand the US Fed is raising rates and on the other hand central banks are doing completely opposite. This action is strengthening the dollar and hitting on gold.
An increase in rates is expected soon because the Fed believes that the US economy is strong enough to support a hike. This belief has led to an increased pressure on gold.

Following this sentiment, Gold prices edged down on Tuesday as the dollar hit a more-than-one-week high on the back of intensifying global trade tensions and economic worries in emerging markets.
Spot gold was down 0.3 percent at $1,196.90 an ounce during Tuesdays trading hours.

Many currencies world over have suffered setbacks against a strengthening dollar.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies, hit its highest since Aug. 24 at 95.410.

Now what will hold great importance for the dollar and the gold is the US economic data. Markets are closely watching the economic number, including a manufacturing survey on Tuesday and an employment report on Friday, which could influence gold’s moves this week as investors look for clues on the pace of U.S. interest rate increases.

Meanwhile, worries over an escalation in trade conflicts between the United States and other countries have kept participants in broader markets on the edge.

The threat of trade wars has only impacted currencies as of now. Analysts are expecting gold prices to start rising with a lag.

Currently we have been witnessing global economic crisis. This is making the other currencies weak and benefiting the dollar and time and again we have seen that any rise in dollar pulls down gold prices.

But if we see the domestic market, the gold dollar relationship is behaving in a very interesting manner.

Dollar and gold have an inverse relation so when the dollar strengthens, gold prices fall.

But when the dollar strengthens the rupee weakens, and a falling rupee offsets the fall in gold prices in India. So, while the price of gold may fall 7% in dollar terms, it may drop only 5% in rupee terms.
Any economic or political crisis results in an upsurge in gold prices and similar behavior as expected over the trade crisis between US and China. But it seems that gold’s rally has been totally offset by a strengthening dollar.

Analysts believe that gold could revive if the ongoing trade dispute between the US and China flares up into a full-fledged trade war. If the US economy suffers, gold would benefit from this.
Given the risks that exist today in the global economy, gold can prove to be a useful portfolio diversification tool and can help reduce overall portfolio risk.

Global inflation, rising interest rates, tightening of monetary policies by central banks, high crude prices are all positives for 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.

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Has the golden streak ended

Gold was seen under pressure since the middle of last week and has continued this sentiment for the current week now, testing vital support ratios near the 1330.00 U.S Dollars per ounce level. The precious metal stumbled as the Dollar gained in forex against the other major currencies.

Gold prices fell $4.02 an ounce last Thursday, ending a four-day streak of gains, as geopolitical tensions eased and the dollar strengthened on the back of solid U.S. economic data. Gold failed to test the resistance at $1354 and was unable to break through it .As a result, prices broke below $1347.

In economic news, the Labor Department reported that the number of first-time applicants for jobless benefits fell last week for the third time in four weeks and the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia said the index measuring manufacturing activity in the region climbed to 23.2 from 22.3 the prior month.



This strong news supported the US dollar which in turn created a downward pressure on the yellow metal. 

Also pressuring bullion, a U.S. central banker said the Federal Reserve should keep raising interest rates this year and next to keep the economy from overheating and financial stability risks from rising. Higher rates dent the appeal of non-interest yielding bullion while lifting the dollar, in which it is priced

U.S. interest rates futures fell on Friday as traders bet on a greater likelihood the Federal Reserve would raise key short-term borrowing costs three more times in 2018 in the wake of data that showed steady U.S. economic growth.               

Spot gold lost 0.6 percent at $1,336.96 per ounce by and was headed for a weekly decline of nearly 1 percent.

What’s funny is that over the past fortnight the main reason that pushed gold prices high the same reason was responsible for its downward movement last week, thanks to the easing out of geopolitical worries. Investors were less jittery about geopolitical tensions that had supported gold prices earlier in the week, notably Syria and North Korea.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday the North Korean nuclear crisis was a long way from being resolved, striking a cautious note a day after the North's pledge to end its nuclear tests raised hopes before planned summits with South Korea and the United States.             

