Chinese, Russian and Swiss gold data

Three more recent articles which I have published on sharpspixley.com look at massive silver ETF and institutional buildup, latest Russian gold reserve figures, Swiss gold exports and China cutting back on gold imports.  Click on titles to view full articles:

Is Russian Central Bank reducing its gold purchases?

The latest gold reserve figure from The Russian central bank shows the addition of 9.33 tonnes of gold to the nation’s forex reserves in July, back to the lower levels seen earlier in the year. Does this indicate a trend to lower accumulations?

Swiss gold exports re-distributed as Chinese imports curtailed

There has been a drastic change in the latest destination figures for Swiss gold exports with China apparently curtailing gold imports, but the UK taking pride of place as a destination due to the rise in Gold ETF deposits.

 

Enormous silver ETF inflows. Is it about to take off?

Massive flows of silver bullion into ETFs and Mutual Funds over past 2-3 months suggest something very positive may be afoot in future silver price movement

 

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Gold stars aligning; China reserves and demand and trade war escalation impact

Four recent articles wRitten by me and published on the Sharps Pixley website.  To read the articles in full click on the titles

Gold: The Stars are all Aligning – Again

The latest issue of Grant Williams’ Things that make you go hmmm.. newsletter point to market performance parallels with that ahead of the Great Depression and other major recessions as well as other factors seen as positive for gold

Chinese 2019 gold demand still slipping but don’t panic

Latest gold withdrawal figures for July from China’s Shanghai Gold Exchange suggest that Chinese gold demand continues to falter this year, but any shortfall in demand is being counterbalanced by gains elsewhere.

China says it added 10 tonnes to gold reserves in July

The Chinese Central Bank reports adding just short of 10 tonnes of gold to reserves in July while overall Central Bank purchases remain elevated and gold ETF holdings rise.

U.S./China trade war escalation drives gold to $1,500

The apparent escalation of trade tensions between the world’s two biggest economies, the U.S. and China, has given a huge boost to the gold price which is hovering close to the US$1,500 level.

 

Peak gold, Fed rate cut and Palladium

Three of my recent articles published on the Sharps Pixley/Metals Daily websites

Peak gold continues to be elusive– WGC

The latest Gold Demand Trends report from the World Gold Council covering Q2 2019 shows that global gold supply is still rising despite many commentators suggesting we are already reaching/have already reached ‘Peak Gold’.

Has palladium had its day in the sun?

While gold has seen a decent price rise, palladium has seem something of a price collapse to below that of the yellow metal. Will it recover to be worth more than gold again?

Gold and silver dive on less downbeat Fed but recover fast

The U.S. Fed decision to cut interest rates by 25 basis points as ‘insurance’ and a more upbeat outlook in Fed Chair Powell’s subsequent statement saw all thee precious metal prices marked down sharply. – but for gold and silver not for long.

 

Personal Views on Brexit

This is a bit of a departure from the normal subjects on this site – Precious Metals – although the  eventual outcome, one way or the other, of the UK’s Brexit dilemma may have a, perhaps brief, impact on prices.  Personally I’m a Remainer turned Leaver convinced that the ultimate outcome of a departure from the restrictions imposed on the UK by EU rules and regulations will be beneficial – and I also think that there’s a good chance that the EU will implode anyway within the next few years with, or without, Brexit.

I have penned a longish piece on why I now feel positively towards a deal, or no-deal, Brexit which has just been published on the South African-based business website, Biznews,com run by Alec Hogg who I used to work for when he owned and ran Moneyweb.  Moneyweb is a largely South African business website which had spawned Mineweb – a very international website on global mining investment – probably the leading global mining website at the time.  I was employed to manage and edit this latter site which I did for some years until Alec lost control of that business and the subsequent policy change by the new owners of Mineweb to withdraw from its international focus to what it is today – just a South African focused ancillary to the current Moneyweb.  This did not appeal to me so I switched my writing to this site, and to Sharps Pixley and US Gold Bureau where my articles on Precious Metals now appear,

I asked Alec if he would be willing to publish my Brexit views because the subject matter does not fit in with Sharps Pixley or US Gold Bureau, and Biznews has a far wider, and broader,  readership than lawrieongold – even in the UK.  And he kindly welcomed the suggestion – so here’s a link to the full article as it appears on Biznews – https://www.biznews.com/global-citizen/2019/07/28/lawrie-williams-brexit-boris-leave.

