Political tension in Ukraine, uncertainty in Europe along with weak US data helped the price of gold due to increased safe haven demand. Next week should get more interesting data wise, as February numbers should come cleaner of winter effects.
Whenever a slightest of hope arises that the global economy is on a path of recovery …a jerk hits and turns this hope into a nightmare. But these people are surely giving gold and other precious metals a jerk in the upward direction.
Price trend of gold in 2013, compelled many investors to believe that gold was finally entering the bear market and that it was time to shift focus to other metals. Gold had bottomed in December 2013, reaching $1182. But by February 2014, gold has managed to gain 13% by touching levels of $1340. In February itself, gold has gained 7 per cent. This has been its biggest monthly rise since July 2013 mostly due to weak data in US and geopolitical tensions around the world.
This week too gold was up. On Monday, gold rose 1 per cent over uncertainty and geopolitical tensions going on in Ukraine. Under these uncertain scenarios, people have once again given gold the safe haven status that it has been enjoying since years.
Russian-backed president Viktor Yanukovich cast doubt on a bailout deal with Moscow, saying it needed $35 billion over the next two years. Acting President Oleksander Turchinov warned that Ukraine was close to default and heading into the abyss.
U.S. data on Friday showed fourth-quarter growth expanded at a 2.4 percent annual rate, down sharply from the 3.2 percent pace reported last month.
Gold steadied around $1,330 an ounce on Friday and was on track for its biggest monthly gain as persistent concerns about a slowdown in the U.S. economy hurt the dollar.
But the Federal Reserve chairman, Janet Yellen, stated that the harsh winter weather was to be blamed for this slowdown and economy will soon improve once weather conditions get better.
In the previous two meetings, the Fed had trimmed its monthly bond purchases by $10 billion and is expected to do so in its next meeting to be scheduled on March 19.
The entire market awaits this meeting as the picture will get clear that is it the weather or something else that has to be blamed for a disappointing US economy. It is then that the Fed will be able to take a concrete decision regarding its tapering or it could even mean some loosening. The softer tone and the apparent readiness of the Fed to slow the pace of tapering have boosted both the gold prices and stocks.
Moreover, ETF gold liquidation has slowed down as the price has of Gold moved upwards. ETF gold holdings have been moving sideways since the middle of January. SPDR gold trust is stable at a holding of 803.70 tons.
But what stole the show was Platinum, as prices reached a high of $1455, outperforming gold. As such the reports by Impala that given the ongoing strikes, it could meet guaranteed contractual deliveries only until the end of March and for the South African market until April which was already in the press and should be discounted by now.
The latest gold import and export figures from Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department, the special administrative region exported a net 83.6 tons of gold to the Chinese mainland in January. This figure may be less compared to export figures of December, but if we compare it to January 2013, it has been an exorbitant rise of 330 per cent.
Currently there are a lot of indicators for gold price movement-
– The US January core PCE price index
– The final February China HSBC manufacturing PMI
– The February flash PMI of the E18 in 3rd March
– The start of the Chinese NPC meeting on 5th March
-The monetary decision and announcements of the Bank of England and the ECB on 6th March
-The US nonfarm payrolls and unemployment rate of February slated to release on 7th March.
Meanwhile, gold is expected to range between $1307-$1361 and Rs.29,500-Rs.31,000 in the international and domestic markets respectively. Whereas silver is expected to range between $20.55 to $22.00 and Rs.45000- Rs.48,000 in the international and domestic respectively.