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Showing posts with label unemployment rate. Show all posts
Showing posts with label unemployment rate. Show all posts

Monday, 6 June 2016

Gold prices Rise: RSBL

                                                       - Mr. Prithviraj Kothari, MD RSBL

Just when Gold was raising questions on its recent rally, last week’s labour report proved to be a saviour for the yellow metal. Gold prices traded sharply higher in Friday thus giving a technically bullish weekly high close to gold.

In May, the US non-farm workforce grew up only 38,000, missing the forecast of 160,000 and indicating that the US recovery may be starting to slow. Additionally, the March and April figures were revised 22,000 and 37,000 lower respectively while growth in average hourly earnings last month of 0.2 percent was below the predicted 0.3 percent. The Labour Department report released Friday showed employers added jobs in May at the slowest pace since 2010 as unemployment dropped to 4.7 percent, already reaching the level Fed officials expected to see by the end of 2016. Apart from disappointing headline NFP (nonfarm payrolls) number, there is a also a sharp jump in involuntary part time workers.

A much-weaker-than-expected U.S. jobs report prompted the yellow metal to surge higher, and those initial solid gains have been extended to show gold trading over $30 higher on the day. A sharp drop in the U.S. dollar index also helped push gold prices higher.

A broad slowdown is troubling for the Federal Reserve, which has grown increasingly hawkish in recent weeks following the April meeting minutes, giving their support to a rise in interest rates as early as this month if data warranted such a move. But a negative jobs report has once again left the markets perplexed per se the rate hike.

Considering the pliability of the US economy, has once again raised some questions about the momentum of growth and about the outlook. This in turn takes June off the table for a Fed hike.

Apart from the current news what needs to be watched this week for gold are:
  1. THE MAIN EVENT: Fed Chair Janet Yellen's speech today at 10.00 pm.  
  2. Central Bank (Rate Cut) Watch:
  • Reserve Bank of Australia (June 7) no change expected
  • Reserve Bank of India (June 7) no change expected
  • Reserve Bank of New Zealand (June 9) 0.25% rate cut expected

Sentiments for gold are bullish and the major turning pint for this sentiment is the US dollar. Gold could remain in rally mode through the coming week as traders reassess their U.S. dollar and Fed outlook.

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The primary purpose of this article by Mr. Prithviraj Kothari is to educate the masses of the current happenings in the Bullion world.

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Sunday, 7 February 2016


By Prithviraj Kothari, MD, RSBL

Recently investors have begun flocking to traditional safe-haven assets like gold and eschewing more risky stores of wealth as 2016 has been characterized by frazzled markets and mounting tensions stemming from the global equities rout. 

In recent days, the rally has been driven by erosion in the dollar, which is down to October lows and was last trading 1.2 percent softer at $1.1220 against the euro.

Gold is once again gaining its safe haven appeal as it gets influenced by depressed oil prices and low inflation. These factors are raising concerns over Fed policy expectations and global economic development.
A potential slowdown in the American manufacturing and services industry has created questions over the timing of the Federal Reserve rate hike and target of roughly a two percent fed funds rate by year end.

A majority of market participants do not see a rate hike happening this year, compared to a week ago when consensus was for an increase in July.

Earlier this week, Federal Reserve Bank of New York president William Dudley said that tighter financial conditions would be taken into account at the next Fed policy meeting in March – investors interpreted this as a further delay in a US interest rate hike.

As markets await further news from the Fed, they were also awaiting the US jobs reports to see whether it created a negative or positive impact in the economy.
Trade was volatile following a mixed US employment report, which showed that 151,000 jobs were added in January, missing the 189,000 forecast. However, the unemployment rate did tick down to 4.9 percent and wage growth was strong. December meanwhile was revised down to 262,000 from 292,000.

However, after years of low wages and non-existent inflation, wage growth increased the most in a year at a 0.5 percent gain, besting the estimate of 0.3 percent.
A substantial wage boost shows the labor market is beginning to tighten and it is becoming more difficult for employers to find available workers.

