RSBL Gold Silver Bars/Coins

Sunday, 26 July 2015


                                                                                     By Mr. Prithviraj Kothari, MD, RSBL

Gold has always been considered a commodity and a currency. But currently it has lost its appeal as both. At present it is not sought after in either form.

Investors are selling the metal from gold-backed funds at the fastest pace in four months. Holdings in exchange-traded products declined 17.6 metric tons this week to the lowest since 2009, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

This year gold has plunged 8.3 percent. Gold’s appeal has been curbed due to high borrowing costs. This in turn doesn’t pay interest or generate yields like other current income generating assets including equities. Moreover, a projection of an interest rate hike in September is influencing gold in losing its sheen.

A strong dollar and expectations that the US Federal Reserve will hike their interest rates by the end of the year triggered selling pressure on gold and took prices to their lowest point since April 2010. The US greenback rallied to a three-month high following comment from the Fed Chairperson last week, which eased gold’s appeal as a safe haven. Huge selloffs witnessed in Chinese futures market and breaking the key technical support of $1130 has ignited liquidation.

Earlier, spot gold tumbled to a fresh five year low of $1,077.50. 

The gold market has some pretty big hurdles to cross as prices hit fresh five-year lows early Friday. Although a late-day rally helped push prices back to around $1,100 an ounce and cut gold’s loss to only around 3% from Monday. Gold prices bounced back after touching a 5-year low earlier in the trading session as the dollar flattened on poor US housing data.

The gold price recovered from its earlier lows during Friday sessions, but sentiment surrounding the yellow metal remained poor as it continued to trade under $1,100 per ounce.
Spot gold was last at $1,082.90/1,083.70, but off the fresh five year lows it hit earlier when gold tumbled to just $1,077.50.


But there many analysts in the market who still believe that gold prices will rise. On the other side there are some who believe that gold will no longer be accepted as a commodity or a currency.
The current volatility has created new waves in the market that has disowned gold from many investors list. Let’s view the reasons behind the bull v/s bear sentiment.

This week’s volatility sparked as we saw important data coming in from various economies
U.S. - better-than-expected US jobs data sparked the move lower. After an optimistic US weekly unemployment reading was released, market participants wondered how that would affect next week’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting. Further hints that the Fed is on track for a September rate hike could present downside risks for gold especially given current momentum.

China- Chinese Caixin Flash China General Manufacturing PMI came out at 48.2 against a forecast of 49.8. The number was below the psychologically important 50 level for the first time in 15 months. This created disappointment in the market for gold.

Eurozone- in the Eurozone, EU flash services number disappointed at 53.8, though the manufacturing number was as expected at 53.8. EU flashes services number disappointed at 53.8, though the manufacturing number was as expected at 53.8.

Although there is improving market sentiment among some analysts who say gold is oversold and are expecting to see a modest technical rally, there is still a strong bearish undertone among retail investors.
  • Gold has fallen by 7.9 percent year-to-date compared with base metals, which in aggregate are down 15.6 percent and energy commodities which in aggregate are down 9.7 percent
  • Even though gold is down this year, it remains a relative outperformer against the bulk of commodities
  • Expectations that further data coming in from US maybe under expectations, which again sends positive signals for gold.
More volatility is likely next week as the market will switch its attention to the US FOMC meeting.

 Next week, the focus will be on the FOMC meeting – further hints that the Fed is on track for a September rate hike could present downside risks for gold especially given current momentum.
Investors are bailing on gold on expectations the Federal Reserve will soon raise interest rates as the economy strengthens.
All eyes will be on the Federal Reserve, the U.S. dollar and economic data next week; and, according to analysts, any weakness could be positive for the gold market

- Previous blog -

"Gold Keeping Investors Perplexed: RSBL"

Sunday, 19 July 2015


                                                               By Mr. Prithviraj Kothari, MD, RSBL

The gold market is preparing to end its fourth consecutive week in negative territory, as prices dropped to a session low at $1,129.60 an ounce, its lowest level since April 2010.
Gold prices remained under pressure after touching a four month low on Friday, as the dollar tumbled against the euro on signs of renewed optimism that Greece may secure fresh funding from its’ European creditors.

With regard to the Greek financial crisis and at the time of writing, after more than 17 hours of negotiations, Greece reached a deal with its European creditors on Monday, pledging stringent austerity to avoid an exit from the euro.
Let’s have a detailed look at what exactly the agreement states.

This agreement gives Greece a chance to obtain its third international bailout in 5 years. (A compendium of as much as 86 billion euros). Moreover it facilitates easier repayment terms on some of its existing debt of more than €300 billion and a short-term economic stimulus plan
But, it will require Greece to accept a wide array of measures, including pension cuts and tax increases, and effectively subject itself to intensive international oversight in order to qualify for the aid.

While the summit agreement averted a worst-case outcome for Greece, it only established the basis for negotiations on an aid package, which would also include 25 billion euros to recapitalize its weakened financial system.

With Greece running out of money and its banks shut the past two weeks, the summit was billed as its last chance to stay in the euro. Greece has been in financial limbo since the government missed a payment to the International Monetary Fund and allowed its second rescue package to lapse on June 30.

