RSBL Gold Silver Bars/Coins

Monday, 28 April 2014

Gold Gains Momentum, Investors Gain Confidence!

- By Mr. Prithviraj Kothari, MD, RSBL

While gold gained momentum, investors gained confidence in gold. Gold spurred the longest price rally in six months. Initially gold was on low, but prices got pushed higher by the end of the week.

On Monday, gold fell to nearly a three week low as we witnessed outflows from the worlds biggest bullion backed Exchange Traded Fund (ETF). Moreover, a lack of a further increase in geopolitical tension also prompted selling in gold. Last week, the fund's outflows totalled 9.3 tonnes, erasing all the gains made in the year.  

Gold fell to its lowest since mid-February on Tuesday after U.S. housing data beat expectations, boosting confidence in the U.S. economic recovery and lifting stock markets, which hurt gold's appeal as an alternative investment. 

On Wednesday, gold had firmed its position above a two and a half month low of $1,268.24 due to firmer equities and a weaker technical picture that had triggered strong selling,

However, the tables turned on Thursday as rising geopolitical tensions and options related buying helped gold in moving in the opposite direction and reverse the early sharp losses

Bullion prices mounted after Ukrainian forces killed up to five pro-Moscow rebels as they closed in on the separatists' military stronghold in the east. 

In March, bullion Prices reached a 6 month high after Russia took over Crimea. But then it fell almost 9 percent on signs that peace would return. But once again Hostilities this week are bringing back the gold bulls. Tensions between Moscow and Western powers over Ukraine are lending gold support, but it remains in a somewhat fragile situation as interest from long-term investors is still absent.

Though on the basis of the economic indicators of the US economy, there were signs of recovery, the conflict between Russia and Ukraine spurred traders to unwind bets on a drop. The metal has risen 8.2 percent in 2014 even though economic recovery has pushed the Federal Reserve to reduce its monetary easing. This tapering was responsible behind the 28 per cent drop in gold in 2013 because if the Fed would scale back its bond purchase then gold would lose its appeal of being an inflation hedge tool.

Apart from the Ukraine crisis, another big news that made rounds in the market was that major international banks were jettisoning their commodities business.*

Around 20 US based investors have filed antitrust claims against major leading banks over the past two months.  These investors have accused Barclay, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Bank of Nova Scotia and Societe Generale of colluding to manipulate the gold price.

The court cases are complicating negotiations that Deutsche Bank had started with potential buyers after it announced in January that it was putting its seat at the fix up for sale, a source with knowledge of the matter said. In case any such decision is taking of discontinuing the commodity trading wings business then this will definitely calm down the price volatility of bullion prices.

Another fact the will play a major role in determining the gold prices is the worldwide demand from gold. CHINA- Chinese demand for gold is set to increase from the current level of 1,132 tonnes a year to 1,350 by 2017, cementing its place as the world’s largest gold market. According to report published by the World Gold Council, entitled:  ‘China’s gold market: progress and prospects’, private demand for gold in China will see sustained growth over the next four years.

China does not report any trade numbers. The only source of procuring these gold export numbers to China is through Hong Kong as its the prime medium of gold for China. But now that China has allowed Gold imports via Beijing, it may threaten Hong Kong’s export numbers to mainland.

INDIA- Physical demand in India over the next week is expected to rise as the country welcomes the auspicious occasion of Akshaya Tritiya on may 2. This could result in a slight pickup in gold demand , but with the heavy tariffs placed on gold, there are questions on how much buying will actually occur.

UK- Demand for gold from UK is tend to augment as investors are saving up for retirement with the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority considering adding bullion to its list of “standard assets. Last year, the FCA was replaced by The Financial Services Authority to oversee market regulation. They published a consultation paper with the list in 2012, asking whether other types of investment should be added. Various forms like Cash, bonds and exchange-traded commodities were included but  physical gold was not. There are expectations that gold may be added to the list by June. If any such possibility materializes then demand for gold from UK will definitely rise as gold is on the radar of more mainstream investors. 

Next week is full of revelation for gold as the market moving and price deterring event will unwrap for gold. With a Federal Reserve monetary policy meeting and April non-farm payrolls data set for release; additionally, any change in the standoff between Russia and Ukraine has the ability to move markets.

Moreover, The Federal Open Market Committee meets Tuesday and Wednesday, and economists said they expect the Fed to announce another $10 billion-a-month cut in its quantitative easing program, and on Friday the Labor Department is scheduled to release its April non-farm payrolls data.

