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Showing posts with label nonfarm payroll. Show all posts
Showing posts with label nonfarm payroll. Show all posts

Saturday, 26 September 2015


 By Mr. Prithviraj Kothari, MD, RSBL

Most of the global asset markets were quite unpredictable this week. Be it equities, precious metals, bond yields or oil- they moved up and down following last week’s FOMC meet.

Coming to gold, it neared its second weekly gain on Friday afternoon, touching $1145 per ounce but plunged back following new comments on US interest rates from Fed chair Janet Yellen.

Increased risk sentiment helped gold prices to end Friday’s session modestly lower with prices settling at $1,145.60 an ounce; however, the yellow metal has managed to end the week in positive territory, up 0.6% - its second consecutive weekly gain.

Spot gold was last at a high of $1,144.80/1,145 per ounce. Prior to a speech from Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen in which she said the Fed has not ruled out the start of policy normalization before 2016, gold had been trading at two-month highs.

The gold price surged to its highest since August 25 during Thursday afternoon sessions as the yellow metal took advantage of a slump in the US dollar.

On Friday afternoon, gold moved back from Thursday’s gains, after the release of positive US data and talk that the country’s central bank will increase interest rates by the end of the year.

The US data released were as follows-
  • Final GDP was better than expected at 3.9 percent
  • Services PMI at 55.6.
  • Revised UoM consumer sentiment and inflation expectation at 87.2 and 2.8 percent were little changed

A slowing global economic activity and excessively low inflation had delayed the Fed’s decision to hike interest rates. Its decision had raised concerns about the economic stability of the US, China and rest of the world and resulted in lifting of the dollar.

Aggressive comments from Yellen have provided the dollar with renewed upside momentum, depressing bullion prices through reduced safe-haven demand. 

There are expectations in the market that the FOMC is likely to raise the federal fund rates in December as they witnessed a likely upwards revision to US-second quarter GDP growth

Gold declined on Friday morning after Federal Reserve chairwoman Janet Yellen expressed optimism that the US economy would warrant an increase in interest rates before the end of this year.
She stated that it will be appropriate to raise rates in 2015. Now there are around 13 weeks let in 2015 and two more FOMC meetings are lime up in October and December each, which means there are just two opportunities left to raise interest rates.

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen has spoken, and an interest rate hike remains on the table for 2015, but one trend watcher says the central bank is just talking ‘really tough.’
Moreover, Yellen noted that ‘idiosyncrasies’ like lower oil prices and weaker overseas economies have delayed the Fed from pulling the trigger. 

Yellen said FOMC officials “expect that the various headwinds to economic growth will continue to fade, thereby boosting the economy's underlying strength.”
Yellen’s bullish sentiment was buoyed through the third revision to second-quarter US GDP growth to 3.9 percent from 3.7 percent. The final GDP price index quarter-over-quarter was in line with forecasts at 2.1 percent.

Yellen and her colleagues at the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) have maintained interest rate at near-zero levels since December 2008.

Persistently low inflation, emerging global slowdown and an uneven recovery remain obstacles for the FOMC members to normalizing monetary policy.

Though the yellow metal is still showing encouraging signs, but in event of a rate hike, the impact on gold would be bad.
Currently old is searching for a direction as the FOMC has left the market wandering. The picture will get clearer by the end of the year or maybe early 2016.

Currently one need to follow the FOMC religiously as gold’s whereabouts depends on the Fed’s directions.

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 -
"Rate Hike Hangover Continues on Gold: RSBL"

Sunday, 5 April 2015


                                                          By Mr. Prithviraj Kothari, MD, RSBL

A truncated week due to Good Friday was not so good for US with significantly weaker Non Farm payrolls report. Moreover many trading centers remain closed for Easter Monday. Anyways, let’s hit back to the Gold price rise over the week and some more understanding on US economic indicators that hit the market.

The first weak data coming from US on Tuesday was the contraction in Chicago PMI for second month in succession. Following February's five year low of 45.8, analysts were again disappointed as March's print came in well below expectations at 46.3 (exp: 51.7). The March figures takes the quarterly average to 50.5 over Q1 2015, the lowest quarterly result since Q3 2009 and markedly down on the 61.3 we saw in Q4 2014

On Wednesday, Gold prices were again tested at US$1180 – 81 support. For the third time this support has withstood the selling. But the ADP data from US that came in early took the precious metals complex to nearly day’s high in no time. Gold had a super boost of US$9 to US$1194 in no time and the way was just up after that by reaching an intra-day peak of US$1208. According to the ADP, U.S. private employers added the smallest number of workers in more than a year during March. Private payrolls rose +189k (+225k expected) according to their employment report.
U.S. national factory activity hit a near 2 year low in March according to the Institute for Supply Management (ISM). The ISM's manufacturing PMI index fell for a fifth consecutive month to 51.5 in March (52.5 expected) from 52.9 in February and declining each month since hitting 57.9 in October. The ISM pointed to various factors including the weather, higher health-care costs and the stronger dollar as reasons for the slowdown. 