Whether you agree, or disagree with my arguments I hope you enjoy reading it.

Silver picking up steam

My latest silver post on sharpspixley.com/metalsdaily.com:  Relevant because of silver’s latest surge but slightly outdated already in that silver, having stagnated fir a long time with the Gold:Silver ratio climbing to over 93, has seen it come back down to 87 meaning that the metal price has hugely outperformed gold over the past few days.  Also, not mentioned in the article is the fact that there have been enormous inflows into the SLV silver ETF over the past month which suggests some of the big players may well have anticipated a silver lift-off – if indeed they haven’t been directly responsible for it.  Click on the title to read full article:

SILVER PICKING UP STEAM AS GOLD BURSTS UPWARDS

18 Jul 2019 – Silver had been the poorest performer among the precious metals, but this week, as gold has also seen something of a renewed surge, silver has been picking up nicely with the GSR coming down a few points at long last

 

Gold’s bounce, disappointing silver, China gold reserves and demand, Silver Top 20, gold bullish amid headwinds

As regular readers of lawrieongold will know, nowadays I am primarily publishing my articles on the Sharps Pixley /Metals Daily’s websites rather than here on this site.  Links to my most recent articles follow:

GOLD BOUNCES BACK BUT SILVER STILL DISAPPOINTS – FOR NOW

13 Jul 2019 – Comments from Fed chairman Jerome Powell confirming the likelihood of a rate cut at this month’s FOMC meeting have given the gold price a bit of a boost, but silver continues to disappoint, But for how long?

CHINA CONTINUES TO ADD TO ITS GOLD RESERVES – BUT AT LOWER RATE M/M

09 Jul 2019 – The Chinese Central Bank has announced it added 10.26 tonnes of gold to its forex reserves in June – a lower level than the prior two months’ additions. Total global Central Bank accumulations are already up 73% this year according to the WGC.

WORLD TOP 20 SILVER PRODUCERS AND METAL’S PRICE PROSPECTS

09 Jul 2019 – Even though it saw a 3% production decline for silver last year,but still reckons on a supply surplus, UK precious metals consultancy is marginally bullish on the metals price prospects in H2. Top 20 silver producers tabulated.

2019 H1 China gold demand lowest for five years

08 Jul 2019 – June gold withdrawal figures out of the SGE show that the downturn in Chinese gold demand is still slipping compared with the previous 2 years – and hugely below that seen in the record 2015 year

Gold price faces some headwinds but prospects remains bullish

07 Jul 2019 – Gold and silver prices were brought back sharply following the Independence Day holiday in the U.S. closing the week below $1,400 and $15 respectively, but we anticipate the latest setbacks to be shortlived.

My initial July gold and silver articles on Sharps Pixley websites

The gold price started July positively, silver rather less so and my initial takes on this, as published on the http://www.sharpspixley.com Metals Daily website are linked below.  Note the dates of the articles.  Gold and silver may have performed a little differently (positively in gold’s case) since the articles were written. Click on the titles to read in full:

Gold catches another wave ahead of U.S. holiday

04 Jul 2019 – The gold price moved sharply upwards over $1.400 on Tuesday and remains above that level for the Independence Day holiday. Will prices move on further once th holiday is over next week? Silver, though, remains muted

Silver should be good to go

03 Jul 2019 – Silver has been the weak link in the precious metals chain, but is should start to play catch-up alongside a booming gold price’

 Gold: What a difference a month makes

01 Jul 2019 – June saw the gold price increase by around $100, and more at one time, before falling $30-40 back after various accords at the G20 meeting. What will happen now?

