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Showing posts with label Washington. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Washington. Show all posts

Monday, 28 August 2017

Markets seem difficult to trade

After weeks of relative stagnation, gold traders were suddenly awoken to a rise in trade volume and price volatility. In a span of one minute, gold futures contracts equaling more than 2 million ounces traded -- about 20 minutes before Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen was to address a gathering of policy makers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

The occurrence shook the market after a measure of 60-day volatility on the metal touched the lowest since 2005.

 Gold had been lying stable amid political disharmony in Washington, worries about rising U.S. interest rates and escalating geopolitical tensions between the U.S. and North Korea.

Investors were not expecting Yellen to make a policy statement anyway, but some market participants were hoping for some signal on the Fed's planned balance sheet reduction, if not on the outlook for U.S. interest rate hikes.


Yellen’s speech, which lacked clear rate cues, did little to calm the price swings and damped expectations of a rate hike this year.

Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Robert Kaplan helped fuel the sharp move before Yellen’s speech Friday by saying the central bank can afford to be patient on raising interest rates even while noting it should shrink the balance sheet soon.

These comments were dovish and pushed gold prices higher. But then when Yellen didn’t mention monetary policy, things started to stabilize again.

The dollar fell to a three-week low against the euro and a one-week trough versus the yen on Friday after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen made no reference to U.S. monetary policy in her speech at the annual central bank research conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Instead, Yellen focused on U.S. regulations, saying those put in place after the 2007-2009 crises had strengthened the financial system without impeding economic growth, and any future changes should remain modest.

Dollar had weakened because Yellen "didn't say anything positive for the U.S."

The dollar has been trading higher for most of the week after sharp losses in recent months.

The dollar fell to a one-week low of 109.23 yen after Yellen's speech. It was last down 0.2 percent at 109.33.

The euro, meanwhile, hit a three-week high against the dollar and was last up 0.6 percent at $1.1862.
Focus now shifts to the coming week wherein a few interesting events are lined up.
The yellow metal may remain range-bound in the $1,290s ahead of the U.S. Labor Day holiday on September 4th.

Labor Day can mark a variation point in various economic parameters, including the gold price.  There are also U.S. Fed and ECB policy meetings that will be held in the second half of September and the U.S. FOMC one in particular will be viewed with particular interest vis-à-vis gold given observers will be looking for clues on the likely date for the next interest rate rise decision and/or Fed balance sheet reductions.  The U.S. economy is not showing positive developments as well as forecast by the Fed so there are some who believe any rate increase will now likely be put off until next year.

The period that lies between the Labour Day and The FOMC meeting will be crucial for gold as the markets reactions all depend on this interim period.

Market reaction after Labor Day, and before the FOMC meeting will probably see gold react positively or negatively to economic data (fact or supposition)  coming out in the interim, which may hold gold back from bursting through $1,300, which it would likely do if the FOMC looks like delaying any interest rate rise decision beyond the calendar year end.  An indication that the Fed will indeed continue its tightening programme in December may pull down the gold price , but perhaps not affect its on-going progress in the medium term.

Similarly the ECB policy meeting in Frankfurt, which comes just after the FOMC meeting, will also be followed with strong interest, but may not see any further tightening while the Euro remains at current levels against the dollar.

We still see gold rising through $1,300 and perhaps hitting $1,350 by the year-end, but sometimes Q4 can prove to be a weak period for precious metals, so we are not wholly confident on this prediction.  Currently markets seem difficult to trade!

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Green back gives backing to gold

It was a quiet Monday for gold on 24th July followed by a little change in gold and silver prices on Tuesday. Spot gold prices were at $1,255.60 per oz and silver at $16.46 per oz, while the PGMs were looking stronger with gains of 0.6%.

Gold’s rebound has found new vigor on the combination of the weaker dollar and the less hawkish US Federal Reserve stance. Dollar weakness has stemmed from the weak political scene in Washington which has resulted in a push in gold prices. Gold is sensitive to moves higher in both U.S. rates and the dollar. Weaker dollar makes gold less expensive for holders of foreign currency, while a rise in U.S. rates lifts the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as bullion.


