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Showing posts with label $. Show all posts
Showing posts with label $. Show all posts

Monday, 19 February 2018

Bullions Attracts Investors

Dollar remained weak in spite of a strong economic data and gold was once again in demand acting a hedge tool against inflationary pressure.

Gold prices edged higher on Friday, heading for their biggest weekly percentage gain in nearly two years, buoyed by a weaker U.S. dollar and as investors looked to hedge against inflation.

After April 29, 2016, we saw gold rising more than 3 percent in a week. Spot gold was up 0.4 percent at $1,358.40 an ounce on Friday, after touching a three-week high of $1,360.
   
There was high demand for gold ahead of the Chinese New year. This rise demand along with a weak dollar pushed gold prices higher.

The dollar slipped to a three-year low against a basket of currencies on Friday, and was headed for its biggest weekly loss

in two years, as bearish factors offset support the U.S. currency could take from rising Treasury yields.



The important data released was     
U.S. producer prices accelerated in January,
There were strong gains in the cost of gasoline and healthcare.
The Labour Department said its producer price index for final demand rose 0.4 percent last month after being unchanged in December.
The Labour Department said initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased by 7,000 to a
Seasonally adjusted 230,000 for the week ended Feb. 10.

Gold continues to carry its shine in the second month of the year. The spill over effect continued for gold in Feb as we saw the yellow metal gaining positive traction for the fifth consecutive session on Friday and moved within striking distance of multi-month tops, set in January.

Over the last couple of weeks, we have seen a lot of things happening globally. And the moist important was the stock market pullback that the world markets witnessed a couple of weeks back. This volatility kept investors focused on rising bond yields (inflation) and potential interest rate hikes.

There is a lot of uncertainty and volatility prevailing in the markets and one sectors that totally benefits with such a crisis is the commodities sectors, precisely bullions
And that the reason investors tend to divert their portfolio into safe havens- bonds and gold

 The yield on the 10-year US Treasury bill hit 2.88% and gold resisted its usual trend of moving inversely with the dollar by gaining six tenths of a percent to $1,345 an ounce.
Currently, after viewing the various markets, investors feel that the safes place to park your funds is the commodities markets. There are many reason that justify this thought-

Inflation
The higher the rate of inflation, or expectation of inflation, the more yields rise, because bond investors demand higher yields to be compensated for inflation risk.

Commodities can be the beneficiary of higher bond yields especially if long-term interest rates rise.


Weak US dollar 
Commodities are priced in US dollars, so there is a strong correlation between the strength of the dollar and commodities. A weak dollar plus a basket of currencies being strengthened on the other side, is making gold more attractive,

The USD has dropped in relation to other competing currencies, such as the euro, the pound and the yen. Rising inflation is also diminishing the value of the dollar is diminished. Moreover, uncertainty about US trade relationships has also weighed on the greenback.


Rising Demand but shortage in supply
Most of the gold market is driven by investment, but there are some interesting things happening that makes this a very good time to consider an investment in gold or gold stocks.

Simply put, the world is running out of gold, especially the stuff that’s high grade and easy to find, and this makes me bullish on the precious metal - irrespective of all the familiar demand factors like safe haven, inflation hedge and store of value.

Till 2014, commodities were not considered to be a real fund puller. Many kept away from the bullions as there were other options, like rising equities where investors ploughed their money. But now , that the precious metals are giving incredible returns and also proving to be safe haven assets, its time that investors start re thinking of parking their funds into this sectors that continues to gather momentum in 2018.



Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Sentiment Shift In The Market

Past week, we saw investors moving away from gold as sentiments shifted to bearish. A strong US economy and a strengthening dollar led to this shift. Investors were confident that the U.S economy is relatively strong and this made the stock markets go wild. Moreover Gold failed to attract investors fleeing from the biggest selloff in six years in global equities as U.S. Treasury yields rose to four-year highs.

Last Thursday, bullion was headed for a 1 percent weekly decline as it fell to a one-month low of $1,306.81 over expectations of a rate hike soon in 2018.



Investor’s expectations of rate hike were driven high by the following factors-
unexpectedly low U.S. unemployment figures
Signals from the U.S. Federal Reserve,
and other data showing the country’s economy


As we all know that higher interest rates make gold less attractive to investors as a safe haven because it does not pay interest. Instead this time, investors treated the dollar as a safe haven.

A stronger dollar makes dollar-denominated bullion more expensive for users of other currencies.

The global market selloff, sparked by last Friday’s jump in Treasury yields, and bets that the United States could see at least three interest rate hikes in 2018 due to improving U.S. fundamentals have propelled the U.S. dollar in recent days

Gold prices made little headway Friday, seemingly digesting losses suffered earlier in the week. But at the start of the week, yellow metal got a bit of a boost, thanks to a weaker US dollar.

Gold prices rose on Monday, 12th Feb, as the dollar slipped, but gains are expected to be capped ahead of inflation data from the United States this week that could mean U.S. interest rates increase more quickly than expected.

The dollar slipped against a basket of six major currencies as a bounce in equity markets ended a strong run for the greenback, used by investors as a safe place to park assets in times of financial market volatility.

Spot gold was up 0.4 percent at $1,321.16 an ounce at 0940 GMT. It has fallen more than 3 percent since hitting a 17-month peak at $1,366.07 in January. U.S. gold futures rose 0.6 percent to $1,323.20 an ounce.

Worries about inflation in the United States surfaced after data this month showed jobs growth surged and wages rose, bolstering expectations that the U.S. labour market would hit full employment this year.

But investors still feel that the dollar will strengthen once the infrastructure spending plan will be unveiled by President Donald Trump.

If the markets are amply convinced that the scheme will deliver a potent boost US economic growth and push inflation upward, that is likely to inspire bets on a steeper Fed rate hike cycle. This will probably revive the greenback’s recovery, tarnishing the appeal of anti-fiat assets epitomized by gold.

Whatever the reasons for the shift change in market sentiment, from macro factors to algorithmic trading, these abrupt index plunges and the rise in volatility have spooked investors across the globe and have led to panic selling and active profit-taking. With a low volatility environment less certain than before, market consensus on ever-increasing stock prices may be beginning to unravel.

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Is gold no longer being affected by a Rate Hike

Fed rate hike pulls down gold prices: No more an implied reaction for the yellow metal.
Though gold prices were flat in Wednesday ahead of the Fed meet, it managed to close higher. Initially gold prices dipped slightly after the U.S. Federal Reserve said it would keep interest rates the same, but expected inflation to rise this year.

On Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s last policy meeting as head of the central bank, the Fed left interest rates unchanged. But its message on inflation signaled it was on track to raise borrowing costs in March under incoming chief Jerome Powell.


History has shown that worries over inflation results in a rise in gold prices, which is seen as a safe haven asset against rising prices. But expectations that the Fed will raise interest rates to fight inflation make gold less attractive because it does not pay interest.

Moreover, stronger dollar pressures commodities priced in the currency, making them more expensive for buyers using other currencies. And this was exactly what happened on Wednesday.
The U.S. dollar turned positive after the Fed statement thus resulting in a dip in gold prices. But the effect wasn’t that severe as there were no significant announcements apart from just a hawking tint in the statement released by the Fed.

