RSBL Gold Silver Bars/Coins

Sunday, 23 August 2015


 By Mr. Prithviraj Kothari, MD,RSBL

Those who began to completely disown gold for the past four weeks have now once again been captured by imagination. Gold typically acts as a safe haven – or a hedge – for investors during volatile periods or uncertainty in global markets and it so appears that the precious metal is not quite so useless after all when things get turbulent on the markets.

On July 24, spot gold touched $1,077.50 per ounce, the lowest price since April 2010. Prices remained at that level for a short period before climbing over the past few weeks.
But the tables have turned. Gold prices are preparing to close its second consecutive week in positive territory, showing gains of more than 5% after the market hit a six-week high in overnight activity Friday.

Gold prices surged during Thursday’s US trading session as the multi-year lows seen a month ago have evaporated as short covering boosted the entire precious metal’s complex.
The spot gold price was seen at $1,150.5/1,150.9- around its highest in more than a month.
Trade has ranged from $1,150.3 to $1,168.4 – it’s highest since July 7 – so far.

The past two sessions have seen the yellow-metal jump to the highest price in over a month upon the release of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) July meeting minutes.

Investors read the statement – especially the concern over the slowdown in the Chinese economy – as a dovish tone heading into the oft-discussed September FOMC meeting. Apart from this there were some other factors that contributed to this rally-

Equities- Equities were in retreat once again as Chinese data added to concerns about global economic growth.
Investors looking to rotate out of strong markets are now looking for oversold asset classes, such as gold, to park their profits while corrections are underway. This demand for gold helped push its prices higher as investors shifted focus from equities to the yellow metal.

China- Gold is finally attracting safe-haven demand as concerns over the fallout from China’s devaluation spreads and the market is waking up to the likelihood that emerging market economies are entering another tough time and that could spread to mature economies.
In China, flash manufacturing PMI undershot expectations at 47.1 – below the 50 contraction level. It was the lowest reading since March 2009 and follows the previous poor reading of 48.2.
China’s economic problems are only worsening as recent data showed that China’s manufacturing sector fell to its weakest point in six-and-a-half years.
Many analysts and economists are expecting that continued financial turmoil in China could delay the Federal Reserve from hiking rates as early as September, which would be U.S. dollar negative and gold positive.

U.S. economic data- In a heavy US data day, weekly unemployment claims were at 277,000, near the forecast of 272,000 and holding below the psychological 300,000 mark.
Meanwhile existing home sales in July were at 5.59 million, above the forecast of 5.45 million. The Philly Fed Manufacturing Index in August was at 8.3, besting the 6.9 prediction.
In Wednesday’s US data, CPI in July was up 0.1 percent over the previous month, below the 0.2 percent forecast.
Core CPI – excluding food and energy – was also up 0.1 percent month-over-month in July, again missing the consensus of 0.2 percent.
Over the last few months, various members of the organization have become increasingly hawkish with Federal Reserve chairwoman Janet Yellen expressing a desire to raise rates sometime this year (September), but once again a weak economic report has delayed investor’s expectations.

 Fed Interest Rate Hike-  The July 28-29 FOMC meeting minutes released overnight suggested that the Fed may resist raising rates in September.
However, inflation continues to fall below the Federal Reserve’s target of two percent which has afftcted the delay if a hike which was probable to happen in September.
The minutes of the US Fed’s July meeting showed a committee relatively content with domestic economic activity and labor market progress. The advance in gold prices was largely driven by the dovish Federal Reserve July meeting minutes and as traders scaled back their views on a US interest rate rise in September.
According to the Fed Fund Future, a rate hike in September has been virtually priced out, and a rate hike by year’s end is regarded as only 75 percent probable.
Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen has expressed a desire to raise interest rates this calendar year after rates have been at near zero levels since December 2008 which once again set gold prices moving high.

ETF- Meanwhile, inflows in gold ETF holdings accelerated – holdings in funds tracked by Fast Markets have increased to 1,526.70 tonnes.

Greece- In news, rancorous disputes in Greece over an additional bailout and further austerity measures has forced Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to resign as he called for a snap election next month.
So basically, its lot of uncertainty and turbulence in the world economies that has ignited up the rocket of gold prices and the same is expected to happen in the week to come.