Though the geopolitical crisis are still high, but it looks like their severity has declined over past few days and hence gold prices are lying lull.

Gold is often used as safe haven in times of uncertainty and any easing out of such situations will surely pull down gold further.

Gold prices eased on Friday and were on track to end the week lower as the dollar advanced on expectations of higher U.S. interest rates and market players grew a bit less worried about global political and security risks.

This negative sentiment has been forwarded in the current week too. Gold prices slipped to their lowest level in nearly two weeks on Monday as the dollar remained supported on the back of rising U.S. Treasury yields. 
 
Spot gold was down 0.1 percent at $1,333.20 per ounce during Mondays trading hours, after earlier touching its lowest since April 10 at $1,331.70. The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies, was up about 0.1 percent at 90.392.
           
Gold, however, does continue to show important support around 1323.00 U.S Dollars per ounce and if the commodity declines further, traders might look for reversals. But patience will be an important piece of the puzzle for market participants.

The chief investment strategist said that gold is an excellent asset to invest in this year, as it guards against sudden shocks and rising volatility, especially in light of all the trade-war fears rocking the markets. Folts added that his preference is gold-backed ETFs.

Investors have also been picking up on geopolitical risks and buying gold ETFs as security. Bloomberg reported last week that the popularity of gold-backed ETFs was at its highest level since 2013.

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Many competitors for gold in 2018

Gold began 2018 on a firm note on Tuesday after prices hit their highest in more than three months, supported by technical factors after breaking above $1,300 an ounce last week.

Spot gold rose 13 percent last year to mark its best annual performance since 2010. A wilting U.S. dollar, political tensions and receding concern over the impact of U.S. interest rate hikes fed the rally.
The greenback, in which gold is priced, had its worst performance since 2003 last year, damaged by tensions over North Korea, questions over Russian involvement in U.S. President Donald Trump’s election campaign, and persistently low U.S. inflation.


 The dollar’s drop to three-month lows versus a basket of currencies on Friday lifted gold to its highest since mid October. In the last couple of weeks, trade has been relatively thin, yields have been under pressure and the dollar as well, so gold has profited from that.

Preceding real yields, dollar is the most important driver for gold. And it was the dollar’s weakness, which even a Fed rate hike was unable to pull down gold prices. Even though the rates are hiking, the dollar I not benefiting from it.

On the other hand, Gold has clearly benefited from lower U.S. yields and a much weaker U.S. dollar into the year-end. Gold has risen more than $70 from nearly five-month lows hit in mid-December.
More than half of the $70 rally came in the last week, during the holiday period.

However, on Wednesday there was a slight halt to this rally as we saw the dollar strengthening over the release minutes of the FOMC meeting (that was geld on Dec 12-13)

The Fed’s minutes acknowledged the U.S. labor market’s solid gains and the expansion in economic activity, even as they affirmed policymakers’ worries about persistently low inflation. That suggested the central bank will continue to pursue a gradual approach in raising rates but could pick up the pace if inflation accelerates.

Fed officials also discussed the possibility that the Trump administration’s tax cuts or easy financial conditions could cause inflation pressures to rise, leading to some dollar-buying, analysts said
The dollar rallied on Wednesday on upbeat U.S. manufacturing and construction data and after minutes from the Federal Reserve’s last policy meeting showed the central bank remained on track to raise interest rates several times this year.

Snapping a three-week losing streak, the dollar hit session highs against the euro and yen after the minutes from the Fed’s Dec. 12-13 meeting. The dollar index posted its largest daily gain in more than two weeks.

Gold eased from an earlier 3-1/2 month high on Wednesday and was on track for its first day of losses in nearly three weeks as a firmer dollar pressured assets priced in the U.S. currency.

