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Showing posts with label euro zone. Show all posts
Showing posts with label euro zone. Show all posts

Sunday, 6 September 2015


-By Mr. Prithviraj Kothari, MD, RSBL

Firstly,I would apologise to all my readers for not drafting a blog for last week. 

I would like to present you an in depth analysis of this weeks gold movement.

It all began on a positive note for gold. The yellow metal entered the positive territory on the first day of the week and investors once again gained confidence of gold being a safe haven asset. But as we moved further, it once again lost its glitter. Gold prices fell by the end of the week and there were a varied reasons responsible for this fall.

Gold was marginally higher on the first morning of the week but remained rooted within a narrow range. Gold was vulnerable to a fresh wave of selling from funds poised to increase bearish bets.

In Shanghai, poor PMI dampened the sentiment and this decline in Asian markets boosted gold’s safe haven appeal as gold continued its gradual positive trend in European trading and was up around $6 an ounce to $1,141- around two per cent off a recent high reached a little over a week ago.

Gold has been struggling to gain from equities volatility in recent weeks, but it reverted to its inverse correlation with wider markets on Wednesday as spot prices recorded the sharpest fall in a week.

Gold found "no help" on Thursday as a spate of economic data from Europe and the US reduced inflation expectations. This sent the dollar higher, weighing down on the value of a precious metal that is often treated as a proxy currency and typically moves in the opposite direction to the greenback.

Gold fell 1 percent on Thursday as the dollar jumped versus the euro after the European Central Bank (ECB) cut inflation forecasts, while a U.S. jobs report that could provide clues on the timing of a Federal Reserve rate rise remained in focus.

The ECB left interest rates unchanged at record lows as expected, but lowered its forecasts for inflation and economic growth, citing a slowdown in emerging markets and weaker oil prices.

As a traditional hedge against inflation, gold suffered from the downward revision.

Spot gold had hit its lowest in a week during trading sessions on Thursday after comments from the ECB president Mario Draghi boosted the dollar against the Euro.

The president warned of negative inflation in the months to come, while noting that the Euro zone recovery has been weaker than expected.

The central bank left its benchmark interest rate at 0.05 per cent, a move that was widely expected whit Euro zone inflation currently at 0.1 percent.

By Friday afternoon, gold slipped about 0.4 percent in Europe following the release of a mixed US labor report.

The spot gold price was last at $1,120- $1,120.5 per ounce- almost down $4.70 from Thursday’s close. The US nonfarm payroll employment increased by 173,000 in August- below the forecast of 215,000 but on the contrary the unemployment rate fell to 5.1 per cent from 5.2 per cent in the prior month.

While average hourly earnings rose eight cents to $25.09 following a six cent gain in July- the hourly earnings rose 2.2 percent over the year.
Gold that was trading in a narrow range but on a positive side- immediately moved to the negative territory after the release of the report.

Though the reports were conflicting in nature- overall it did support the fact the interest rate hike may happen in September itself.
Reasons to justify this was a strengthening dollar and a strengthening gold, both of which happened after the data release. Their usual inverse relationship trend as broken which reflected some speculation surrounding a September interest rate hike.

The jobs report has taken on greater importance ahead of the September FOMC meet. The Fed is deciding whether to raise the Federal Interest rate for the first time since 2006.

After from the Euro zone and the US, In India a less than optimal monsoon will surely affect the demand for gold which may pull down gold prices further.

On the other hand demand for gold from China too seems to be weak. Chinese markets will be closed until Monday after the September 3-5 celebrations to mark the allied victory over Japan in the World War 2. The two day holiday in China also had some bearing on gold.

Currently we don’t see any help for gold from any of the world economies.

The primary purpose of this article by Mr. Prithviraj Kothari is to educate the masses of the current happenings in the Bullion world.
- Previous blog -
"Optimism For Gold"

Sunday, 26 July 2015


                                                                                     By Mr. Prithviraj Kothari, MD, RSBL

Gold has always been considered a commodity and a currency. But currently it has lost its appeal as both. At present it is not sought after in either form.