With many other asset classes already at record price levels, there is a risk of corrections either while geopolitical developments unfold or as inflation and interest rates rise to the extent that investors take profits. Investors may well see gold as offering a relatively cheap safe haven while corrections unfold in other markets.

What the market now await is two more rate hiked in 2018 , which if executed will pull down gold prices significantly.Till then we find gold in a comfortable zone, not paying much heed or reaction to a single rate hike.

Monday, 29 January 2018

$1375 an ounce - A Crucial Mark for gold

This past week will be remembered for the cracks it revealed in the global monetary and trade building. At the Davos conference, the expression became unusually vociferous and purposeful with accusations and threats flying in all directions. Contradictory statements being mocked at and investment opportunities being knocked at.

The one thing the brewing currency and trade wars are likely to inspire among the local populace is strong gold and silver demand in both its physical and paper forms. Speculators will be looking to capitalize on currency and market instability while private and institutional investors are likely to step up their hedging strategies.

The inverse relationship between the dollar and gold has gathered strength both from the administration’s protectionist policies and the massive increase in deficit spending projected to result from recent changes to U.S. tax law. Equities remain strong, but the dollar has fallen, as might be expected, and gold prices have benefited with the drop in the U.S. dollar.


The price of gold rose 13% last year, about half as much as the Dow Jones Industrial Average and less than half as much as the Nasdaq Composite. On Thursday it reached a 12-month peak at over $1,362 an ounce, following what have now been characterized as misconstrued comments by U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on the Trump administration’s view that a weak dollar is a positive for U.S. exports.

With potentially conflicting comments, the weakness of otherwise of The U.S. dollar from U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and President Trump, the gold market didn’t know which way to run. 

In morning trade on Thursday, gold jumped to its best level since August 2016 touching a high of $1,365.40 an ounce after comments from US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin at the World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland sent the dollar lower.

Mnuchin had to backtrack, but not particularly convincingly, on his weaker dollar being beneficial to the U.S. economy statement lest he be accused of talking the dollar down in conflict with U.S. assurances that it would not do so. 

The dollar was on track for its biggest weekly decline since May. President Donald Trump’s comments on Thursday that he wanted a “strong dollar” failed to lend much support, a day after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said a weaker greenback would help short-term U.S. trade balances.

President Trump’s Davos statement suggested he was in favour of a stronger dollar, contrary to his earlier position on the currency, and following this the dollar rose, and gold fell on Thursday.
The metal reversed course in the afternoon after US President Donald Trump told CNBC that Mnuchin’s comments had been misinterpreted:

“The dollar is going to get stronger and stronger and ultimately I want to see a strong dollar,” Trump said.

Gold prices rose on Friday, after falling from 1-1/2-year highs in the previous session, as the dollar remained weak despite U.S. President Donald Trump backing a stronger currency.
Spot gold had climbed 0.6 percent to $1,355.16 per ounce during Friday trading hours.

 The US dollar reverted to lower levels in Friday afternoon trade in the U.S. and gold rose back above $1,350 before activity in the futures markets and gentle dollar support brought gold back to heel and the yellow metal ended the week a fraction under the key $1,350 level.

Gold and the US dollar usually move in opposite directions and the greenback has declined sharply against major currencies since Trump's inauguration. The euro has gained 15% against the US currency, the British pound more than 13% and the Canadian dollar nearly 8% in little over a year.

Gold has gained more than $100 an ounce since mid-December. Large-scale speculators increase their exposure to gold on derivatives markets by doubling net long positions – bets that gold will be more expensive in future – in the space of three weeks to the equivalent of 20m ounces.
Retail and institutional investment in gold-backed exchange traded funds (ETFs) also continues to grow.

According to data compiled by Bloomberg ETF vaults now hold around 2,250 tonnes, the most since May 2013, as investors piled in ahead of a US government shutdown.
         
The break above $1,330 has given fuel to gold's rally and the first target of this movement could be seen at $1,375 and if it crosses this mark then the rally could continue with targets at $1,390 and potentially at $1,415.

To an impartial (relatively) external observer of the market, the gold price did appear to be trying to rebound back above $1,350 but kept being knocked back again.  Whether it can build sufficient momentum to breach the $1,350 level permanently remains to be seen, but one suspects it will do so barring any major adverse news or data.


Saturday, 27 January 2018

Concerning issue for Gold

The positive effects of a year end are seen hovering around the yellow metal at the beginning of 2018 too. Gold held a strong finishing in 2017, up by 13.5 percent according to World Gold Council.  Gold’s annual gain was the largest since 2010, outperforming all major asset classes other than stocks.



Contributing to this gain was a
Weaker U.S. dollar
Stock indices hitting new highs
And geopolitical instability

All of these combined created an atmosphere of geopolitical and economic uncertainty, thus benefiting gold.

The uncertainties haven’t seemed to calm down, and hence gold continues its rally in the first month of the year. Gold continued to gain some positive traction through the early European session and was seen hovering around 4-month tops touched last week.

The US Dollar sank to fresh three-year lows, below the 90.00 round figure mark and was seen benefiting dollar-denominated commodities - like gold.

Meanwhile in the U.S. some risk-aversion trade has eventually provided an additional boost to the precious metal's safe-haven appeal.

With the USD still struggling to gain any respite, the commodity seems all set to build on its bullish momentum and head back towards testing September 2017 highs

While we see gold touching monthly highs, we shouldn’t forget a concerning issues- What if markets collapse? Well, then  it  could suffer collateral damage as institutions and funds struggle for liquidity and have to sell good assets to stay afloat.

A similar situation had surfaced in 2008 when the stock market collapsed, but gold comparatively has recovered faster than equities and since then went to be its strongest bull market ever with prices rising to new heights of over $1900 an ounce

Now that god prices have reached $1350 an ounce, whether it stabilises there, rallies or gets pulled back--- depends on the U.S. dollar and Whether the U.S. market will allow it to stay there.

Monday, 22 January 2018

Gold - A Store of Value

Though gold headed for its first weekly drop in six week, it remained in the positive territory - thanks to U.S uncertainties, Bitcoin crisis, ECB hawkish comments to name a few.

Spot gold has declined 0.5 per cent so far this week, its worst week since early December.

Spot gold was up 0.4 per cent at $1,332 an ounce by 0659 GMT. On Thursday, it touched its weakest level since Jan. 12 at $1,323.70, having fallen from recent four-month highs.

Amid worries of a possible US government shutdown, the dollar weakened and gold strengthened with prices rising higher on Friday. Legislation to stave off an imminent federal government shutdown encountered obstacles in the US Senate late on Thursday, despite the passage of a month-long funding bill by the House of Representatives hours earlier.

Legislation to avoid a US government shutdown at midnight on Friday advanced in Congress, as the House of Representatives on Thursday night approved an extension of federal funds until February 16, although the bill faced uncertain prospects in the Senate.