Currently, gold seems to rise steadily in 2018. There are many important competitors for gold that will surely play a significant role in its price movements-
Equities- The biggest competition for gold in the New Year will be equities, but if gold prices continue to hover over $1,300 then investors would surely be interested in diversifying their portfolio towards the yellow metal.
Bond yields- Another important factor for gold next year will be bond yields, but noting that he sees limited impact in the long-term.
Inflation- With inflation expected to rise, that investors need to be more clear as to real interest rates will push higher or remain at current low levels.

Looking ahead, it is difficult to determine if gold will hold these holiday gains when traders come back in full force in the New Year.

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Gold Expected to Drift Lower by Year End

Firstly, wishing everyone a very Happy Diwali and a Prosperous year ahead.

And indeed it was a Happy Diwali for domestic jewellers, as the slump in gold demand had finally gained momentum this October.

Demand for gold jumped in India this week on account of Dhanteras and Diwali, but high prices took some sheen off the yellow metal's lure during the key festival period this year.

Demand in the world's second largest gold consumer generally rises during the final quarter as the country welcome the festive and wedding seasons, where buying bullion is considered auspicious and propitious.

Though a lull was witnessed in gold demand during Dussehra, it significantly improved during Dhanteras and Diwali.


Gold prices spurted by Rs 290 to 3-week high of Rs 31,000 per 10 grams on the eve of Diwali at the bullion market on increased buying by local jewellers to meet festive demand.

Demand was expected to be even better, if global prices had shown similar movements. However in Asia and other international markets, gold prices were seen falling down.

CHINA - Elsewhere in Asia, there was a slight uptick in demand for physical gold, with benchmark spot gold rates headed for a weekly decline after touching a one-week low of $1,276.22 an ounce on Thursday, pressured by a firmer dollar.

However, investors remained cautious, awaiting direction on economic policy and market reforms during the 19th Communist Party Congress in China which kicked off on Wednesday and were also focused on the upcoming elections in Japan.

In top consumer China, premiums charged ranged between $8 and $12 per ounce over the benchmark this week, compared with $9-$14 a week earlier

JAPAN - Gold hit its lowest in more than two weeks on Monday as expectations that Japan’s ultra-loose monetary policy would stay in place after Shinzo Abe’s election victory at the weekend lifted the dollar to a three-month high versus the yen.

Japanese Prime Minister Abe’s win also fed into positive sentiment in equity markets that were buoyed last week by fresh optimism about tax cuts in the United States, curbing interest in gold as an alternative asset.

U.S. DOLLAR & U.S. ECONOMY- Gold prices touched the lowest in more than one week on Thursday, as the dollar stood firm on rising U.S. Treasury yields, with investors focusing on who would replace Janet Yellen as the next chair of the Federal Reserve.

Financial markets are now awaiting guidance on who will succeed Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen, whose term expires in February.

U.S. President Donald Trump is considering nominating Fed Governor Jerome Powell and Stanford University economist John Taylor for the central bank’s top two jobs. Powell is considered less hawkish than Taylor, who is seen advocating higher interest rates.

Moreover, the economy expanded at a modest to moderate pace in September through early October, despite the impact of hurricanes on some regions, the Fed said its latest snapshot of the U.S. economy thus hinting markets that the US economy is doing well which will further create a downward pressure on gold.

The dollar had already posted its biggest one-day gain in a month on Friday after the U.S. Senate approved a budget blueprint for the 2018 financial year, allowing Republicans to pursue a tax-cut package without Democratic support.

The dollar hit its highest in about two weeks versus the yen, supported by this week's rise in U.S. bond yields, with U.S. President Donald Trump set to make a decision in the "coming days" on Yellen, who is also one of the five candidates being considered for the job.

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

Tensions on the Korean peninsula, however, continue to weigh upon gold and the metal could drift down towards the $1,250 level by early December weighed down by the prospect of a further increase to U.S. interest rates in December.


Thursday, 28 September 2017

Tensions Push while Dollar Pulls Gold Prices

Gold prices have been correcting recent gains, the pullback tested the break-up level at $1,295 per oz and it gave way, which is a sign of weakness. Stints of haven buying have since given prices some lift, but the gains have not been held on to, which suggests a market that is getting tired of the on-going pomposity but lack of progress over North Korea. In addition, the stronger dollar is proving to be a negative for gold prices.