That news along with the reduction to 4.9 percent in the headline employment figure was enough to spur the dollar after it had sunk to the lowest point since October. The greenback last traded 0.8 percent stronger at $1.1127 against the euro.

Gold futures edged higher after trading in negative territory throughout most of the day as a downturn in US equities offset a stronger dollar.
Now it’s becoming clearer that the lows for dollar denominated gold have been seen after an extended, weakening four year bear market. 

The deterioration in the American currency begins as a global equities rout hit all three major economic regions led by fears of a possible US recession and hard-landing in China.
Investors have questioned the timing of the Federal Reserve’s first rate hike and now don’t expect another increase until the second half of 2017, according to the CME Group Fed Watch.

The global macro environment has so far been positive for the precious metals market.
The poor start to the year has investors questioning the timing of the Federal Reserve’s first rate hike, with various Fed members stating the Fed’s policy would monitor and assess financial conditions.

Before the global uncertainty, March was estimated to be the next date for another rate increase as the Fed needed a gradual schedule to reach the target of two percent by year-end.

After weeks of global instability and central banks favoring looser monetary policy, investors have increased their gold ETF holdings, which stood at 1,573 tonnes as of February 2 – a gain of 22 tonnes week-on-week and 92 tonnes month-on-month.

Keeping in mind the global economies, gold prices are expected to strengthen in the near-term, driven by improved spec and investor sentiment, but we do not expect prices to break above the $1,200 psychological level.

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 -
'Best Performing Month for Gold since Jan 2015: RSBL" 

Saturday, 19 December 2015


 By Mr. Prithviraj Kothari, MD, RSBL

Gold showed wave like movements this week. Beginning with a positive tick on Monday, then lowering by the middle of the week and again picking up pace on Friday, it seemed like a see saw trend for gold.

Though gold was up on Monday, it continued to remain under pressure from a Federal Reserve policy meeting that was due on 15-16 December weeks, when the US central bank was expected to raise interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade. In its last policy meeting of the year on December 15-16, the Fed was seen raising rates by a quarter of a percentage point. 

Gold has already slid 9 percent for the year, its third straight annual decline, in anticipation of a rate hike.

Gold dipped on Thursday morning in the US, with the start of US monetary policy normalization spurring the dollar.

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) decided to start to normalize US monetary policy after seven years of near-zero interest rates, lifting the federal funds rate to 0.5 percent from 0.25 percent. The policy board still sees the long-run rate at 3.5 percent and finishing next year around 1.375 percent.

After markets halted to examine the impact of the rise, the dollar gained against other major currencies and pressured the precious metals lower – the greenback was last 0.7 percent stronger at 1.0844 against the euro.

Post the FOMC meet, gold was expected to come under increased downside pressure from a stronger dollar.
Investors will now focus on the pace of future rate rises, which will be affected by the general strength of the economy and underlying inflation data.

In US data, weekly unemployment claims for were in line with forecasts at 271,000 and were below the psychologically important 300,000 mark.

The Philly Fed manufacturing index for December at -5.9 missed the predicted 2.1 while the current account for September at -$124 billion was largely as expected.

While the Fed does not expect to reach its inflation target of two percent until 2018, Chairwoman Janet Yellen said in the following press conference that current transitory factors stem from low oil prices.

After Thursdays decline, the markers expected gold to drop further. But Gold prices jumped in morning trades Friday after the dollar weakened against other currencies and as investors bought back oversold position after prices slumped to over four-month low on Thursday.
Gold prices finally found some support in the weakening dollar index following profit booking and buying at lower level. Prices of the bullion were down as dollar index weakened against other currencies, boosting investors' appetite for dollar-denominated commodities.

Gold was in positive territory on Friday morning in London after the dollar eased slightly amid growing expectations that the path to higher interest rates in the US will be a slow one.

The spot gold price was last at $1,054.9/1,055.2 per ounce, up $2.20 on Thursday’s close. Trade has ranged from $1,051.2 to $1,058.1 so far. In the previous session, the yellow metal dipped below $1,050.

