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Gold Flirts with Yearly High as U.S.-Russia Tensions Escalate

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The price of gold rose sharply Wednesday, as markets reacted to a series of threatening tweets from President Trump over Russia’s role in the Syrian conflict.

Haven Demand Boosts Gold

Gold futures strengthened to a high of $1,369.40 a troy ounce on Wednesday, which would have marked the best close of the year The futures contract consolidated at $1,356.80 for a gain of $10.90, or 0.8%.

While the yellow metal has only returned 3.6% since the year began, it has shown more stability, with prices failing to break below $1,300.00. Bullion also benefited from the dollar’s worst start to a year in over a decade. Since gold futures are priced in dollars, they are highly sensitive to the currency’s fluctuations. In general, a weaker greenback makes gold more attractive for holders of other currencies.

Silver prices also rallied on Wednesday, with the June futures contract adding 7 cents, or 0.5%, to $16.67 per troy ounce.

Gold’s premium over silver rose to 81.37 on Wednesday. This essentially means that one ounce of gold is worth 81.37 ounces of silver. The ratio skyrocketed to 82.00 at the start of April, which was the highest since mid-2016.

Bullion has made over-sized gains relative to silver for the better part of a year, with the gold/silver ratio climbing more than 18% over 12 months.

Source: Goldprice.org.

Syria: The Center of Chaos

Demand for gold increased after President Trump threatened Russia with war for its involvement in backstopping Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. An alleged chemical attack on the Syrian city of Douma over the weekend prompted the Trump administration to consider stronger military intervention. Based on Trump’s tweets, missile strikes have already been decided, although the size and duration of the assault remain unclear.

The Assad regime has been accused of using chemical weapons several times despite handing over its arsenal in 2014 as part of a brokered agreement with Russia.

Though Syria’s war has raged on for more than seven years, it has had a relatively small impact on the markets as pro-Assad forces appeared poised to win back control of the country’s major population centers. However, the specter of a bigger clash between Russia and the United States would exacerbate what is already a deteriorating relationship. For investors, this likely means more haven buying of gold and other tangible assets.

Interestingly, bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have been described as having similar attributes to commodities. Being non-correlated with the broader market, bitcoin could become more attractive in a risk-off setting.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. 

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.7 stars on average, based on 773 rated postsChief Editor to Hacked.com and Contributor to CCN.com, Sam Bourgi has spent the past nine years focused on economics, markets and cryptocurrencies. His work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Avid crypto watchers and those with a libertarian persuasion can follow him on twitter at @hsbourgi




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Commodities

Gold Loses Some of Its Shine on Profit-Taking

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Gold snapped a three-day winning streak on Thursday and was on track for its biggest decline since November, as investors took profits following the latest surge in prices.

Overbought Resistance

Gold for April delivery fell $11.60, or 0.9%, to $1,336.30 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was down by as much as 1% earlier in the day.

The yellow metal was considered overbought following a three-day surge that took prices to new ten-month highs. The Relative Strength Index (RSI) peaked in the mid-70s on Wednesday but has since fallen back to 66.00. An RSI above 70 is a good indicator that the asset is overbought and due for a short-term correction.

Read: Chinese Lunar New Year stokes demand for gold.

May silver futures declined 30 cents, or 1.8%, to $15.99 a troy ounce. The grey metal approached eight-month highs in the previous session.

The U.S. dollar failed to rally on Thursday but appears to have emerged from a recent soft patch. The dollar index (DXY), which tracks the performance of the greenback against a basket of six rivals, held steady at 96.46.

Bulls Maintain Upper Hand

Gold’s bearish-to-bullish trend reversal began in the fourth quarter as traders used the traditional safe haven to hedge against global volatility. Strong demand from China, the world’s largest bullion consumer, has also underpinned the rally. Gold prices in Shanghai recently hit their highest in 31 months.

The yuan is playing a role in keeping China’s wholesale gold market priced at a significant premium relative to its peers in London. At last check, Chinese gold prices held a $10.50 per ounce premium over London quotes, once again signaling firm demand.

In the United States, a dovish pivot by the Federal Reserve could help accelerate gold’s recovery as traders worry less about declining liquidity and a stronger dollar. On Wednesday, the central bank released the minutes of its January policy meeting, where officials noted a “variety of considerations that supported a patient approach” to monetary policy. Read more: U.S. Stocks Rise as Fed Confirms Dovish Pivot.

For futures traders, this means further rate hikes will be put on hold for the foreseeable future as the Fed monitors stock-market volatility and slowing global growth.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. Chart via Barchart.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.7 stars on average, based on 773 rated postsChief Editor to Hacked.com and Contributor to CCN.com, Sam Bourgi has spent the past nine years focused on economics, markets and cryptocurrencies. His work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Avid crypto watchers and those with a libertarian persuasion can follow him on twitter at @hsbourgi




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Commodities

Gold Price: Chinese Lunar New Year Stokes Buying Frenzy

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Gold notched fresh ten-month highs Wednesday and was on track for its third consecutive session in the green as physical demand from China provided another catalyst for the buying frenzy.