Apart from the Greece crisis, there was a vague picture that was put across by Fed Chair Janet Yellen on the interest rate hike.
On Thursday, she said the U.S. labor market had moved to a more normal state, a reason why the central bank is likely to raise short-term interest rates later this year. 

Analysts state that the biggest factor currently influencing gold prices is an expectation of rise in U.S interest rates. Wednesday and Thursday, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen testified before Congress and reiterated that the Federal Open Market Committee feels it would be appropriate to raise interest rates later this year.

“Based on my outlook, I expect that it will be appropriate at some point later this year to take the first step to raise the federal funds rate and thus begin normalizing monetary policy,” stated Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen in a speech on Friday to the City Club of Cleveland.  She recommended that an interest rate hike may come before the end of the year. She further said “I want to emphasize that the course of the economy and inflation remains highly uncertain, and unanticipated developments could delay or accelerate this first step.”

By the first quarter of 2015, there was a string belief in the market that a rate hike would be happen in June, given the positive economic reports from U.S. However, the general consensus seems to be that the Fed will delay any rate hikes until January 2016, though many doubt it will take that long.

Although most economists had expected that the US central bank would raise interest rates as early as June and then September, an increasing number of analysts and traders doubt any rate hikes will happen until January 2016.

What came as a surprise or I should say rather say a “shock” to the bullion market was the disclosure by  China of an increase in its official gold holdings for the first time in 6 years.  
China last reported a figure of 1,054 tonnes in April 2009, and now says it sits at 1,658 tonnes today – an increase of 57%. The central bank’s gold holdings make it the fifth biggest gold reserve in the world, surpassing Russia.

Gold prices didn’t move up on the news rather the metal sold off, hitting a fresh 5-year low during the session.

After a broad- based commodity sell-off on Tuesday, which saw the price of gold fall more than 2% hitting a four month low of $1,145 an ounce, the price of the yellow metal ended up on the week to settle at $1162.80 per ounce.

The sell-off last Tuesday was precipitated by the collapse of Chinese equities. AndA, since China is the world’s biggest importer of raw commodities, weaker growth expectations is spooking the markets and there seems to be spillover effect into precious metals.
Once again, investors remain perplexed about the price action of gold, especially after Greece defaulted on its debt owed to the International Monetary Fund and imposed bank closures and capital controls amid its debt crisis.

But, it is unlikely that the price of the yellow metal will remain suppressed for too long as global demand for gold remains strong despite the recent price dip in US dollar terms.

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 -
"Gold Directionless"

Sunday, 12 July 2015


By Mr. Prithviraj Kothari, MD, RSBL


The world economies are tumbling. Greece is trying to get more days…Chinese economy is foundering and there us downside pressure on the US markets too. A collapsing economy directly means that the money flocks to gold. But the markets have something else to say.

The precious-metals sector is enduring losses for the third straight week. Gold has also rallied yet remains dangerously close to making a new weekly low for the bear market.
The metals opened lower on Monday in the shadow of the Greek ‘no’ vote but ended the day mixed with average losses of one percent.

Precious metals closed down 0.7 percent on Monday, with gold holding value at $1,169.20 while on Wednesday, gold was last up $4.60 closed at $1162/ 1162.80 an ounce.
Precious metals prices moved away from recent lows in trading on Thursday morning after Fed minutes failed to provide a clearer picture on when the normalization of US monetary policy might begin.

There is more than one factor that is collectively responsible for the movement in gold prices. Let’s take a detailed look at them.

Greece- In Greece, negotiations will continue over the weekend after Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras presented a proposal that accepts many of initial cuts introduced at a June 26 meeting.
Investors seem to believe this latest chapter in the multi-year negotiations process will end in Greece remaining in the Eurozone – the euro was last up 0.8 percent to 1.1130 against the dollar.

The uncertainty over Greek debt crisis boosted the dollar, dampening demand for the precious metal as an alternative investment.
A $60 billion bailout plan is headed to the Greek parliament. It includes most of the austerity measures Europe has insisted upon and the gross dollar amount of the bailout is slightly higher. We shall see next week what happens and how it affects markets.

FOMC and Interest Rate Hike- “Based on my outlook, I expect that it will be appropriate at some point later this year to take the first step to raise the federal funds rate and thus begin normalizing monetary policy,” Yellen said in her speech in Cleveland.

“But I want to emphasize that the course of the economy and inflation remains highly uncertain, and unanticipated developments could delay or accelerate this first step,” she added.

US, Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen predicted the timeframe for the initial interest rate hike, but also provided a hedge regarding the importance on inflation.
Friday, Yellen said, in a speech at an event in Cleveland, that she still expects interest rates to rise later this year but also acknowledged factors that continue to hold back the U.S. economy, including potential foreign threats.

China- GOLD BULLION prices rose Thursday against all major currencies, recovering all but $1 of the week's earlier $20 drop per ounce against the US Dollar as world stock markets gained following a hard bounce in China's main equity indices.

With trading still halted in around half the shares listed on the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock markets, the CSI300 index of the biggest companies closed 6.7% higher after the last 3 week's near one-third collapse.

