Gold poised to attack $1,300

Gold Today –New York closed at $1,279.60 yesterday after closing at $1,278.20 Friday. London opened at $1,289.50 today. 

Overall the dollar was weaker against global currencies, early today. Before London’s opening:

         The $: € was slightly stronger at $1.1246 after yesterday’s $1.1264: €1.

         The Dollar index was slightly weaker at 96.73 after yesterday’s 96.77

         The Yen was stronger at 109.52 after yesterday’s 110.51:$1. 

         The Yuan was stronger at 6.7954 after yesterday’s 6.8036: $1. 

         The Pound Sterling was barely changed at $1.2904 after yesterday’s $1.2905: £1.

Yuan Gold Fix
Trade Date     Contract Benchmark Price AM 1 gm Benchmark Price PM 1 gm
      2017    6    6

     2017    6    5

     2017    6    2

SHAU

SHAU

SHAU

 

 

281.27

278.34

 

Trading at 283.60

281.35

277.96

 

$ equivalent 1oz at 0.995 fineness

@    $1: 6.7954

       $1: 6.8036

       $1: 6.8153     

 

   

 

$1,280.86

$1,265.28

 

Trading at $1,293.08

$1,281.23

$1,263.55

Please note that the Shanghai Fixes are for 1 gm of gold. From the Middle East eastward metric measurements are used against 0.9999 quality gold. [Please note that the 0.5% difference in price can be accounted for by the higher quality of Shanghai’s gold on which their gold price is based over London’s ‘good delivery’ standard of 0.995.]

 While New York saw the gold price rise a little it was Shanghai that gave the spurt to the gold price trading at $1,293 late in their day today. London was pulled up at the opening to just $4 below Shanghai.

Silver Today –Silver closed at $17.57 yesterday after $17.52 at New York’s close Friday.

LBMA price setting:  The LBMA morning gold price was set today at $1,287.85 from yesterday’s $1,280.70.  The gold price in the euro was set at €1,144.40 after yesterday’s €1,137.04.

Ahead of the opening of New York the gold price was trading at $1,294.15 and in the euro at €1,148.62. At the same time, the silver price was trading at $17.73 

Price Drivers

Mainland China is set to import about 1,000 metric tons from Hong Kong in 2017, says, president of the Hong Kong gold exchange. That compares with net purchases of 647 tons last year and would be the biggest since 2013, data from the Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department confirmed.

Local consumption was up 15% in the first quarter, with sales of bars for investment climbing more than 60% and dwarfing a 1.4% rise in jewelry buying, according to data from the China Gold Association.  

Imports from Switzerland topped 100 tons in the first four months of the year, according to calculations on data reported by the Swiss Federal Customs Administration. In December, China imported 158 tons from Switzerland, taking the total for the year to 442 tons, up from 288 tons in 2015.

One has to be guarded about figures from Hong Kong being representative of Chinese demand. Gold enters China from Switzerland but also through Beijing and other ports of entry. In addition, the country mines around 450 + tonnes a year. It also imports gold directly from mines it owns outside the country. So the figures mentioned here are  just part of the picture. What we do learn from these is that Chinese demand is running close to record levels. The government has encouraged this as a matter of policy, so as to build up the nation’s gold. Gold is not allowed to be exported from the country. The volatility of the Stock Exchange there is a discouragement for long term investors and is not regarded as competition for gold, as in most parts of Asia gold is not bought for profit but for financial security.  As the Chinese middle classes burgeon so more and more gold investors arrive in the market. On top of this present middle classes continue to buy more.

India

Ahead of GST, jewelers increased their purchases to replenish inventory, so as to profit from demand for gold after the additional GST was imposed. From a year ago the gold imports surged four-fold to 103 tonnes. Now that the GST rate increase has happened, it is likely that internal gold demand will jump until these extra stockpiles are reduced. We fully expect Indian gold imports to slow until the harvest time is over, round about September.

With the forecasts for the monsoon positive this year and indeed having already started in  some regions, we believe demand later in the year will increase strongly.

Inflation in the E.U. and U.S.

The Federal Reserve’s preferred price measure rose 1.7% in April from a year ago, down from 1.9% in March and 2.1% in February. Core inflation, which strips out volatile oil and food costs, also slowed to the weakest annual pace since 2015. This raises questions about next week’s rate hike.

In the Euro zone, while producer prices rose 4.3% from a year earlier in May, that pressure has yet to flow through to consumer inflation. Euro zone inflation decelerated to 1.4 % in May, the weakest reading this year, from 1.9% a month earlier. We do not expect the E.C.B. to begin slowing their stimulus program until there is a marked change in this figure.

Gold ETFs – Friday, saw no purchases of gold into the SPDR gold ETF, but saw purchases of 0.66 of a tonne of gold into the Gold Trust. Their holdings are now at 851.003 tonnes and, at 205 tonnes respectively.

Since January 6th 2017 43.759 tonnes have been added to the SPDR gold ETF and the Gold Trust.

Julian D.W. Phillips  – GoldForecaster.com | SilverForecaster.com | StockBridge Management Alliance 

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Greenspan, Inflation and China boost gold

By Frank Holmes – CEO and Chief Investment Officer US Global Investors

With U.S. inflation rising, a March rate hike now looks all but imminent. Many economists—including the Goldman Sachs economists I had the pleasure to hear speak this week—expect to see at least three such hikes this year alone.

US Inflation Zooms up 5 Year High
click to enlarge

Gold responded accordingly, closing above $1,240 for the first time since soon after the November election. Below you can see the gold price charted against the inflation-adjusted 10-year Treasury yield, which is now in subzero territory.

