Metal Traders Eyeing ECB And NFP

Metal Traders Eyeing ECB And NFP
Metal Traders Eyeing ECB And NFP
Precious metals are sitting tight this morning with gold moving between small gains and losses trading at 1256.70 after touching a 2014 high on Wednesday. gold silverPlatinum is taking its cues from gold trading at 1378.90 while silver is marching to its own drummer gaining 133 points to trade at 19.938. Silver seems likely that it will break back above the $20 level after trading on the low end of its range for the past two weeks. Stronger industrial demand and traders taking advantage of the low prices have been buying up the commodity. Silver positing a climb of 2.2% on Wednesday touching an intraday high of $20.02 but was unable to hold above the line. Gold and silver prices are expected to trade higher in today’s trading session as recovery in ETF holdings coupled with yesterday’s release of not-so positive US jobs data will be supportive for precious metals. On Wednesday gold prices remained in a range after a choppy session as mixed bag of US data and volatile equities globally kept the prices in range. Indian jewelers are stepping up imports of finished gold jewelry from Dubai and Singapore, as a record high import tax on the metal and rising premiums demanded by sellers choke bullion supplies in the world’s second-biggest consumer. Gold prices are expected to move in a range for the day investors would await US Non-farm data tomorrow and ECB interest rate decision today. Gold remains flat in the Asian session as global equities remained volatile amid lower risk appetite and concerns over economic growth, and as investors waited for cues from US jobs data. A mixed bag of US data added to pressure from the emerging markets turmoil on equity markets, underpinning safe-haven assets such as gold and the yen.

Investors are now waiting for the Friday release of US nonfarm payrolls data, a key gauge of the labour market, as any setback in economic growth could prompt the Federal Reserve to slow the pace of its stimulus tapering.  In the physical markets, traders were waiting for the return of Chinese market on Friday, after a week-long holiday for the Lunar New Year. Platinum was trading flat as government-brokered talks between mine union AMCU and the world’s three biggest platinum producers to end a two week wage strike in South Africa have adjourned to allow for individual consultations. 

copperBase metals on the LME traded on a mixed note yesterday. While base metals gained in the earlier part of trade due to relief rally and weakness in the US dollar, the risk aversion in the markets, kept a check on gains in the later part. Also, negative economic data from the US and eurozone exerted downside pressure on prices. Copper added 10 points in this morning’s Asian session to trade at 3.203 remaining at the bottom of its trading range. Copper eased yesterday but the decline in LME inventories by 0.7 percent to 311,225 ton along with weakness in the DX cushioned sharp downside in the prices.

 

Precious Metals Climb On Emerging Markets Worries

Precious Metals Climb On Emerging Markets Worries
Precious Metals Climb On Emerging Markets Worries
Precious metals fell on Friday, notching its first weekly drop in six due to strong U.S. economic growth, concerns over the U.S. Federal Reserve’s withdrawal of monetary stimulus and a slump in Chinese demand. Chinese markets closed late in the week for the Lunar holiday and will remain shuttered for the balance of the week. Gold recovered a bit in the Asian session to trade at 1244.40. Silver gained 10 points to trade at 19.13 well below its average trading range and its range in 2014. Platinum gained $6.45 to trade at 13847.35 below its trading range. Stress over the turmoil in the emerging nations has sent traders to the safety of gold and the yen support both assets. The International Monetary Fund said some developing countries need to take action to “improve fundamentals” as emerging-market stocks extended their worst start to a year since 2008. Gold returned to the lower end of its current range with the near-term outlook very much depending on the direction of the US stock market and the dollar. Slowing Chinese demand sent the metal looking for support once again. The failure to gain a proper stronghold above resistance at 1,272 triggered another bailing out of long positions gold may find enough support from this weakness to stay above important support at $1,231/ounce.

Despite the current rangebound nature, gold nevertheless had a good January which yielded a positive return for the first time since August and in the process, the yellow metal outperformed bonds, stocks and the dollar. Compared with the beginning of the year, the investor attitude towards gold has been on the mend, but so far institutional investors continue to stay clear while hedge funds are only engaging on a relatively small scale. Continued stock market weakness and a prolonged emerging-market crisis may alter the outlook for global growth and eventually persuade investors back into gold, but until such time, a bearish approach by many investors will continue to limit the upside.

Copper slumped by around 2 percent last week on the back of unfavorable data from the two biggest consumers, the US and China. Also, mixed economic data from Eurozone along with weak global market sentiments exerted downside pressure on prices. Low inflation remains in Europe which might prompt the ECB to take some action this week. Further, announcement of QE taper of $10 billion by the Federal Reserve in its meeting last week led to strength in the DX and thereby acted as negative factor for prices of the metal. The decline in inventories by around 4 percent could not prevent downside movement. Copper is trading at 3.198 well below its trading range. With the Chinese markets closed for the week there might be little action here. Palladium recovered $1.30 to trade at 704.90. During the Asian session this morning trading Base metals at the LME platform are trading marginally lower tracking the negative Asian equities.

Precious and Base Metals Continue To Weaken

Precious and Base Metals Continue To Weaken
Precious and Base Metals Continue To Weaken

Gold recovered $1.60 this morning in the Asian session to trade at 1244.10 after declining yesterday. Precious metals fell around 2 percent on Thursday, its biggest one-day drop in more than a month, as a pullback in the U.S. Federal Reserve’s stimulus program and an equities rally on robust U.S. growth data prompted bullion investors to take profits. Gold prices had climbed to the 1260 level as jitters hit the markets over the emerging nation’s economic crisis. Hedge fund managers and money managers closed their positions as gold is looking to decline to the 1200 price level or lower as forecast by several major analysts. SPDR Gold Trust holding fell by 0.6 tons on Thursday.  With the Chinese markets closing for a week for the Lunar holiday there will be little support by physical purchases.

