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Showing posts with label new year. Show all posts
Showing posts with label new year. Show all posts

Monday, 5 February 2018

Where is Gold Heading To

AN upbeat U.S data and a strong dollar played key roles to pull down gold prices during the week. A lot was expected to happen over the number of data releases-

US employment report, ahead of that there is
Data on Spanish unemployment,
UK construction PMI
Italian CPI
US data on factory orders
University of Michigan consumer sentiment
Inflation expectation.

Of these, markets remained focussed on U.S nonfarm payrolls data and gold seemed to be behaving reacting to this influential factor

An expectation of strong economic number coming in from US strengthened the dollar. Spot gold was down 0.3 percent at $1,345.22 an ounce as the dollar ticked up against the euro ahead of hotly anticipated U.S. non-farm payrolls data, which would further give fresh clues on the outlook for U.S. interest rates.

Stronger than expected numbers could shore up expectations for the Federal Reserve to press ahead with interest rates hikes this year thus increasing the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion

The dollar rose 0.2 percent against the single currency in early trade, though it remained on track for a seventh straight weekly loss. Its early signs of strength pressured gold, which is priced in the U.S. unit. Once data was out, gold didn’t show that great reverse effect as expected.

 Gold ended the week little changed, after rising in six out of the last seven weeks and hitting its highest in 17 months last week at $1,366.07.

 Data released was as follows -   

Nonfarm payrolls and unemployment rate- non-farm payrolls grew by 200,000 in January and the unemployment rate was 4.1 percent, while wages saw their biggest jump since the end of the Great Recession, the Bureau of Labour Statistics said in a closely watched report Friday.

Hourly Earnings- More importantly, average hourly earnings increased 2.9 percent on an annualized basis, the best gain since the early days of the recovery in 2009. In addition to the solid payroll growth, average hourly earnings were up 0.3 percent for the month, matching estimates and reflecting an annualized gain of 2.9 percent. That was the best since mid-2009 as the two-year economic slump was coming to a close. However, the average work week fell two-tenths to 34.3 hours.

Within the jobs report, Wall Street and policymakers are watching wage numbers closely. While job gains have been solid and consistent, salary growth has been elusive. This report could change the narrative and might push the Fed to get more aggressive with interest rate hikes.

The Fed held interest rates unchanged after its latest policy meeting this week but raised its inflation outlook and flagged "further gradual" rate increases.           
During the December meeting, the Federal Reserve said that it expects that economic conditions “warrant gradual increases,” in the federal funds rate, and added that inflation declined in 2017 and was running below 2%.

Should the Federal Reserve reaffirm expectations for three rates hikes, bond yields could surge.
Some market participants warned, however, that the yellow metal may face a period of weakness as physical gold demand is expected to decline as seasonality is starting to fade ahead of the Chinese New Year.

With many other asset classes already at record price levels, there is a risk of corrections either while geopolitical developments unfold or as inflation and interest rates rise to the extent that investors take profits. Investors may well see gold as offering a relatively cheap safe haven while corrections unfold in other markets

Now gold has already broken above its 2017 high of $1357, as we had expected, before retreating over the past few days. It has now taken out some short-term support levels in the process, but the key support levels such as $1335 and $1325 are still intact, so the long-term technical bullish outlook remains in place for the time being. If we are going to see new highs for the year in the coming days, then gold will have to break back above those short-term broken levels, which are now acting as resistance. Among these, $1344/45 is an interesting level to watch today. If there’s acceptance above it then don’t be surprised to see gold go back above $1357 – the 2017 high – soon. And if gold were to get back to these levels then it would increase the probability of it reaching for liquidity that is resting above the 2016 high of $1375 next. On the flip side, if $1335 gives way first, then one will have to consider the bearish argument, more so if it also goes below $1325.

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.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Pause - Gold price rally!

Gold price rally has taken a pause for the first time this year. Fed’s stimulus cut and Chinese New Year holidays have created a major impact on the yellow metal prices.  


Fed expectedly tapered $10 billion to $65 billion a month, second such move by central bank to cut back on the stimulus program. In a unanimous decision at the meeting the move was taken, saying labour market showed further improvement and household spending, as well as investment had advanced more quickly in recent months. What followed with this announcement was the rise of bears. Gold fell around 2 percent on Thursday, its biggest one-day drop in more than a month. Signs of faster U.S. economic growth have increased bets that the Federal Reserve would look forward to end the QE3 programme as soon as possible. Moreover when you do not have the largest physical buyer in the market, finding some support is obviously difficult. It shows how much important is Chinese demand for Gold. This was supported by sharp emerging market sell off, which had boosted gold prices earlier this week, hitting gold's safe-haven appeal.

Gold ETF flows were pretty mixed, with the SPDR GLD holdings rising 2.1 tonnes, while ZKB holdings fell 1.9 tonnes and Deutsche Bank's ETF lost 970 kilos.