Then came in the 2 conflicting reports:

On Thursday, US unemployment claims dropped 20,000 to 268,000 in the week ended March 28, the lowest reading since January 24 and much better than the 286,000 forecast.

On Friday, United States employers added the fewest number of jobs in more than a year during March with non-farm payrolls increasing a mere +126k (+245k expected), less than half February's pace and the smallest increase since the polar vortex of December 2013. While the unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.5 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today that ended 12 straight months of job gains above 200,000, the longest streak since 1994.

The main reasons for the negative labor report were:

1.    Poor Weather- Poor weather conditions during the winters created a sort of slag in the labor market

2.    Stronger Dollar- strong dollar created a great impact on the employment numbers

3.    Energy sector- This sector has been having a considerable impact on the employment numbers, this sector witnessed a decline of 11000 employment numbers in March. The industry has lost 30,000 jobs thus far in 2015, after adding 41,000 jobs in 2014. The employment declines in the first quarter of 2015, as well as the gains in 2014, were concentrated in support activities for mining, which includes support for oil and gas extraction.

The dollar tumbled as much as 1 percent against the euro after the significantly weaker-than-expected report, while U.S. Treasuries rose, with benchmark 10-year yields hitting nearly two-month lows.

Undoubtedly, this does act as a super boost for Gold and other precious metals as the negative data does have a chance to delay the Fed’s decision to opt for the first increase in U.S. interest rates in nearly a decade, which is expected later this year. Gold tends to suffer when rates rise, as that increases the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion, while boosting the dollar, in which the metal is priced.

On the domestic front, gold has also found support from strong physical demand from India, currently the world’s biggest gold consuming country with gold imports touching to 70 tonnes in the month of March, putting total imports in the fiscal year that has just ended at 638 tonnes.

Platinum has been a real lager in the whole precious metals group by being down just over 5%. Silver too had been heavily sold in 2014 but having a good push up by nearly 3%.

The reports that were released on Friday will show its effects and reflections on Monday as international open for trade. I am sure that there would be a price push to US$ 1220 (Approximately) testing its key resistance.

Note: A break above US$1238 would surely give a fresh bullish interest. Until then, traders would wait for FED’s decision on FED rate hike barring the price moves depending on the economic indicators.


1184$- 1223$ an ounce
Rs.26,500- Rs.28,000 per 10gm
16.50$- 18.00$ an ounce
Rs.37,000- Rs.40,000 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 -
"RSBL: Yemen's Push While Fed's Caution"

Saturday, 17 January 2015


                                                                                                             - By Mr. Prithviraj Kothari, MD, RSBL

A few weeks earlier, we saw a lot of noise in the market…but this time it seems that someone left the loudspeakers on!

Well, oil and SNB played the game here.Precious metals showed great volatility- all thanks to the fluctuating oil prices.

Crude oil was highly volatile after a report from Paris based energy agency IEA depicted a likely reduction in Non-OPEC output for 2015 by 350,000 BPD. 

Moreover, gold and silver prices soared in Euro terms after the SNB moves and now many market players are beginning to wonder if a loss of confidence after the Swiss fiasco has started a run on gold? 

Bullion traders said sentiment turned better after gold rallied to the highest since September in global markets as the dollar weakened after Switzerland decoupled its currency to the euro and lowered the deposit rate.

Gold had closed at 1276.50 following a brief intraday break above 1280, its highest level since September 2014. We look to the September 2nd open of 1286 as the next important level of
Resistance, followed by 1300 and 1320. Momentum indicators are increasingly bullish.

Gold regained its safe-haven mantle following a shocking and unforeseen decision by the Swiss Central Bank (SNB) to scrap its cap on the franc’s exchange rate against the euro.

After the SNB- Swiss National Bank dropped the bombshell on the markets Thursday morning, the prices of the precious metals had gone in one direction… UP.  In just two days, the price of gold was up $40 and silver $1.10.

Post this action, gold rose more than 2 percent to a 4 month high in Thursday. This was a result of the move by Switzerland to abandon its three-year cap on the franc sent global shares and bond yields into turmoil. 

Following the Swiss National Bank’s unprecedented move to abandon the franc’s peg to the euro, the country’s currency had appreciated sharply against the U.S. dollar. The surge in the Swiss franc…means it is now the most overvalued of all the developed market (DM) currencies in terms of the deviation of the real effective exchange rate from its 10-year average

The SNB has been under growing pressure to revisit the peg as speculation grows that the European Central Bank could introduce outright money-printing as early as next week, which could see the euro zone flooded with liquidity.
It looks as is the SNB decision has finally destroyed the notion of $800 gold ever again.