Investors are selling the metal from gold-backed funds at the fastest pace in four months. Holdings in exchange-traded products declined 17.6 metric tons this week to the lowest since 2009, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

This year gold has plunged 8.3 percent. Gold’s appeal has been curbed due to high borrowing costs. This in turn doesn’t pay interest or generate yields like other current income generating assets including equities. Moreover, a projection of an interest rate hike in September is influencing gold in losing its sheen.

A strong dollar and expectations that the US Federal Reserve will hike their interest rates by the end of the year triggered selling pressure on gold and took prices to their lowest point since April 2010. The US greenback rallied to a three-month high following comment from the Fed Chairperson last week, which eased gold’s appeal as a safe haven. Huge selloffs witnessed in Chinese futures market and breaking the key technical support of $1130 has ignited liquidation.

Earlier, spot gold tumbled to a fresh five year low of $1,077.50. 

The gold market has some pretty big hurdles to cross as prices hit fresh five-year lows early Friday. Although a late-day rally helped push prices back to around $1,100 an ounce and cut gold’s loss to only around 3% from Monday. Gold prices bounced back after touching a 5-year low earlier in the trading session as the dollar flattened on poor US housing data.

The gold price recovered from its earlier lows during Friday sessions, but sentiment surrounding the yellow metal remained poor as it continued to trade under $1,100 per ounce.
Spot gold was last at $1,082.90/1,083.70, but off the fresh five year lows it hit earlier when gold tumbled to just $1,077.50.


But there many analysts in the market who still believe that gold prices will rise. On the other side there are some who believe that gold will no longer be accepted as a commodity or a currency.
The current volatility has created new waves in the market that has disowned gold from many investors list. Let’s view the reasons behind the bull v/s bear sentiment.

This week’s volatility sparked as we saw important data coming in from various economies
U.S. - better-than-expected US jobs data sparked the move lower. After an optimistic US weekly unemployment reading was released, market participants wondered how that would affect next week’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting. Further hints that the Fed is on track for a September rate hike could present downside risks for gold especially given current momentum.

China- Chinese Caixin Flash China General Manufacturing PMI came out at 48.2 against a forecast of 49.8. The number was below the psychologically important 50 level for the first time in 15 months. This created disappointment in the market for gold.

Eurozone- in the Eurozone, EU flash services number disappointed at 53.8, though the manufacturing number was as expected at 53.8. EU flashes services number disappointed at 53.8, though the manufacturing number was as expected at 53.8.

Although there is improving market sentiment among some analysts who say gold is oversold and are expecting to see a modest technical rally, there is still a strong bearish undertone among retail investors.
  • Gold has fallen by 7.9 percent year-to-date compared with base metals, which in aggregate are down 15.6 percent and energy commodities which in aggregate are down 9.7 percent
  • Even though gold is down this year, it remains a relative outperformer against the bulk of commodities
  • Expectations that further data coming in from US maybe under expectations, which again sends positive signals for gold.
More volatility is likely next week as the market will switch its attention to the US FOMC meeting.

 Next week, the focus will be on the FOMC meeting – further hints that the Fed is on track for a September rate hike could present downside risks for gold especially given current momentum.
Investors are bailing on gold on expectations the Federal Reserve will soon raise interest rates as the economy strengthens.
All eyes will be on the Federal Reserve, the U.S. dollar and economic data next week; and, according to analysts, any weakness could be positive for the gold market

- Previous blog -

"Gold Keeping Investors Perplexed: RSBL"

Sunday, 12 July 2015


By Mr. Prithviraj Kothari, MD, RSBL


The world economies are tumbling. Greece is trying to get more days…Chinese economy is foundering and there us downside pressure on the US markets too. A collapsing economy directly means that the money flocks to gold. But the markets have something else to say.

The precious-metals sector is enduring losses for the third straight week. Gold has also rallied yet remains dangerously close to making a new weekly low for the bear market.
The metals opened lower on Monday in the shadow of the Greek ‘no’ vote but ended the day mixed with average losses of one percent.