The dollar has fallen since 2017 largely on expectations central banks besides the Federal Reserve are seeking to end their policy of ultra low, even negative, rates that they adopted to combat the 2008 global financial crisis and the recession that followed.

Furthermore, reacting to ECB’s hawkish language, gold prices rose during Asian morning trading hours. The yellow metal gained momentum as ECB’s December meeting minutes and soft US data weighed on the dollar.



ECB’s December minute were claimed to be hawkish due to a discussion of a gradual shift in guidance from early 2018 - much earlier than had previously discussed.

A disappointing US data lowered the dollar. The dollar index was down by 0.5% at 91.81 as of 11:57 am Shanghais time.

The December Producer price index fell 0.1% against an expected increase of 0.2%
Unemployment claims rose to 261,000 this week. Marking the fourth consecutive weekly increase and a more-than-three- month high.
.
As mentioned above, another reason that has favored the rise on gold prices is the much hyped Bitcoin. Is it a bubble or a boom? Bitcoin, the world’s most popular crypt currency, has seen a major correction, losing over 40 percent of its value in less than a month, prompting investors to dump the crypt currency in exchange for the precious metal.

As of this writing, the cryptocurrency, which skyrocketed from below $1,000 in early 2016 to the historic milestone of $20,000 in December 2017, was hovering around $11,600 per a coin, according to CoinDesk. On Wednesday, the price of Bitcoin dropped to $9,400 at one point.

Currently Bitcoin look quite uncertain. It was easy to get into it but now investors are finding it difficult to come out. AS we see that currently with Bitcoin and dollar facing a decline in vale, gold on the other hand ahs rallied 7.5% in the past month and also carries with itself a history of being a safe haven asset and a store of value.


Tuesday, 16 January 2018

2018 kicks off a good start for gold

Recent weeks have shown strong rallies for precious metals and its looks like ass id prices are now consolidating. There may be a pull back in prices over a strengthening U.S dollar, but the rebounds since mid-December show that the sentiments for precious metals, especially gold, has turned more bullish. Once again the yellow metal has found place in an investor’s kitty and these commodities are back in vogue again.

Last week we saw gold prices rising during Asian trading hours on Thursday, 11th Jan after the dollar continued to drift lower following news that Chinese officials have recommend the country slow or halt its purchase of US bonds.

The yellow metal benefited for reasons more than one over the past week and its effect continued to spread in the current week too.


  • The important data that weighed on the dollar and other global news that benefited the yellow metal-
  • The December produce price index fell 0.1% against an expected increase of 0;2%
  • Unemployment claims rose to 261,000 in the past week marking the 4th consecutive weekly increase and a more than three month high.
  • The dollar remained soft after important news was released from China regarding US bind purchase on Thursday. This kept the dollar on the defensive which ultimately benefited the yellow metal.
  • Hawkish language contained in the ECD December meeting minutes pushed gold prices further on Friday
  • What added to the rally was a soft US data that released on Friday. This weighed on the dollar and pushed gold prices higher.
  • A disappointing US data further raised negative sentiment for the dollar. The weak dollar amidst increased demand for equity market hedge has made the environment even more glitter for the shining metal.
  • Adding a touch of bullishness to gold was data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission on Friday, which showed hedge funds and money managers raised their net long positions in COMEX gold and silver in the week to Jan. 9.
  • U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday delivered an ultimatum to European signatories of the deal to fix the “terrible flaws” in the agreement with Iran, or the United States would pull out.
  • Iran’s president said on Sunday the United States had failed to undermine a nuclear deal between Tehran and major powers, and hailed the accord as a “long-lasting victory” for Iran, state television reported



A weaker U.S. currency makes dollar-denominated assets such as gold cheaper for holders of other currencies, while higher rates could dent demand for non-interest-paying gold.
The global spill over effect was seen in the domestic markets too. In the national capital, gold of 99.9% and 99.5% purity advanced by Rs100 each to Rs30,750 and Rs30,600 per 10 grams, respectively — levels last seen on 18 November.
 Apart from positive global cues, buoyed by a slump in the dollar, sustained buying by local jewellers at the domestic spot market kept gold prices elevated

Summing it up, gold has moved up sharply in dollar terms in the past few days despite mixed economic data out of the USA. So gold investors should treat the latest rise in the gold price purely as a wealth protection exercise.  That is what gold is good at over time.  If the dollar declines further then gold will rise further, as will all the major precious metals – and most other commodities too.

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Glitter metal gives Bright performance

2018 has definitely given gold the good launch platform. This year, gold began with its highest opening price for a calendar year. This opening has been its highest in the past 5 years after rising by around 13 per cent last year.

Last year, gold managed to close above $1300 an ounce and has been seen hovering on the range. In the currency year too gold reached its highest level since it opened on Jan 1st.



This marks only the fourth time ever that gold has opened the year above $1,300 an ounce.
The main reason for this bright performance of the glittering metal can be accrued to a weak US dollar which fell by 10% last year against a basket of major traded currencies – the worst yearly performance since 2003.

In large part, the performance of gold, and indeed the performance of many dollar-denominated asset prices have been justified by the dollars weak performance.

The US dollar weakened across the board after the release of the US employment report and pushed gold to the upside. The metal rose $6 in a few seconds, from $1316/oz to $1323 to test daily highs. It failed to break higher but it was holding near that area and also close to Thursdays high of $1326.

Before the report realised gold was trading in a negative territory, pulling back from the monthly high that it had attained. But once the U.S. data was released gold rebounded as it found support at $1315.

According to the Labour Department,
The US economy added 148K jobs in December, below the 190K estimated by market analysts.
Average earnings rose 0.3% (as expected)
While the unemployment rate remained at 4.1% (17-year low).


A few minutes after the report the greenback recovered most of its losses. Despite being below expectoration the data continue to signal a strong labour market and it did not alter significantly Fed rate hike expectations.

As we have already discussed this before that Gold started out 2018 strongly, drawing support from a soft U.S. dollar. But the demand for the yellow metal in the Asian markets hasn’t picked up well. 

Spot metal hit a high of $1,321.45 an ounce overnight, its strongest level since mid-September, before easing back slightly.

Signs of seasonal Asian buying are yet to be seen in any meaningful way, which does make it difficult to chase this move higher, although we do expect this to begin filtering in over the next week or so.

We all know that gold has always proved to be a safe haven asset in times of uncertainties and has also been one the highest return generating asset in its class. And the same is expected to continue, keeping in mind gold's past years performance and current year’s opening.

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Many competitors for gold in 2018

Gold began 2018 on a firm note on Tuesday after prices hit their highest in more than three months, supported by technical factors after breaking above $1,300 an ounce last week.

Spot gold rose 13 percent last year to mark its best annual performance since 2010. A wilting U.S. dollar, political tensions and receding concern over the impact of U.S. interest rate hikes fed the rally.
The greenback, in which gold is priced, had its worst performance since 2003 last year, damaged by tensions over North Korea, questions over Russian involvement in U.S. President Donald Trump’s election campaign, and persistently low U.S. inflation.


 The dollar’s drop to three-month lows versus a basket of currencies on Friday lifted gold to its highest since mid October. In the last couple of weeks, trade has been relatively thin, yields have been under pressure and the dollar as well, so gold has profited from that.