Furthermore, a Labor Department report released on Thursday showed that Jobless claims climbed by 19,000 to 316,000 in the week ended Jan. 10, the most since early September, from a revised 297,000 in the prior period.

Adding to it, the gold price climbed on Friday after a lackluster US inflation report had participants readjusting their timetable for the next Federal Reserve rate increase.

In data, the US consumer price index fell 0.4 percent last month, the biggest drop since December 2008, after sliding 0.3 percent in November. It also undershot the -0.3 percent forecast.

This goes directly against the Federals Reserve’s mandate to achieve inflation of around two percent as the reports imply a deflationary trend. Which further means that the fed may probably delay its rate increase as it would want to know that inflation is on track to hit this level before acting?
Additionally, deciding not to reduce stimulus in 2015 would also be consistent with a goal-oriented approach to the employment mandate.
Additionally, Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rose to 717.15 tons on Friday from 707.59 tons from its previous close on Thursday.

Fall in equities and worries over Euro area political and debt issues might continue to help Bullion complex as a whole and mainly the yellow metal.
Next week we could see further volatility as the ECB are set to meet and it is widely expected they will announced a broad-based government bond purchases.
We stay with our moderate positive bias in Gold and advice buying on small dips.

- Previous blog - "Lot of Things To Smile About For Precious Metals"

Sunday, 7 December 2014


 -By Mr. Prithviraj Kothari, MD, RSBL

In the past few weeks we have seen volatility in gold but then it has settled back on the lower trading range. With fall in gold holdings in the SDPR gold trust we have seen investors interest weakening in the yellow metal. Apart from the SDPR, the dollar has also played a crucial role in influencing gold prices and it will continue to do so in the coming months.

Although, US economy is on a mend, the actions taken by central banks (Euro-zone and Japan) to prop up its economies will likely result in to weakening of their respective currencies and strength in the dollar in turn prices heading lower.

Moreover, the decision coming in from the Swiss referendum not to boost its gold reserves, at the same time falling oil prices and diminishing investment actions are also signifying that the market has temporarily disowned gold and has been replaced by more interest generating assets in its class.

Earlier in the week economists admitted there was some downside risk to the employment forecast following Wednesday’s private sector payrolls data, compiled by payrolls processor ADP. The report was weaker than expected as corporations and businesses created 208,000 jobs last month. The unemployment rate for November was 5.8%, unchanged from October’s reading of 5.8%; economists were expecting an unchanged reading. The report also said that the labor force participation rate was unchanged at 62.8%. Last month we saw a very strong labor market as the reports released by the US labor department states a significantly higher-than-expected nonfarm payrolls report for November.

On Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said 321,000 jobs were created in November, up from October’s revised level of 243000; October’s initial report said 214,000 jobs were created. September's employment report was also revised higher to 271,000 from the original report of 256,000 jobs. This was the biggest jump in employment since January 2012. The report noted that the 12 month average for employment was 224,000.

There was a huge growth witnessed in the jobs in November which was led by gains in professional and business services, retail trade, health care, and manufacturing.

Even though the jobs report was extremely impressive, gold did not extend sharp losses after its release. The previous two jobs reports saw upward revisions in employment gains, and wages also rose. The job gains in 2014 are the fastest rate since 1999

Gold prices dropped under $1,200 following a blowout November nonfarm payrolls report. It instantly fell by 10$ as there were further expectations that the Fed will start talking about the Fed funds going higher than expected. Such news is not motivating for the commodities markets and it further expected that gold prices will weaken.

Simultaneously we saw the US dollar rising on this news. The dollar index rose above 89 for the first time since March 2009. The dollar advanced to the highest since 2009 against a basket of currencies, cutting the appeal of bullion as an alternative asset. Dollar is trading currently at $ 1.228 against euro. Euro is slacking after the ECB left the interest rates unchanged.

The strong labor report further signifies the fact the Federal Reserve may soon hike rates and this could happen as early as next spring.

The only issue that could be of concern would be the wage growth reports as it was not seen to be that strong and could keep the Federal Reserve apart from pulling the trigger on interest rate hikes.

Before hiking the rates the Fed would want to see some further improvement in the wage growth which could practically happen if the current momentum in hiring is maintained and the underemployment rate continues to fall.

The labor markets have been improving rapidly over the past few months. The issue of concern now is the Fed’s reaction to its mid-December meeting. But if we see the global scenario gold prices in the international markets is expected to trade lower as a hangover of the recent run of losses.

In the near past, we have the dollar being the key influential factor for the weakened in the yellow metal and it is expected to continue to do so in the near future to.

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 - "Too Many Economies Putting Pressure On Gold"