Precious metals closed down 0.7 percent on Monday, with gold holding value at $1,169.20 while on Wednesday, gold was last up $4.60 closed at $1162/ 1162.80 an ounce.
Precious metals prices moved away from recent lows in trading on Thursday morning after Fed minutes failed to provide a clearer picture on when the normalization of US monetary policy might begin.

There is more than one factor that is collectively responsible for the movement in gold prices. Let’s take a detailed look at them.

Greece- In Greece, negotiations will continue over the weekend after Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras presented a proposal that accepts many of initial cuts introduced at a June 26 meeting.
Investors seem to believe this latest chapter in the multi-year negotiations process will end in Greece remaining in the Eurozone – the euro was last up 0.8 percent to 1.1130 against the dollar.

The uncertainty over Greek debt crisis boosted the dollar, dampening demand for the precious metal as an alternative investment.
A $60 billion bailout plan is headed to the Greek parliament. It includes most of the austerity measures Europe has insisted upon and the gross dollar amount of the bailout is slightly higher. We shall see next week what happens and how it affects markets.

FOMC and Interest Rate Hike- “Based on my outlook, I expect that it will be appropriate at some point later this year to take the first step to raise the federal funds rate and thus begin normalizing monetary policy,” Yellen said in her speech in Cleveland.

“But I want to emphasize that the course of the economy and inflation remains highly uncertain, and unanticipated developments could delay or accelerate this first step,” she added.

US, Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen predicted the timeframe for the initial interest rate hike, but also provided a hedge regarding the importance on inflation.
Friday, Yellen said, in a speech at an event in Cleveland, that she still expects interest rates to rise later this year but also acknowledged factors that continue to hold back the U.S. economy, including potential foreign threats.

China- GOLD BULLION prices rose Thursday against all major currencies, recovering all but $1 of the week's earlier $20 drop per ounce against the US Dollar as world stock markets gained following a hard bounce in China's main equity indices.

With trading still halted in around half the shares listed on the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock markets, the CSI300 index of the biggest companies closed 6.7% higher after the last 3 week's near one-third collapse.

No one knows where is gold is heading. Presently there is no call for safe haven investments beyond the solid currencies, namely the dollar, yen and Swiss franc.
Global market tensions may ease out next week with Greece expected to find some resolution to its ongoing credit crisis and Chinese leaders expected to keep a tight grip on equity markets to prevent another major market selloff.

Despite the negative weekly close, optimism is creeping back into the gold market. After five consecutive weekly bearish outlooks, retail investors have finally turned bullish, while market professionals remain mixed.

Nobody would want to buy in an extremely uncertain market. Investors would buy or sell gold once they get a clear signal and know what is happening with the Federal Reserve. The uncertainty in Greece and China is creating a lot of uncertainty and fear because nobody knows what the Fed is going to do.

Apart from the Global markets, there are others things that need to be watched by the investors next week. It’s a big week for US markets economic data.

  • Markets will receive retail sales data for June
  • Regional manufacturing data for July
  • Consumer inflation data at the end of the week

However, the highlight will be Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s semi-annual testimony before Congress. She will testify before the house Financial Services Committee Wednesday and the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday.
Market participants are expected to go through her indication extremely careful to find any hints on when the central bank will pull the trigger on an interest rate hike.

The primary purpose of this blog by Prithviraj Kothari - MD, RSBL, is to educate the masses of the current happenings in the Bullion world.”

- Previous blog -
"Will Gold Create The Safe Haven Magic"

Sunday, 10 May 2015


                                                                                   -By Mr. Prithviraj Kothari, MD, RSBL

Currently, the gold markets seems to be more like a see saw as it remains directionless amid mixed economic data.

Gold got a little lift from its downward trend.  Prices gained 1% for the week as a whole, after revisions to US payrolls data, from March and February, sparked speculation that the Fed could refrain from hiking rates in the immediate future.

The members of the Fed’s policy board are locked in what has become an increasingly public debate on when will be the right time to raise interest rates, which have been near zero since December 2008.