Gold (and silver) rose on Friday, taking back about half of Thursday’s loss of approximately 2.00%.
Reasons behind the price rise were-

  • The anxiety in equities restricting from the despair in crude prices
  • A changed deliberation of a longer-term view that gold is “due” to rise because of weakening dollar strength
  • Hurry to grasp snips.
In the coming days and weeks, the downside in precious metal prices may be limited due to low activity as a result of Christmas and New Year, volatility is expected to remain calm. But the year could start on a negative note for gold. Chairwoman Janet Yellen said future rate increases will be gradual and the policy could be reversed if the US economy begins to slow

In the interim, volumes are expected to shrink while market participants head to the sidelines during the holiday period, possibly resulting in choppy conditions.

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 -
"Tricky Week For Gold : RSBL" 

Saturday, 3 October 2015


                                                                                                          By Mr. Prithviraj Kothari, MD, RSBL


Positive data or negative?
Hike rate this year or next?
Strong dollar or weak?
Stable equities or volatile?
Gold up or down?

Well a lot was expected to happen this week. Precisely, the above mentioned questions are somewhere down the line related to each other.

A positive data strengthens the dollar thus increasing the chances of rate hike which would push gold prices down. And even vice a versa.

Till mid-week, majority of the market participants believed that the data due to be released on Thursday and Friday would come in as a surprise package for all. Gold eased on Wednesday, staying on track for its biggest quarterly loss in a year as the dollar strengthened and the market awaited clarity on the timing of a hotly anticipated U.S. interest rate rise.

The spot gold price was seen at $1,112.90/1,113.10 per ounce, down $2.30 on Wednesday’s close and its lowest in around two weeks. Gold was stable on Thursday afternoon in London following the release of mixed US data and ahead of tomorrow’s blockbuster US jobs report.
  • On Thursday, US weekly unemployment claims came in at 277,000 under the psychological 300,000 mark. 
  • During the third quarter, 205,759 jobs were shed, the largest figure since the third quarter of 2009.
  • US PMI came in as expected at 53.1 and construction spending slightly better than forecast at 0.7 percent. 
Now that the unemployment’s claims and PMI data was out, markets shifted focus the significant US non-farm payrolls data slated for release on Friday. The tables for gold turned once the report was out:
  • Non-farm payrolls in August sank to 173,000, the first sub-200,000 reading since April.
  • The US economy added 142,000 jobs in September, below the forecast of 201,000, and the August figure was revised down to 136,000 from 173,000.
  • The only positive news coming in was that unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.1per cent.
  • The labor participation rate fell to the lowest level since October 1977 at 62.4 percent, while wage growth was flat. 
The yellow metal prices augmented on the release of lower than expected US data, nearly erasing the losses accrued in five consecutive negative sessions.

Physical demand and volatility did not come in much from the Asian markets as the Chinese markets are closed for Golden Week holidays and will reopen on October 8 and the Indian market too was closed on 2nd October.

The disappointing non-farm employment change has taken the market by surprise and the reaction has been quite strong such that there are strong sentiments that a chance of increase in interest rates not happen this year thus declining some of the concerns that higher US rates would have a negative impact on emerging markets.

Investors were considering for indications on the timing of the US rate rise. With two Fed meetings now left before 2016, markets now believe that the rate hike won’t happen this year. But there are some who believe that the Fed may announce a rate hike in its last meeting of 2015 due in December. 

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 Directionless- RSBL"

Sunday, 16 August 2015


By Mr. Prithviraj Kothari, MD, RSBL

It was China v/s U.S or rather to be precise it was the devaluations of the Yuan v/s the positive economic numbers from U.S.
While one was trying to give the much needed push to gold prices, the other, on the contrary was pulling gold prices down.