Yesterday, analysts suggested a volatile trend for gold which led us to recommend only momentary trades. Gold prices were highly volatile yesterday as it initially moved higher to $1267 during the Asian and early European session but, in the US trading hours, it declined sharply to $1237 and settled the day at $1242.20. Most of the price action was noticed during the US session post the US GDP data, which stood unchanged at 3.20% while personal consumption improved. Meanwhile, the Fed slashed its asset purchase programme by $10 billion, also supporting a rise in the USD index, the negative impact of which was felt on the euro as well as gold. Silver gained 64 points to trade at 19.19 well below its trading range as precious metals are weak along with base metals.  Most of the base metals at the LME platform declined heading for the worst decline in the month of January since 2010 on the back of weak manufacturing data in China along with the Fed trimming its asset purchase program by another 10$billion to $65 billion.  Copper is trading at 3.218 down by 6 points after its steady decline yesterday. LME Copper fell by 0.4 percent taking cues from sharp decline in pending home sales data from the US, the second biggest consumer. Also, the announcement of QE taper of another $10 billion by the Federal Reserve on Wednesday led to strength in the DX and exerted downside pressure. Further, drop in manufacturing data from China acted as a negative factor.  However, decline in inventories by 0.8 percent to 316,200 tons prevented sharp downside movement in the prices.  No. 1 copper producer Chile produced around 5.8 million tons of the metal last year, a 6.1 percent increase from 2012 levels and a fresh record, the government said on Thursday. Platinum was flat at 1383.45 while palladium drifted down by $1.60 to trade at 705.50.

Fed Tapering, Chinese Data & Emerging Nation Crisis Move Metals Markets

Fed Tapering, Chinese Data & Emerging Nation Crisis Move Metals Markets
Fed Tapering, Chinese Data & Emerging Nation Crisis Move Metals Markets

Precious metals continue to gain, paying very little attention to the Federal Reserve tapering and economic assessment. Yesterday the FOMC reduced its asset purchases by another $10 billion beginning February 1st as Mr. Bernanke leaves the Federal Reserve turning the reins over to Janet Yellen at the end of the week. Gold is trading at 1262.90 as traders worry over the crisis brewing in the emerging nations. Gold traders reacted for just minutes after the Federal Reserve announcement pushing gold below the 1250 price level but recovering within minutes. Recent economic data suggest an uneven US housing and labour-market recovery while political and economic turmoil has gripped developing economies from Turkey to India.

Worries about the health of emerging markets intensified on Wednesday after interest rate increases by central banks in Turkey and South Africa weren’t enough to calm worries about the stability of emerging markets. Global stock markets fell as investors moved to the Japanese yen, US government debt, and gold. SPDR gold holdings rose 2.10 tons to move up to 792.56 tonnes. Stock and foreign exchange markets from Istanbul to Sao Paulo remained under stress, with the Turkish lira staging a short-lived rally after a big hike in interest rates

“If you believe that where there’s smoke there’s fire, these emerging markets issues could have far reaching implications” for gold, said Roy Friedman, an executive vice president with Dillon Gage Metals, a precious metals dealer. If emerging markets woes linger, “we could see a continuation of money rotating out of equities and finding a home in precious metals”.

Silver diverged from gold this morning to give up 4 points to trade at 19.548 weighed down by worries over industrial and base metal demands. Platinum gave up $8.35 to trade at 1405.25 while palladium declined 70 cents to trade at 713.70.

Soft data from China this morning continues to weigh on the markets combined with worries over the emerging nation crisis sent industrial metals downwards. Copper gave up 12 points to trade at 3.232, capping the longest slump in 15 months, on speculation that rising borrowing costs in emerging markets will damp economic growth, eroding demand for industrial metals. China’s HSBC Final Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell marginally by 0.1 points to 49.5-mark in January as against a rise of 49.6-level in December.

The South Africa Reserve Bank unexpectedly increased its benchmark interest rate, following central banks from Turkey to Brazil. Countries tightened monetary policy to bolster their currencies. A gauge of global equities approached the lowest in six weeks, while aluminum, nickel, zinc and lead dropped.

 

Precious Metals Speculators Sitting On The Edge Of Their Seats

Precious Metals Speculators Sitting On The Edge Of Their Seats
Precious Metals Speculators Sitting On The Edge Of Their Seats

It’s a big big day for precious metal traders as the Federal Reserve makes their decision on tapering monthly asset purchases. Most speculators believe that the FOMC will announce an additional tapering $10 billion monthly. Markets have priced in this decision but there is a strong possibility that the Fed’s may offer a larger tapering. A minor consensus is a total tapering of $25 billion. With the Fed’s limited mandated scope of full employment and inflation or price control other aspects of the recovery do not carry much weight. Earlier in the month the nonfarm payroll pointed to a drop in new jobs creation as unemployment tumbled much lower than expected holding at 6.7%. This might force the Fed’s to take more aggressive action than the markets are expecting. Gold is trading at 1253.20 up by $2.70 in the Asian session while silver gained 84 points to trade at 19.587. Platinum has gained $1.60 to reach 1411.85. These gains are surprising as the US dollar also gained in the morning session adding 10 points to trade at 80.74.

