New Year’s first full week began with a green note for gold where the weakness on Wall Street widened bullions rally.
However, Gold fell on Tuesday and Wednesday. An expectation of a positive US jobs data (slated to release on 10th Jan), compelled investors and traders to believe that the Federal Reserve will continue to scale back its monetary stimulus on the pillars of a recovering economy.
After a consecutive fall of two days, gold prices gained momentum on Thursday ahead of the key U.S. nonfarm payrolls report. This report was a deciding factor for the Fed whether it will continue its tapering. The change in private payroll data by ADP on Wednesday showed a strong increase by 238,000 and also exceeded the prior figure of 215,000 for the month of November.
In either ways, traders were ready for some volatility in precious metals.
Finally the tussle between bears and bulls end with the release of Non-Farm Employment Change data released on Friday where Bulls gained an upper hand. A weaker than expected US jobs data supported the fact that US Federal Reserve would now go slow on its tapering.
US nonfarm payrolls rose just 74,000 in December, the smallest increase in nearly three years and far below the 196,000 forecast by economists. The unemployment rate fell 0.3 percentage points to 6.7%.
The year began on a good note for gold and it has performed well till date. Since the beginning of 2014, gold has rallied 3 per cent compared to its 28 per cent loss in 2013, which has been one of the worst performing years for gold.
Although gold is consolidating in the $1,215 to $1,250 range, my technical view sees that internationally the metal is a sell into rallies. The FOMC minutes from the December FOMC meeting, released Thursday morning IST, provided little information that the market has not already priced in. Therefore, ETF holdings have likely to continue their downward trend for the time being while the Fed slows its asset purchases.
The current market trend seen in the first two weeks of 2014:
Global ETF holdings keep falling, losing another 2moz in the last three weeks to reach 56.9moz. – The world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, New York’s SPDR Gold Share, reported its first outflow of 2014, of 1.5 tonnes, taking its holdings to a 5 year low of 793.21 tonnes
Meanwhile SGE volumes have picked up ahead of Chinese New Year on 31 January. Trading volumes on the SGE, a physical platform, have also picked up. Volumes hit an eight-month high on Monday, but the buying pace has now slowed from that peak The Chinese New Year, which will be celebrated on Jan. 31, typically prompts a spurt in bullion purchases as the precious metal is bought for good fortune and given as gifts. Premiums for 99.99 percent purity gold on the Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE) climbed to over $20 an ounce this week, up from single digit premiums late last year.
Indian premiums over spot remain high and will likely continue until the end of the wedding season in February or until the Indian government brings about a change in policies
Meanwhile, Ben Bernanke, who steps down as head of the Fed at the end of January, gave an upbeat assessment on Friday of the U.S. economy in coming quarters, though he did temper the good news in housing, finance and fiscal policies by repeating that the overall recovery clearly remains incomplete.
Gold support is at $1,233 and $1,227. Resistance is at $1,262 and $1,275.
Silver support is at $19.30 and $19.75. Resistance is at $20.42 and $20.54.