Till the middle of the week, gold prices moved upwards and the market was just about to its faith in it. But once the US numbers were out, gold was once again losing its sheen.
Gold got the much needed lift when China roiled global markets by devaluing its currency. Till then gold was travelling on a mostly lower route since mid-June. By the end of the week, however, it appeared the situation was stabilizing, with Chinese authorities on Thursday saying there was no reason for the Yuan to fall further.

In the initial part of the week, Gold prices boosted and the metal regained its safe haven status as news out of China proves to be favorable for gold. The People’s Bank of China surprised markets on Tuesday when it devalued the Yuan against the U.S. dollar for three consecutive days, tumbling the currency by about 3%. 

Gold prices lacked direction on Friday as the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) increased the value of the Yuan while boosting its gold holdings.

The Chinese government released gold holding figures for the second time in recent weeks. The PBoC announced that it bought 19 tonnes of gold last month when prices were at five year lows and Total holdings were at 1,677 tonnes at the end of July, a one percent bump from the previous month.

The gold price continued to slide lower on Thursday afternoon after the dollar strengthened following upbeat US data, and as concerns over China’s economy eased.
Spot gold was last at $1,116/1,116.4 per ounce, down $8.20 on the previous close. Trade has ranged from $1,113.7 to $ 1126.8 so far.

The important numbers coming from the US were as follows-

  • PPI month-over-month in July was at 0.2 percent, above the 0.1 percent mark, while Core PPI in July rose 0.3 percent, besting the forecast of 0.1 percent.
  • The capacity utilization rate in July was at 78 percent, matching predictions, with industrial production month-over-month in July jumped 0.6 percent, above the consensus of 0.3 percent.
  • Preliminary University of Michigan Consumer sentiment in August was 92.9, just off the 93.5 forecast. Preliminary University of Michigan inflation expectations in August were at 2.8 percent, equaling the previous reading.
  • The Dow Jones industrial average and S&P were each up 0.3 percent, while the dollar was 0.3 percent stronger at $1.1120 against the euro.
  • Core retail sales month-over-month in July was in-line with forecasts at 0.4 percent, while retail sales month-on-month in July matched the consensus at 0.6 percent.
  • US weekly unemployment claims were 274,000, near the prediction of 272,000 and the previous reading of 270,000.

The timing of the first rate rise by the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) is becoming increasingly important to investors. The FOMC meeting is just over a month away and debate is ongoing whether the Fed should maintain near zero interest rates or raise rates by 25 basis points.

The two main highlights for the coming week are China and the FOMC. While everyone will be on a lookout for any further price-supportive developments out of China or if instead the Federal Open Market Committee says anything to rain on the yellow metal’s parade.

Currently China is proving to be one of the most influential factors for gold prices because the devaluation of their currency sparked interest in gold as a safe haven again and China has reignited the buying in gold.

If the Chinese markets remain more or less stabilized then focus will be shifted on expectations for the FOMC, which holds a policy meeting next month. The Federal funds futures have oscillated lately between factoring in a greater- or smaller-than-50% chance of a tightening in September.

The biggest factor will be Wednesday’s Fed meeting minutes as the minutes are from the July 28-29 meeting, after which there was no news conference.

The picture is expected to get clear on how the Fed is thinking about a potential September rate rise. 

An aggressive sentiment coming out of these minutes will probable pull down gold prices but on the other hand dovish minutes could offer some support

Additionally, traders will keep close tabs on U.S. economic data-

  • Monday- The New York Federal Reserve’s Empire State manufacturing
  • Tuesday- Housing
  • Wednesday- Consumer inflation
  • Thursday- jobless claims, the Philadelphia Fed’s business survey and sales of existing homes
The focus continues to be on what the Fed is going to do at its September meeting. It’s going to be the fundamental factor across the board as far as commodity markets are concerned, particularly gold.

Apart from this meeting, traders and analysts will also keep a watch on any comments coming out of the European Central Bank, in case policy-makers should hint at increased bond buying known as quantitative easing. Further QE could provide further support to gold prices. 

Given this picture, as of now majority of the market players expect gold prices to fare better in the week to come.

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 To Be Pressured Downwards: RSBL"