With Argentina and Turkey taking measures to control the devaluation of their currency and rebound in equities, the yellow metal is certainly under pressure. In India, the Reserve Bank of India’s move to raise key interest rates will draw investments, strengthening the rupee. Buying of physical gold in Asia could slow ahead of the Chinese holidays and due to buyers’ unease to pay higher prices. Chinese demand is a far more important determinant of gold prices going forward than QE tapering by the Federal Reserve. Just look at other markets. Last year China overtook France as the world’s biggest consumer of red wine. Think what that has meant for wine prices over the past decade. First growths went to being affordable by the Western middle classes to being for the one-per cent only. Holdings in SPDR Trust, the world’s biggest exchange-traded fund, were unchanged at 790.46 tons.

Industrial metals hit a seven-week low on Tuesday as buying interest faded ahead of the Chinese New Year and as a stronger dollar weighed, though a steadier tone in emerging markets helped limit the metal’s losses. Copper closed down 6 points at 3.253 yesterday and recovered this morning in the Asian session adding 12 points to trade at 3.263. Prices closed nearer the session low and hit another six-week low today. Copper bears have the overall near-term technical advantage. Prices are in a four-week-old downtrend on the daily bar chart. Copper bulls’ next upside breakout objective is pushing and closing prices above solid technical resistance at last week’s high of 3.358. Copper prices moved in a range to lower for the day as investors await FOMC meet. Turkey’s central bank stunned investors with a huge hike in interest rates on Wednesday stirring hopes the drastic action would short-circuit a vicious cycle of selling in emerging markets. Investors also worried over slowing Chinese economy and its impact on other emerging markets.

Gold Down, Silver and Copper Up

Gold Down, Silver and Copper Up
Gold Down, Silver and Copper Up

The metals markets are all abuzz over the Federal Reserve meeting today and tomorrow as traders begin to take positions ahead of tomorrow’s decision. The big question is tapering or not to taper and just how much will the FOMC taper. Gold gave up $6.20 to trade at 1257.30 while silver added 10 cents to reach 19.803. Platinum gained $10.60 to trade at 1421.70 and palladium gained $2.20 to trade at 724.30. Gold is the only precious metal trading in the red.

China’s 2013 gold imports from Hong Kong more than doubled from the previous year to reach a record of more than 1,000 tonnes as a sharp fall in prices led to unprecedented demand as China slowly surpasses India as the world’s largest consumer of the precious metal. Physical buying has been supporting prices after the World Gold Council announced new records in gold sales.  Off late Chinese demand has been supporting prices as China’s net gold imports from Hong Kong rose 24% in December bringing the total purchases for 2013 to a record 1,158 tons.  

Gold is witnessing a decent cut in early trade with prices trading lower by near 0.45% to $1257 per ounce mark. While there are no major cues as far as the commodity is concerned, market is probably building into a hawkish scenario from the FOMC meeting. Traders are speculative whether the Fed would extend its trimming down of bond purchase program by another $10 Bln to $65 Bln in the current meeting or not. Traders feel the recent set of economic cues from the US had not been highly supportive for a highly aggressive policy stance from the Fed. So while the US Central bank is unlikely to hit the block by another round of MBS or Treasury bond cuts, its comments though would be watched carefully. Overall set of markets positivism over the improving labor situation in the US would aid support to the Fed to continue its tightening in coming meetings.

Industrial metals were trading flattish after edging down sharply yesterday, as tight physical supply buffered prices against emerging market turmoil fanned by expectations that the Fed will scale back stimulus this week. Copper gained 10 points to trade at 3.264 on implied demands and a further decline in the US dollar. During the Asian session today, base metals at the LME platform are trading on a mixed note. Coming to the commodity specific cues, traders maintain a negative bias on copper on concerns that the demand from China might slow down on the back of declining factory output. Coming to aluminum we are maintaining a ranged view on the commodity as on one hand the commodity might get support from the record high premiums due to shortage of supplies from the Detroit warehouse amidst abnormally low temperatures in the US. However on the other hand, the commodity might take negative cues from the durable goods orders data excluding transportation which might decline from its previous readings.

Metals To Lose Ground After Lackluster Chinese Data

Metals To Lose Ground After Lackluster Chinese Data
Metals To Lose Ground After Lackluster Chinese Data

Gold continues to lose ground steadily easing down to the $1220 level forecast by JPMorgan Chase last week. Gold gave up $3.80 to trade at 1234.80 after tumbling off recent highs on Wednesday.  Silver continues to follow gold trading in the red giving up 106 points Thursday morning to trade at 19.733. The weakness in precious metals continued to platinum and palladium which are both in the red this morning, trading at 1454.60 and 745.40 respectively after lackluster Chinese manufacturing data compounding the fall in metals. China’s flash Markit/HSBC Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell to 49.6 in January from December’s final reading of 50.5. A drop below 50 signals a slowdown, while above that is an indication of expansion. Holdings in the SPDR Gold Trust, the biggest bullion-backed exchange-traded product, contracted yesterday after expanding 0.9 percent on Jan. 17, the biggest one-day increase since November 2011.

The dollar had risen by a similar amount yesterday in the wake of the release of stronger than expected local quarterly inflation data. “The marginal contraction of January’s headline HSBC flash China manufacturing PMI was mainly dragged by cooling domestic demand conditions,” said HSBC chief economist Qu Hongbin. “This implies softening growth momentum for manufacturing sectors, which has already weighed on employment growth. As inflation is not a concern, the policy focus should tilt towards supporting growth to avoid repeating growth deceleration seen in the first half of 2013.