Gold could continue to benefit next week as China’s financial crisis could have more weight on the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy decisions more than domestic economic data, according to some analysts.
Looking ahead, because of gold’s strong gains, optimism is high in the marketplace that this rally will continue in the near-term.
Continued weakness in equity markets, weakness in China and political uncertainty in Greece: all of these have the potential to boost gold higher next week which has recreated bullish sentiments in the market.
Although some economists are expecting U.S. economic data to take a back seat to global financial problems, some of the data that could attract some attention includes July’s durable goods report, housing sales data, and the preliminary reading of U.S. second quarter gross domestic product (GDP) all due for release in the week ahead.
Till then we wait for a new catalyst to push prices higher in the near term.

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 -
"This Time Its China v/s U.S.: 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"

Sunday, 9 August 2015


 By Mr. Prithviraj Kothari, MD, RSBL

The bull market for gold is entering its seventh year. For the past seven months the market has traded roughly sideways.  Collapsing energy prices and a rising dollar have held back earnings and revenue growth. 
In the past, the demand for gold from China had been a motivating factor behind the rising prices for gold. But now, questions regarding the pace of global economic growth have moved to the forefront recently by price declines in the Chinese stock market, oil, commodities and high-yield debt in the past three months.
Such a slow pace of economic growth continues to create a deteriorating investment scene. Commodities and oil are key drivers of global economic growth, and falling prices do not usually portend rising demand. 
Gold has been trading in successively smaller weekly ranges for the past 2 weeks. This week we closed lower at 1095 with a very small range, and it appears that the bottom of the bearish trend.
Spot gold, which hit a session low of $1,082.76 an ounce immediately after the U.S. jobs report, managed to rebound 0.5 percent to $1,095.26 . It had fallen to $1,077 on July 24; it’s weakest since February 2010.

Though we saw some buying momentum in gold as the week ended, some market players state that since prices aren’t able to break the $1100 mark, gold does not bode well for a sustained rally.
Surprisingly, $1,100 appears to be the barrier that we just can’t seem to break. Although there are expectations that the market might trade in a tight range next week, gold remains an unwanted asset as the expectations remain that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates in September.

After rising on Friday, following the U.S. Department of Labor’s employment report for July, the U.S. dollar weakened as afternoon trading wore on. It was a neutral report- not too close and not too far from expectations. Therefore, markets are finding it difficult to analyze and find a meaning in it. 

Economists have noted that July’s nonfarm payrolls report helped to rejuvenate those expectations. Although job gains of 215,000 were below expectations, it stills a “solid” report.
Consensus forecasts ahead of the report were expecting that the U.S. economy created 223,000 jobs. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.3% last month, in line with economist expectations.

The consensus was for 223,000 jobs and July came in at 215,000. However, upward revisions to the previous months’ employment data plus a gain in average hourly earnings and hours worked were both viewed positively by market participants, and as a stronger signal the Fed could raise rates in September. 

The U.S. labor market lost momentum in July, coming in under expectations for the second consecutive month, according to the latest employment data from the Labor Department; however, the numbers still showed jobs gains of more than 200,000.

Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said 215,000 jobs were created in July, down from June's revised number of 232,000; June’s initial report pegged the growth at 223,000 jobs. May's employment data was also revised higher to 260,000 from the previous report of 254,000.
Although the data was slightly weaker than expected, gold prices sold off in initial reaction to the news, dropping almost $10 and falling to a session low of $1,081.40 an ounce. 

Other highlights of the report were-

  • The participation rate was also unchanged at 62.6% in July.
  • Wage growth continues to expand at a steady pace, increasing 0.2% in July, compared with a 0.2% rise in June.
  • The report noted that average hourly earnings rose five cents last month to $24.99. On an annual basis wages have increased by 2.1%.
  •  Employees also saw an increase in the work week; the report said that the average workweek rose by 0.1 hour to 34.6 hours.
Although it appears that some of the immediate selling pressure has been alleviated, there is still strong negative sentiment in the marketplace. Retail investors continue to expect to see lower prices in the near-term and market professionals have once again turned bearish on gold.

The first data point that could have potential to move the gold price next week comes Thursday with the release of U.S. advance retail sales for July. The market ends the week with some inflation data with the release of the U.S. Producer Price Index for July.
Despite the negative sentiment, there is still market professional who see some hope for the yellow metal as technical momentum indicators continue to highlight an oversold marketplace.

However, gold is still fundamentally in the doldrums from the bullish point of view. Long term, gold will be pressured downward. 

Markets don’t expect to see another sharp selloff until Aug. 19, when the Federal Reserve will release the minutes of its July meeting. Markets will then expect a clearer picture of an interest rate hike in September.

Till then gold is expected to trade sideways until some solid crucial news is reported.
Markets could be stuck in a range next week in light volume as markets will be deeper into the summer holiday season.