 

Swiss gold exports, Indian imports, GLD massive addition, Russian and Chinese gold reserves – my recent Sharps Pixley articles

I may be winding down the lawrieongold site as far as original articles are concerned, but I am still writing on precious metals – primarily for the Sharps Pixley/Metals Daily site.  My most recent articles are linked below.  To read them in full click on the titles:

Swiss gold exports – India surges back on top in May

25 Jun 2019 – The latest Swiss gold export figures for May see India regaining its place as comfortably the leading recipient and over 80% of Swiss gold exports still heading for Asian and Middle Eastern markets

GLD adds massive 35 tonnes of gold Friday

24 Jun 2019 – As an indicator of a massive change in investor sentiment towards gold, Fridays 35 tonne increase in the GLD holding stands out, while silver’s continuing underperformance could make it a bargain buy

Gold tops $1,400, falls back but recovering

21 Jun 2019 – The gold price shot past $1,400 in overnight trade before falling back nearly $20 this morning. but in European trade gradually made up much of its lost ground again. Can it close the week above $1,400?

Russian gold purchases slowing? – 6.22 tonnes in May

21 Jun 2019 – In May the Russian Central Bank reports adding 200,000 ounces (6.22 tonnes) of gold to its reserves – well below the levels reported for the three months previous, but whether tis represents a slowing down of gold accumulations is too early to tell.

Can gold’s breakout be sustained?

20 Jun 2019 – Statements from the U.S. Fed, the ECB and a tweel from the U.S. President all combined to give precious metals a sharp price boost. Are the new levels, and a likely increase in expectations for the second half of the year, sustainable?

Gold at $1,350 and silver at $15 – what now?

14 Jun 2019 – The gold price briefly rose back above $1,350 – indeed it even touched $1,360 – before being brought back down at one time to below $1,340. The rise was due to, increasing U.S/Iran tensions – but what next

China upping the ante in gold reserves

11 Jun 2019 – The Chinese central bank reports having added 15.86 tonnes of gold to its reserves in May – the highest level so far in its current spate of reporting apparent monthly increases.

 

China gold reserves and gold’s likelihood of a strong H2. My latest posts on sharpspixley.com

My two latest posts on sharpspixley.com.  Click on the titles to read in full.

LAWRIE WILLIAMS: CHINA UPPING THE ANTE IN GOLD RESERVES

The Chinese central bank reports having added 15.86 tonnes of gold to its reserves in May – the highest level so far in its current spate of reporting apparent monthly increases.

LAWRIE WILLIAMS:; GOLD COULD HAVE AN EXTREMELY GOOD H2 – MURENBEELD

The latest Gold Monitor from Murenbeeld & Co suggests that the dollar may have peaked and that there are a number of factors out there that are looking to be gold positive for 2019 H2 and 2020

Sharps Pixley back on line and Gold, GLD and Palladium article updates

After a couple of days where the Sharps Pixley site went offline following an attempted hack, I can report that it is now up and running again and my future articles will find a home there rather than here.  However I will continue to publish articles of interest here as well as occasional links to articles on Sharps Pixley.

Meanwhile I did publish a couple of articles here when the Sharps Pixley site was down – and I have now reposted them on Sharps Pixley with some minor updates.  Links to the updated versions may be accessed by clicking on the links below:

LAWRIE WILLIAMS: UPDATE: GLD TURNAROUND VERY POSITIVE FOR GOLD

06 Jun 2019 – There have been some positive inflows into GLD, the world’s largest gold ETF, since the Memorial Day holiday after around a month or so of almost-continual withdrawals. This represents an important change in sentiment towards gold.

LAWRIE WILLIAMS: UPDATED: GOLD PRICE BACK AHEAD OF PALLADIUM AGAIN

04 Jun 2019 – A rising gold price and a falling palladium one have seen gold regain its crown as the highest priced principal precious metal. Both metals do seem to have a fair amount going for them but, for now, the sentiment appears to be with gold..