Data today may show that the number of Americans continuing to apply for jobless benefits fell and home sales increased, supporting the case for less stimulus before Fed policy makers meet Jan. 28-29. In China, which probably overtook India as the biggest consumer last year, volumes for the benchmark contract on the Shanghai Gold Exchange exceeded the fourth quarter’s daily average of about 11,525 kilograms every day since Jan. 6.

Copper gave up 2 points in early trading after declining for most of the week. Copper is trading at 3.324 in the Asian session. London Metal Exchange copper prices drifted lower during Asian morning trading on Thursday January 23 after data pointed at contraction in China’s manufacturing sector. Gold dropped to a two-week low, heading for the longest losing streak in a month, as platinum slipped 0.4 percent. People are worrying about China’s credit crunch and slowdown and they will take any slice of negative news on slow growth as a reason to sell,” said Benjamin Tam, a Hong Kong-based portfolio manager at IG Investment Ltd., which oversees about $1.5 billion. “Slower growth is now the market consensus. People are watching whether the government can restore market confidence on sustainable growth.”

 

 

Gold Getting Ready For A Fall

Gold Getting Ready For A Fall
Gold Getting Ready For A Fall

International investors are the most upbeat about the global economy than at any time in almost five years, buoyed by the U.S.-led revival of industrial nations, according to the Bloomberg Global Poll.  Removing global concerns from gold traders is like pulling the rug out from under their feet. Gold has no hope at this point as it edges down. Gold is trading flat this morning at 1242.00 as traders take one last look and hope before the Federal Reserve meeting next week. Traders are trying to determine what stance the FOMC will take as Mr. Bernanke leads his last meeting. The odds now are favoring a reduction in monetary purchases by up to 25 billion dollars. Last month the Fed’s began to taper ahead of market expectations and reduced their purchases by just 10 billion dollars. With unemployment falling to 6.7% and inflation well within expected limits, the Fed’s will most likely favor a larger tapering package which will increase the value of the US dollar while killing gold.  Silver added 22 points to trade at 19.892 after tumbling this week as industrial metals fell on the back of the strong US dollar. The US dollar has been trading new recent highs. The DX is at 81.27 up by 6 points this morning.

gold usd

On Tuesday due to the absence of any economic data, the events and triggers we had expected for gold prices to remain mostly in a sideways trend failed to show while we had expected prices to trade marginally down. The same took place in Monday’s trading session. February futures gold prices traded down by around 0.81%. Today is going to be another steady trade day as there are no major events/triggers expected. In fact, the whole week has been very sideways and the market has been free from any major triggers. The IMF increased the global economy growth rate from 3.60% to 3.7%, which may have an impact on gold prices as global investors now anticipate a further cut down in the stimulus program.

Industrial metals edged higher on Tuesday as investors digested further evidence of tight nearby supply, although concerns about Chinese demand and worries that rising stocks of concentrate will soon be processed into metal kept gains in check. Copper is trading at 3.345 down by 2 points this morning as the US dollar continues to weigh on prices. Surplus stocks of copper will tighten significantly this year and next as new mine output fails to translate into refined metal, helping buffer prices from the impact of slow economic growth and uncertain Chinese demand, a Reuters poll shows. China’s refined copper imports in 2013 dropped 5.8 percent from record levels seen a year ago, although arrivals are expected to rise in 2014 as importers ramp up bookings for term shipments.

In other metals platinum is trading at 1457.70 up by $6.35 while palladium edged down by 80 cents to trade at 747.20.

Precious Metals and Industrial Metals Trading In The Green

Precious Metals and Industrial Metals Trading In The Green
Precious Metals and Industrial Metals Trading In The Green

Gold climbed $3.50 this morning to trade at 1255.40 nearing a recent high, as volume for the day should be light with US traders out of the market for Martin Luther King Day. Silver also saw gains this morning to start off the week at 20.328 up by 24 pips. The US dollar remains flat near a 2014 at 81.33 and is expected to climb this week in anticipation of the Federal Reserve meeting coming on the 29th of the month.  Precious metals rose on Friday as weakness in U.S. equities, strong fund buying and Asian physical demand lifted bullion to its fourth consecutive weekly gain. Holding at SPDR Gold Trust and iShares the largest precious metals EFT’s remained flat, offering little support for the metals.  At the end of last week gold prices gained around 0.5 percent on the back of sharp rise in gold ETF’s which is managed under SPDR Gold Holdings Trust. Gold holdings was seen on a declining trend for most of the week but in the later part of the week a sharp rise of 7.5 tonnes or 1 percent was seen on Friday and stood at 797.05 tonnes. However, sharp upside in the prices was restricted due to strength in the DX coupled with concerns of QE tapering by the Federal Reserve. The US Dollar Index gained by 0.8 percent in the last week on the back of concerns of QE tapering by the Federal Reserve in its meeting on 28th-29th Jan’14. However, sharp upside in the currency was capped due to favorable economic data from the country. Further, rise in risk appetite in market sentiments after World Bank raising the growth forecast for 2014 and 2015 which led to fall in demand for the low yielding currency restricted positive movement in the currency. The currency touched a weekly high of 81.43 and closed at 81.36 on Friday.  