No one knows where is gold is heading. Presently there is no call for safe haven investments beyond the solid currencies, namely the dollar, yen and Swiss franc.
Global market tensions may ease out next week with Greece expected to find some resolution to its ongoing credit crisis and Chinese leaders expected to keep a tight grip on equity markets to prevent another major market selloff.

Despite the negative weekly close, optimism is creeping back into the gold market. After five consecutive weekly bearish outlooks, retail investors have finally turned bullish, while market professionals remain mixed.

Nobody would want to buy in an extremely uncertain market. Investors would buy or sell gold once they get a clear signal and know what is happening with the Federal Reserve. The uncertainty in Greece and China is creating a lot of uncertainty and fear because nobody knows what the Fed is going to do.

Apart from the Global markets, there are others things that need to be watched by the investors next week. It’s a big week for US markets economic data.

  • Markets will receive retail sales data for June
  • Regional manufacturing data for July
  • Consumer inflation data at the end of the week

However, the highlight will be Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s semi-annual testimony before Congress. She will testify before the house Financial Services Committee Wednesday and the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday.
Market participants are expected to go through her indication extremely careful to find any hints on when the central bank will pull the trigger on an interest rate hike.

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 -
"Will Gold Create The Safe Haven Magic"

Sunday, 5 July 2015



                                                                                  By Mr. Prithviraj Kothari, MD, RSBL


Considering the ongoing Greece crisis, there was a global assumption that gold would rise in a flight to safety- in fact it happened the other way round- it has fallen around two percent this week, around 1.5 percent in June and more than six percent from its May peak of $1,232.50 per ounce.

Gold prices slumped to their lowest since March as back-and-forth developments over Greece’s debt talks are providing an incentive for investors to disassociate with the Eurozone and its currency.
The gold price tested three-and-a-half-month lows on Thursday morning ahead of the release of the monthly US jobs report.

Spot gold was last at $1,165.20/1,166.00 per ounce, down $2.70 on the previous session’s close – earlier it came within 20 cents of matching it’s lowest since March 19 and is heading for its fourth consecutive lower session.

Thursday’s non-farm payrolls report showed that the US created 223,000 new jobs in June against consensus of 231,000, which has lent some support to precious metals towards the back end of the week.

The gold price made modest gains on Friday after US labor market data came in slightly weaker than expected in the previous session, lending support to precious metals.

In the US jobs report on Thursday, released a day early due to Independence Day celebrations the unemployment rate dropped to its lowest since April 2008 at 5.3 percent, a level the US government considers to be ‘full employment’, average hourly earnings were stagnant, missing predicted growth of 0.2 percent.
A negative jobs reports means and slowly progressing economy which in turn no make majority of the market participant believe that interest rate hike by the US Federal Reserve won’t come in soon. 

Apart from the interest rate hike the market is also closely watching al movements regarding the Greek Debt crisis.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ aggressive decision to exit negotiations and announce a referendum for Sunday seems to be backfiring. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has reportedly put off a decision until the referendum is voted on by the Greek citizens.

A yes vote would display a total lack of confidence in Tsipras and his left wing-coalition party, Syriza, likely resulting in a reelection. A rejection of the creditor’s proposal would continue the months-long impasse and could signal the end for Greece in the bloc.

The tit-for-tat fails to answer why gold remains in a suppressed state, as the yellow metal is historically viewed as a safe haven for investors during periods of uncertainty.

Gold is failing to make anything of its supposed safe-haven qualities this week despite Greece’s grip on Eurozone membership now at its weakest.   Despite the uncertainty and heavy pressure on global equity markets as a result of the situation in Greece, gold is confounding the widely held assumption that it would rise in a flight to safety.  

What this suggests is that investors either do not value gold’s credentials as a safe haven or do not yet regard this situation as a crisis yet – even though the country is going to the polls on Sunday.

The market is focused on Sunday’s referendum on its creditors’ proposed cash-for-reforms deal. Greece requires additional bailout funds of around 50 billion euros until 2018 under the existing bailout conditions, the IMF claimed, cutting its Greek growth prospects for 2015 to zero from 2.5 percent previously.

Opinion polls released as voting ended suggested a slight lead for the "No" vote.
No exit polls were published. The first official results are expected in the coming hours.
The government had urged people to vote "No", while the "Yes" campaign warned that this could see Greece ejected from the eurozone

Usually such crisis renders support to precious metals. But in this case precious metals haven’t received much lift in spite of the ongoing uncertainties. But markets still remain very much focused on the Greek Debt crisis. 

The Greek people will go to the polls on Sunday to decide whether or not to accept its creditors’ apparently final proposals. No talks on debt relief are likely until after the referendum takes place.

Without additional lending, Greece will default on its July 20 repayment to the European Central Bank (ECB) after missing a payment to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Tuesday.

This story may help gold on two grounds- a default on its payments in Tuesday and the risk it will exit the Eurozone. Both these results are strengthening safe-haven demand for gold. Moreover, there is a mounting risk that this will start to struggle on the currency bloc and then the global economy, providing another reason for the FOMC to stay its hand over rate rises.

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 -

"It's A Greece Game For Gold"