A truncated week due to Good Friday was not so good for US with significantly weaker Non Farm payrolls report. Moreover many trading centers remain closed for Easter Monday. Anyways, let’s hit back to the Gold price rise over the week and some more understanding on US economic indicators that hit the market.
The first weak data coming from US on Tuesday was the contraction in Chicago PMI for second month in succession. Following February’s five year low of 45.8, analysts were again disappointed as March’s print came in well below expectations at 46.3 (exp: 51.7). The March figures takes the quarterly average to 50.5 over Q1 2015, the lowest quarterly result since Q3 2009 and markedly down on the 61.3 we saw in Q4 2014.
On Wednesday, Gold prices were again tested at US$1180 – 81 support. For the third time this support has withstood the selling. But the ADP data from US that came in early took the precious metals complex to nearly day’s high in no time. Gold had a super boost of US$9 to US$1194 in no time and the way was just up after that by reaching an intra-day peak of US$1208. According to the ADP, U.S. private employers added the smallest number of workers in more than a year during March. Private payrolls rose +189k (+225k expected) according to their employment report.
U.S. national factory activity hit a near 2 year low in March according to the Institute for Supply Management (ISM). The ISM’s manufacturing PMI index fell for a fifth consecutive month to 51.5 in March (52.5 expected) from 52.9 in February and declining each month since hitting 57.9 in October. The ISM pointed to various factors including the weather, higher health-care costs and the stronger dollar as reasons for the slowdown.
Then came in the 2 conflicting reports:
On Thursday, US unemployment claims dropped 20,000 to 268,000 in the week ended March 28, the lowest reading since January 24 and much better than the 286,000 forecast.
On Friday, United States employers added the fewest number of jobs in more than a year during March with non-farm payrolls increasing a mere +126k (+245k expected), less than half February’s pace and the smallest increase since the polar vortex of December 2013. While the unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.5 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today that ended 12 straight months of job gains above 200,000, the longest streak since 1994.
The main reasons for the negative labor report were:
- Poor Weather- Poor weather conditions during the winters created a sort of slag in the labor market
- Stronger Dollar- strong dollar created a great impact on the employment numbers
- Energy sector- This sector has been having a considerable impact on the employment numbers, this sector witnessed a decline of 11000 employment numbers in March. The industry has lost 30,000 jobs thus far in 2015, after adding 41,000 jobs in 2014. The employment declines in the first quarter of 2015, as well as the gains in 2014, were concentrated in support activities for mining, which includes support for oil and gas extraction.
The dollar tumbled as much as 1 percent against the euro after the significantly weaker-than-expected report, while U.S. Treasuries rose, with benchmark 10-year yields hitting nearly two-month lows.
Undoubtedly, this does act as a super boost for Gold and other precious metals as the negative data does have a chance to delay the Fed’s decision to opt for the first increase in U.S. interest rates in nearly a decade, which is expected later this year. Gold tends to suffer when rates rise, as that increases the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion, while boosting the dollar, in which the metal is priced.
On the domestic front, gold has also found support from strong physical demand from India, currently the world’s biggest gold consuming country with gold imports touching to 70 tonnes in the month of March, putting total imports in the fiscal year that has just ended at 638 tonnes.
Platinum has been a real lager in the whole precious metals group by being down just over 5%. Silver too had been heavily sold in 2014 but having a good push up by nearly 3%.
The reports that were released on Friday will show its effects and reflections on Monday as international open for trade. I am sure that there would be a price push to US$ 1220 (Approximately) testing its key resistance.
Note: A break above US$1238 would surely give a fresh bullish interest. Until then, traders would wait for FED’s decision on FED rate hike barring the price moves depending on the economic indicators.
|METAL||INTERNATIONAL price||DOMESTIC price|
|GOLD||1184$- 1223$ an ounce||Rs.26,500- Rs.28,000 per 10gm|
|SILVER||16.50$- 18.00$ an ounce||Rs.37,000- Rs.40,000 per kg|