The week began on a positive note for gold as spot gold prices inched higher during Asian morning trading hours on Tuesday September 26 as investors opted for haven assets amid heightened geopolitical tensions.

North Korean accusations and the Kurdish independence referendum threatening to add even more instability to the Middle East saw investors heading for the gold safe haven trade, shrugging off a stronger US dollar in general overnight thus increasing the demand for the yellow metal.

Concerns also arose on straining relations between the USA and Iran after the latter claimed it successfully launched a missile and over oil supply disruptions after Turkey threatened to close the route for Kurdish shipments in retaliation for holding their independence vote.

However on Wednesday the markets witnessed a u turn as gold prices were pulled down over a strengthening US dollar.

The US dollar strengthened on Wednesday following hawkish comments from US Federal Open Market Committee chairwoman Janet Yellen on Tuesday.

The spot gold price remained below $1,300 per oz during Asian morning trading on Wednesday September 27 and was quoted at $1,295.00-1,295.30 per oz as of 04:33 BST, up just $0.95 on the previous session’s close.

Yellen’s speech was interpreted by markets as hawkish as she noted that it would be “imprudent” to keep monetary policy on hold until inflation reaches 2%, thus lending weight to the possibility of a December US rate increase.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Gold Dips expected to remain Supported




Gold and other metals had a firm start for the week which continued over Tuesday. Gold and the other precious metals were firmer on Tuesday morning, with prices up an average of 0.4% while gold prices were up 0.3% at $1,237.35 per oz. This was seen as an after effect of a strong performance on Monday when the complex closed up an average of 0.8%.

Gold was more or less stable on Wednesday as it opened at 1241.75/1242.75 per ounce. Post which it rose to a high of 1243.50/1244.50 before retreating to a low of 1239.00/1240.00 as the dollar pared early losses and the euro fell back from yesterday’s 14-month high.

Gold prices are gaining from the weak dollar prices and lower bond yields which help in reducing the opportunity cost of holding gold thus pushing its prices higher.  Prices have firmed up in recent days, this despite geopolitical concerns being light but the weaker dollar and a less hawkish US Federal Reserve seem to be underpinning price rises.

But at the same time, buoyant equities are also a headwind for gold and the lull in geopolitical tensions is not getting any good for gold. So the expectations of a steep rise in gold prices aren’t strong currently.

All in all, we are not expecting much from the precious metals camp in the short term, but we expect dips to remain supported.

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

GOLD EXPECTED TO SHINE IN THE SECOND HALF OF 2017

It was strong opening for gold this week as gold neared its highest in a month on Monday amongst holiday thinned trade. A soft dollar and a pullback in equities helped this rise in gold prices.

Gold hit its highest level since May 1 on Friday at$1,269.50 an ounce, as nervousness over U.S. President Donald Trump's negotiations with other world leaders at the G7 summit prompted investors to buy bullion as an alternative to nominally higher-risk assets such as shares.



Spot gold settled at $1,266.67 an ounce, little changed from $1,266.66 late on Friday.
Though there is not much rise expected in gold prices, but the news from G7 meeting pushed gold prices up.

Under pressure from the G7, Trump on Saturday backed a pledge to fight protectionism but refused to endorse a global accord on climate change, saying he needed more time to decide.

Apart from this, market players await next month’s FOMC meeting to get clearer picture on the U.S. Federal Reserve's stance on interest rate increases.Gold is highly sensitive to rising U.S. rates, which
Increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion, While boosting the dollar, in which it is priced.

Meanwhile this week, market participants will stay focused on the labor market report in the US slated to release during the week. If the data turn out to be positive, there is probably nothing to prevent the (Fed) implementing its next rate hike in mid-June.