Data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission also showed on Friday that hedge funds and money managers raised their bullish bets in gold and silver futures and options for a third week amid a decline in stocks. Prices were finding a floor near $1,200 as that was close to the cost of production just a week ago. If gold prices were to fall below the cost of production, producers would be forced to shut loss-making mines, thereby creating a supply constraint that could push prices up. This might happen after the FOMC meeting next week.

gold

Among other precious metals, spot platinum gained after the main trade union for South African platinum miners said the workers will strike this week at the world’s top three producers, hitting over half of global output. Platinum is trading at 1459.15 up by $4.30 while palladium is up $2.50 at 750.80.

Data released this morning from China has also had a positive effect with Chinese GDP printing at 7.7% for 2013, which is above the government forecast of 7.5% along with retail sales printing at forecast.  Copper jumped 7 points after the data release to trade at 3.350. Industrial metals hit their highest in more than a week on Friday due to a supply shortfall in physical markets, but prospects of aggressive action by the U.S. Federal Reserve to curb stimulus capped gains. London copper was in the green this morning as markets responded to fourth quarter economic growth in China, the world’s top metals consumer, and instead focused on tight supply. China’s annual growth eased to 7.7 percent in the fourth quarter as investment and demand flagged, and analysts say growth could cool further in 2014 as Beijing focuses on rebalancing the economy and other major reforms. China is the biggest user of most industrial metals, accounting for around 40 percent of refined copper demand.

copper silver

 

 

Up Beat US Data And Positive Fed Beige Book Pushes Up Copper and Leaves Gold Hanging

Up Beat US Data And Positive Fed Beige Book Pushes Up Copper and Leaves Gold Hanging
Up Beat US Data And Positive Fed Beige Book Pushes Up Copper and Leaves Gold Hanging

Precious metals remain in their trading range bouncing between the top and the bottom of that range. Yesterday gold prices were pushed lower to trade at 1239.00 but recovered a few dollars in the Asian session this morning to trade at 1241.50. The short term range is between 1237-1245 and the near term range is between 1235-1250 leaving gold pretty well rangebound ahead of the FOMC meeting at the end of the month. Silver continues to bounce up and down but seems to be holding the $20 price level. This morning the white metal is trading at 20.180 up by 46 points but has seen huge bounces during its daily trading but ends where it begins. Platinum eased by 15 points to trade at 1429.30 holding on to its longer term gains, while palladium climbed to 743.50 up by 90 cents. Precious metals fell for a second session on Wednesday as the dollar rallied after data showed U.S. producer prices rose sharply in December even though there were few signs of sustained price pressures.

The US Dollar Index gained by around 0.5 percent yesterday on the back of expectations of QE tapering by the Federal Reserve in its meeting on 28-29th January after favorable economic data. However, sharp upside in the currency was capped on the back of rise in risk appetite in market sentiments which led to decline in demand for the low yielding currency. Further, World Bank raising the global growth forecast and keeping the estimates unchanged at 2.8 percent in 2014 for US restricted positive movement in the currency. US Producer Price Index (PPI) gained 0.4 percent in December as against a fall of 0.1 percent in November. Empire State Manufacturing Index jumped to 12.5-mark in January from 1 level in December

Gold prices are expected to move down further as lack of demand in the market and positive data coming from US and other economies is denting the safe haven demand for gold. Gold prices moved down on Wednesday as positive Global outlook reduced the safe haven buying of Gold. IMF expects global growth to pick up this year, though deflation is a rising risk. India has asked jewelers to provide information on purchases of gold bars or jewelry worth more than 500,000 rupees ($8,100) by the end of this month to check and stop the rising smuggling of Gold. Stronger dollar index after positive PPI data from US also pushed the gold prices down. In a move towards making the gold futures contract more transparent and convenient for the Indian market participants, the NCDEX (National Commodity Derivatives Exchange) has taken the first step forward by introducing the Gold-Hedge contract. The contract is directly linked to international gold prices and excludes other charges like customs duty, premiums. 

Industrial metals on the LME traded higher yesterday taking cues from positive global growth forecast for 2014 by the World Bank that fuelled hopes of optimistic demand outlook for the base metals. Also, positive manufacturing data from the US coupled with upbeat global market sentiments acted as a supportive factor for the base metals. Additionally, decline in inventories added an upside in the prices. Further, strength in the DX could not pull the prices lower. Copper is trading at 3.359 climbing 4 points this morning after a steadily climb on Wednesday. Copper traded on a positive note by 0.8 percent on the back of expectations of rise in demand taking cues from positive growth along with decline in inventories by 0.5 percent to 336,250 tons acted as supportive factors.

Metals Mixed With Gold Up A Bit

Metals Mixed With Gold Up A Bit
Metals Mixed With Gold Up A Bit

Gold climbed to a new monthly high on Monday as traders took advantage of the drop in the US dollar to buy up the cheaper commodity. Traders are more concerned with the upcoming FOMC meeting on January 29th. Gold is trading at 1252.50 up by $1.40 at the end of the Asian session. Gold has rebounded from a six-month low of $1,182.27 on Dec. 31, when it capped the largest annual decline since 1981, on signs of strengthening demand in China. The country probably overtook India as the largest user last year. Volumes for the benchmark contract on the Shanghai Gold Exchange fell to 14,630 kilograms yesterday, compared with an eight-month high of 24,875 kilograms a week ago. Precious metals rose to a one-month high on Monday as fresh losses in U.S. equities triggered safe-haven buying and extended the previous session’s bullion rally sparked by lackluster U.S. nonfarm payrolls data. The Dow fell 200 points on Monday as traded began to worry about corporate earnings as data season begins this week.