Bullion Approaches $1,350

Gold for April delivery reached a high of $1,349.80 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. That was the highest since last April. At the time of writing, the yellow metal was trading at $1,346.10 a troy ounce, where it gained $1.30, or 0.1%.

Bullion’s rally moderated at the start of February but has since come back stronger. Prices are up 3% since Feb. 11.

Further reading: Gold Rush Continues as Bullion Tops $1,340 for the First Time Since April

March silver futures rose 6 cents, or 0.5%, to $16.03 a troy ounce. The platinum spot price surged $8.84, or 1.1%, to $828.49 a pound.

Chinese Demand

Precious metals are seeing higher demand not just from traders, but consumers as well. The latest buying frenzy came on the heels of Chinese’s recent Lunar New Year celebrations, which culminated in the first week of February. The week-long celebration is known to trigger high demand for jewelry.

That was the key takeaway from the latest weekly report from Metals Focus. Analysts at the British research firm issued the following statement regarding China and the gold rally (as quoted by Kitco):

“Some manufacturers we talked to said they have received healthy stock replenishment orders, since business reopened on 11th February, while others expect retailers to return after the Lantern Festival (19th February). This lends more confidence to our forecast that the Chinese jewelry market will enjoy further modest y/y growth in 2019.”

Large orders ahead of the holiday allowed the firm to reiterate its forecast for a 3% rise in Chinese jewelry demand this year. That follows a similar increase in 2018.

China is at the center of an ongoing trade dispute with the United States that has threatened to not only undermine global economic growth, but the price of gold as well. China remains heavily dependent on exports to sustain its economy and any disruption in trade flows could hasten an economic cooldown that began more than five years ago.

Beijing has sent an envoy to Washington to continue negotiating a new trade agreement. Both sides have until March 1 to reach a new agreement before tariffs on Chinese imports are reapplied. However, President Trump has expressed willingness to let the deadline “slide” if both sides made enough progress in their talks.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. Chart via Barchart.com.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.7 stars on average, based on 773 rated postsChief Editor to Hacked.com and Contributor to CCN.com, Sam Bourgi has spent the past nine years focused on economics, markets and cryptocurrencies. His work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Avid crypto watchers and those with a libertarian persuasion can follow him on twitter at @hsbourgi




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Commodities

Gold Rush Continues as Bullion Tops $1,340 for the First Time Since April

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Gold’s relentless push higher continued on Tuesday, as the yellow metal topped $1,340.00 a troy ounce for the first time in over ten months.

Market Update

Gold for April delivery surged $18.40, or 1.4%, to $1,340.50 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange where it was eyeing its highest settlement since Apr. 19, 2018. Bullion has gained in back-to-back sessions and three of the past four days.

The yellow metal has rallied 4.6% in 2019 and 12% since the fourth quarter began.

Silver futures also produced solid results on Tuesday. The March futures contract rallied 18 cents, or 1.2%, to $15.93 a troy ounce. That’s the highest in almost three weeks.

Precious metals are being propped up by a declining U.S. dollar, which is currently mired in a four-day slump. The U.S. dollar index (DXY), which tracks the performance of the greenback against a basket of six peers, fell 0.2% to 96.70. Since peaking at two-month highs, the greenback has lost 0.4%.

Can’t Stop Gold: Yellow Metal Notches Ten-Month High Despite Improved Risk Sentiment

Markets Await Data Flow

A somber mood on Wall Street and in Europe may have also contributed to the rally on Tuesday as investors shifted their attention to macroeconomic data from key markets. The large-cap S&P 500 Index was trading flat by mid-morning. European markets were all lower. That being said, gold’s recent performance has been largely uncorrelated with stocks and other risk-on assets.

The Federal Reserve will release the minutes of its latest policy meeting on Wednesday. Central bankers voted to keep interest rates on hold last month and signaled dovish turn in their forward guidance. The prevailing view for now is that the Fed will not raise interest rates in 2019. Some analysts believe the central bank is more likely to cut rates before raising them again.

A steady stream of PMI data for European and U.S. markets are scheduled for the latter half of the week. On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Commerce will report on durable goods orders, a key proxy for factory demand.

Central-bank speeches from the Fed and European Central Bank will make headlines on Friday. In the same session, Germany will report on fourth-quarter GDP. The European Commission will also release its revised consumer inflation report for January.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. Chart via Barchart.com.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.7 stars on average, based on 773 rated postsChief Editor to Hacked.com and Contributor to CCN.com, Sam Bourgi has spent the past nine years focused on economics, markets and cryptocurrencies. His work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Avid crypto watchers and those with a libertarian persuasion can follow him on twitter at @hsbourgi




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