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 Creating Pressure On Gold"

Saturday, 1 August 2015


By Mr. Prithviraj Kothari, MD, RSBL

Firstly, I would like to express my sincere condolences on the death of our former President Mr. A P J Abdul Kamal. As we all know him better as the missile man of India, his loss means a lot for our country.

Moving on to his week’s bullion market. Well there was lots of hustle bustle in the market as there was no clue over the prevailing volatility in gold.

Gold was probably in the worst macro position it could be in: you have low inflation, high accommodation across the globe, US investment growth and the possibility of further increases in the US dollar.

Currently it seems like gold has been divorced by the market.

Bullion was set to end July with its biggest monthly decline in more than two years after a deep rout last week shook investor confidence further and drove prices to a 5-1/2 year low of $1,077 on July 24. The metal has lost 7.4 percent so far for the month, its steepest decline since June 2013.

Bullion is set for a 7.4 per cent plunge this month, the most since June 2013, after tumbling to the lowest level since 2010 last week. The metal fell as much as 1.1 per cent to $1,084.51 an ounce on Thursday, and was at $1,085.51 at 2:24 p.m. in Singapore, according to Bloomberg generic pricing.

The main culprit for this week’s volatility was the US economic data which in turn influenced the Fed's decision of an increase in interest rates which in turn fluctuated the dollar prices.

Gold and dollar typically move in opposite directions, which means if the dollar goes up, gold futures will fall as gold, measured by the dollar, becomes more expensive for investors.

Gold was headed for its largest monthly decline in two years as the Fed moved closer to boosting US interest rates for the first time since 2006.
While there were no clear signals from the Fed as to when exactly would the rate hike come in, they did describe job gains as solid amid an improving economy, according to a statement Wednesday.

Post the statement released by the Federal Reserve- now markets expect the hike to come in soon – probably this September.
Fed policy makers expressed satisfaction with progress toward full employment and used one word -- “some” -- to describe the additional gains it wants before raising rates.

Increasing rates reduce the allure of gold as the metal doesn’t pay interest or give returns like other assets such as equities and bonds. Investors have cut their holdings in exchange-traded funds backed with bullion by 3.6 per cent this month, the most since December 2013.

Report released by the US department of labor showed the employment cost index rising 0.2 percent, which is the smallest increase in 33 years.
Gold is an asset that pays no interest or coupon and the rate hike is certainly putting pressure on prices.

Gold slipped on Friday and was on course for a sixth straight weekly fall, its longest retreat in 16 years, after upbeat U.S. economic data encouraged bets on the Federal Reserve raising interest rates in September.

Data on Thursday showed the U.S. economy grew 2.3 percent in the second quarter, while first-quarter gross domestic product was revised to show growth of 0.6 percent instead of a contraction.

That reinforced expectations the Federal Reserve is on track to raise interest rates, possibly at its next meeting in September. Higher interest rates would increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.

The data followed the Fed’s policy meeting earlier this week at which policymakers concluded that the world’s largest economy is “expanding moderately”.

But once again, apart from the employment data there were other key economic numbers that came in and influenced gold prices in the opposite direction. Gold prices were trading in positive territory on Friday after mixed US data weighed on the dollar.
Prices fluctuated heavily throughout the week as a combination of a Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting and US GDP figures drew investors from the sidelines.

ETF- outflows of gold from ETFs are capping any real recovery in the metal’s price. Holdings in funds tracked by Fast Markets have decreased for 14 consecutive sessions and are now at their lowest since February 2009 at 1,537 tonnes.

PMI- Chicago PMI in July was 54.7, exceeding the forecast of 50.7 and the first expansion reading since April of this year.

Consumer Sentiment- University of Michigan consumer sentiment in July was 93.1, below predictions of 94.2

ECI- Thought the weekly unemployment claims were much lower than expectations, a simultaneous wage growth was nowhere to be seen. Employment Cost Index showed a 0.2 percent increase, below the 0.6 forecast and yet another example of persistently low wages.

Eurozone - German retail sales fell short at -2.3 percent as did French consumer spending at 0.4 percent and the Italian unemployment rate at 12.7 percent. Eurozone core consumer inflation however at one percent was better than the forecasted 0.8 percent while the flash estimate at 0.2 percent was as expected.

Traders said sentiment bolstered as the precious metals rose in global markets after a report showed wages and salaries in the US rose in the second quarter at the slowest pace on record, weakening the case for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates.
The next important data release is U.S. non-farm payroll figures, due on Aug. 7 which will once again play a key role in influencing gold prices.

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 -
"Disappointing Week For Gold:RSBL"