Gold remained quite stable and was fairly unchanged on Friday afternoon trading sessions after a lukewarm US jobs report failed to answer many of the questions surrounding the US economy.
The spot gold price of $1,185.00/1,185.80 per ounce was up $1.40 on the previous session’s close. It peaked at $1,193.80 shortly after the release of the US jobs report.

Let’s have a look at the data released during the week-

Employment Data- The US economy created 223,000 jobs in April, which was essentially in line with the 228,000 forecast, while the unemployment rate dropped to 5.4 percent from 5.5 percent in March. Average hourly earnings increased 0.1 percent, slightly below the 0.2 percent expected.
But payroll employment for February was revised from 264,000 to 266,000, and the change for March was revised from 126,000 to 85,000. With these revisions, employment gains in February and March combined were 39,000 lower than previously reported.
The report said that the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.4%. The participation rate was also little changed at 62.8% last month.

Since April 2014, the participation rate has remained within a narrow range of 62.7 percent to 62.9 percent. Wage growth saw a smaller than expected rise last month, increasing by three cents or 0.1% to $24.87.  Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 2.2 percent.
The average workweek remained unchanged at 34.5 hours. The weak wage growth was also “disappointing” and could keep the Federal Reserve postpone an eventual rate hike. A trend of firmer wage growth needs to be seen before “before Fed officials are ‘reasonably confident’ that inflation is on the path back to their target.

China- the Chinese trade surplus at $34.1 billion in March was up from $3.1 billion in February but below the expected $34.5 billion. As well, exports and imports both fell further than expected.

German- German industrial production disappointed at -0.5 percent as did the German trade balance at 19.3 billion euros. But Italian industrial production at 0.4 percent was better than expected.
ADP- In another precursor to today’s data, the ADP figure on Wednesday at 169,000 was below the forecast 199,000. A higher number today, however, could underpin a surge in the dollar and ultimately dampen any near-term prospects for gold – particularly while many investors are building the case for a delay to any interest-rate rises.

Dollar- The complex shrugged off a stronger dollar, which at 1.1200 against the euro this morning was building on gains of 0.66 percent on Thursday after US weekly jobless claims at 265,000 were better than the forecast 277,000.

Most financial markets were looking a little stretched, which could create volatility, ultimately supporting gold prices.
If the Federal Reserve is not that confident of a positive economic growth then it is quote expected that the first interest rate hike would be further postponed, which would further benefit gold.

Any negative data coming from US could drive up gold prices above $1200 an ounce.

In the week to come there are two major economic reports that ill have analysts glued to it.
1)    April Retail sales report to be released in Wednesday
2)    Regional manufacturing data for May to be released on Friday from New York

The retails sales reports is expected to rise 0.3% in April. Forecasts for the Empire State survey, show economists expect the index to rise to 5.2 this month, after falling to negative 1.2 in April.

If any of the reports come out negative then it would have a major impact on Fed rate hike expectations.
A weak retail sales number for April still isn’t going to stop the Fed from hiking in September.
Gold has fallen below people’s expectations and it will take something significant to get it back their trust. Until something unexpected happens, eventual rate hikes will continue to overhang the gold market.

Although gold is expected to remain range-bound next week, some analysts do see some positives that could help prices hover above the $1,200 an ounce level.
With little economic data to provide any solid direction for gold, some analysts are looking at outside markets for some guidance.

Apart from the two major US data reports analysts will be tracking the following-
⦁    Bank of England's (BoE) interest rate decision
⦁    GDP data from the UK, Germany and from the Eurozone

Any unexpected geopolitical event like The Greek crisis, for instance, could prop up prices if Athens and EU officials fail to reach a deal needed to release bailout money to the cash-strapped nation.

Analysts are unsure as to how gold prices will move next week and expect bullion to take its cues from the financial markets, where any sign of volatility could help boost the metal's safe-haven status.


$1178- $1220 an ounce
Rs.26,500- Rs.27,500 per 10g
$16.00- $17.20
Rs.36,000- Rs.39,500 per kg

The primary purpose of this blog by Prithviraj Kothari - MD, RSBL, is to educate the masses of the current happenings in the Bullion world.”

