The primary purpose of this blog (Prithviraj Kothari - MD, RSBL | Bullion market blog) is to educate the masses of the current happenings in the Bullion world.
This blog contains my opinion, which is not to be construed as investment advices.
Information provided in these blogs is intended solely for informative purposes and is obtained from sources believed to be reliable
India is probably the only country where a
religious day is linked to a practice of gold buying. It is the Akshaya Tritiya
festival day and we are talking tons of gold here. According to estimates,
Indian consumers bought about 20 tonnes of the precious metal on this festive
day in 2010. However this was much lower than the buy in 2009 due to soaring
prices. India, the world's largest consumer of the yellow metal, bought some 45
tonnes of Gold in 2009. So what makes Akshaya Tritiya a day for GOLD?
For Indians buying gold is a popular activity on
Akshaya Tritiya day, as it is the ultimate symbol of wealth and prosperity.
This year the date of Akshaya Tritiya is Saturday, 29th April. This
day is important to both Hindus and Jains. According to the traditional
panchang Akshaya Tritiya falls on the third day (Tritiya) of the new moon of
Vaishakh month (April-May) every year.
Akshaya in Sanskrit means one that ‘never
diminishes’ (a—kshaya) and the day is believed to bring good luck and success.
Hindus believe they can get lasting prosperity by buying precious metals on the
day. Akshaya Tritiya is traditionally earmarked for beginning new ventures, for
investing and purchasing valuables especially gold, jewellery and diamond. It is
no surprise Indians buy gold on Akshaya Tritiya as it is considered very
auspicious and a safe investment. It is also believed that any meaningful
activity started on this day would be fruitful.
We all know that 2011 was the best performing year for gold wherein the yellow metal gave highest returns compared to all assets
in it class.
Economically this day is quite productive for
marketers as they cash in on the festivity to boost their sales. Marketers
indulge in high voltage advertisement campaigns especially the jewellery
stores. In fact people in India and overseas book jewellery in advance and take
delivery on Akshaya Tritiya day. It’s a day of frenzy buying for all precious
metals especially gold. Sales on Akshaya Tritiya day usually increases four to
five times compared to normal days. Traditionally the preference for customers
is to buy light-weight jewellery, diamond jewellery but today’s economic
superpower India sees several buyers preferring diamond jewellery purchases.
a secular country and each religion has its own story behind the celebrating
Akshaya Tritiya and buying gold on this auspicious occasion.
have a brief look at the different stories behind each celebration.
According to Hindu astrology, the entire Akshaya
Tritiya day is auspicious. So there is no need to look for an auspicious time
i.e. no ‘Muhurat’ required on this day. This is the only day in any year when
the Sun which is the lord of the planets and Moon which is the lord of
creativity are in exaltation meaning at their peak of radiance. Astrologically
this is extremely auspicious. That also makes this day one of the most popular
dates in Hindu calendar for marriages and partnerships.
Glance through the annals of ancient Indian
heritage and one finds that on this Tritiya day of Vaishakh month many
significant things of great spiritual importance happened. According to Jain
legends, this day is auspicious as people from Ayodhya bought gold and
jewellery to offer to their Tirthankara Rshabhdev who was the King of Ayodhya
centuries ago. Jains, even today, observe long term fast to commemorate their
first Tirthankara Rishabhdev and break their fast on Akshaya Tritiya day with
sugar cane juice as Rishabhdeva broke his fast with that juice after 1 year.
According to the ancient Hindu religious texts like
the Puranas, this day marked the beginning of the "SatyaYug" or the
Golden Age - the first of the four Yugas. It is believe that on this day Lord
Krishna gave Draupadi a bowl - Akshaya patara (where food came in abundance)
when the Pandavas were in exile. Traditionally this third day in the bright
fortnight of Vaishakh is also the day of the sixth incarnation
of Lord Vishnu ~ the ‘preserving’ manifestation of God in the Hindu Trinity.
On this day of Akshaya Tritiya, Maharishi Veda Vyas
along with Lord Ganesha started writing the great epic Mahabharata. It is also
the day the most sacred river of the Hindus, Ganga descended to earth. On this
day Sudama visited his childhood buddy Lord Krishna with a hearty gift of a handful
of beaten rice (poha). The good returns (prasad) he got in return for his
devotion to the Lord is a classical story told in Hindu households. On such a
day associated with Lord Krishna the story of Sudama’s offering is mentioned
along with Lord Krishna’s affirmation in his Holy Gita ~ "Whoever offers a
leaf, a flower, a fruit or even water with devotion, that I accept, offered as
it is with a loving heart ".
Thus, many are the reasons for Akshaya Tritiya to
be considered a wish fulfilling day. Any worship performed or daan (donation)
given on this day is considered extremely good karma. Good karma is considered
meritorious and is supposed to bestow beneficial results.
Gold is often used as a hedge against political and financial uncertainty and security risks. And that’s exactly what’s happening with gold currently.
Gold hit a five-month high on Friday after U.S. jobs data dampened expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will raise interest rates, but the metal gave up most gains as the dollar rose and safe haven demand ebbed.
Spot gold rose 1.2 percent to $1,265.95 an ounce by during trading hours on Friday, after touching its highest since Nov. 10 at $1,270.46,putting it on track for a fourth consecutive week of gains. U.S. gold futures climbed 1.1 percent to $1,267.60 an ounce. This is the most supportive environment we have seen for gold in some time given that there is geopolitical tension and disappointing U.S. payrolls number.
Data released showed that U.S. employers added the fewest number of workers in 10 months in March, boosting gold, which is most attractive to investors in a low interest rate environment.
Gold was also underpinned by investors looking for safety after the United States fired cruise missiles at a Syrian air base, escalating tensions with Russia and Iran.
Russia, a staunch ally of Syria, said relations between Washington and Moscow had been seriously damaged by the strike, which was in retaliation for a deadly chemical attack on a rebel-held area of Syria.
The precious metal hit a 5-month high as investors sought safe-haven assets after the United States launched cruise missiles against a Syrian air base, potentially escalating tensions with Syrian allies Russia and Iran. U.S. President Donald Trump unleashed the military strikes in response to a deadly chemical attack on a rebel-held area, a U.S. official said on Thursday.
Later in the session, however, safe haven demand faded and the dollar index. DXY climbed to three-week highs which further rose questions that unless the geopolitical risk continues; will the sentiment remain positive for gold?
Investors were cautious ahead of the meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping, but Trump said on Friday he had made progress in talks and expected them to overcome many problems. Investors had already been on edge as Trump met Chinese leader Xi Jinping on Thursday for talks over flash points such as North Korea and China's huge trade surplus with the United States.
Gold is often used as a hedge against political and financial uncertainty and security risks. It has benefited alongside other assets considered safe, such as the yen and U.S. Treasury bonds.
Though geo political uncertainties are creating room for gold to rise, we shouldn’t ignore the key influential factor for gold i.e. U.S. interest rate hike.
Increases in U.S. interest rates will prove too much of a headwind for gold prices. As such, we think that the price of gold is likely to fall from about $1,265 today to $1,050 by the end of the year if there is any news coming in from the Fed regarding hike in interest rates.
Clearly this raises the stakes and we expect to see gold prices continuing to push higher in the short-term, at least until there is some clarity around whether this is a one-off or develops into something more.