Gold prices held steady on Friday as investors locked in profits from the precious metal's rally to six-week highs on Thursday and as markets awaited the release of U.S. second-quarter growth data due later in the day.

U.S. 2Q GDP figures released on Friday showed the economy grew at an annualized pace of 2.6% q/q, slightly missing consensus, with the Core Personal Consumption Expenditure (PCE) topping expectations with a print of 0.9% q/q. The data did little to shift expectations for a December interest rate hike with markets still pricing a roughly 50/50 chance the Fed will hike again this year.

Gold prices rallied for the third consecutive week with the precious metal rallying 1.9% to trade at 1268 ahead of the New York close on Friday. The advance comes alongside continued weakness in the greenback.

The dollar remained under pressure after the Fed said on Wednesday that inflation remains below its 2% target even as near-term risks to the economic outlook appear "roughly balanced". In the past, the Fed judged that weakness in inflation was transitory. The central bank's cautious tone on inflation sparked fresh uncertainty over the possibility of a third rate hike this year.

The greenback was also weakened by data on Thursday showing that initial jobless claims rose by 10,000 to 244,000 last week. Analysts expected jobless claims to rise by 7,000 to 241,000 last week.
Gold prices have done well, especially with equity markets setting fresh highs, but the weaker dollar of late has no doubt helped fuel the rally and it may be that as equities are setting fresh highs, more investors are expecting a correction so may be putting more into havens. Silver has been following gold, platinum prices have struggled to follow gold and palladium is still consolidating after the strong run in May/June. For now we expect the dollar to be the main driver in gold prices.

This week began with a positive note for gold as it Monday held around its highest price in nearly seven weeks as tensions on the Korean peninsula boosted safe-haven demand for the metal and as the U.S. dollar hovered close to multi-month lows.

News that North Korea has conducted yet another missile test spurred a late-week push higher in gold prices which stretched into near-term resistance just ahead of the European close.

The United States flew two supersonic B-1B bombers over the Korean peninsula in a show of force on Sunday and the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations said China, Japan and South Korea needed to do more after Pyongyang's latest missile tests.

Though a weaker dollar is the main driver for gold prices, currently deepening political turmoil in Washington and North Korea's progress on ballistic missiles will all ensure the uncertainty premium continues to support gold's price.

Looking ahead to next week, markets will be closely eyeing central bank interest rate decisions from the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) & the Bank of England (BOE) with the highly anticipated U.S. Non-Farm Payroll report slated for Friday. While the broader outlook for bullion remains constructive, prices are eyeing near-term resistance heading into the close of the month and could limit the topside near-term.

Monday, 24 July 2017

Chances of interest rate hike in near future fade

Initially gold began on a negative note. Gold witnessed a decline in prices till mid-week.
However by the end of the week gold prices picked momentum and closed on a positive note.
GOLD BULLION headed for a second weekly gain versus the falling Dollar Friday morning in London, trading at $1247 per ounce as the US currency held at its weakest in 14 months against the Euro.

The greenback faced a fresh barrage of assaults on the currency markets. June retail sales figures and inflation levels disappointed, and this led to a selloff of USD. Headline inflation plunged more than forecast, and retail sales reversed course.  Hence, sentiment towards the USD declined
Gold and the rest of the precious metals were up by an average of 0.3% during trading hours on Friday July 21, with spot gold prices at $1,246.44 per oz, a weaker dollar and continued choppy political waters in Washington providing support.



By Monday, 17 July, the greenback was trading near 10-month lows. Further, news reports of improved economic performance in China sent investors scampering away from the USD towards other assets. Safe-haven assets such as gold, silver, platinum, and the JPY and emerging market currencies gained favour as the USD retreated.

Gold’s rebound found new drive on the combination of the weaker dollar, which we think stems from the weak political scene in Washington and from the less hawkish US Federal Reserve stance.

A weakening dollar along with hawkish Fed comments strengthens gold prices as gold is generally preferred as a mode of investment in times of uncertainty and global turmoil.

It is clear that the US economy is not performing as expected. This naturally dampens expectations and results in weakness for the USD. When traders get antsy, they rush towards safe-haven assets such as gold bullion, and this is precisely what we are seeing now.”