Preceding real yields, dollar is the most important driver for gold. And it was the dollar’s weakness, which even a Fed rate hike was unable to pull down gold prices. Even though the rates are hiking, the dollar I not benefiting from it.

On the other hand, Gold has clearly benefited from lower U.S. yields and a much weaker U.S. dollar into the year-end. Gold has risen more than $70 from nearly five-month lows hit in mid-December.
More than half of the $70 rally came in the last week, during the holiday period.

However, on Wednesday there was a slight halt to this rally as we saw the dollar strengthening over the release minutes of the FOMC meeting (that was geld on Dec 12-13)

The Fed’s minutes acknowledged the U.S. labor market’s solid gains and the expansion in economic activity, even as they affirmed policymakers’ worries about persistently low inflation. That suggested the central bank will continue to pursue a gradual approach in raising rates but could pick up the pace if inflation accelerates.

Fed officials also discussed the possibility that the Trump administration’s tax cuts or easy financial conditions could cause inflation pressures to rise, leading to some dollar-buying, analysts said
The dollar rallied on Wednesday on upbeat U.S. manufacturing and construction data and after minutes from the Federal Reserve’s last policy meeting showed the central bank remained on track to raise interest rates several times this year.

Snapping a three-week losing streak, the dollar hit session highs against the euro and yen after the minutes from the Fed’s Dec. 12-13 meeting. The dollar index posted its largest daily gain in more than two weeks.

Gold eased from an earlier 3-1/2 month high on Wednesday and was on track for its first day of losses in nearly three weeks as a firmer dollar pressured assets priced in the U.S. currency.

Currently, gold seems to rise steadily in 2018. There are many important competitors for gold that will surely play a significant role in its price movements-
Equities- The biggest competition for gold in the New Year will be equities, but if gold prices continue to hover over $1,300 then investors would surely be interested in diversifying their portfolio towards the yellow metal.
Bond yields- Another important factor for gold next year will be bond yields, but noting that he sees limited impact in the long-term.
Inflation- With inflation expected to rise, that investors need to be more clear as to real interest rates will push higher or remain at current low levels.

Looking ahead, it is difficult to determine if gold will hold these holiday gains when traders come back in full force in the New Year.

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Gold - Past performance future prediction

As the year comes to a close, let’s take a look back at the main gold trends this year, from the impact of US Federal Reserve interest rate hikes to widespread geopolitical uncertainty, how it performed and how the outlook is in 2018.

Though gold made double digit gains in some currencies, it did have a tough year. The precious metal has had some harsh criticism from the mainstream media and unfair comparisons to lubricious assets, such as bitcoin and US equities.

Few have acknowledged gold's impressive performance in the face of rising interest rates, tightening monetary policies and the ongoing equity bull market.

When we see gold’s performance over the past 12 months, I think it would be better to divide it over 4 quarters to get an enhanced understanding of gold, its performance and the reason behind its volatility.



Quarter 1- The main driving force for gold prices in this quarter was Trumps uncertainty.
Concerns about US President Donald Trump and anticipated rate hikes from the Fed caused worries, as did the Brexit process and European elections. All of those factors combined in the first three months of the year to drive the yellow metal’s price
During the first quarter, gold traded between $1,184.62 and $1,257.64.
The gold price made its eighth Q1 gain in 10 years in the first quarter of 2017, buoyed by safe-haven demand from anxious investors.
Early in 2017, GFMS noted a gradual rise in gold demand complimeeyed by a reduction in global mine output, resulting in smaller surplus in 2017. This supply demand gap further reflected a bright year for gold and gold stocks in particular in the first quarter.

Quarter 2- Herein steps the Fed, whose hawkish tone influences the market and gold prices in particular.
The gold price stalled in the second quarter of the year as concerns about geopolitical tension faded away. The Fed increased interest rates for the second time of the year in June — that hurt the yellow metal as gold is highly sensitive to rising rates.
Demand for gold dropped 14 percent year-on-year in the first half of 2017 due to a sharp fall in ETF inflows, according to the World Gold Council (WGC). Total global demand for gold reached 2,003.8 tonnes from January to June, down from 2,318.7 tonnes in the same period the year before.
The yellow metal traded between $1,218.80 and $1,293.60 during the quarter.

Quarter 3- a Series of uncertain events leading to geopolitical crisis once again put gold on the top list of safe haven assets.
The gold price gained more than 3 percent in the third quarter, even though September was one of its worst months of the year.
A weaker US dollar and geopolitical tensions between the US and North Korea supported gold over the quarter. Gains were offset by the Fed’s hawkish tone, which pointed to another interest rate hike later in the year and three more in 2018.
At the end of the quarter, most analysts agreed that worldwide political developments, as well as the US dollar, were set to be key drivers for the gold price for the rest of the year.
Gold traded between $1,212.20 and $1,348.60 during the quarter.

Quarter 4- The most awaited Fed meeting becomes the focus globally. 
The gold price remained almost neutral in the last quarter of the year, and was on track for a quarterly loss of less than 1 percent. Trump’s new Fed chair nomination and the expectation of another rate hike in December were some of the key factors driving prices during the period.
The yellow metal has been trading between $1,285.50 and $1,298 during the quarter.
So as we saw that in spite of witnessing volatilities, 2017 was a tough yet good year for gold.
Now what we need to pay heed to is that whether the above mentioned factors will continue to influence gold in 2018 or do we have many more surprise for the yellow metal in the following year-

The gold price is likely next year to continue the rise it commenced two years ago. The main contributory factors here remain the extremely

Loose monetary policy pursued by nearly all key central banks, resulting in ongoing very low to negative interest rates.

Political uncertainty is also likely to be a constant feature throughout the year. One example worth mentioning is the difficult process of forming a government in Germany, the outcome of which remains unclear. Parliamentary elections will probably be held in Italy in the spring of 2018 and could spark renewed unrest in the Euro zone

Brexit is likely to become an increasingly hot topic during the course of the year if agreement is still not reached in the negotiations between the EU and the UK and the UK’s disorderly exit from the EU becomes more likely in the spring of 2019.

 That the second year of Donald Trump’s presidency in the US will run any more smoothly in terms of domestic or foreign policy than the first one did.

The implementation of the tax reform and the possible implications for monetary policy are likely to keep the market just as much on tenterhooks as the ongoing investigations into contacts between Trump’s election campaign team and Russia.

A prediction of the future approach of the Fed towards the monetary policy gets difficult as, Trump will next year make several new appointments to the Fed’s Board of Governors.

What is more, midterm elections to the US Congress will be taking place in the autumn of 2018, which is likely to increase pressure on Trump and the Republicans to implement the tax reform. Otherwise there is a risk of the high-flying US stock markets correcting, which would benefit gold

The numerous geopolitical crises should likewise generate latent uncertainty. These include in particular the North Korea conflict, the growing tensions in the Middle East between Saudi Arabia and Iran, and the conflict between the West and Russia over Russian influence in the US elections and in Eastern Ukraine.

