Gold prices have been battered over the week. Starting with a high of $1330 to a low of $1282 and giving a close of $1294 has brought Gold prices back to its major support $1280. ($1280 acts as a strong support for Gold, below which Gold prices could attain new lows).
The week started on a stronger footing carrying the upward trend of the last week. Gold prices gained to a three week high on Monday on renewed concerns over the escalation of hostilities in Ukraine that prompted its safe haven appeal. Geo political tensions escalated as violence between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian government forces grew. Moreover gold prices were further supported over the news that a Russian fighter aircraft made repeated cross range passes near a US ship in the Black Sea. Apart from this SPDR Gold Trust GLD, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings rose 1.80 tonnes to 806.22 tonnes the first inflow since March 24 acted as a positive factor.
But the upward trend was short lived. $1330 proved to be a crucial stage which wasn’t broken and Gold prices plummeted. US economic indicators showed positive signs starting with US retail sales. According to Bloomberg survey, U.S. retail sales probably accelerated in March, boosted by car purchases that indicate demand is recovering from a winter-led slowdown earlier this year.
Other factors that added to Gold and Silver price fall were:
U.S industrial production-
Above expectations March industrial production data hinted that the US economy was starting to emerge from a weather-induced slowdown suffered over the initial stages of calendar 2014. Adding weight to this belief was the uplift seen in capacity utilization levels over the month.
EU industrial production-
Euro zone industrial output edged higher in February, official data showed Monday, in line with recent data showing a very modest economic recovery in the single currency bloc.
U.S CPI, U.S housing starts and building permits-
U.S. Consumer Prices rose slightly higher while the U.S. housing starts rose 2.8% in March to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 946,000, fueled by growth in single-family homes, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. Starts for February were revised higher to a pace of 920,000 from an initially reported 907,000.
Philly Fed index-
A reading of manufacturing sentiment in the Philadelphia region improved in April, according to data released Thursday. The Philadelphia Fed’s manufacturing index rose to a reading of 16.6 in April from 9.0 in March, stronger than a Market Watch-compiled economist forecast of 10.0.
Overall, Gold dropped nearly 1.85% this week.
Though the various reports released from US did show signs of a recovering economy, Federal Reserve Chairwoman, Janet Yellen restated that she expected interest rates to remain very low until the recovery is on a more secure footing and the American economy is more fully involving available workers and other resources. The Obama administration told asset managers last week that it was planning additional sanctions against Russia over the conflict in Ukraine. Some of the supporting factors that lead Gold prices recover from its support level of $1280.
Looking at the current market conditions, I feel that western countries are reducing their holding on every rally while the same is being absorbed by the physical demand on Asia. It’s a see saw battle where one reduces and one increases. Geopolitical tensions will act as a strong support for Bullion metal prices apart from the physical demand.
The labour dispute which broke out in January that shut most of the platinum mines in South Africa is extending the longest shortfall in global production since 2005. The strike by more than 70,000 South African workers will continue as long as companies refuse to improve wage offers, Joseph Mathunjwa, president of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, said April 15. The workers want basic monthly pay boosted to 12,500 rand over four years, which the producers say they can’t afford after production costs jumped 18 percent annually in the last five years, as wage and electricity costs rose. Many laborers live in shacks made of iron sheeting. They share toilets, don’t always have water or power, and many spend much of their income servicing debt. The country has a 24 percent unemployment rate.
While the Gold and Silver precious metals group is being thrashed, their counterparts, Platinum and Palladium are looking strong. The biggest producer of these metals i.e. Russia is having tensions with Ukraine while the second biggest producer i.e. South Africa has union problem. Due to these issues, I feel Platinum will look forward to extend its lead over these metals.
My trading range for the upcoming week for Gold in international prices is around $1270 to $1330 and for Silver $19.30 to $20.20. While in Indian rupees, Gold prices will range from INR 27900 to INR 29200 and for Silver the trading range will be INR 41,500 to 44,500.
The primary purpose of this article by Mr. Prithviraj Kothari is to educate the masses of the current happenings in the Bullion world.