Last week we saw that the dollar denominated all the markets especially gold. It was the strengthening dollar that was responsible for the plunge in gold prices.
This week it was even more worse. Precious metals tumbled down and the losses coincided with the recovery of USD against leading currencies such as Euro and Yen and the rally of U.S equities.
The main market movers were the US Dollar and the Chinese economy.
Though other markets have also seen volatility, the impact on the precious metals markets has been severe. Equities have been on a bull run but commodities have consistently been on the downside and have been hit with sliding prices and withdrawals by investors, squeezing profit opportunities for funds and traders.
Gold closed at $1205 in 2013 and picked up well in 2014, rising to a high of $1380 in March. But post March, gold prices plummeted and have witnessed a loss of 5.5 per cent so far in September.
Gold prices declined for the third straight week after the Fed raised it approximate for a key lending rate even as policy makers confirmed an assurance to keep borrowing costs close to zero percent for a substantial time.
The chief reason for the recent weakness is the US Federal Reserve’s projection for where official interest rates will be heading. The reason why the market has been so reactive to the interest rate rise is that an increase in interest rates and bond yields would raise the opportunity cost of holding gold. Currently gold has is not strong and has been giving negative returns. The strong co relations between gold and US bond yields will further reduce gold prices. Moreover, higher rates also tempts investors to shift to riskier assets like stocks that have been considerable returns. Moreover it continued to set records in 2014.
On Thursday, gold settled at its lowest closing price since the end of December, pressured by the dollar’s move higher after the Federal Reserve meeting on Wednesday
Spot gold was down 0.5 percent on Friday and among other precious metals, silver was down 2.5 percent to $18.01 an ounce. It touched $17.81, its lowest since August 2010.
On Friday the price of gold fell again, reaching a fresh 2014 low following three weeks of straight selling on the back of a strong dollar and expectations of a rise in US interest rates
Globally, we have witnessed financial uncertainty from 2009-2012. This had compelled investors to adopt gold as gold has always been considered a safe haven asset in turmoil.
The Fed now expects that short-term interest rates will be back to normal levels of around 3.75% by the end of 2017.
With the US Federal Reserve announcing a further $10 billion reduction in its monthly purchases, leaving the programme on course to be shuttered next month, it has also made clear that record low interest rates would be around for at least a few more months.
China followed by India are the worlds largest consumers of gold. But this year, demand for gold from both countries faded. Demand in China, which overtook India to become the top consumer of the metal last year, fell by 22 per cent to 351 tonnes in the first half of the year as the country’s economic growth slows down, after reaching record levels in 2013. Jewellery fabrication in India, the world’s second largest gold consumer, declined by 18 per cent to 296 tonnes in the first half on lower official imports after the hike in imports duty last year.
We still await some rise in demand from both countries because July, August and September are typically months for strong months of Gold performance months as buying from Asia increases – particularly due to upcoming festivals and wedding season in India.
A good gauge of demand is buyers’ willingness to pay a premium over the international price.
Gold imports travelling through Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport surged by 200 percent month on month since June as the Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE) announces plans to allow foreign investment into China’s gold market.
Some modest signs of increased demand in the physical gold market after a dramatic slump in Asia this year, have emerged.
To conclude, I think that precious metals are more likely to suffer tougher times if the dollar stays strong and if positive data continues to flow in from US. Well if it happens otherwise then gold may witness a bullish run.
WEEKLY TRADE RANGE-
|METAL||INTERNATIONAL price||DOMESTIC price|
|GOLD||$1206 – $1256 AN OUNCE||RS. 26,200 – RS. 27,500 PER 10 GM|
|SILVER||$1750 – $1825 AN OUNCE||RS.39,000 – RS. 41,000 PER KG|