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Showing posts with label geopolitical. Show all posts
Showing posts with label geopolitical. Show all posts

Sunday, 28 December 2014


 By Mr. Prithviraj Kothari, MD, RSBL

By the time you read my next article we will be in the next year. So let’s have a brief outlook on how 2014 was for gold.

But before we begin an in-depth analysis of the same let’s have a quick glance through the soft quite week that passed. A week that was a continuous tussle between Bulls and Bears where $1200 was a new price target for Gold.

Markets were generally quiet overnight on this Christmas Eve day. U.S. markets closed early and many traders and investors had checked out for the week, if not for the rest of the year. Due to thin trading volumes gold did not show much volatility in the market. It gained one percent on Friday as the dollar slipped against a second straight weekly drop, underscoring the bearishness in the market.

Spot gold was up one percent and was seen trading at $1,194.05 thus moving away from a three week low of $1170.17 that it hit earlier in the week. Though gold gained on Friday, the week ended on a low note for gold. Gold declined after data released from U.S. showed that that economy grew in the third quarter at its quickest pace in 11 years. Moreover, other data released showed that initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped for the fourth straight week.

SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold - backed exchange - traded fund, said its holdings fell 0.08% to 712.30 tonnes on Friday - a fresh six-year low.

Not only for the week, even for the year Bullion has declined 0.6 percent as prospects for higher U.S. borrowing costs, accelerating economic growth and a plunge in crude-oil prices crimped investor demand for the metal. 

Some of the key influential factors for gold throughout the year 2014 have been - (chronologically)
  • Tapering of the QE3
  • Crimean Vote
  • Geo political tensions in Ukraine (Iraq, Syria, Israel)
  • Historic win of Mr. Narendra Modi
  • Middle East Tensions
  • ECB’s aggressive monetary stimulus package
  • Uncertainty over interest rates hike by the Federal reserve
  • Strengthening US Dollar
  • Slowdown of the Chinese Economy
  • Swiss Referendum
Simultaneously we also need to have a look at what would turn the tables for gold in 2015.

The US economy: The US economy progress is measured in areas such as retail sales, industrial production, housing starts, payroll numbers and the broadest measure of unemployment. If the economy deteriorates then there are renewed expectations that the Federal Reserve may accommodate the financial system, particularly the banking system, and the combination of those factors could trigger a massive decline in the U.S. dollar. As a result of that, we will see spikes in commodity prices, such as crude oil, gold and silver.

Dollar: The number one thing for gold is the dollar, particularly in the near term. The dollar has to turn. Several Fed officials are now expressing concern about the strength of the dollar. If we see several weak economic reports in the next few months, the Fed is going to make noises about continuing to ease. That would push the dollar down and push up the price of gold.

Chinese economy: Gold may advance amid speculation that China, the world’s biggest consumer, will take more measures to bolster the economy, boosting demand for the precious metal as a store of value.

Russian and European Economies: Russia’s economy has been struggling with high inflation, crushing economic sanctions and weak oil prices.

Europe is still feeling some of the effects of its financial crisis as economic growth remains anemic and the central bank fights deflation. This uncertainty could create another crisis in emerging markets, and gold would benefit as a safe-haven investment.

Fed’s interest rate hike: If they make an outright comment that they're going to raise rates on a specific date, I think that could have a pretty serious hit to the equity markets.

Equities market: With equity markets back at record highs, that it also wouldn’t take much of a global crisis to spook investors, driving them back into gold markets.

Demand Supply: Any significant drop in gold prices will cause some supply disruptions, creating a floor for the market. Another benefit for the gold market should also come from gold-backed exchange-traded funds, which has seen lower redemptions throughout 2014

What we notice here is that the factors are similar to that of 2014 but will work in favour of gold. When the year is about to end, whoever I meet keeps asking for only thing- my outlook for gold for the coming year.
Well to begin with I would first like to share with you the various predictions that I have got from different people.
Some are really optimistic for the gold market for 2015 compared to other analysts as they think that the yellow metal could end next year around $1,250 while some feel that it will be well stuck at around $1200.

Some feel that gold prices will fall to $1,100 or even $1,080 an ounce as the U.S. dollar continues to dominate the marketplace and investors adjust to normalized U.S. interest rates.

There’s a lot of noise in this market right now, and this noise is causing volatility in the metals that a rude rumour is coming when the Fed, instead of raising rates, launches a QE4 to keep the economy from slipping back into a recession.

Investors shouldn’t rule out gold’s appeal as a safe-haven investment as a lot of uncertainty still remains in the marketplace. In fact safe-haven demand could help the gold market in early 2015.


$1130- $1350 
an ounce
Rs.24,000- Rs.32,000 
per 10 gm
$14.50- $24.00 
an ounce
Rs. 32,000- Rs.60,000 
per kg

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 - "Fed's "considerable time" creates "considerable impact" on gold"

Sunday, 19 October 2014


by Mr. Prithviraj Kothari, MD, RSBL

As we just thought gold was acting positive and making a comeback, it proves us wrong by the end of Friday.