LAWRIE WILLIAMS: GLD turnaround very positive for gold

With the Sharps Pixley Site still Down for Direct Posts I am continuing to post my articles here with the link to them picked up by sharps Pixley’s alternate site Metalsdaily.com

Gold showed signs of weakness through most of April and May and no less than 35 tonnes of gold were liquidated out of GLD, the world’s largest gold ETF, between April 1st and the Memorial Day holiday on May 27th. But as so often seems to be the case, the U.S. holiday seemed to trigger a turning point and, since then, GLD has added 22 tonnes of gold to its holdings. And the GLD increase has coincided with a very sharp uptick in the gold price which is currently approaching $1,350 spot as I write – a big increase from a low point of around $1,275 only a week ago.
This is no coincidence as both the GLD deposits and the rising gold price signify a major change in sentiment about the prospects for gold from some of the big money funds. Ray Dalio’s Bridgewater, reputed to be the world’s biggest hedge fund with around $150 billion under management, has been leading the clarion call for gold. Dalio is said to be a gold believer and is reported as recently having his fund increase its gold exposure in the light of what he sees as an escalating trade war between the U.S. and China which he regards as potentially moving out of control. In a recent blog post he noted “History shows that countries in conflict have seen that such conflicts can easily slip beyond their control and become terrible wars that all parties, including the leaders who got their countries into them, deeply regretted, so the parties in the negotiations should be careful that that doesn’t happen. Right now we are seeing brinksmanship negotiations, so it is a risky time.”
While that may be a contentious assessment of the current trade negotiations, many feel that Dalio has a strong point here and President Trump’s ‘shoot from the hip’ approach to weaponise U.S.-assumed financial clout certainly has huge dangers – not least for segments of the U.S.’s own business structures. National leaders, who have ‘face’ to protect, may not cave in to bullying tactics of this type as easily as Trump’s business rivals may have done in the past. Equity markets in the U.S. and globally are looking nervous and there are fears around of a full-on global recession.
Where Dalio is seen to go, others follow, so it is not too surprising that GLD seems to be seeing gold inflows. The big question is how far can this apparent change in sentiment boost the gold price before it is seen as having risen too far too fast with a correction coming back in?
But meanwhile there are other elements boosting the gold price – not least a falling U.S. dollar index which usually coincides with a rising gold price. Geopolitical tensions seem to be ever-present, there are ongoing tariff, counter-tariff and economic sanction impositions, the U.S. Fed is now seen as more likely to cut interest rates rather than raise them, equity market nervousness, central bank gold buying, etc. All these would seem to be in favour of an increasing role for gold globally. Thus the target for a $1,400 plus gold price in the second half of the year would seem to be comfortably in play again. Indeed even higher price levels may come about should some of the current global tensions remain unresolved or escalate further.

LAWRIE WILLIAMS: Gold price back ahead of palladium again

the sharps pixley site still appears to be down so posting this article here and seeing if I can upload the Link to sharpspixley.com

A rising gold price and a falling palladium one have seen gold regain its crown as the highest priced principal precious metal. Both metals do seem to have a fair amount going for them but, for now, the sentiment appears to be with gold.

Nervousness about the onset of a possible global recession plus a perceived drop in gasoline (petrol)-powered automobile sales worldwide has seen the high-flying palladium price slip back.  With gold showing some strength, the price positions between the two precious metals have again reversed – as predicted in early year price forecasts – with gold trading as I write at about a $20 premium over the pgm.  However palladium supply/demand fundamentals remain strong and the price tends to be much more volatile than gold so don’t be too surprised if it regains its price ascendancy over gold in the short to medium term, but perhaps only briefly.

Historically gold has usually traded at a substantial premium over palladium, although not over the latter’s sister metal, platinum.  We suspect over time there will be something of a return to the status quo with platinum playing catch-up, but that may take some years to come about.  Palladium demand is hugely dependent on the autocatalyst market – a recent estimate is that this sector accounts for 80% of palladium demand – so a continuation in the drop in auto sales could hit the metal hard.  But there remains a big supply deficit overhang which will take some time to eliminate so palladium could yet benefit from the occasional price spurt.