Admittedly, the Fed has already raised interest rates twice this year, and is likely to do so for a third time in mid-December. Our economists expect three further rate hikes next year. However, this does not necessarily preclude a rising gold price, as 2017 has shown. This is because other central banks apart from the Fed – such as the Bank of England and the Bank of Canada – have also increased interest rates in the meantime, which reduces the benefits of the rate hikes for the US dollar.

 Physical gold demand should generate somewhat more tailwind next year. It was fairly subdued in 2017. The World Gold Council (WGC) expects gold demand in India ultimately to reach a mere 650-750 tons after a strong first half of the year, putting it at a similarly low level as last year. Demand fell away when a goods and services tax was levied on gold purchases with effect from 1 July.

Gold ETFs On balance, ETF investors have hardly bought any gold at all since the end of September. By contrast, the world’s largest gold ETF – the SPDR Gold Trust that is listed in the US – recorded only minor net inflows. The numerous uncertainties and low real interest rates suggest that we will also see net inflows into gold ETFs in 2018. How pronounced these turn out to be will depend to a large extent on whether stock markets continue to fly high or whether they correct.

Numerous political uncertainty factors in Europe and the US, as well as a number of potential sources of geopolitical crisis, are likely to boost demand for gold additionally. Gold demand in Asia should have bottomed out and increase moderately in 2018. The gold price is likely to rise during the course of the year and to be trading at $1,350 per troy ounce by the end of 2018.

One risk factor for gold is the US tax reform. If this is fully implemented, the rally on the stock markets could continue, meaning that gold is in less demand accordingly.

So as we always say, gold is expected to have its share of highs and lows in 2018 and of the influencers discussed above, which happens first and how severely it happens will decide the fate of the yellow metal.

Monday, 18 December 2017

Fed Hike fails to cap gold


Spot gold headed for the biggest gain in three weeks after Federal Reserve officials stuck with a projection for three interest-rate increases in the coming year, easing concerns that speeding up economic growth would spur an even faster pace of monetary tightening.

Gold prices rose on Wednesday, extending gains to 1 per cent as the dollar fell after the US Federal Reserve raised interest rates as expected but left its outlook unchanged for coming years.
The spot gold price rallied to US$1,256.87 after the Fed raised its benchmark interest rates by 25 basis points, or a quarter of a percentage point.

Gold prices on Friday held onto gains made after this week’s interest rate rise by the U.S. Federal Reserve and were set for their first weekly rise in four weeks.


The U.S. Federal Reserve decided to increase the U.S. interest rate by 25 basis point on its latest Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting held on 12th and 13th December.

By a 7-2 vote, the Fed on Wednesday raised the benchmark lending rate by a quarter percentage point, its third hike this year. In a statement following a two-day meeting, the Federal Open Market Committee omitted prior language saying it expected the labor market would strengthen further.

This move was highly anticipated by the market and hence was being priced against gold well ahead of the meeting. However, despite the action being against the attractiveness of gold as an investment, gold prices  closed on a higher note on December 13th.

Generally, a rate hike pulls down gold prices. But contradictory situation was witnessed on Wednesday, where gold prices remained high even after a rate hike.

 “Gold moved up in its initial reaction because Fed is dovish in terms of a rate hike vision for 2018, and it sees only three rate hikes, not four.

This vision weakened the US dollar which gave the required push to gold prices.

The U.S Dollar Index (DXY) measures the value of the dollar against a basket of six major foreign currencies. The index fell roughly by .6% during the Fed's announcement on the 13th, which was otherwise gaining momentum ahead of the meeting. Although, an interest rate hike should have ideally strengthened the position of the dollar, the Fed's decision negatively impacted the currency as the meeting kept its projection for interest rate hikes for 2018 unchanged.

 This was despite the fact that the Fed sees a consistent recovery in the U.S. economy in the upcoming year. The Fed expects 3 additional rate increases in 2018 and another 2 in 2019, in line with its September projections. However, GDP growth expectation was increased by .4% higher than its previous estimate of 2.1%, mainly due to the impact of the implementation of the U.S. tax reform
GOLD BARS rose above 1-week highs against most major currencies in London trade Friday, extending their recovery from this week's multi-month lows as world stock markets slipped for a second day from new all-time highs.

The dollar was on the defensive on Friday after wrangling over a bill to change the US tax code dented confidence, while the euro sagged after the European Central Bank signaled it would maintain stimulus for as long as needed

As the Fed and ECB reverse sharply from their unprecedented easing of recent years to unprecedented tightening in the coming years, these record-high, euphoric, bubble-valued stock markets are in serious trouble.  As they roll over and sell off, investors will rush to prudently diversify their stock-heavy portfolios with counter-moving gold.  There’s nothing more bullish for gold investment demand than weakening stocks.

So contrary to recent weeks’ and months’ erroneous view that Fed rate hikes are bearish for gold, history proves just the opposite is true.  Gold has thrived in the 11 modern Fed-rate-hike cycles before todays, and it has powered higher on balance in this 12th one.  While you wouldn’t know it after this past year’s extreme Trumphoria rally, Fed rate hikes are actually bearish for stocks and thus quite bullish for gold.


Friday, 15 December 2017

Gold feels the winter chills

Temperatures dropped and so did gold prices at the start of the week.  Gold weakened over a firm dollar on Monday

Spot gold was almost unchanged on Monday morning as a firm dollar stood steady with expectations of higher US interest rates and healthy data from the US.


Gold steadied near its weakest level in almost five months on Wednesday amid expectations the Federal Reserve would raise interest rates again at the conclusion of its last policy meeting this year.
The Fed has increased rates twice in 2017 and is still expected to push through three more hikes next year.
           
 Spot gold was down 0.1 percent at $1,242.18 an ounce during Wednesdays early trading hours. That was not far above Tuesday's low of $1,235.92, which was gold's lowest level since July 20.   
   
However later in the day, gold started gaining momentum and  settled higher, recovering part of the losses suffered over the last four sessions that sent prices to a nearly six-month low.

Further as the dollar continued to weaken, gold prices climbed higher in the wake of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s decision to raise interest rates, as expected, for the third time in 2017.

The central bank lifted a key short-term U.S. interest rate to a range of 1.25% to 1.5% and stuck to its earlier forecast for just three rate hikes in 2018.

Gold reacted positively to this and the year-end rate hikes served as key instruments to bring about big rallies in gold.

The Fed’s plans for rate normalization have been side-tracked by economic reality in the New Year. However, also judging from the past two years, it could take a couple of days or a couple of weeks for gold to begin rebounding more strongly.



Monday, 27 November 2017

Gold caught between Rally and Rebounce

Gold headed for a weekly decline as we saw prices dropping over strengthening U.S dollar.

Gold prices nudged lower on Thursday, with investors taking profits after gains of nearly 1 percent in the previous session on weaker U.S. economic data and concerns among some Federal Reserve policymakers over lower inflation.

Gold had surged higher on Wednesday, buoyed by the US Federal Reserve’s (Fed) concerns about persistent low inflation which saw the dollar slide.