Gold erased this year’s gains earlier this month on the outlook for higher borrowing costs as the U.S. economy improves. Bullion has since rebounded as the Fed signalled a worldwide economic slowdown may delay interest-rate increases and as equities to commodities slid.

The week was decent enough for gold in the domestic markets, but then internationally showed a sideways performance.

Internationally, gold prices declined after the U.S data reports were in. The better than expected consumer sentiment data lowered gold's safe haven appeal while on the other hand the ongoing concerns over global economic growth and a recovery in global stock markets gave the yellow-metal some support.

Equities and bond yields dropped sharply and the uncertainty over the Fed's hike in interest rates have changed the sentiment for gold from bearish to neutral. Gold showed mixed trends in the week over various economic figures coming in from US

  • U.S retail sales and inflation numbers slumped
  • Core Retail Sales dipped 0.2%, its first decline since April 2013.
  • This indicated to a decline in consumer spending which one of the key indicators of economic growth
  • PPI fell by 0.1%, after a reading of 0.0% a month earlier
  • US Unemployment Claims dropped to 264 thousand, marking a 14 -year low. 
  • Manufacturing numbers were a mix, as Industrial Production gained 1.0%, its best showing since November. 
  • The Philly Fed Manufacturing Index dipped to 20.7 points, but this beat the estimate of 19.9 points.
So it was quite a volatile market for gold and there were several factors responsible for this volatility.

The global equity drop was induced by the European equities sell-off, which was prompted by the negative August industrial production data from Germany and the market's disappointment with the lack of further monetary announcements by the ECB to fight deflation and a likely recession in Europe. The September U.S. retail sales of -0.3%, an inflation expectation of 1.5% in 2019, and foreign growth slowdown have fuelled growth recovery concerns in the U.S. The September manufacturing output climbed 0.5% compared to -0.5% in August, which can signal that the U.S. recovery is holding up.

The global equity tumult and the ongoing geopolitical concerns have raised the appetite for gold even though the inflationary pressure has created a negative attitude for gold.
The U.S. SPDR gold trust holdings have risen 0.20% this week after declining for four consecutive weeks. 

Moreover demand for gold from India has risen ahead of the biggest festive season of Diwali and many have made their purchases at dips. India's September gold imports jumped sharply to $3.75 billion ahead of the wedding and festival season, data from the trade ministry showed.

Meanwhile in China, the world's largest consumer for gold, has witnessed a significant drop in demand for gold even though price are running low but demand here is also expected to pick up. Growth in Gold mine output from China is set to slow significantly in coming years in the face of declining ore grades and waning profitability, an analyst at Business Monitor International said on Friday.

Now we need to see what's in basket for gold in the coming week. Gold could trade sideways next week and multiple factors are expected to influence the price of the precious metal.

FED- markets will keep an eye in the Fed Chair's speech this Friday

US- Traders will be tracking news coming in from the equity markets, alongside news about a likely global slowdown, the future pace of US stimulus, US interest rates, the Ebola scare in the US , the U.S leading indicators index , the U.S September new home sales, the U.S September CPI, September US leading indicators index and geopolitical tensions the world over.

CHINA-Next week, we will monitor the September China industrial production data, the Q3 China real GDP growth.

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 -
"Is Gold Making A  Comeback?"

Sunday, 12 October 2014


by Mr. Prithviraj Kothari, MD, RSBL

Gold has fallen nearly 40% from its 2011 high above $1900 to reach below $1200 at the start of the week. A resurgent dollar, coupled with positive U.S. economic data, had been driving gold's declines over the past few weeks. Investors tend to withdraw from non-interest-bearing assets to seek higher yields elsewhere when the dollar gains.

But gold picked momentum in the past seven days. We finally saw gold catching a bid on global risk aversion. It has rebounded nearly 4 percent from the 15-month low of $1,183.46 it hit on Monday on heavy selling pressure that followed a better-than-expected U.S. payrolls report last week.

There were various factors responsible for the rise in prices-
  • The end of QE
  • Geopolitical uncertainty
  • Falling global growth estimates
All these factors once again made gold a good prospect as a safe haven asset.

On the second day of the week, gold was up after the  International Monetary Fund cut its global economic growth forecasts and weak German industrial data stoked further concerns. Following this the dollar fell which further gave a push to gold prices.

Gold rose consecutively for four days marking its longest winning gain in seven months. In fact traders witnessed heavy short covering for gold rise over the Fed minutes which created uncertainty over the timing of a Fed interest rate rise.


The minutes of their last policy meeting showed that they are still struggling to come to grips with the dual threats of a stronger dollar and a global slowdown and hence they were further uncertain about linking the interest rate rise to U.S economic progress. Equities further weakened on concerns over global growth mainly in China and Europe.

Gold prices bounced off 2014 lows this week after testing support around the $1,180 area, a price gold hadn’t seen since June and December 2013. Analysts said short covering, which is the buying back of previously sold positions, and the return of Chinese traders from their Golden Week holiday helped return the yellow metal above $1,200.

However, In India it's a different scenario this year. Last year the volumes were much high as people rushed to buy gold, when prices crashed. This year prices have been consistently low. Moreover, disappointing monsoons and continued import restrictions have also affected gold demand in India.