Information from the U.S. Mint showed gold-coin sales were 63,000 ounces yesterday, topping the 56,000 ounces sold in all of December. The U.K.’s Royal Mint last week said it ran out of 2014 Sovereign gold coins on “exceptional demand.” Assets in the SPDR Gold Trust, the biggest bullion-backed exchange-traded product, were unchanged for a third day yesterday after sliding to a five-year low of 793.12 metric tons on Jan. 8.

Industrial metals rose on Monday, lifted by a weaker dollar after worse-than-expected U.S. labor market data reinforced the view that the U.S. Federal Reserve is likely to be cautious in scaling back its bond-buying stimulus program. Platinum reached $1,443.55 an ounce. The most powerful union at the world’s three biggest platinum producers plans meetings with its members this week in South Africa to test whether workers want to strike over pay. Silver dropped 0.3 percent to $20.3368 an ounce after climbing to $20.4657 yesterday, the highest since Dec. 11. Palladium traded at $740 an ounce from $740.05 yesterday, when the metal rose to $746.65, the highest price since Nov. 12.

Copper is up by 4 points this morning trading at 3.344. Depressed copper prices, pushed down by wavering confidence over China’s economic strength, attracted record inflows to ETF Securities’ ETPs for the industrial metal last week.  The Chinese government is trying to reform to avoid its economic dilemmas. Simply put, the new Chinese leader Xi Jinping and his colleagues must implement enough reform while ensuring that growth does not fall off quickly. Copper started the year robustly, but weaker than expected Chinese exports combined with lower HSBC/Markit PMI results for December sent it below $7,230 (£4,395) a ton. It recovered to end the week with only a 2.4 per cent fall from the previous week.

Chinese Trade and Inflation Worry Metals Traders

Chinese Trade and Inflation Worry Metals Traders
Chinese Trade and Inflation Worry Metals Traders

Gold traders are sitting tight waiting for today’s nonfarm payroll release. Gold gained $3.20 in Friday morning’s trade to settle at 1232.60. Precious metals rose on Thursday after two days of losses as traders added positions ahead of Friday’s key U.S. nonfarm payrolls report, which will be closely watched for clues on whether the Federal Reserve will keep trimming its bond-buying stimulus.

Gold prices moved up yesterday after moving in a range, gold ended up its session by moving in a range as mixed data coming from US and China kept the prices of Gold in range. Markets fear that a strong U.S. jobs report later today could prompt the Federal Reserve to further reduce its bond-buying stimulus. Bank of America Merrill Lynch lowered its 2014 average gold price forecast to $1,150, citing an uncertain macro-economic environment and lack of investment demand. Commodity exchange traded products suffered their worst year on record in 2013 as investors dumped gold holdings and joined the equity rally. Gold prices are expected to move lower after showing some upside however, positive US Non-Farm Payroll can push the prices down.  

Silver and other precious metals are taking their cues from gold with silver trading at 19.648 down by 35 points after a mixed trade balance report from China this morning. Chinese exports declined while Chinese imports climbed. Platinum is trading at 1421.90 up by $2.95 while palladium added 60 cents to reach 737.50. Copper might decline amidst concerns that the Chinese economy may continue slow down. China`s PPI which extended its decline for twenty two consecutive months is adding to the evidence that manufacturing sector is extending its weakness.

Copper is trading at 3.30 recovering 3 pips this morning after Thursday’s fall. Copper witnessed a huge fall in its prices in the yesterday`s trading session at the LME platform down by 1.8% .Copper Stockpiles monitored by exchanges in London, New York and Shanghai are at the lowest since November 2012, with LME inventories dropping for a 46th consecutive trading session day is not providing any respite to copper prices as the red metal has been declining on concerns of slowdown in Chinese economy.

Copper might decline amidst concerns that the Chinese economy may slow down As mentioned earlier China`s PPI which extended its decline for twenty two consecutive months is adding to the evidence that the economy weakened. Copper prices remained down for the day as poor Chinese CPI data pushed lower the demand sentiment for copper. China’s Trade Balance moved down to 25.6B vs 33.8B prev, concern over Chinese economy losing its steam is raising. Chinese imports of copper and iron ore likely fell in December from the month before due to a cash crunch and as growth momentum slowed.

 

Is Gold Losing Its Appeal ?

Is Gold Losing Its Appeal ?
Is Gold Losing Its Appeal ?

What can speculators expect from precious metals?

Gold continues to remain within a tight trading range between 1225-1250 well above its expected price. Most analyst forecast gold to be trading in January around the $1180 price level. Gold bulls have been able to successfully fend off the 1200 price with gold falling for just a short time under the psychological 1200 level. There is very little hope for gold, as its hangs on to the edge of the cliff for dear life it is just a matter of time before the fall comes. Gold is trading at 1226.30 at the very bottom of its range.

Gold has lost its appeal of late as a hedge against inflation as Mr. Bernanke has gently guided the Federal Reserve stimulus program through the difficult double edged sword of stimulating the economy and pushing up inflation With the Fed beginning their tapering early than expected there is little likelihood that inflation will skyrocket anytime soon in the US as it remains below expectations.

Gold’s 2nd appeal is for wealth retention, gold has and will continue to steadily increase in value and is a perfect place for long term investing except during economic periods when the prices are pushed up by artificial means. With gold expected to decline to the low 1100 range, this is not the time to enter the gold market to retain wealth as it will take years to recover pass the purchase price.