I did note that U.S. economy grew by a respectable 3.2% annualized in Q4 but the reduction of China’s HSBC Final Manufacturing PMI data to 49.5 in January and Manufacturing PMI to 50.5, indicates that the global economy is still fragile. Nevertheless, as the stock prices stabilized and the emerging countries vowed to stem the currency panic, the U.S. Dollar rallied while the gold prices fell. The U.S. dollar strengthened and the S&P 500 stock market index rose more than 1 percent after data showed that robust household spending and rising exports have supported US growth.

In other precious metals, platinum fell nearly 2 percent, tracking losses in gold.  Platinum mining in South Africa, which accounts for 70 percent of global supplies of the metal, has been curbed since the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union called its members on strike on Jan. 23 at Anglo American Platinum, Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. (IMP) and Lonmin Plc. (LMI) The AMCU is dominant in platinum, with more than 70,000 members, and is demanding that basic wages be more than doubled to 12,500 rand a month. Talks aimed at resolving the dispute resume tomorrow, in Pretoria. While the negotiations have failed to achieve “tangible progress,” the companies and the union were pursuing a settlement, AMCU treasurer Jimmy Gama said. Even with all this, metal drew little support from the news that South Africa's AMCU union had rejected a 9 percent wage offer from leading platinum producers.

As expected the bears started to take the overhand in Silver during the same sell off. It touched a low of 19 USD levels, which had been the lower band since November. It does act as a major support for the metal.

Despite Thursday's pullback, gold was still 3 percent higher year to date. Gold has outperformed the S&P 500 by 10.2% this year. 

The Emerging market’s currency sell off that happened this week makes me think that the need for alternative currency will never diminish. With a weaker currency, Governments across the world are trying to boost their economic growth wherein lower inflation levels eventually grow when the monetary debasement continues. This leads to devaluation of local currency and in turn Gold prices shoot up in local markets as people look forward to protect their wealth in this alternative currency. This phenomenon is slowly but steadily being witnessed across various countries around the globe and specially emerging markets.

For the first week of February, we need to watch out for US ISM Manufacturing PMI on Feb 3, US ADP Non-Farm Employment Change and US ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI on Feb 5, the U.K. and the ECB monetary policy decisions on Feb. 6 as well as the January U.S. non-farm payrolls and unemployment rate on Feb. 7.

The primary purpose of this blog (Prithviraj Kothari's view on Bullion Markets - MD, RSBL(Riddisiddhi Bullions Ltd.)) is to educate the masses of the current happenings in the Bullion world.


Friday, 20 December 2013


-By Mr. Prithviraj Kothari, MD, RSBL (RiddiSiddhi Bullions Ltd.)

Gold acted like a new born baby this year. It showed new movements and new trends which were quite difficult to understand, analyze and justify. But this baby though adopted by many was also abandoned by a handful chunk of people.

Gold that has always stood proud in its category, for the first time in 13 years, it gave negative returns. Moreover, it’s headed for an annual drop of 25 percent. Gold has been in a significant bear market since reaching a record high at $1,910 an ounce in 2011. On April 15, the gold price plunged about 9%—the biggest one-day loss ever for the yellow metal.  In its collapse gold bullion lost $705 an ounce or 37% of its value to the recent low at $1,195. Some say the no. '13’ as considered unlucky by many; has proved to be inauspicious for gold too.  

The international markets witnessed the following highlights in the year 2013 that were responsible for volatile movement of bullion prices.

  • Cyprus Bailout
  • Syrian Conflict 
  • Statement by FED that it may taper its bond buying program by late 2013
  • US government shutdown
  • US debt ceiling being raised

Throughout the 1st quarter gold was seen in a range of 1554$ an ounce to 1695$ an ounce. Though gold declined to $1554 in February it managed to cross the 1600 mark in March - Thanks to Cyprus. The Cyprus crisis had offered gold a helping hand, after investors had been pulling out of the precious metal 

On the other hand, the Indian government hiked duty on gold to 6 per cent from 4 per cent to rectify the current account deficit on January 21, 2013. Gold also saw a booster coming in from US lawmakers that were successful in averting the fiscal cliff at the 12th hour, this too pushed up gold prices.

On Friday, 12th April, Gold witnessed a record drop and for the first time in history it crashed 80 dollars in a single trading day this reaching $1484. Panic selling had triggered this downfall.

Some 158,200 taels of gold bullion (roughly six tonnes) were sold in six auctions held by the State Bank of Vietnam. There was news that as soon as the international markets opened, Merryl Lynch sold 4 million ounces of gold.

Heavy ETF selling was also seen in the markets.Gold dropped further trading at 1385$ at one point of time.Till mid June gold managed to be above the $1400 mark but news about the recovery of the US economy dropped gold prices and it was seen trading at around 1385$.

During mid July the FOMC minutes reviewed that many Fed governors would like to see more signs of improvement in jobs before agreeing to taper.

What came as a turning point for gold was the civil war at Syria. Gold prices rallied above $1430. Meanwhile, in South Africa the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has given 48 hours' notice of a strike at South Africa's gold producers. This too affected gold prices.