US Inflation Zooms up 5 Year High
click to enlarge

The question I have is: Why would an investor deliberately choose to lose money? But that’s precisely what’s happening now with inflation where it is.

2-Year 3-Year 10-Year
Treasury Yield 1.22% 1.95% 2.45%
Consumer Price Index 2.50% 2.50% 2.50%
Real Yield -1.28% -0.55% -0.05%
As of February 16
Source: Federal Reserve, U.S. Global Investors

These were among some of the topics addressed by former Fed Chair Alan Greenspan, who spoke with the World Gold Council (WGC) for the winter edition of its “Gold Investor.”

Gold primary global currency

“Significant increases in inflation will ultimately increase the price of gold,” Greenspan said. “Investment in gold now is insurance. It’s not for short-term gain, but for long-term protection.”

He also reiterated his view, which I share, that gold is much more than just a metal but a currency:

I view gold as the primary global currency. It is the only currency, along with silver, that does not require a counterparty signature. Gold, however, has always been far more valuable per ounce than silver. No one refuses gold as payment to discharge an obligation. Credit instruments and fiat currency depend on the credit worthiness of a counterparty. Gold, along with silver, is one of the only currencies that has an intrinsic value. It has always been that way. No one questions its value, and it has always been a valuable commodity, first coined in Asia Minor in 600 BC.

Although major stock indices continue to hit fresh all-time highs on hopes of tax reform and fiscal stimulus, it’s important to temper the exuberance with a little prudence. The bull market, currently in its eighth year, is facing some significant geopolitical and macroeconomic uncertainty, and we could be getting late in the economic cycle. This makes gold’s investment case even more attractive. For the 10-year period, the yellow metal has shown an inverse correlation to risk assets such as stocks and high-yield bonds. It might be time to ensure that your portfolio has the recommended 10 percent in gold—that includes 5 percent in gold coins and jewelry, the other 5 percent in quality gold equities and mutual funds.

China and India to Lead World Economy by 2050

The long-term investment case for gold looks just as compelling following bullish reports last week from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and Morgan Stanley. China and India are the world’s top two consumers of gold, and both countries are expected to make huge economic gains in the next few decades. This is likely to boost gold demand even more, which has a high correlation with discretionary income growth.

China alone consumed approximately 2,000 metric tons in 2016, or roughly 60 percent of all the new gold that was mined during the year, according to veteran mining commentator Lawrie Williams, who based his estimates partially on calculations made by BullionStar’s Koos Jansen. The 2,000 metric tons is a much higher figure than what analysts and the media have been telling us, but I’ve always suspected China’s annual consumption to run higher than “official” numbers.

According to PwC’s models, China and India should become the world’s number one and number two largest economies by 2050 based on purchasing power parity (PPP). China, of course, is already the largest economy by that measure, but PwC sees the Asian giant surpassing the U.S. economy on an absolute basis by as early as 2030.

Top 10 Economies Dominated Emerging Markets 2050
click to enlarge

As for India, it “currently comprises 7 percent of world GDP at PPP, which we project to rise steadily to over 15 percent by 2050,” PwC writes. “This is a remarkable increase of 8 percentage points, gaining the most ground of any of the countries we modeled.”

I think it’s also worth highlighting Indonesia, which is expected to replace Japan as the fourth-largest economy by midcentury. E7 economies, in fact, could end up dominating the top 10, with Mexico moving up to number seven and France dropping off. You can see the full list on PwC’s site.

China Set to Become High Income by 2027

Then there’s Morgan Stanley’s 118-page report, “Why we are bullish on China.” The investment bank sees a number of dramatic changes over the coming years, the most significant being China’s transition from a middle-income nation to a prosperous, high-income nation sometime between 2024 and 2027. (The high-income threshold is a gross national income (GNI) of around $12,500 per capita.) This would make China one of only three countries with populations over 20 million that have managed to accomplish this feat in the past 30 years, the other two being South Korea and Poland.

Top 10 Economies Dominated Emerging Markets 2050
click to enlarge

This trajectory is supported by a number of expectations, including, most importantly, Morgan Stanley’s confidence that China will manage to avoid a debt-related financial crisis, as some investors might now believe is forthcoming. The bank’s view is that the Chinese government will successfully provide “adequate policy buffers and deft management of the policy cycle” to ensure the growth of per capita incomes.

Other key transitions will additionally need to take place for the country to reach high-income status by 2027, including transitioning from a high investment economic model to high consumption and implementing meaningful state-owned enterprise reform. Although China is currently transitioning from a manufacturing economy to one that’s focused on consumption and services, the country will also need to emphasize high value-added manufacturing.

chineseshoppers

 In addition, since President Donald Trump has officially withdrawn the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), China could very well use this as an opportunity to take the lead in global trade, Morgan Stanley writes. This view aligns with comments I’ve previously made. China is already reportedly weighing its options with two alternative free-trade agreements (FTAs), one that includes the U.S. (the Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific) and one that does not (the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership). It’s probably safe to say, however, that given Trump’s opposition to FTAs, trade negotiations involving the U.S. are unlikely to happen anytime soon.

Investors Underweight China

Taken together, this is all good news for gold. Again, when incomes rise in China and India, gold demand has historically benefited.

But it also makes China a compelling place to invest in. And yet investors have tended to be shy, underweighting the country for at least a decade in relation to the broader emerging markets universe.

Time Reverse Course China Stocks 2050
click to enlarge

This, despite the fact that China has largely outperformed emerging markets for the last 15 years. According to Morgan Stanley, the MSCI China Index has delivered a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13 percent for the 15-year period, versus the MSCI Emerging Markets Index’s CAGR of 10 percent over the same period.