The latest FOMC minutes suggest that the Fed may start decreasing its balance sheet later this year.
It is true that the first two rounds of quantitative easing were positive for the gold market. However, the third one was a disaster for the yellow metal, as the confidence in the U.S. economy came back and the safe-haven demand for gold declined. Therefore, the impact of the unwinding of the Fed’s balance sheet on the gold market is not easy to determine – a lot will depend on the broad macroeconomic picture.

On the one hand, the Fed’s shrinking balance sheet would imply rising long-term real interest rates, which would be negative for gold prices. On the other hand, there may be some turmoil in the financial markets, which would support the gold market. Moreover, it may be the case that the U.S. dollar rally which started in 2014 was caused by the rising expectations about the Fed’s upcoming tightening.

If this is true and investors really bought the rumor and sell the fact, then the greenback may start depreciating, which would likely send the price of gold higher. Gold’s response to the current Fed’s tightening cycle suggests that it is not impossible scenario. However, the whole process is likely to be conducted in a very conservative and cautious way to minimize market volatility and disruption. Hence, investors should not bet on doom scenarios and expect that the price of gold will necessarily skyrocket.

Though gold was not preferred in an investor’s portfolio during 2016, it gold regained investor confidence during 2017, as doubts about the Trump’s administration’s ability to see through their policy agenda and political difficulties have emerged. Moreover, there has also been a number of geopolitical events such as European elections – the results in France and Netherlands have somewhat assuaged financial markets – and the flash point in the Korean peninsula.”

These geopolitical tensions and uncertainties have influenced gold prices.

The spot price of gold jumped nearly 2% on the 17th of May, the most significant daily increase since the Brexit vote on May 2016. Political developments will be closely watched by the market, and could be a potential driver of additional uplift in gold prices going forward.

Comments by St. Louis Fed President, James Bullard, that inflation remains subdued, and the Fed’s interest rate expectations might be too aggressive, have also been supportive of gold.

Gold is expected to hover around USD 1250 an ounce and is further expected to range between USD $1245 to USD $1300 over 2017-18.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

2017 - SURPRISES TO UNFOLD FOR GOLD : RSBL

Until Wednesday last week, gold was trading in positive territory continuing the rally from the previous session.

The spot gold price was quoted at $1,164.85/1,165.15 per oz, up $8.05 on the previous close.


There were many supporting factors for gold’s rally-

  • Mainly all the uncertainty that lies ahead with the changeover in the US administration 
  • Brexit 
  • The weakening trend in the yuan. 
On Friday last week, gold slipped following the release of strong US employment data which was as follows-
  • The USA added 156,000 jobs in December, compared with 204,000 in November, while wages grew 2.9% year-on-year to reach a seven-year high.
  • German industrial production climbed 0.4%, which was down from the 0.7% expected, while the country’s trade balance climbed more than expected. 
  • The non-farm employment change for December showed 156,000 Americans entered the workforce, a slight miss from the 175,000 forecast.
  • However, the figure for the previous month was revised up 19,000 jobs and the headline unemployment figure came in as expected at 4.7%.
  • The big surprise was that average hourly earnings grew by 0.4% month-on-month, bringing total wage growth to 2.9% for the year and the highest level since before the recession.


Gold prices were in positive territory in London on the morning of Monday January 9, recovering slightly from last week’s drop.

The spot gold price was recently quoted at $1,176.20/1,176.50 per oz, up $3.40 on the previous close. Trade has ranged from $1,172.50 to $1,178.75. Gold prices edged up in a technical rebound on Monday after one-month highs hit last week were undercut by the prospects of more interest rate hikes from the US Federal Reserve.

US employment increased less than expected in December but a rebound in wages pointed to sustained labour market momentum that sets up the economy for stronger growth and the prospect of further interest rate increases this year.

Chicago Federal Reserve President Charles Evans said on Friday the central bank could raise interest rates three times this year, faster than he had expected just a few months ago.

Evans and other regional Fed presidents are scheduled to speak this week, and the outlook for U.S. rates may become even clearer when Chair Janet Yellen appears at a webcast town hall meeting with educators on Thursday.

