In 2008, when the financial crisis rattled economies, investors inevitably resorted to the perceived safety of gold – and its price escalated from $800 to $1900 an ounce. This, in turn, accelerated the exploration for yet more gold. And gold became the most sought after metal. But in 2013, gold plunged 28 percent, the most since 1981, amid a U.S. equity rally to a record and speculation that the Federal Reserve will scale back monetary stimulus.
There were quite a many investors who abandoned gold and wrote it off. They declared that gold was ready for a bear market and that it has lost all its glitter. But the ones who are still loyal to gold hold a strong belief that gold will shoot up this year and perform well. I think gold is all set to prove this true.
This month, gold has jumped 5.2 percent. The losses in equities market has once again shifted focus from financial markets to bullions. This week gold saw a 5 per cent gain- thanks to equities.
A global fight from emerging markets and declines in equities increased gold status as a safe haven asset and it rose to a two month high on Friday.
Fluctuations in the currency markets led by plummeting Argentina peso and Turkish Lira prompted investors to buy gold.
This was not the sole reason behind the yellow metal prices going green.
– The options market expires next Tuesday, on 28th January. Buying sentiment behind this expiry has pushed gold prices higher.
– Also, the market has seen a big inflow for the so-called gold spider ETF. Recent inflows are also encouraging. Gold ETFs on Friday scored their biggest daily inflow since October 2012.
– The Chinese lunar new year is also playing its part for physical metal demand, as customers are rushing in to grab the metal at a cheaper price. The Lunar Year holiday will start next Friday (31st January) but gold dealers in China have made their purchases well in advance. Increasing demand for coins, bars and jewellery has pushed up gold prices.
– There are talks in the market that the government may relax certain import restrictions. Gold shot up and after murmurings that the punitive taxes on gold in India may be reduced. Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi has asked the government to review tough import restrictions on gold, which include a record 10% import duty.This will result in higher demand for gold and may push prices further.
– Also we see many investors shuffling their portfolios in January after what they have witnessed the year before. In Jan 2014 we saw that the equity market has not given satisfactory returns hence many investors are again allocating major chunk to gold and other precious metals.
– The world has a picture that banks have been selling off gold. But what came as a shock to the market that Germany failed to get its gold back. On January 16, 2013 Germany’s central bank, the Bundesbank, said it will ship back home all 374 tonnes it had stored with the Banque de France in Paris, as well as 300 tonnes held in Manhattan by the US Federal Reserve, by 2020. the Germans have managed to bring home a paltry 37 tonnes of gold.
And a mere 5 tonnes of that came from the US, the rest from Paris. The Fed holds 45% of the total 3,396 tonnes German gold. Now what conspiracy lies behind this pull back is certainly unclear.
Meanwhile, A quiet Monday, following Martin Luther King day in the US saw most interest in Platinum trading, which was driven to a high of 1473 USD per ounce by the AMCU calling also for strikes at Impala. – First day of the week. A strike at South African platinum mines paralyzed the world’s three biggest producers of the metal for a second day as talks to resolve the dispute over pay broke up until Jan. 27. Nearly 70,000 employees downed tools at Anglo American Platinum Ltd., Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. and Lonmin Plc mines, where 70% of global platinum is produced. Hence, Platinum is 6% higher this month.
While the yellow metal may take a back seat to other asset classes this year, but strong physical demand will sustain elevated average price this year.
But investors have to be “cautious and quick” in taking profits because if the FED announces further tapering of its bond-buying program at its meeting next week, the dollar could soar, which could be a bearish sign for gold.
Nonetheless, momentum is still pointing up for now.