Now the market awaits movement in equities, dollar and crude oil which could have a major role in influencing gold prices. Also, gold-market watchers will keep an eye on the Indian market to gauge metal demand ahead of the Diwali holiday later this month. Apart from this, the market player will also watch the economic data that will be flowing in- China releases a slew of economic reports, while The U.S. will see inflation data with the producer price index expected to show falls in energy and food prices, reflecting the recent drop in commodity prices.

If the US equities market continue to drop then it could create a favourable position for gold but if investors flush in more money into equities keeping the "buy on dips" funda in mind then we could see the dollar rally and gold would once again be pulled back from its gains.

Current view: BUY ON DIPS

Trade Range:

price range

price range
GOLD  $1207 - $1242
an ounce 
Rs.26,500 - Rs.28,000
per 10 gm
SILVER $16.85 - $17.85
an ounce
Rs.38,000 - Rs.40,000
per kg

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 - "Gold's Future at Stake!"

Sunday, 31 August 2014


by Mr. Prithviraj Kothari, MD, RSBL

Over the past few days gold has been playing touch and go with $1300 mark. It has enjoyed a recovery as it moved strongly higher off the $1275 level. In the past week, gold was seen falling sharply at the key level of $1275. In fact, before plunging, gold touched the resistance around $1313. 

The market is now divided into bull versus bear market. There are some who are positive about gold and believe that gold prices will move higher while some believe that it will further enter the bear market. 

Lets justify their views-


Uncertain global environment:
Escalating tensions in eastern Ukraine fuelled safe-haven demand for gold on Thursday, offsetting upbeat U.S. data that would have otherwise pushed the precious metal lower.
The tensions between Russia and Ukraine and militant activity in Iraq are keeping gold from falling back. Certainly people are concerned about the military situation in Ukraine, Syria, and Iraq. There were news that more than 100 Russian soldiers were killed in eastern Ukraine in a single battle this month while helping pro-Russian separatists fight Ukrainian troops.

Rising demand for physical gold:
Moreover, we have seen over the past years that September is one of the best months for gold in terms of physical demand. Over the last 20 years, the yellow metal has seen an average gain of 3% in September.
In India, August marks the onset of the festive season and people buy heavily as September sets in. August 29th has marked the beginning of the festive season with Ganesh Chaturthi and will go on till Diwali. Ahead of this expected demand Indian jewellers and dealers will be stocking up in the coming weeks, so it should affect prices

Along with this, we all see the wedding season setting in and no other metal can replace gold in the so called big fat Indian weddings. Be it jewellery, gifts or any other investment purpose, gold has always been India's first choice. 

Moreover demand from rural areas is also expected to rise as India witnessed a much better monsoon than expected. The majority of India's gold demand comes from rural areas, so the monsoon weighs heavily on purchases.


Strengthening Dollar:
Gold has been pulled the winding down of the US QE program and a probability of rates hike. Probability that the Fed may increase its Fed- Funds rate by mid 2015 will effectively reduce gold price in dollar terms.

US economic development:
This week, important data coming in from US has clearly shown signs of a gradually strengthening economy. The U.S. gross domestic product grew at a revised annualized rate of 4.2% in the second quarter of this year. 
The U.S. Department of Labor said the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending Aug. 22 declined by 1,000 to 298,000 from the previous week’s revised total of 299,000.
A separate report showed that U.S. pending home sales increased by 3.3% last month, beating expectations for a 0.5% rise. June’s figure was revised to a 1.3% drop from a previously estimated decline of 1.1%

As we all know, any positive data coming in from US has a negative effect in gold prices as gold is pressured by the idea that if the U.S. economy has sustained improvement then the Federal Reserve will start to raise rates, once it ends its quantitative easing program.
Geo-political tensions:
Further there were news that Geo-political tensions seem to have eased out and hence, we saw gold losing its safe haven status and gold prices slipped back below $1300.

Import restrictions:
The lack of any movement to change Indian import restrictions under the new government has also been a disappointment for the gold bulls.

As we see that the market has been divided into two segments: "the bulls and the bears" and as we go through this transition we can expect to see assets outperforming expectations. The market can’t help but exceed expectations since the investors' expectations are so low at this point.

We now see what the market has been awaiting for:

Data expected
1st September:
The August China NBS manufacturing PMI index and the Euro zone final manufacturing PMI
2nd September:
The U.S. August ISM manufacturing index
3rd September:
The preliminary Q2 GDP of the Euro zone
4th September:
The Bank of England and the ECB interest rates decisions and announcements on 4 September
5th September:
U.S. August non-farm payrolls and the unemployment rate

The market will be watching the outcomes of Thursday’s European Central Bank meeting and Friday’s U.S. August nonfarm payrolls report for gold direction. Economists are looking for ECB to take some sort of action, with a cut to interest rates likely.


$1273- $1307 an ounce
Rs. 27,500- Rs. 28,500 per 10 gram
$19.15- $19.85 an ounce
Rs. 41,500- Rs. 43,500 per kg

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 - "Uncertainty over Interest Rate Hike!!!"