Expectations of US interest rate hikes lowers demand for the non-interest-paying bullion.
Apart from a rate hike the most discussed r rather the most awaited topic currently is the fiscal stimulus that Trump is promising and, of course, inflation.

Despite the rebound in the dollar, gold prices are holding up well – all thanks to the safe haven move by investors, just ahead of the shift in US administration.

By the end of 2016 or rather post the 2016 US election, confidence in the global markets was running high thus propelling gold to lose its safe haven appeal. But 2017 has lot of uncertainties and surprises to unfold for gold which will once again get into the investors basket keeping in the mind its appeal as a safe haven asset in times of global uncertainties.

In the week ahead, investors will be looking ahead to US economic reports, particularly Friday’s retail sales figures for December. Investors will also be watching an appearance by Fed Chair Janet Yellen on Thursday and speeches by a handful of other Fed officials during the week, as well as President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday for a press conference.

Now investors await the upcoming inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump to see what the volatile leader will implement once in office.

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Gold stabilises around $1130

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) on Wednesday December 14 raised interest rates to a range of 0.5-0.75% from 0.25-0.5%, which was widely anticipated and was largely priced in by commodities and equities.

Modestly analysts believe that higher interest rates in the USA are not expected to have much of an impact on metal markets unless it reaches 2%.

And while higher rates could cause issues if they are raised too quickly or too high, this is not an immediate threat.

The markets have somewhat calmed down with gold hovering near $1130 an ounce.



Gold was trading calm in London on Thursday December 22 – where prices are stuck around $1,130 per oz while many investors are side-lined as the end of the year approaches.

It’smore of a holiday mood where US and Chinese markets willremain shut for Christmas. And hence business and liquidity is expected to dry up till New Year.

The spot gold price was recently indicated at $1,130.25/1,130.45 per oz, down $0.60 on Wednesday’s close.

Later on, prices fluctuated in a nominal range following important data realised during the week.

This week’s highlights were as follows-
  • The US final third quarter GDP growth was revised upwards to 3.5% from 3.2% and
  • Core durable goods orders increased 0.5% month-on-month in November, which was better than the forecast of 0.2%.
  • Durable goods orders fell 4.6% month-on-month in November, still better than expectations of a 4.9% drop.
  • Weekly unemployment claims, however, came in at 275,000 above consensus of 255,000.
  • The November core PCE price index was flat against the forecast of 0.1%
  • Personal spending was at 0.2% below expectations of 0.4%.
  • CB leading index and personal income were both unchanged in November, and below their forecast of 0.2% and 0.3%, respectively.
  • The US government bond market strengthened slightly on Wednesday, with the 10-year US bond yield closing at 2.53%, down from a recent peak of 2.60% last week.
The latest [US] data which has both positive and negative reflects the state of the current US economy. Taking into consideration the outlook for the US economy, future US economic data should trend towards improvement. This could provide some downward pressure for gold and silver.

Recent strong US macroeconomic data and sanguinity over president-elect Donald Trump’s prospective infrastructure spending plans have raised expectations of more interest rate increases in the USA next year. This has also enhanced the US dollar and increased appeal of risk assets like equities, while decreasing the attractiveness of haven assets like gold.

However, he gold price was a touch higher on the morning of Friday December 23 in London, finding some support from bargain hunting before the year-end holidays but lacking sufficient momentum for a marked breakthrough.

The spot gold price managed slight gains during Asian trading hours on Friday December 23 following the release of a range of US data on Thursday.
The momentum for precious metals has slowed but broadermarkets remain tough and positivity for 2017 remains high,

This reflected a moderate decrease in risk appetite on the back of growing political tensions between the US and China after President-elect Trump picked Peter Navarro, a China hawk, to run the US National Trade Council.

Precious metals are expeted to shine next year . Investors may continue to remove their bullish bets to take advantage of positive global risk sentiment and lower volatility across risk asset classes. But the level of contentment in the financial markets may take some participants by surprise early next year, which may trigger a strong rebound across the complex.