LOTS OFTHINGS TO SMILE ABOUT FOR PRECIOUS METALS

Though we did see some trading in precious metals on Jan 1st and 2nd, it was the week from 5th-9th Jan that was actually considered the first volatile trading week of 2015.

The main news doing the rounds for the week was from US- minutes of the recent FOMC meeting and the non-farms payroll report.

Apart from the macro reports there were the following financial reports that were out in the week.

  • US non-manufacturing PMI, factory orders and trade balance monthly reports.
  • Europe, MPC rate
  • The EU flash CPI
  • Unemployment report,
  • GB’s manufacturing PMI
  • Germany retail sales
  • The French trade balance.
  • In China, CPI and trade balance
  • And several economic reports from Canada and Australia.
But of all the above mentioned reports, the most influential for gold was the unemployment report.

Gold was seen to have a positive start for the week as it firmed above $1200 an ounce on Tuesday hitting a near three-week high, as tumbling global equities and concerns over Greece’s future in the euro zone prompted investors to seek safety in the metal.

The uncertainty behind the euro zone is once again tempting investors to run after gold as a safe haven asset. This risk off sentiment in the markets may help bullion be stable at its recent upswing.

Adding to this we also saw that holding in the world’s largest gold-backed exchange traded fund- the SPDR Gold trust, rose 0.25 per cent to 710.81 tonnes on Monday, though still near a six-year low. But this rise did reflect improving investor sentiments towards gold.

Bullion traded in a ranged manner for most part of the week while volatility was high on Friday. The Greenback jumped on likely positive economic reports from the US coming week whereas speculation increased that Fed might talk about raising interest rates as also anticipated from its monetary policy minutes report due next week and likely putting weight on Bullion.

We have always seen that precious metal markets and the equities markets are inversely related. This week too, we saw precious metals rising while equity market and commodity bellwethers including copper and oil hit fresh multi-year lows. After a disappointing end to 2014 gold is beginning to build a base above $1,200 an ounce – the metal advanced 1.2% to $1,223 an ounce in late trade Friday, the highest since December 11.
Gold’s gains since hitting four-year lows early November now top 7% and is made more remarkable by the fact that the advance has come despite a rampant dollar which hit a 12-year high against major currencies yesterday and a Friday jobs report that confirmed that the US economic recovery remains on track.
Though the market players were a lot dependent on the non-farm payrolls report, it did not show much after effect on gold.
The gold price wobbled briefly but was ultimately unaffected by a non-farm payrolls report that, while mostly positive, was not potent enough to shift the Federal Reserve’s rate-rise timeline.
Total non-farm payroll employment rose by 252,000 in December, which beat the 241,000 forecast, while the unemployment rate declined to 5.6 percent, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.
Additionally, the change in total non-farm payroll employment for October was revised to 261,000 from 243,000 and the change for November was revised to 353,000 from 321,000.
The forthcoming labor reports are expected to create added significance as there are expectations that the Federal Reserve in on the verge of raising interest rates. The current market consensus is that rates will rise in mid-2015 although this is a moving target that will be dictated by jobs and inflation data.

As said earlier, too gold is one such commodity which takes price direction from macro developments rather than its own demand-supply wherein we feel downside risks for the commodity may stay in the near future.

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