While in the domestic market, the Indian rupee slipped for the third consecutive day in a row on Wednesday to close at a fresh record low of 68.80 per dollar, as uncertainty over a possible US-led military strike against Syria knocked down Asian equity markets and currencies. This was the biggest ever single day fall for the currency since 1995. But then in September, stepped in Mr. Raghuram Rajan- he was then considered the savior of the depreciating rupee.

The FOMC meet began on 18th September and was over by the 19th. All expectations, rumors, speculations and predictions were finally put to a halt. 

Just when India marked the onset of its festive season, the US was heading for a partial shutdown. Though the partial shutdown did not create much impact on gold prices globally, this shutdown along with the debt ceiling will surely have a major impact on bullion prices worldwide. As shutdown entered its second week, there prevailed a lot of uncertainty in the markets.

Finally, in the first week of November, just after Halloween, the Fed stated that it would not taper its bind buying right away as it needs concrete evidence over US economy's growth. Though this should have pushed up the gold prices, completely opposite happened. Gold was down 6.1% in November, the worst performance since June when prices touched a 34-month low of 1180.5$

U.S. Senate leaders finally announce a deal to end a political crisis that had partially shut down the federal government and brought the world's biggest economy close to a debt default that could have threatened global financial calamity. The deal, however, offered only a temporary fix and does not resolve the fundamental issues of spending and deficits.
But what came in as a silver lining in the dark clouds for gold was the demand for gold from China. It finally overtook India as the largest consumer for gold as it imported 131 tonnes of gold in October through Hong Kong.

It is rather the month of December that was considered a deciding factor for gold's fate as the most awaited and much discussed FED meeting concluded on 18th. It is in this meeting that the Fed was supposed to give a final decision as to when the tapering would begin for the final time in 2013. Though many investors believed that tapering would take place in early 2014, The Fed had a surprise package for all. It probably accommodated a bit everyone for Christmas, by announcing a somehow symbolic $10 billion taper to start in January, target to end QE around the end of 2014, but on the other hand promising to keep low rates for a well past time until the unemployment rate would drop below 6.5%. Gold quickly fell to 1215.80, while the S&P 500 rallied close to the all-time high. Gold in the Indian market dropped Rs.1000 per 10 gram late in the evening. The total Gold ETF holdings are currently 57.41 Moz compared to 86.62 Moz at the start of 2013. Total gold ETF holdings are now back at the lowest level since Novemeber, 2013. 

The tapering news got along with it a firm belief that the Global economic scenario is improving and we will near the end of recession soon.

Gold has lost its appeal as a safe haven asset. But yes, the market is still divided into two segments. Some who have abandoned gold like the net outflows of ETFs while others who have adopted it with the belief that gold prices will rise and the metal will always serve with a safe haven appeal like the central banks of the world. 

I feel, Gold should not be always thought as a short term profit making option, rather it should be thought in terms of grams that would safeguard your future. I always remember my great grandfather saying "don't buy gold to make gold because its's pure wealth and its enduring and come what may-  GOLD WILL ALWAYS STAND BY YOUR SIDE:- This feeling has sunk in so well not only with me but I guess with entire India.

And that's the reason that gold has always been the favorite metal for Indians.


By now everyone would believe hat 2013 has been one of the worst years for gold.
If we take a look at gold's performance over the past decades we see that gold has given highest returns compared to any other asset in its class. I would advise investors, to have patience and just follow one mantra "Buy on Dips"

It's quite difficult to predict gold prices. A trade range can though be noted down. There are a lot of factors that are involved in the making and breaking of gold prices. These factors influence the price of gold and gold is directly or indirectly dependent on them. What we assume that in case there is another eruption of a financial crisis or any new geo political crisis, gold prices may break new highs and continue to rise strongly as a result of the supposed function of gold as a safe haven.

Following will be the key factors that will be responsible for the movement of gold prices in 2014.
  • US Debt ceiling
  • QE tapering
  • Demand for gold from China
  • Union Budget 2014 (for the domestic market)
  • Finance ministry directives (for the domestic market)
  • Mining companies 
  • Interest rates
  • US economic data

Gold is still at the mercy of the dollar. What this means is as volatile as it is with the Fed’s back-and-forth on the possible taper, gold will continue to play off what the dollar does into 2014.

The average base price for gold in 2014 is expected to be 1375$ an ounce. In the domestic market gold is expected to move in a range of Rs.25,000 - Rs.33,000 per 10 gram and the average base price for the same is expected to be around Rs.28,000. 
The average base price for Silver is expected to be around $25.00. The average base price for silver is the domestic market would be somewhere around Rs.45,000 per kg and the trade range for silver is expected to be Rs.37,000- Rs.55,000 per kg.

The primary purpose of this blog (Prithviraj Kothari's view on Bullion Markets- MD,RSBL (Riddisiddhi Bullions Ltd.)) is to educate the masses of the current happenings in the Bullion world.
- Previous blog -
"As the year ends does the bull market for gold end too?"

Sunday, 3 November 2013