RSBL Gold Silver Bars/Coins

Sunday, 23 February 2014


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

Amidst all the chaos that has happening at the Global level, I feel we should just relax a bit and understand what gold is really up to. At the current levels, it would be tough to make any short term predictions from Gold or Silver price levels. But lets take a recap and try to work out something...

The yellow metal price by the end of 31st Dec, 2013 ended a 12 year rally which saw trading below $1200.This decline was driven by low interest rates and certain steps taken by the global central banks to foster the world economy. 

But in 2014, gold showed a remarkable re-bounce and touched 1327$ an ounce this week. On Tuesday, gold reached 1332.10, its highest since October. Last week gold gained four percent and this week it followed suit. Thursday too saw gold moving up as dollar gave up gains. By Friday, gold was seen gaining for a third consecutive week on uncertainty over the stimulus measures. 

Gold rallied to a three and half month high earlier this week after reports stated that US economic indicators were disappointing. A report showed that existing US home sales fell more than expected to an 18 month low in January. This sparked speculation that the Federal  Reserve might slow the tapering of its bond purchases.

Expectations that US Federal Reserve would maintain the pace of a withdrawal of monetary stimulus may diminish gold's investment appeal as a hedge against inflation. 

Apart from the FED's QE3 uncertainty, there are various factors that influence gold prices. The general global investment factors, or monetary policy or economic strength. The move to raise the US debt ceiling limit to unspecified limit until next year March will surely support Gold prices.  But lately, the most important factor has been the Chinese demand for gold. This has held up gold prices strongly. The Chinese demand for gold has helped in boosting gold prices at a time when the Fed's monetary stimulus measures have been driving down the prices and the global economy is showing signs of recovery.

Till last year, India was considered the largest consumer of gold worldwide. But according to the World Gold Council, in 2013, China overtook India as the largest buyer of gold. In fact China imported 1066 metric tonnes of gold as the demand for gold bars, coins and jewellery soared 32 per cent to a record high.


2014, has just begun and China has already imported exorbitant quantity of gold. This year, the World Gold Council expects China to remain the world’s largest consumer of physical gold. While down slightly from last year’s record level, the research body projects China will still gobble up a robust 1,000 tonnes to 1,100 tonnes of gold in 2014. 

Till 2002, Beijing had barred its citizens from owning gold bars and coins. Even though gold appreciated for a long time in china, the citizens were not able to use it to that extent. but once the government lifted restrictions on gold ownership the Chinese rushed to buy gold and this gave a boost to gold prices.

Moreover, as an economy china has witnessed speedy development. This has also resulted in higher spending power as incomes have risen. Generally, people buy gold as one of the safest forms of investment and also include gold in their portfolios. And given that till 2012, gold has given the best returns in its asset class it's obvious that people are tempted to own it.

The same has happened in China. Though gold dropped almost 25 per cent last year, demand for it from China did not drop and this kept the gold prices moving.

Meanwhile in India, duty on gold that had been levied to rectify the current account deficit has been the major factor for a decline in demand as the precious metal is being sold at very high premiums making the yellow metal even more dearer. The interim budget did not have any changes with regards to Gold import policy or import duty cuts. Gold premium over international price jumped USD 30 on that day.

According to Bloomberg, Silver had its longest daily straight gain since more than 40 years on 18th Feb, after moving higher for 11 consecutive days from 19.08 on 3rd Feb to close at 21.83 on 18th Feb.

Seeing strong physical demand from China and US disappointing economic data, I do feel that Gold price should hover between $1307 to $1360 in the international market whereas in the Indian markets it is expected to be between Rs.30,000 to Rs.31,500. Respectively silver is expected to range between $21.05 and $23.10 and Rs.46,500 and Rs. 48,500.


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 - "Let's Get Gold"

Sunday, 16 February 2014


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

Look in to the past- it was Feb 2013....Look in to the present- it is Feb 2014- Gold has risen 11 % since the beginning of the year....
Gold has shown some remarkable performances Since Jan-
1) Gold is up over 10 per cent since the 2013 closing lows
2)Gold crossed the $1300 mark for first time in over a year
3) The $1300 mark cross over has made gold reach a three month high in the week
4) this three month high posted its biggest weekly gains since October 2013.

Just "a" particular cause cannot be held responsible for this-

- Weak US economic data

- Deteriorating weather conditions in the US

- Political uncertainty in the Euro Zone

- SDPR posting its biggest inflow since December 2013

- Rising demand for gold from China

All of the above mentioned reasons are somewhere, directly or indirectly responsible for the rally in gold prices.

By the end of the week gold received a good booster by the weak US economic data release. The report shows that U.S. retail sales fell unpredictably in January. U.S*retail sales fell 0.4% in January*
Adding to it, more Americans filed for jobless benefits last week. Initial weekly jobless claims rose by 8,000 to 339,000, missing forecasts for a decline to 330,000.
The ICE dollar index, which tracks the greenback against six other currencies,declined to 80.308 from 80.718 late Wednesday. 
In all, the entire scenario gave a good push to gold prices. This weak economic development has once again raised questions over whether the world's biggest economy can sustain growth and made some investors hope the Fed would take a slower approach to tapering its bond purchases.

The disappointing U.S retail sales data weighed on the dollar, increasing the appeal for bullion, prices of which were sustained by the weak data releases from US as it reinforced the investors that Fed will take a slower approach to tapering its bond purchases.

