Optimism over gold’s chances could be misplaced

Gold bulls are the economic market equivalent of the apocalypse-fearing survivalists portrayed in the common television show Doomsday Preppers.They buy the yellow metal mainly because of concern that monetary authorities, primarily in the created world, will...

Optimism over gold’s chances could be misplaced

Gold bulls are the economic market equivalent of the apocalypse-fearing survivalists portrayed in the common television show Doomsday Preppers.

They buy the yellow metal mainly because of concern that monetary authorities, primarily in the created world, will lose control of inflation and their currencies’ worth through maintaining low interest rates and quantitative easing too lengthy. If the gold bugs are established right, they will prosper though investors in equities and other assets suffer from rampant inflation and serious financial recession.

Possibly a kinder way of searching at gold investment is to say it tends to make sense as lengthy as actual interest prices stay damaging, as is currently the case in much of the Western planet. This would possibly clarify the pondering behind hedge fund Paulson & Co. keeping a stake worth about $1.31 billion (Dh4.eight billion) in the planet’s biggest gold exchange-traded fund (ETF), the SPDR Gold Trust.

With spot gold up eight.9 per cent this year to final Thursday’s close of $1,312 an ounce, possibly extended-time gold bull John Paulson’s bet isn’t seeking that negative, until it’s pointed out that gold is still some 32 per cent beneath its September 2011 record.

Getting gold on the basis of unfavorable actual interest rates is also largely a Western construct, and ignores that the physical gold market place is now dominated by China and India. And it’s right here that troubles emerge for the bullish gold story, with the most current World Gold Council report displaying dramatic declines in demand in the two countries that account for virtually half the industry.

China’s gold demand fell 52 per cent to 192.5 tonnes in the second quarter of 2014 from the same period final year, while India’s slumped 39 per cent to 204.1 tonnes. The council, which represents gold producers, pointed out that the second quarter of 2013 had been a powerful period, but even so, there is small doubt that demand in India and China is falling, and fairly sharply.

Switching to comparing the year ended June 2014 with the year to June 2013 shows Indian demand down 28 per cent and Chinese by 12 per cent to a near 4-year low. It may possibly effectively be the case that demand in India is becoming held back by government restrictions such as higher import taxes and the requirement to re-export 20 per cent of imports as jewellery, but this doesn’t alter the reality that Indian consumption is sharply reduce.

This removes a pillar of assistance for physical gold demand, which means that for costs to rally in a sustained way, other acquiring should fill the gap. Central bank purchases have remained strong, with the 117.8 tonnes in the second quarter up 28 per cent from the identical quarter last year, but down from the 124.three tonnes recorded in the initially 3 months of 2014.

Technology demand is also largely steady, but jewellery consumption fell to 509.six tonnes in the second quarter, down 30 per cent from the similar period in 2013 and 12 per cent from the initially quarter.

Flows into ETFs had been still negative, with a net 39.9 tonnes being sold in the second quarter, up from 2.6 tonnes in the first, but drastically decrease than the huge 402.two-tonne outflow in the second quarter of 2013. At best it appears that investment outflows have stabilised at reduced levels, but the point is that the all round industry is still selling gold in ETFs, placing them at odds with Paulson’s position.

Whilst gold does benefit from negative actual interest prices and the current steady diet program of geo-political problems, investors are also probably wary of growing signs that the US is prepared to begin raising interest prices. This ought to boost the value of the US dollar as nicely as narrowing gold’s appeal.

In the run-up to the 2011 all-time high, gold was supported by the three pillars of investment buying on fears on a Western monetary meltdown, physical demand from China and India, and central bank acquiring in the developing planet.

At the moment, none of these 3 is creating a lot of a contribution, suggesting gold’s scope to rally is limited.

Read More: Gulfnews

18 August 2014 Monday 05:36
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