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Showing posts with label currencies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label currencies. Show all posts

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Sentiment Shift In The Market

Past week, we saw investors moving away from gold as sentiments shifted to bearish. A strong US economy and a strengthening dollar led to this shift. Investors were confident that the U.S economy is relatively strong and this made the stock markets go wild. Moreover Gold failed to attract investors fleeing from the biggest selloff in six years in global equities as U.S. Treasury yields rose to four-year highs.

Last Thursday, bullion was headed for a 1 percent weekly decline as it fell to a one-month low of $1,306.81 over expectations of a rate hike soon in 2018.

Investor’s expectations of rate hike were driven high by the following factors-
unexpectedly low U.S. unemployment figures
Signals from the U.S. Federal Reserve,
and other data showing the country’s economy

As we all know that higher interest rates make gold less attractive to investors as a safe haven because it does not pay interest. Instead this time, investors treated the dollar as a safe haven.

A stronger dollar makes dollar-denominated bullion more expensive for users of other currencies.

The global market selloff, sparked by last Friday’s jump in Treasury yields, and bets that the United States could see at least three interest rate hikes in 2018 due to improving U.S. fundamentals have propelled the U.S. dollar in recent days

Gold prices made little headway Friday, seemingly digesting losses suffered earlier in the week. But at the start of the week, yellow metal got a bit of a boost, thanks to a weaker US dollar.

Gold prices rose on Monday, 12th Feb, as the dollar slipped, but gains are expected to be capped ahead of inflation data from the United States this week that could mean U.S. interest rates increase more quickly than expected.

The dollar slipped against a basket of six major currencies as a bounce in equity markets ended a strong run for the greenback, used by investors as a safe place to park assets in times of financial market volatility.

Spot gold was up 0.4 percent at $1,321.16 an ounce at 0940 GMT. It has fallen more than 3 percent since hitting a 17-month peak at $1,366.07 in January. U.S. gold futures rose 0.6 percent to $1,323.20 an ounce.

Worries about inflation in the United States surfaced after data this month showed jobs growth surged and wages rose, bolstering expectations that the U.S. labour market would hit full employment this year.

But investors still feel that the dollar will strengthen once the infrastructure spending plan will be unveiled by President Donald Trump.

If the markets are amply convinced that the scheme will deliver a potent boost US economic growth and push inflation upward, that is likely to inspire bets on a steeper Fed rate hike cycle. This will probably revive the greenback’s recovery, tarnishing the appeal of anti-fiat assets epitomized by gold.

Whatever the reasons for the shift change in market sentiment, from macro factors to algorithmic trading, these abrupt index plunges and the rise in volatility have spooked investors across the globe and have led to panic selling and active profit-taking. With a low volatility environment less certain than before, market consensus on ever-increasing stock prices may be beginning to unravel.

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.

Friday, 6 October 2017

September proves to be the worst month of 2017 for gold so far

September was an action-packed month, with North Korean rockets and a succession of monster hurricanes all coming at the markets almost at the same time. Not forgetting the comments coming out from the Federal Reserve that contributed to thefrenzy by giving a clear signal of a December rate hike. In the process, it perhaps single-handedly helped the dollar index recover from a three-year low hit earlier in the month.

Amid a resurgent dollar, the month of September proved to be worst for gold since November 2016. However, as geopolitical tensions soar, with the standoff between the U.S. and North Korea probably topping the list, demand for precious metals surged with Gold ETF holdings rising most since Feb 2017.

Last week, gold prices ended lower on Friday as weak U.S. consumer spending and inflation data did little to alter expectations for a third interest rate increase by the Federal Reserve this year.
The dollar has risen in recent weeks as investors grow more optimistic about the prospect for U.S. rate hikes and tax cuts that some expect to boost the U.S. economy.

Data on Friday showed that
U.S. consumer spending barely rose in August.
Inflation also remained sluggish with the core personal consumption expenditures price index rising 1.3% year-on-year, slowing from 1.4% in July.
The core personal consumption expenditures price index is the Fed’s preferred inflation measure and has a 2% target.

The data did little to temper rate hike bets after Yellen indicated earlier in the week that the central bank was sticking to plans for a third rate hike this year and three in 2018.

The metal recorded its biggest monthly decline so far this year in September, despite netting a quarterly rise of nearly 3 percent partly due to geopolitical tensions including North Korea’s missile tests.

The U.S. currency recorded its best week of the year on Friday, despite benign inflation data for August, as expectations that the Fed would raise interest rates again in December loomed large after Fed Chair Janet Yellen said the central bank planned to stay on its current rate hike path.
Higher interest rates tend to boost the dollar and push bond yields up, weighing on greenback-denominated gold

The dollar’s rise paused on September 28 and 29, but was seen gaining momentum on Monday morning.

Gold slipped to its lowest in nearly seven weeks early on Monday, 2nd October as the U.S. dollar rose and equities gained, while growing expectations for a Federal Reserve interest rate hike in December also added to pressure.

Spot gold was down 0.3 percent at $1,274.90 an ounce by 0353 GMT, after earlier touching its lowest since mid-August at $1,273.55.

Gold prices fell in Asia on Monday as the dollar gained and the euro dropped as investors mulled the implications of the disputed referendum on Catalonia independence in Spain on the euro zone and a sentiment survey out of Japan in a thin trading day with China's markets shut for the week and holidays regionally expected to see thin flows.

Elsewhere,The Bank of Japan released its Tankan survey for the third quarter with investors focused on the large manufacturer’s index as it rose to 22, compared with an expected reading of 18.

This week, comments by Fed Chair Janet Yellen will be closely watched for further hints on the timing of the next rate hike along with Friday’s U.S. jobs report. Market watchers will be looking ahead to remarks by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi on Wednesday.

Gold, silver and platinum prices continue to correct and the stronger dollar and lull in tensions over North Korea, seem to be weighing on prices. We would let the corrections run their course, but the North Korean situation is likely to escalate again at some stage, so the next rally in gold prices may not be that far away.

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.