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Gold rises to 1-month high on weaker US dollar

22 Jul

Gold hit a high of USD 1,314.49 an ounce, its highest since June 20, and stood at USD 1,312.24 by 0024 GMT, up USD 16.50

mcx goldGold jumped more than 1 percent to its highest level in a month on Monday as the US dollar slipped against other currencies, with gains in Japanese bullion futures adding extra support.

Gold hit a high of USD 1,314.49 an ounce, its highest since June 20, and stood at USD 1,312.24 by 0024 GMT, up USD 16.50. Gold last week posted its second weekly gain after the Federal Reserve’s assurance the timing of any tapering in economic stimulus is not set in stone.

US gold rose 1.49 percent to USD 1,312.10 an ounce. The most active June 2014 gold contract on Tokyo Commodity Exchange rose as high as 4,243 yen a gramme, its highest since June 20, because of a weaker yen.

Hedge funds and money managers raised their bullish bets in gold and silver futures and options in the week to July 16, while they trimmed net shorts in copper, a report by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission showed on Friday.

China’s central bank removed controls on bank lending rates, effective Saturday, in a long-awaited move that signals the new leadership’s determination to carry out market-oriented reforms.

SPDR Gold Trust GLD, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 0.29 percent to 932.46 tonnes on Friday from 935.17 tonnes on Thursday.

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Cheap Gold and Silver prices – the deal of a lifetime?

20 Jul

Eerily, perhaps the worst precious metals market sentiment currently exists that has been observed since the early 1970’s.

mcx gold silverThe gold and silver markets have fallen dramatically in the wake of the FOMC signaling an end to its controversial Quantitative Easing or QE programs. The pricing in of such FedspeakQE taper-talk has also triggered a yield spike in southern Europe that could deepen that region’s existing debt crisis.

Furthermore, sharply rising interest rates have resulted as billions of investors exit perhaps the largest financial bubble ever seen. The end of cheap real estate refinance has finally arrived as mortgage rates are now approaching five percent.

Rising government bond rates mean more money that will increase the chances of stealth inflation. The Fed acting to crush the effects of inflation may even lead to more money printing.

Other background factors

In addition, rising oil prices have been cutting in to already lofty equity valuations, as fallout from the “Black Swan” in the Gulf of Mexico expands. Gasoline prices are already rising.

The public has also been caught largely off guard by embroiling social unrest in various parts of the world. This dissatisfaction is indirectly the result of exporting inflation that is collateral damage from currency depreciation wars.

A dead precious metals mining sector has been cutting off any “perceptual” idea of supply as paper metal prices are now well below the cost of production. New supply matters little for gold. For silver, by the time the sector catches up with demand, there will be no silver left.

Precious metal prices suffer despite bullish fundamentals

Offset by an unprecedented and record breaking surge in physical demand for silver, from silver coins to international demand. Yet, eerily, perhaps the worst precious metals market sentiment currently exists that has been observed since the early 1970’s.

Bullion banks are currently long buyers by every indication, yet they are still maintaining a concentrated short position in the futures market. This could be an intentional effort to suppress physical metal prices by selling paper so that they can accumulate real metal more cheaply.

In short, it is unfathomable how low the precious metals markets are by any measure. Technically, the market could still go lower, but does this change the likelihood that investors have now been presented with what seems to be the precious metal buying opportunity of perhaps multiple lifetimes?

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Oil Down Slightly in Asia

18 Jul

Oil futures traded modestly lower in the early part of Thursday’s Asian session as traders in the region digested a swath of key central bank and data points out of the U.S. Wednesday.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude futures for September delivery fell 0.14% to USD106.21 per barrel in Asian trading Thursday.

Crude traded slightly higher Wednesday in the U.S. after the U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that U.S. crude oil inventories fell by 6.9 million barrels in the week ended July 12, blowing past expectations for a decline of 2 million barrels.

mcx crude oil

Total U.S. crude oil inventories stood at 367.0 million barrels as of last week. The report also showed that total motor gasoline inventories increased by 3.1 million barrels, confounding expectations for an decline of 0.5 million barrels.

Oil also got a small lift after the Fed’s Beige Book business survey, which encompasses the central bank’s 12 regional banks, showed manufacturing expanded in most regions since the last report. The report showed modest growth across 11 districts with Dallas showing strong growth.

In other economic news out Wednesday, the Commerce Department said U.S. housing starts fell 9.9% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 836,000 unit in June, the lowest reading since August 2012. Analysts expected starts to rise to 959,000 units. Bad weather was cited as one of the reasons for the slack reading.