Lastly gold is a great safe haven, the price of gold skyrockets during geopolitical and economic crisis and returns to its value after these events. After almost 6 years of economic turmoil combined with political crisis mostly from the Middle East, today investors see a calm political climate and a global recovery underway. So once again gold has no appeal.

As gold loses its shine it takes the luster off of the other metals that are part of the precious metals family. Silver is trading at 19.627 adding 88 points today after a strong tumble earlier in the week. Strong economic growth is helping the metal that is classes both as a precious metal and an industrial metal. Platinum is trading at 1419.55 in the green this morning along with palladium which is up $3.30 at 740.10 supported by the growing demand from the auto industry. Palladium is used to produce catalytic converters for automobiles, therefore as the economy improves so does the demand for this semi-precious metal.

Copper is not classed in the precious metals family but it is shiny brighter than gold these days, trading at 3.351 well above its average trading range. Copper the leader of the industrial metals that is used in everything from home construction to manufacturing is seeing demand skyrocket as the housing market recovers and manufacturing expands. Copper fell by 0.5 percent on the back of mounted expectations of further QE taper by the Federal Reserve after minutes of FOMC meet were released yesterday. Also, strength in the DX coupled with mixed global market sentiments acted as negative factors. However, decline in LME inventories along with positive economic data from the Eurozone cushioned sharp downside in prices

 

Gold Facing A Volatile Few Days WIth Major Eco Events On The Calendar

Gold Facing A Volatile Few Days WIth Major Eco Events On The Calendar
Gold Facing A Volatile Few Days WIth Major Eco Events On The Calendar

Speculators have a busy few days with the FOMC meeting minutes due today along with the ADP payroll report ahead of Friday’s nonfarm payroll report. In the middle traders will see the Bank of England and the European Central Bank meetings on Thursday. Each of these critical events singularly or together have the ability to send precious metals and the greenback soaring or tumbling. Gold is trading this morning at 1226.90 giving up $2.70 following its tumble earlier this week. Gold touched $1250 and then made a U turn and continues to fall. Traders are expecting the FOMC minutes today to show that the members are supportive of additional tapering. US economic data remains positive and could push the Fed at its next meeting to increase its tapering and decrease its asset purchases to $50 billion. Prices were hurt by data showing the US trade deficit fell to a four-year low in November as exports hit a record high and weak oil prices held down the import bill. The numbers, the latest in a string of strengthening economic fundamentals, left economists anticipating a far stronger pace of growth for the fourth quarter than previously expected.

The dollar was mixed in Asia on Wednesday as investors await the release of minutes from the Federal Reserve’s most recent meeting to see if it plans to continue winding down its stimulus program. The Fed will later in the day release the minutes from its December meeting, when it said it would reduce its stimulus program by $10 billion a month to $75 billion from January. Analysts will be looking to see if there are any clues about its plans for the scheme this year following a string of upbeat data on the economy. Traders were buoyed by news Tuesday that the US trade deficit had shrunk in November as exports surged. On Friday the Labor Department will release closely watched nonfarm payrolls figures, which will provide fresh insight into the state of the economy. An upbeat jobs report will boost confidence in a further taper from the Fed when they meet on January 29.

Some also warn that as the Fed starts to trim its bond holdings, it could spook financial markets, threatening the economy’s recovery by causing stock prices to drop and interest rates to rise. Traders seem to be moving from gold to equities as the NASDAQ and the S&P reversed their down streak to gain steadily on Tuesday. Elsewhere in metals trading, platinum lost $3.50, or 0.3%, to $1,412 an ounce while palladium shed $3.45, or 0.5%, to $738.25 an ounce. High-grade copper meanwhile, tacked on a penny to $3.37 a pound. Copper gained 0.3 percent on Tuesday on the back of favorable economic data from the Eurozone. Also, a decline in LME copper inventories for the 44th consecutive session by 0.9 percent to 353,075 tonnes along with upbeat global market sentiments supported gains in the metal. However, strength in the DX capped sharp gains.

Gold Recovers From End Of The Year Slump

Gold Recovers For End Of The Year Slump
Gold Recovers For End Of The Year Slump

Gold rebounded as the New Year begins to trade at 1231.50 adding $6.30 this morning after Thursday’s strong gains. Gold has climbed just under $30 since the year started just 24 hours ago. Gold tumbled 28 per cent in 2013 as money-printing by central banks failed to spur inflation, damping demand for a protection of wealth. Assets in bullion-backed exchange-traded products shrank for the first year since the first product was introduced in 2003 as the Federal Reserve said that it will reduce bond purchases this month amid an improving economy. China and India are the world’s largest gold users. There were many investors waiting to enter after the price dropped below $1,200. Short gold holdings, referring to bets on lower prices, jumped almost fourfold from October to Dec. 24, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data show. Precious metals steadied on Thursday but held near a six-month low touched in the previous session after prospects for a global economic recovery prompted investors to abandon the safe-haven metal. Gold’s gains come after it lost 28 percent in 2013, ending a 12-year bull run and posting its largest loss in 32 years. SPDR holdings moved down by 3.60 tonnes on Thursday to 795 tons. Gold prices are expected to remain higher for the day as year beginning dollar buying and subdued equity markets can push some buying for gold.