The dollar suffered its biggest drop in five months on Wednesday after minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve's showed"many participants" were concerned inflation would stay below the bank's 2 percent target for longer than expected.     


The greenback was still nursing losses on Thursday,supporting dollar-priced gold by making it cheaper for non-U.S.investors.

Spot gold was 0.1 percent lower at $1,290.82 perounce by 1313 GMT on Thursday. Gold still needs that one boost to achieve a support price of $1325 an ounce.

Trading was lighter than usual on Thursday, with Japanese financial markets shut for a public holiday while U.S. markets would be closed for the Thanksgiving holiday.

In wider markets, Chinese stocks suffered their biggest fall in almost two years, weighing on global equities, denting risk appetite and providing underlying support for gold, seen as a safe haven asset.           

With Chinese stocks down, low yielding currencies such asthe Japanese yen and the Swiss franc remained firmly supportedagainst the dollar.

Earlier in the week, Fed Chair Janet Yellen stuck by herprediction that U.S. inflation would soon rebound, but offeredan unusually strong caveat that she was "very uncertain" aboutthis and open to the possibility that prices could remain lowfor years to come.

After nearly a decade of pumping up the US and global markets, Janet Yellen and team are now starting to show some concern for financial market prices. The FOMC is concerned that they are getting out of hand and are a danger to the US economy.

The minutes of the Fed’s October meeting show that the committee is largely optimistic about the US economy:

“In their discussion of the economic situation and the outlook, meeting participants agreed that information received since the FOMC met in September indicated that the labor market had continued to strengthen and that economic activity had been rising at a solid rate despite hurricane-related disruptions.”

Currently the yellow metal is caught in the middle strong influential factors leaving markets perplexed over a rally or rebound in its movements.

Gold, silver and platinum prices have found bases and look set to remain range bound for now. The lack of any immediate geopolitical tension over North Korea has reduced the need for haven demand. With equities still generally upbeat, the opportunity cost of holding bullion is high, but the fact precious metals prices are not trending lower given the strength in equities is noteworthy. The weaker dollar should help underpin firmer precious metals prices.

Financial history revels that majorly investors would see to traditional financial systems to gain complete benefit of uncertainties. That would show through in traditional assets like shares and fixed income with benefit shifting to those markets that are not perceived to depend on the sanctity of governments and corporations that are prone to excess and can readily find their correlation surge ‘to one’ in the event of heavy market movement.

 This talking point seems to be born out of the skepticism that has arisen through the excessive stimulus and maintenance of extremely low interest rates by the world’s largest central banks.

Gold would also be sympathetic to such a view as the historic, accessible and regulated alternative asset. I think the lack of relationship is due to the premise of the theme rather than a systemic change in Gold’s nature. Either way, we will see this contrast resolved in the weeks ahead.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Winter demand good for gold but prices likely to fall

Gold prices were hovering near multi-week highs for most investors outside the US Dollar and Euro on Thursday, as the Bank of England followed the Federal Reserve's widely expected "no change" decision by raising UK rates off an all-time record low as analysts and traders had forecast.
However in Friday, Spot gold was down 0.2 percent at $1,267.01 per Ounce and touched a one-week low of $1,265.16 over positive economic data and central bank decisions.



The past week was a significant week for central banks. The Bank of England raised interest rates for the first time in ten years, the Federal Reserve indicated that a December rate hike may happen and President Trump named Powell as his choice for leader of the Federal Reserve.

But still uncertainty prevails as there is no surety that how economies will manage when the central bank support is withdrawn. Moreover none of the financial centers have managed to meet inflation targets which they were all so vocal about.

Adding to the uncertainty is the issue that three of the world’s four most important central bank chiefs are nearing the end of their terms and may be well replaced. The rally in the gold price and fall in the dollar is just the first indication with how markets feel about such changes.

Gold held steady on Monday, but hovered near a one-week low hit in the previous session, as largely upbeat U.S. economic data reinforced the prospects of another rate hike by the Federal Reserve next month.

U.S. jobs growth accelerated in October, although wage growth was tepid, adding to the Fed’s assessment last week that “the labor market has continued to strengthen”, with the sluggish wage data doing little to change expectations.

JP Morgan Chase & Co on Friday raised its forecast on the number of U.S. interest rate increases by the Federal Reserve next year to four from three as the October payrolls data reinforced the view of a tightening domestic labor market.

Markets are increasingly confident the Fed will hike interest rates in December, which has weighed on the precious metals complex,

Higher interest rates tend to boost the dollar and push bond yields up, putting pressure on gold prices by increasing the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.

The Federal Reserve looks likely to raise interest rates, and that should bring up the value of the US dollar in general. If that’s the case, then gold could roll over a bit. Ultimately, this is a market that will continue to be just as mixed up as many others are right now, as we do not know with any type of certainty that the Federal Reserve is going to do one thing or the other.

Analysts said the yellow metal could also find support after U.S. President Donald Trump, who kicked off a 12-day Asia trip, looked to present a united front with Japan against North Korea.
Moreoverdemand for gold is likely to rise not only in the domestic market butinternationally too.
While we see the onset of the wedding season in India, normally winter is also a good time for gold globally with men buying their significant others jewellery for Christmas and lots of New Year’s Day marriage proposals

This rise in demand is expected tousher in renewed interest for bullion in coming week.

Monday, 30 October 2017

Rally expected in gold in near future

Gold’s rally this year came to a halt in September. And the prices continued to weaken in October mainly due to higher US nominal and US real yields. The yellow metal fell from $1357 an ounce to $1260 on 6thOctober, thus signalling markets that the rally in gold prices has almost ended.

Post the decline, gold prices in October have stabilised. During the past week, gold prices declined by mid-week and then rose again on Thursdayamid a weaker dollar and equity market sell-off, while market participants turned their attention to the European Central Bank’s (ECB) monetary policy meeting.

The spot gold price was quoted at $1,280.20-1,280.50 per oz, up $1.45 from the previous session’s close.

The decline in equities helped turn around a sell-off in the gold market, as investors pushed back into safe-haven assets. Moreover a simultaneous fall in the US dollar also pushed the demand for gold.

Even though gold prices rose on Thursday and Friday, the week ended on a negative note for gold. Gold prices were down for the second consecutive week with the precious metal off by .75% to trade at 1270 ahead of the New York close on Friday. The losses come amid continued strength in the U.S. Dollar as it gained due to a sharp sell-off in the Euro after a dovish ECB President Mario Draghi suggested that interest rates would likely remain at present levels for "an extended period of time" after the QE program ends.



The broader bid in the U.S. dollar as markets factor in a more hawkish Fed chairperson and with the Fed on track to hike the Fed funds rate by 25 bp in December also weighed on commodities in the past week.

Gold prices were under pressure and the other precious metals are following its lead – again the firmer dollar and potential for more dollar strength, while the geopolitical scene seems calm, are weighing on prices. Needless to say, North Korea also remains a potentially bullish factor.

Gold edged higher on Friday, reversing earlier losses after the Catalonian parliament’s independence declaration from Spain led investors to seek safety from political upheaval.