The ever growing take-up of battery electric powered vehicles, and perhaps longer term of fuel cell power, will also severely dent the prospects for palladium, as it will for another pgm group metal, rhodium, which tends to be utilised – in very small quantities – alongside palladium in autocatalysts, but it will take a few more years yet for these alternative drive systems to put a serious dent in the internal combustion engine market,  Given that the world’s second biggest auto market is the U.S., and that country is currently led by a climate change sceptic who perhaps sees less need for non-polluting vehicles, and has a strong vocal following, the take-up of alternative-powered automobiles may move slower than anticipated in that part of the world.  However the world’s biggest auto market currently is China, and given that country’s air pollution problems electric vehicle take-up there is likely to be strong.  Swings and roundabouts!

As for gold itself there appears to have been a major change in sentiment towards the yellow metal which has certainly been price supportive over the past few days.  Futures markets are pricing gold higher than current spot levels so it could have further to run. Outflows from the world’s biggest gold ETF, GLD, have been replaced by inflows which is a guide to where the big money is now headed.  Some commentators see the gold price as now threatening this year’s high of around $1,350 over the summer.  We shall see.

All in all though there are a number of factors which look to be in favour of a rising gold price.  Tariff wars instigated by President Trump’s aggressive foreign trade policies, geopolitical instabilities in several parts of the world which could blow up any time, fearful equity markets and the now likelihood of U.S. Fed rate cuts all would appear to be gold price supportive.  Gold investors may yet have something to cheer about as the year progresses.

Gold powers through $1,300, but will it stay the course?

This article was posted to Sharps Pixley yesterday but the site is down so I am copying it here

Gold has made several attempts to consolidate above $US1,300 so far this year, but has so far always been brought back down through concerted activity in the U.S. futures markets.  This past Friday, and today, gold has driven up through the $1,300 level again and has seen good strength in Asian and European markets, but will it survive the U.S. markets when they open today?  In other words will this time be different?

The trigger on this occasion for the uplift in the gold price has been President Trump’s announced intention to weaponise further trade tariff impositions – this time on Mexico to try and force the latter to put a stop to illegal immigration into the U.S.   The problem with this is that the U.S. President seems to think the carrot and stick approach to international diplomacy (rather more stick than carrot) will work as well as it may do in business.  But the difference here is that other sovereign nations may just dig in their heels and resist such policies to their fullest extent.  National pride is at stake here.  Governments are not subject to shareholder needs – indeed they may be subject to electoral dismissals, but these are much longer term scenarios and an aggressive approach like that of the U.S. President can have a counter-productive effect in uniting the affected populace against what they see as unwarranted foreign intimidation.

Sanctions and tariffs seldom work.  The imposition of sanctions on Russia for example, which have now been in place in some form or other for around five years now, if anything have seen the latter nation go from strength to strength and have done nothing to dampen President Putin’s popularity.  He is seen by the Russian people as instrumental in ‘Making Russia Great Again’ – or MRGA – even outdoing, in effect, President Trump’s MAGA clarion call.  Arguably Russia is now a much stronger player on the global stage than it was before U.S. sanctions were implemented.  Counter measures by Russia and an ever increasing political and financial relationship with China may well be more damaging to U.S. global interests than a rather more laissez faire attitude may have been.

Likewise the imposition of swingeing trade tariffs on Chinese goods and the strictures on Chinese tech giant Huawei may end up being counter-productive.  It much depends who out of Presidents Trump and Xi blinks first – but the U.S. President, who claims a deep understanding of China – must be aware that ‘saving face’ is probably a far more important part of Chinese culture than it is of Western political expediency.  While on the face of things the far higher level of Chinese exports to the U.S. dwarfs the latter’s exports to China suggests that the U.S. would be the winner in a trade war, the differing political and economic cultures of the two protagonists suggest that China may be in a far stronger position than the U.S. is counting on!