- Previous blog -
"A Volatile Week Waits For Gold"

Sunday, 8 March 2015


- By Mr. Prithviraj Kothari, MD, RSBL


As the outlook for the U.S dollar remained upbeat, we saw a bearish sentiment in the market for gold. Many investors expect that an interest rate hike by the U.S Federal Reserve will come sometime in 2015 was responsible for this sentiment. 

The Fed had stated that before it would tighten its policy, after it sees acceleration in wage growth. But at the same time the Fed had also made it clear in the January minutes in recent weeks that rate hikes could occur even if inflation is floundering. For now, as the Fed doesn’t consider the drop in inflation anything more than transitory, it’s unlikely that the wage figures ruffle too many feathers, at least for the U.S. Dollar.

Apart from the interest rate hike, there is also a great deal of uncertainty about the geopolitical and macroeconomic situation and gold continues to react to development in this regards.
The strong greenback has pushed gold prices below the key psychological level of $1,200 an ounce and has pushed the euro to a 12-year low

Both the euro and gold prices remain under significant pressure from the U.S. dollar.
The U.S. dollar has strengthened, particularly against the euro and that is negative for gold.

Though gold ended down for the week, it did show modest gains on Thursday afternoon although in euro terms it struck a near-one-month high following a speech from ECB president Mario Draghi on the bank’s QE programme.

An optimistic Draghi today outlined the ECB’s bond-purchasing plan that will begin on March 9. But he set a floor for bond purchases at the ECB’s deposit rate of -0.2 percent, following questions regarding to the extent to which the central bank will dabble with negative-yielding bonds.

As the week ended, gold prices fell to a two month low on Friday following a strong U.S non-farm payrolls report. Details are as following-

  • US total non-farm payroll employment increased by 295,000 in February and the unemployment rate edged down to 5.5 percent from 5.7 percent, which was significantly better than the forecast for the addition of 240,000 jobs and a 5.6-percent unemployment rate.
  • Labor reports over the next several months will take on added significance because the Federal Reserve is on the verge of raising interest rates.

This reading put added pressure on the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates in the near term.

By Friday afternoon prices had hit a session low of $1,162.90 an ounce and settled only marginally higher at $1,164.30, down 2.6% for the day. The gold ended the week at its lowest point since Dec. 1, shedding 4% since Monday.
Many cautious investors displayed a large scale pullout, looking for refuge in investment opportunities like stock, assuming bullish prospects for equity markets would continue in emerging markets like India.

Currently investment in equities looks more fruitful. Many investors are seeking shelter under this avenue as it is expected to give better returns than bullion; hence many investors sold their holding in gold to divert funds into equities in markets like India.
The jobs report definitely added fuel to fire for those who are expecting higher interest rates. Gold’s fall today shows that there is faith in the interest rate underpinning the dollar right now.

Strengthening dollar which is trading at its 11 year peak because of optimism in the US economy will be a strong factor for gold prices to come down in this month.

Although most of the market focus will revolve around the U.S. dollar and interest expectations, the two economic reports that will garner investors’ attention are-
  •  February retail sales
  •  Producer inflation data
The question now on everyone’s mind is just how low gold prices will go next week, in what is a quiet week for U.S. economic data. Most analysts expect that markets will spend most of next week preparing for the Federal Reserve monetary policy meeting on March 18.
Any hike by the Fed, which has kept rates near zero since 2008 to stimulate the U.S. economy, could hurt demand for bullion, a non-interest-bearing asset. If there is no physical demand then the market could be vulnerable.

The current strategy that market players should follow is “BUY ON DIPS”. 

Following trade range could possibly give an idea for the same.

$1130-$1200 an ounce
Rs.25,700- Rs.27,000 per 10gm
$15.40-$ 17.00 an ounce
Rs.35,000- Rs.38,000 per kg

“The primary purpose of this blog by Prithviraj Kothari - MD, RSBL, is to educate the masses of the current happenings in the Bullion world.”
- Previous blog -
"Overall A Decent Budget For Gems & Jewellery Industry"