Furthermore, extremely cold and unfavourable and unseasonable snowy conditions in US have hit the retails sales which has always been considered as a parameter to determine consumer spending. deteriorating conditions have also been a reason for a drop in sales.

Large parts of the United States have been gripped by freezing temperatures and snow storms, which caused investors to largely discount both the day's and other recent weak data that suggested the economy started the year on weaker footing.
shares in Europe dipped, as Italy was affected by the prevailing uncertainty  that raised worries about efforts to turn around Italy's sputtering economy.

However hopes once again prevailed as the way was left open for center left leader Matteo Renzi to take over, once Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta would tender his resignation.

Additionally, SPDR- world's largest gold backed exchange traded fund, posted its biggest inflow since late December 2013. Holdings rose 7.50 tonnes to 806.35 tonnes on Thursday,
 This further strengthened investors sentiments.
While in China, consumer demand has always been rising and it has now overtaken India as the largest bullion consumer as it topped 1000 tonnes for the first time in 2013.

In the physical markets, bullion was also underpinned after India's trade ministry said it has recommended easing curbs on gold imports, after a 77 percent drop in imports for January that helped narrow the country's trade deficit.

During times of economic turmoil, gold has always enjoyed the status of a safe haven asset and has always had an inverse relation with equities.
But an interesting fact to be noted was that as gold performed well, equities too were on a rise.

Indeed the recovery in the gold price has coincided with a 0.5-percentage-point increase in the U.S. equity risk premium and a decline in U.S. real yields. This has been a favourable atmosphere for gold prices to rise.

Other precious metals are on the rise with Palladium up for the 8th day in a row (the longest streak since July), Platinum up 6 days in a row (long since July) and Silver up 10 days in a row breaking $20.50.

Gold’s gains in 2014 have been helped by soft U.S. economic data and emerging-market stress, but the metal’s strength may not last once economic data improve again.

The underlying notion that central banks are slowing down their quantitative easing is boosting gold's appeal as an inflation hedge and alternative currency. 
Speculation that the Fed might hold off further reduction of stimulus had strongly supported gold by keeping interest rates at rock bottom while stoking inflation fears. 

There is no surety of how well and for how long will these gold prices be sustained. A we head towards March, weather conditions in US tend to improve and can once again boos consumer spending. the rapid rebound in the S&P 500 over the past week would suggest that the sources of support for the gold price from a rising equity risk premium may be coming to an end. 

Now we wait for March or rather lets march towards March !!

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 -  "Is the golden egg about to hatch??"

Sunday, 9 February 2014


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

This week gold was up almost two per cent - giving it the largest weekly gain in five weeks. Initially gold was almost unchanged for the week,  until the jobs report was out. Post the US Jobs data, gold rose on Friday, after they stated that job creation slowed  over the past two months. This created waves of speculation in the market that the Federal Reserve will not taper its current stimulus. 

Last week the Fed had released a statement that they will further taper its monetary stimulus program but given the slowing economic momentum, investors believe that this tapering will not take place in the near future.

Despite the slight fall in unemployment, the market's reaction to the low employment numbers was enough to pull up the prices of gold and silver. Other commodities prices and the major stock markets also rally.

Following gold, silver too was up nearly 5 per cent this week. This is the biggest weekly gain since mid-August.

Platinum also posted small gain for the week on supply worries due to a possible strike in south Africa. However, latest news about government-brokered talks between the world 3 largest platinum producers and the mine union AMCU (Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union). The talks were to end a two week wage strike. Speculations regarding the strike caused the upward movement of platinum prices. Platinum was trading up 0.5 per cent at $1,378.50 an ounce.

For gold, following were the factors responsible for the gains-

1) Tumbling world currencies

2) Tumbling assets in emerging markets

3) Disappointing US Jobs data- Data showed U.S. employers hired far fewer workers than expected last month—nonfarm payrolls rose by 113,000, well below the consensus of 185,000—although the unemployment rate hit a five-year low of 6.6 percent.*


4) World Stocks- European stocks bounced back after an immediate negative reaction to the data, which is seen as a key gauge of the U.S. labour market

5) High demand for gold from China on account of the Lunar year

China returned to the physical gold markets strongly on 7 February, after a week-long break, as banks and retailers moved to replenish stock following solid sales during the Lunar New Year holiday. An increase in premiums and trading volumes on The Shanghai Gold Exchange, indicated that jewellery and bullion sales during the new year holiday were robust in the world's biggest gold consumer.

Shanghai premiums for 99.99% purity gold climbed to $11 an ounce over London prices. They hovered at about $4 on 30 January just before China went on holiday. Trading volumes hit their highest in a month.

While in India, premiums fell to between $70 and $75 an ounce on 7th February, compared to $80 last week, owing to the higher availability of imported jewellery and smuggled goods.

Premiums across the rest of Asia remained largely stable.

Gold is expected to range between Rs.29,000- Rs.31,000 in the domestic market and $1231 to $1278 in the international market whereas silver is expected to range between Rs.43,000 to Rs.46,000 and $19.30 and $21.00 in the domestic and international markets respectively.

 Recent data covering the speculative positioning by hedge funds still points towards short covering as one of the main driver behind the current strength, but until a sustained break emerges, many traders will still be viewing higher prices as good entry levels for selling the market. 

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 - "Pause - Gold Price Rally"


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.