Be all this as it may, the intransigence of the U.S. President, his propensity to announce significant policy changes on twitter and his perhaps less than honest recollections/interpretations of some of his past utterances could well have the unintended consequence of precipitating a stock market collapse and the triggering of a global recession.  We could even be heading for some kind of superpower shooting war – there are enough global flashpoints for this to happen very quickly.  American military technology may yet not be sufficiently dominant to ensure U.S. victory if such a war springs up.

All the above may be in investors’ minds at the moment.  Equities markets are, to say the least, nervous.  They look to have risen too far too fast, way beyond normally justifiable levels.  Many big players may well have had their profits prospects seriously damaged by the seemingly ever-escalating trade wars.  In the U.S. the all important FAANG stocks which have been instrumental in driving the market upwards look increasingly vulnerable to the U.S./China trade war and the hugely important U.S. auto manufacturing sector to the potential trade dispute with Mexico.

So what does all this mean for gold and the other precious metals?  Gold, in theory at least, thrives on uncertainty.  We are already beginning to see inflows into the gold ETFs which had been seeing liquidations for much of April and the first half of May which suggests the big money is taking notice – not before time.  The pgms would probably suffer in a recession – particularly palladium and rhodium which are hugely dependent on the petrol (gasoline) driven auto market.  Silver may well benefit, despite its strong industrial usage.  The gold:silver ratio has been at close to 90 and will probably come down in a rising gold price scenario suggesting that percentage gains in silver may exceed those of gold.  But silver is not known for nothing as ‘the devil’s metal’ because of its unpredictability so it may be better to play safe and stick with gold as your market crash/recession insurance.  The omens look positive for gold but we shall see whether the U.S. market agrees!

Trust in Gold and Indian Gold Demand Strong

To keep lawrieongold.com readers  up to date with my musings on gold here are my two latest articles published on the Sharps Pixley website.  Click on titles to read:

TRUST IN GOLD

Both Michael Lewitt’s The Credit Strategist newsletter and Ronni Stoeferle and Mark Valek’s very comprehensive 340 page In Gold we Trust report suggest gold is the ultimate investment to protect your wealth

INDIA BACK ON TOP FOR SWISS GOLD EXPORTS IN APRIL

India received a little more gold from the key Swiss refineries in April than Mainland China and Hong Kong combined, confirming something of a pick up in gold demand in the sub-Continent

More recent posts on Sharps Pixley

Another set of recent articles I’ve published on the Sharps Pixley website – click on the titles to read

LAWRIE WILLIAMS: Best March Quarter from Australia’s Gold Mines for 21 years

26 May 2019 – The March quarter production figures for Australia’s gold mines are the highest for 21 years putting the country on track for an annual output of around 320 tonnes of gold this year.

Lawrence Williams

LAWRIE WILLIAMS: Favourable outlook for gold – Murenbeeld

25 May 2019 – In his latest Gold Monitor newsletter Martin Murenbeeld paints a moderately positive view for the gold price in the face of numerous geo-economic and geopolitical issues facing us all.

Lawrence Williams

LAWRIE WILLIAMS: Palladium/platinum premium to persist – Metals Focus

23 May 2019 – In its take-away from opinions expressed at London Platinum , Metals Focus sees palladium’s price premium over platinum continuing for years to come despite a number of risks facing the catalytic metal.

Lawrence Williams

LAWRIE WILLIAMS: Russia adds another 15.6 tonnes to gold reserves in April

21 May 2019 – Russia is continuing to build its gold reserves monthly and remains on track to become the world’s third largest national gold holder by early next year.

Lawrence Williams

My recent postings on Sharps Pixley website

In the interests of keeping Lawrieongold readers up with my latest musings on precious metals, here are links to my most recent articles published on the Sharps Pixley website

SHARPS PIXLEY MARKET REPORTS