The dollar index continued to fall, at 94.00 it has set a fresh low, these levels were last seen in June 2016. A negative impact on the USD is good for gold. Since bullion is a dollar-denominated asset, demand moves in the opposite direction to the strength of the USD. With weakening sentiment about the USD, foreign buyers of gold purchase more per unit of their currency. Plus, the perceived weakness of the USD drives traders to gold bullion.

With softness in inflation figures, members of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) are reluctant to move forward with additional interest rate hikes. It is more likely that the Fed will opt for an unwinding of its $4.5 trillion balance sheet than more rate hikes this year.

If data continues to be negative and if the third-longest [economic growth] cycle in US history cannot produce a cyclical uplift in wages and prices then gold prices are expected to rise tremendously as any large disappointment in the [global economic] growth story will lead to an increase in gold prices.

The appeal of gold as an insurance asset is greater today than it was at the beginning of the year. It suggests to us that gold continues to be viewed as a [portfolio] diversifies and this should help keep the market supported overall.

The latest economic data releases once again bring the prospect of a Fed rate hike into question. According to the CME Group Fed Watch Tool, there is a 3.1% probability of an interest rate hike on Wednesday, July 26, 2017. For September 20, 2017, the probability of a rate hike is just 8.2%, and for November 1, 2017 the probability of a rate hike is just 11.6%. These economic forecasts are good for gold. Every time the Fed pushes back the prospect of a rate hike, currency traders take a bearish perspective on the greenback which further drives the demand for gold.

Monday, 10 April 2017

Gold being pulled between uncertainities and rate hike

Gold is often used as a hedge against political and financial uncertainty and security risks. And that’s exactly what’s happening with gold currently.

Gold hit a five-month high on Friday after U.S. jobs data dampened expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will raise interest rates, but the metal gave up most gains as the dollar rose and safe haven demand ebbed.



Spot gold rose 1.2 percent to $1,265.95 an ounce by during trading hours on Friday, after touching its highest since Nov. 10 at $1,270.46,putting it on track for a fourth consecutive week of gains. U.S. gold futures climbed 1.1 percent to $1,267.60 an ounce. This is the most supportive environment we have seen for gold in some time given that there is geopolitical tension and disappointing U.S. payrolls number.

Data released showed that U.S. employers added the fewest number of workers in 10 months in March, boosting gold, which is most attractive to investors in a low interest rate environment.
Gold was also underpinned by investors looking for safety after the United States fired cruise missiles at a Syrian air base, escalating tensions with Russia and Iran.

Russia, a staunch ally of Syria, said relations between Washington and Moscow had been seriously damaged by the strike, which was in retaliation for a deadly chemical attack on a rebel-held area of Syria.

The precious metal hit a 5-month high as investors sought safe-haven assets after the United States launched cruise missiles against a Syrian air base, potentially escalating tensions with Syrian allies Russia and Iran. U.S. President Donald Trump unleashed the military strikes in response to a deadly chemical attack on a rebel-held area, a U.S. official said on Thursday.

Later in the session, however, safe haven demand faded and the dollar index. DXY climbed to three-week highs which further rose questions that unless the geopolitical risk continues; will the sentiment remain positive for gold?

Investors were cautious ahead of the meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping, but Trump said on Friday he had made progress in talks and expected them to overcome many problems. Investors had already been on edge as Trump met Chinese leader Xi Jinping on Thursday for talks over flash points such as North Korea and China's huge trade surplus with the United States.      

Gold is often used as a hedge against political and financial uncertainty and security risks. It has benefited alongside other assets considered safe, such as the yen and U.S. Treasury bonds.
Though geo political uncertainties are creating room for gold to rise, we shouldn’t ignore the key influential factor for gold i.e. U.S. interest rate hike.

Increases in U.S. interest rates will prove too much of a headwind for gold prices. As such, we think that the price of gold is likely to fall from about $1,265 today to $1,050 by the end of the year if there is any news coming in from the Fed regarding hike in interest rates.

Clearly this raises the stakes and we expect to see gold prices continuing to push higher in the short-term, at least until there is some clarity around whether this is a one-off or develops into something more.