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Meanwhile, Angola, a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, forecast its daily output for September will be 1.67 million barrels, well below the 2 million barrels per day target. The country expects to pump 1.7 million barrels a day next month. Angola is Africa’s second-largest oil producer behind fellow OPEC member Nigeria.

This year, Angola has averaged about 1.72 million barrels per day in production, below the daily average of 1.9 million barrels for Nigeria. Angola is banking on new offshore discoveries to boost output in the future.

Elsewhere, Brent futures for September delivery inched down 0.04% to USD108.63 per barrel on the ICE Futures Exchange.

Gold Futures Continue Higher after Strong Week

15 Jul

mcx gold trading

Gold futures built on last week’s new found momentum to traded higher in the early part of Monday’s Asian session as traders continued to nibble at the yellow metal amid still deeply discounted prices.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for August delivery rose 0.86% to USD1,288.55 per troy ounce in Asian trading Monday after settling up 0.3% on Friday to settle the week at USD1,284.15 a troy ounce.

Gold futures were likely to find support at USD1,237.05 a troy ounce, the low from July 8 and resistance at USD1,301.75, the high from June 21. Last week, gold prices rallied 4.9%, the biggest weekly gain since October 2011.

In U.S. economic news published last Friday, a Labor Department report showed U.S. wholesale prices rose 0.8% last month, the biggest gain since September 2012. That follows a 0.5% increase in May. Economists expected a June increase of 0.5%.

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The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary index of consumer sentiment fell to 83.9 in July from 84.1 in June. Economists expected an initial July reading of 84.7.

Gold traders finally got some good news last week when Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, in remarks delivered Wednesday, implied a possible tapering of the Fed’s quantitative easing program is not as imminent as previously believed. That sent the U.S. dollar sliding and dollar-denominated commodities such as gold soaring.

Bernanke said last month the central bank could begin tapering its USD85 billion-a-month asset purchase program by the end of 2013 and wind it down completely by the middle of 2014 if the economy picks up as the central bank expects.

Elsewhere, Comex silver for September delivery jumped 0.90% to USD19.970 per ounce while copper for September deliver dropped 0.51% to USD3.138 an ounce.

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Gold Futures Poised to Rise Next Week: Survey

13 Jul

On the Comex, gold for delivery on August 13 was seen closing at $1,284.15/oz, a gain of $4.25 or 0.33% on Friday.The futures are closed for weekend. Silver on the Comex for delivery on September 13 closed Friday at $19.895/oz, registering a loss of $0.061 or 0.31%.

mcx gold

MUMBAI : If the survey results of Bloomberg are anything to go by, gold futures are poised to climb next week. Nineteen analysts surveyed by Bloomberg think that gold futures may rise next week even as nine analysts were bearish and three neutral.

Gold as of last quarter has lost 23% y/y and witnessed acceleration in declines as US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke hinted that the Quantitative Easing measures announced by Fed would see a tapering starting second half of this year.

However, this week the Federal Open Market Committee minutes for June released has showed a bias towards continuing with QE measures. Ben Bernanke himself said that the monetary policy would remain accommodative for the foreseeable time as the revival in economy is fragile.

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This created a rally in futures as prices breached the $1280 mark, an area of significant resistance.

“With the Fed comments, with the increased cost of funding a short position and some recalibration in peoples’ thinking about the end of quantitative easing, the onus is really on the bears now,” said Ross Norman, chief executive officer of Sharps Pixley Ltd to Bloomberg.

“Physical demand is supporting the market very nicely,” he added.

On the Comex, gold for delivery on August 13 was seen closing at $1,284.15/oz, a gain of $4.25 or 0.33% on Friday.The futures are closed for weekend. Silver on the Comex for delivery on September 13 closed Friday at $19.895/oz, registering a loss of $0.061 or 0.31%.

Meanwhile, with the decline in prices, physical demand remained robust in China even as with import curbs in place, Indian merchants are seeking sales controls fearing a shortage.

In India H2, 2013 is marked by festivities like Diwali and Dhanteras, two Hindu festivals which would see enhanced gold buying.

“This is just a temporary measure, but if we don’t follow through with this, there may be a situation when jewellers don’t have any gold to sell. The government and the Reserve Bank of India have already restricted gold imports,” said Vikas Chudasama, director general, All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation to the Indian Express.

“This is a request from the federation to all our member jewellers as it will help bring down imports over the next few months and so ease pressure on the current account deficit (CAD),” he noted.

India recently hiked the import duty on gold to 8% and RBI too put in restrictions on import funding by banks. Indian Rupee has dipped substantially and to record lows even as widening CAD is giving sleepless nights to policy makers.