Gold traders will have to be nimble next week as these headline-making events could cause volatile market action. Because of the uncertainty over the Ukraine situation, several gold-market players believe that gold prices will once again move upwards.


- Previous blog - "Gold Prices Off Route"

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Gold prices off the Route?

                                        - by Mr. Prithviraj Kothari, MD, RSBL

Gold prices have been battered over the week. Starting with a high of $1330 to a low of $1282 and giving a close of $1294 has brought Gold prices back to its major support $1280. ($1280 acts as a strong support for Gold, below which Gold prices could attain new lows).

The week started on a stronger footing carrying the upward trend of the last week.  Gold prices gained to a three week high on Monday on renewed concerns over the escalation of hostilities in Ukraine that prompted its safe haven appeal. Geo political tensions escalated as violence between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian government forces grew. Moreover gold prices were further supported over the news that a Russian fighter aircraft made repeated cross range passes near a US ship in the Black Sea. Apart from this SPDR Gold Trust GLD, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings rose 1.80 tonnes to 806.22 tonnes the first inflow since March 24 acted as a positive factor.

But the upward trend was short lived. $1330 proved to be a crucial stage which wasn’t broken and Gold prices plummeted. US economic indicators showed positive signs starting with US retail sales. According to Bloomberg survey, U.S. retail sales probably accelerated in March, boosted by car purchases that indicate demand is recovering from a winter-led slowdown earlier this year.

Other factors that added to Gold and Silver price fall were:

U.S industrial production-
         Above expectations March industrial production data hinted that the US economy was starting to emerge from a weather-induced slowdown suffered over the initial stages of calendar 2014. Adding weight to this belief was the uplift seen in capacity utilization levels over the month.

EU industrial production-
        Euro zone industrial output edged higher in February, official data showed Monday, in line with recent data showing a very modest economic recovery in the single currency bloc.

U.S CPI, U.S housing starts and building permits-
        U.S. Consumer Prices rose slightly higher while the U.S. housing starts rose 2.8% in March to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 946,000, fueled by growth in single-family homes, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. Starts for February were revised higher to a pace of 920,000 from an initially reported 907,000.

Philly Fed index-
         A reading of manufacturing sentiment in the Philadelphia region improved in April, according to data released Thursday. The Philadelphia Fed’s manufacturing index rose to a reading of 16.6 in April from 9.0 in March, stronger than a Market Watch-compiled economist forecast of 10.0.

Overall, Gold dropped nearly 1.85% this week.

Though the various reports released from US did show signs of a recovering economy, Federal Reserve Chairwoman, Janet Yellen restated that she expected interest rates to remain very low until the recovery is on a more secure footing and the American economy is more fully involving available workers and other resources. The Obama administration told asset managers last week that it was planning additional sanctions against Russia over the conflict in Ukraine. Some of the supporting factors that lead Gold prices recover from its support level of $1280.

Looking at the current market conditions, I feel that western countries are reducing their holding on every rally while the same is being absorbed by the physical demand on Asia. It’s a see saw battle where one reduces and one increases. Geopolitical tensions will act as a strong support for Bullion metal prices apart from the physical demand.

The labour dispute which broke out in January that shut most of the platinum mines in South Africa is extending the longest shortfall in global production since 2005. The strike by more than 70,000 South African workers will continue as long as companies refuse to improve wage offers, Joseph Mathunjwa, president of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, said April 15. The workers want basic monthly pay boosted to 12,500 rand over four years, which the producers say they can’t afford after production costs jumped 18 percent annually in the last five years, as wage and electricity costs rose. Many laborers live in shacks made of iron sheeting. They share toilets, don’t always have water or power, and many spend much of their income servicing debt. The country has a 24 percent unemployment rate.

While the Gold and Silver precious metals group is being thrashed, their counterparts, Platinum and Palladium are looking strong. The biggest producer of these metals i.e. Russia is having tensions with Ukraine while the second biggest producer i.e. South Africa has union problem. Due to these issues, I feel Platinum will look forward to extend its lead over these metals.

My trading range for the upcoming week for Gold in international prices is around $1270 to $1330 and for Silver $19.30 to $20.20. While in Indian rupees, Gold prices will range from INR 27900 to INR 29200 and for Silver the trading range will be INR 41,500 to 44,500.

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

- Previous article- "OUR LOVE FOR GOLD"