Catalonia’s declaration was in defiance of the Madrid government, which was preparing to impose direct rule over the region.

Bullion is often used as a safe haven in times of geopolitical and economic uncertainty, while riskier assets such as equities are generally sold off.

Though gold managed to reach a session high of$1271 per ounce, it couldn’t sustain the strengthening US dollar and hence headed for its second weekly decline.

However, markets are still bullish for gold as the yellow metal is expected to rise to $1,350 an ounce between January and March 2018, and end the year with a more positive performance, as rates are expected to average at $1,450 an ounce.

The longer-term trend in gold prices is also positive, mainly because we markets are negative on the US dollar.

Coming to this week, a decline in gold prices can be expected as gold is expected to weaken over a strong UD dollar.

Currently, all eyes fall on the Fed with the FOMC rate decision slated for Wednesday. While no change to the benchmark rate is expected, traders will be looking for any changes to the accompanying statement- specifically as it pertains to the inflationary outlook. Keep in mind markets have largely priced in a December hike with Fed Fund Futures currently showing an 87.1% probability for an increase of 25bps. However with both 3Q GDP and the Core Personal Consumption Expenditure (PCE) coming in stronger-than-expected on Friday, the question now becomes the future pace of subsequent rate-hikes.

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Gold Expected to Drift Lower by Year End

Firstly, wishing everyone a very Happy Diwali and a Prosperous year ahead.

And indeed it was a Happy Diwali for domestic jewellers, as the slump in gold demand had finally gained momentum this October.

Demand for gold jumped in India this week on account of Dhanteras and Diwali, but high prices took some sheen off the yellow metal's lure during the key festival period this year.

Demand in the world's second largest gold consumer generally rises during the final quarter as the country welcome the festive and wedding seasons, where buying bullion is considered auspicious and propitious.

Though a lull was witnessed in gold demand during Dussehra, it significantly improved during Dhanteras and Diwali.


Gold prices spurted by Rs 290 to 3-week high of Rs 31,000 per 10 grams on the eve of Diwali at the bullion market on increased buying by local jewellers to meet festive demand.

Demand was expected to be even better, if global prices had shown similar movements. However in Asia and other international markets, gold prices were seen falling down.

CHINA - Elsewhere in Asia, there was a slight uptick in demand for physical gold, with benchmark spot gold rates headed for a weekly decline after touching a one-week low of $1,276.22 an ounce on Thursday, pressured by a firmer dollar.

However, investors remained cautious, awaiting direction on economic policy and market reforms during the 19th Communist Party Congress in China which kicked off on Wednesday and were also focused on the upcoming elections in Japan.

In top consumer China, premiums charged ranged between $8 and $12 per ounce over the benchmark this week, compared with $9-$14 a week earlier

JAPAN - Gold hit its lowest in more than two weeks on Monday as expectations that Japan’s ultra-loose monetary policy would stay in place after Shinzo Abe’s election victory at the weekend lifted the dollar to a three-month high versus the yen.

Japanese Prime Minister Abe’s win also fed into positive sentiment in equity markets that were buoyed last week by fresh optimism about tax cuts in the United States, curbing interest in gold as an alternative asset.

U.S. DOLLAR & U.S. ECONOMY- Gold prices touched the lowest in more than one week on Thursday, as the dollar stood firm on rising U.S. Treasury yields, with investors focusing on who would replace Janet Yellen as the next chair of the Federal Reserve.

Financial markets are now awaiting guidance on who will succeed Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen, whose term expires in February.

U.S. President Donald Trump is considering nominating Fed Governor Jerome Powell and Stanford University economist John Taylor for the central bank’s top two jobs. Powell is considered less hawkish than Taylor, who is seen advocating higher interest rates.

Moreover, the economy expanded at a modest to moderate pace in September through early October, despite the impact of hurricanes on some regions, the Fed said its latest snapshot of the U.S. economy thus hinting markets that the US economy is doing well which will further create a downward pressure on gold.

The dollar had already posted its biggest one-day gain in a month on Friday after the U.S. Senate approved a budget blueprint for the 2018 financial year, allowing Republicans to pursue a tax-cut package without Democratic support.

The dollar hit its highest in about two weeks versus the yen, supported by this week's rise in U.S. bond yields, with U.S. President Donald Trump set to make a decision in the "coming days" on Yellen, who is also one of the five candidates being considered for the job.

Higher interest rates tend to boost the dollar and push bond yields up, putting pressure on gold by increasing the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.

Tensions on the Korean peninsula, however, continue to weigh upon gold and the metal could drift down towards the $1,250 level by early December weighed down by the prospect of a further increase to U.S. interest rates in December.


Monday, 9 October 2017

Gold Prices May Surge

Gold was once again seeing pulled and pushed by various factors doing rounds in the market. Where one side gold was seen consolidating by a strong dollar price on Wednesday, on the other hand on Friday it once again picked momentum over the North Korean crisis.

Gold prices fell for the fourth consecutive week with the precious metal down nearly 0.5% to trade at 1271 ahead of the New York close on Friday. The losses come amid what seems to be an unstoppable rally in broader risk assets with the major U.S. equity indices up more than 1% on the week.



A surprise U.S. Non-Farm Payroll report on Friday showed the economy shedding some 33K jobs last month, missing expectations for a gain of 80K. However, a closer look at the data revealed underlying strength in the labor markets with labor force participation rising to its highest level since March of 2014 at 63.1%. Wage growth figures were also stronger-than-expected with average hourly earnings posting a 2.9%  gain – up from a previous upwardly revised 2.7% . With the recent barrage of hurricanes largely accounting for the weak headline figure, the broader labor market outlook remains firm and keeps the FOMC on target for a December rate hike.

The dollar earlier rose to a more than two-month high against the yen and seven-week high against the euro as wage data from the September labour market report was seen as a sign of potentially improving inflation.

The greenback jumped as high as 113.43 yen, the highest level since July 14, before dropping to 112.71. The euro fell to $1.1670, the lowest level since Aug. 17, before rising back to $1.1726.
The U.S. dollar tumbled on Friday on a report that North Korea is preparing to test a long-range missile, overturning earlier gains after the government’s jobs report for September showed an unexpected rise in wages.

RIA news agency cited a Russian lawmaker’s making comments on the missile test, which North Korea believes can reach the U.S. West Coast.

Amidst these tumbling and rising influencers, gold prices are expectedto surge not only in the international but also domestic market given the upcoming and biggest festival for gold in India.
A few reasons why weexpected gold prices to shoot are:

10 reasons why gold will surge:

  1. Gold will follow inflation which will increase strongly eventually leading to hyperinflation.
  2. Real interest rates will be negative which favours gold. This was the case in the 1970s when gold rose from $35 to $850 despite rates in the mid-teens.
  3. China’s accumulation of gold on a massive scale and potentially introducing a gold for oil payment system
  4. Inflation will increase institutional gold buying substantially. Gold is today 0.4% of global financial assets. An increase to 1% or 1 1/2% would make the gold price go up manifold.
  5. With relatively low global demand today, annual goldmine production of 3,000 tonnes is easily absorbed. With falling production, the coming upturn in demand can only be met by much higher prices.
  6. Demand for gold will rise in the domestic market during Dhanteras and Diwali. After Akshaya Tritiya, gold sales are seen to be highest on Dhanteras and this rising demand might push gold prices further. 