The gold curb measures ‘helped’ the gold imports by India to come down substantially as latest data say.

“Import of gold and silver is understood to have declined substantially to $2-2.5 billion in June, much below the $8.39 billion imported in May, and over $7 billion in April,” a senior government official said and was quoted recently by the Indian Express as saying.

June imports of Gold have dipped to a paltry 28 tons when compared to 162 tons in May. Data says that imports of gold to Gujarat, a major consuming centre, dipped to 3.73 tons in June against the 37.61 tons registered in May as per the air cargo complex data.

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Hours before the Minutes, Gold flat

10 Jul

Perpetual gold bulls liken Ben Bernanke, the US Federal Reserve Chairman, to one who delivered the bull market in gold with one hand and grabbed it back with the other; 2011 had seen gold futures rallying all the way to $1900 levels on QE steroids only to dip below the $1200 levels very recently.

Gold updates

Past two days had seen a slight uptrend in gold, marked by buying at lower levels and some short covering. However, hours before US Federal Reserve is about to come out with the minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee meet, which held in June, the futures are trading flat.

FOMC meeting minutes are scheduled to be released by 11.30 PM IST. This would be followed by a speech of Ben Bernanke sometime around 1.40 AM IST, Thursday.

Gold on the Globex platform of Comex for delivery on August 13 was seen trading at $1,245.05/oz, a loss of $0.85 or 0.07% as of 11.04 AM IST. Gold on India’s MCX for delivery on August 05 was seen trading at Rs.26008, almost flat.

It looks to be a wait-and-watch mode as far as gold investors are concerned.

Perpetual gold bulls liken Ben Bernanke, the US Federal Reserve Chairman, to one who delivered the bull market in gold with one hand and grabbed it back with the other; 2011 had seen gold futures rallying all the way to $1900 levels on QE steroids only to dip below the $1200 levels very recently.

The QE measures or Quantitative Easing measures—bond buying by Federal Reserve—had made gold rally to insane levels, and when June 2013 saw Bernanke announcing tapering of the measures provided the job market recovers, sent gold to a nadir.

It is the FOMC that takes a collective decision on whether or not to continue with the QE measures. It is worthwhile to note that positive job data that came in recently has taken the glitters off the eyes of QE advocates.

“The U.S. dollar is still rallying and Treasury yields are still trying to find a top. It’s still a pretty negative environment for gold.” said Victor Thianpiriya, an analyst at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. in Singapore to Bloomberg News.

Besides, the rout in the currencies of emerging markets has added to Dollar strength.

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What will Greet Gold in H2, 2013: India Festival Demand or India Import Curbs?

8 Jul

While one cannot ascertain if gold imports by India would be met with added curbs, the Finance Ministry here is sure to lose sleep over the matter as festivities kick in and Rupee rout continues.

free gold trading tips

The second half of 2013 is marked by festivities in India and thereby enhanced gold demand. From Ramadan to Diwali to Dusserah to Dhanteras, Indians would go on a spiritual and materialistic binge bringing cheers to the markets and dating optimism.

But will that be the case this time around too as Current Account Deficit is still the Guerrilla in the room contributing substantially to Rupee weakness which has fallen to a record 60.22 against Dollar as of writing this. Will there be additional curbs on imports by India government?

A recent Reuters’ report quoting unidentified official suggests that this is unlikely as there are threats of enhanced smuggling activities in gold.

India recently hiked the import duty on gold to 8% and RBI too put in restrictions on import funding by banks.

These measures helped the gold imports by India to come down substantially as latest data say.

“Import of gold and silver is understood to have declined substantially to $2-2.5 billion in June, much below the $8.39 billion imported in May, and over $7 billion in April,” a senior government official said and was quoted by the Indian Express as saying.

June imports of Gold have dipped to a paltry 28 tons when compared to 162 tons in May. Data says that imports of gold to Gujarat, a major consuming centre, dipped to 3.73 tons in June against the 37.61 tons registered in May as per the air cargo complex data.

Trend seasonal

“The physical trend has always been very seasonal,” said Bernard Sin, the head of currency and metal trading at MKS (Switzerland) SA to Bloomberg on gold physical demand.

“Physical players are a different breed. They are always buying on the dip. Physical support will continue to be present and it will definitely trigger interest,” he added.

It has to be noted that while ETF demand has waned considerably, gold physical demand went up substantially in the past months.

While one cannot ascertain if gold imports by India would be met with added curbs, the Finance Ministry here is sure to lose sleep over the matter as festivities kick in and Rupee rout continues.

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