Thursday, 28 September 2017

Tensions Push while Dollar Pulls Gold Prices

Gold prices have been correcting recent gains, the pullback tested the break-up level at $1,295 per oz and it gave way, which is a sign of weakness. Stints of haven buying have since given prices some lift, but the gains have not been held on to, which suggests a market that is getting tired of the on-going pomposity but lack of progress over North Korea. In addition, the stronger dollar is proving to be a negative for gold prices.



The week began on a positive note for gold as spot gold prices inched higher during Asian morning trading hours on Tuesday September 26 as investors opted for haven assets amid heightened geopolitical tensions.

North Korean accusations and the Kurdish independence referendum threatening to add even more instability to the Middle East saw investors heading for the gold safe haven trade, shrugging off a stronger US dollar in general overnight thus increasing the demand for the yellow metal.

Concerns also arose on straining relations between the USA and Iran after the latter claimed it successfully launched a missile and over oil supply disruptions after Turkey threatened to close the route for Kurdish shipments in retaliation for holding their independence vote.

However on Wednesday the markets witnessed a u turn as gold prices were pulled down over a strengthening US dollar.

The US dollar strengthened on Wednesday following hawkish comments from US Federal Open Market Committee chairwoman Janet Yellen on Tuesday.

The spot gold price remained below $1,300 per oz during Asian morning trading on Wednesday September 27 and was quoted at $1,295.00-1,295.30 per oz as of 04:33 BST, up just $0.95 on the previous session’s close.

Yellen’s speech was interpreted by markets as hawkish as she noted that it would be “imprudent” to keep monetary policy on hold until inflation reaches 2%, thus lending weight to the possibility of a December US rate increase.

Thursday, 21 September 2017

FOMC Meet breaks down gold

It is rather remarkable to think that less than a month ago, gold shot up on the back of a missile firing in North Korea and the assorted baggage that came with that. The market was scared and gold was the major beneficiary. Now here we are, with the price of gold almost fifty dollars lower, but nothing has really changed. Trump is threatening total annihilation of North Korea, to which I am sure Kim Jong Un will have something to say or do. And now in addition to that, the US President is picking another fight, this time with Iran, with inflammatory comments at the UN yesterday. It does indeed seem that the markets have very, very short memories. But among all this, this week’s focus shifted to the much awaited FOMC meet, its concluding statement and what the Fed would say about balance sheet reduction.





On Nov 25, 2008 The Fed announced it would begin buying assets for its own account to save the world. In Oct 2014, The Fed ended its QE3 buying program but continued to reinvest the proceeds to maintain its $4.4 trillion balance sheet. Today, Janet Yellen announced the balance sheet will be allowed to normalize, with reinvestment slowed/stopped starting in October.

Let take a quick look at the key highlights over the Feds statements of the meet:

  • Hurricanes are unlikely to change economy’s course medium term
  • Economic activity has risen moderately and job market has strengthened
  • Rates kept unchanged as Fed plans balance sheet runoff in October
  • Fed signals another hike in 2017 and 3 more in 2018


As expected, the Fed announced it will begin reducing bond reinvestment's, starting by $10 billion per month and growing to $50 billion.

Gold prices settled higher Wednesday but slipped in electronic trading after the U.S. Federal Reserve's decision to keep interest rates unchanged

The price of spot gold has cracked back below the $1300 on the run up in the dollar after the FOMC decision. The precious metal is trading at the lowest level since August 28th.

In electronic trading after the Fed statement, prices traded lower at $1,310.70. The central bank said it will taper its $4.5 trillion balance sheet by $10 billion per month, the first reduction in nine years. Meanwhile, the Fed's interest rate projections, known as the dot plot, suggested a rate hike in December and three more in 2018.

A spill over effect of this meeting was clearly seen on gold as it broke the important trading level of $1300.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Wait, Watch and Then Work

In 2016, gold was seen climbing 6% from $1050 to $1150 and another 10% gain during the first half of this year, in July and again in early August, gold prices dropped down to $1210, before rallying back up both times to $1290 and $1350 per ounce respectively. This back and forth price action has some investors worried if this is a real bull market in gold or yet another flash in the pan for the coveted yellow metal?

Reasons being more than one, Investors arereturning to gold again to prudently diversify their stock-heavy portfolios.  That’s very bullish for gold, as investment capital inflows can persist for months or even years.  This shift is most evident in the yellow metal.



There are a couple of issues pushing and pulling at the market. The reaction to the missile launch last week has been a bit negated by that better-than-expected (US) inflation number.

Spot gold slipped on Friday, shrugging off North Korea's latest missile launch over Japan, with strong US inflation data raising the spectre of another interest rate hike.

Let’s have a look as to how each factor was responsiblefor this wave like movement in gold prices.

North Korea - North Korea fired a missile on Friday that flew over Japan's northern island of Hokkaido far out into the Pacific Ocean, South Korean and Japanese officials said, further ratcheting up tensions after Pyongyang's recent test of a powerful nuclear bomb.

US Data - Geopolitical risks can boost demand for safe-haven assets such as gold and the Japanese yen. The yen slipped against the dollar on Friday, after earlier having risen on the news, with the greenback supported by strong US consumer inflation data.

Gold pared losses after data on Friday showed U.S. retail sales unexpectedly fell in August and industrial output dropped for the first time since January due to the impact of Hurricane Harvey.
Friday's numbers were in contrast to strong U.S. inflation data on Thursday which increased prospects of an interest rate hike in December.The Fed's next monetary policy meeting begins on Sept. 19 and now the marketis increasingly focusing on the Federal Reserve and its probability of another rate hike this year.

The Fed has a 2 per cent inflation target, and a series of subdued inflation readings have dampened expectations for further rate rises in the near term. Firming inflation could support the case for another rate hike. Interest rates tend to boost the dollar and push bond yields up, putting pressure on gold.

ECB - Gold fell on Friday after a European Central Bank official called for scaling back the bank's stimulus programme; although losses were capped when weaker than expected U.S. economic data raised questions about further rate hikes.

ECB board member Sabine Lautenschlaeger made the most explicit call so far from an ECB policymaker for paring the bank's 2.3 trillion euros money-printing programme.

Data showing that euro zone wages grew at their fastest rate in two years in the second quarter bolstered the case for reining in ECB stimulus.

This was rather a bad news for gold because this continues the trend of the market pricing in the normalization of monetary policy.

But he said there had already been plenty of headlines about the ECB planning an exit from its bond buying and the U.S. Federal Reserve reducing its balance sheet after its big quantitative easing programme.

Those "normalisation" actions by central banks tend to drive rates higher, push bond yields up and put pressure on gold, a non-yielding asset.

Summing it up, though the previous week saw gold moving like a see saw; the focus now shifts to the important FOMC meet due on 19th September. Wait, Watch and then Work would be the only trading tip for the time being.