Platinum climbed as much as 1.5 per cent to $1,424.88 an ounce, the highest price since Nov. 19, and traded at $1,410.50. The rise extended yesterday’s 2.7 per cent advance, which was the most since October. Silver for immediate delivery rose as much as 1.3 per cent to $20.2828 an ounce, heading for a second weekly gain, and was at $20.1724. Palladium advanced 0.3 per cent to $732.60 an ounce, up 3 per cent and set for the best week since October.

Copper eased by 27 points as Chinese data confused traders. Copper is trading at 3.359 remaining well above its trading range in 2013. Copper prices remained in a range for the day as mixed manufacturing data coming from US, Italy and Spain kept the prices in a tight range.  A stronger dollar internationally also pressured the copper prices. The metal used in power and construction fell 7.2 percent in 2013 but gained more than 4 percent in December. Today Japanese markets remained shut. 

Metals Kick Off The New Year With A Bang

Metals Kick Off The New Year With A Bang
Metals Kick Off The New Year With A Bang

Gold, gold, gold and more gold, seems to be the headline in every financial news release and media site. Everyone is talking about gold’s worse year in almost 30 years a huge decline, but what everyone seems to neglect to say that this is a huge drop after the startling climb of gold in 2011-2013 as the economic and financial crisis pushed traders to the limits with many investors and speculators running to the safety of gold as Europe look like it was going to crash, the US was headed for another great depression and China looked to be closing its walls with its economy failing. What was JP Morgan and Goldman Sack’s predicting for gold just 12-18 months ago. If memory serves me right, many of the well-known and much revered analysts and traders were predicting that gold would break the $2000 price. In fact many brokers were telling their investors it was a sure thing.

After getting off to a rocky start as December 2012 was all about the US financial crisis and the fiscal cliff, which saw traders about to jump off roof tops, 2013 rolled in. Gold remained at a premium as US lawmakers did what they do best, nothing. Eventually they pushed the crisis until later in the year, hoping that it would go away. Sure it did, it went away until a government shutdown in October forced lawmakers to take some action and indeed they did, they pushed everything to 2014.

Fortunately for them, their hopes and dreams were answered, the economic cycle changed and the US economy is now full steam ahead. The Federal Reserve was able to start their tapering process earlier than expected and market stress and fears have turned to risk on trading. Equity markets reached record highs with the Dow and the Nikkei recording multiyear records and gains. The stock market, as measured by the S&P 500 had its strongest performance this year since the Wolf of Wall Street roamed lower Manhattan. The Dow Jones industrial had its best year since 1998. The blue chip index gained 26.5% this year, hitting 52 all-time highs along the way. And the NASDAQ surged 38%, marking its best year since 2009.

If traders are moving to equities, what can we expect from gold…? Yes that is right a big tumble. Gold closed the year just above $1200 and is expected to decline into the low $1100 as the US Federal Reserve continues its tapering and unemployment tumbles. Silver is following cues from gold trading at 20.04 on the first trading day of the year recovering from its close at the end of the year by adding 678 points. Gold has made an amazing recovery this morning also to trade at 1221.50 but these climbs are not on any market changes it is just traders returning to the markets after the holidays and the beginning of the year repositioning.  Copper has climbed this morning in the Asian session to trade at 3.408 as traders remain in a positive mode. Platinum has gained $16.50 to trade at 1386.50 with palladium bring up the tail at 719.70 all metals are in the green this morning as traders kick off 2014 as the year of positive thought. 

Gold & Silver Lose Their Attraction For Wealth Retention

Gold & Silver Lose Their Attraction For Wealth Retention
Gold & Silver Lose Their Attraction For Wealth Retention

Gold tumbled again this morning to trade at 1197.90 and is expected to end the year just under the $1200 price level. Gold continues to lose its appeal for wealth retention and as a hedge against inflation as the US is showing a strong recovery and the global recovery seems to be well underway. Silver fell by 130 points to trade at 19.485 while palladium remains in the green adding $2.90 trading at 712.40 as its industrial demand edges up with increased auto sales offers more demand for the metal for catalytic converters. Platinum dipped by $1.45 to trade at 1358.90 following cues from the precious metals family.  Gold prices fell on Monday below $1200 an ounce, heading for its biggest annual loss in three decades as U.S. equities soared to six-year highs and prospects of global economic recovery boosted appetite for riskier assets. Gold would be facing the first annual loss since 2000 while silver is set for the worst annual performance since 1981. According to CFTC, hedge funds and money managers cut their bullish bets in gold and silver in the week to Dec. 24. Gold ETF’s witnessed outflows of 864.8 metric tons in 2013 which were more than combined inflows in the previous three years, wiping about $73.7 billion from gold funds. Gold prices are expected to move further down as strong US growth prospects and gains in equity markets are likely to hurt gold prices. Precious metals fell in thin holiday trade on Monday, heading for its biggest annual loss in more than three decades at nearly 30 percent, as rising appetite for risk and the prospect of a global recovery tarnished its allure.

China’s net gold imports from Hong Kong fell 42 percent to below 100 tons in November, reflecting a drop in demand from jewelers and retail investors after strong purchases in recent months. Industrial metals was little changed on Monday, trading near its highest in more than four months as expectations of economic recovery in top consumer China underpinned the market. COMEX copper for February delivery closed up at $3.47 a ton. Three month copper on the London Metal Exchange closed down 0.11% at $7374 a ton. Copper prices remained in range on Monday as shortage of physical supplies and falling LME inventories weighed on prices while thin trading volumes limited the downside. Copper stocks in LME warehouses extended their recent decline, dropping to 367,450 tons, the lowest since January. Base metals are expected to move higher on optimism over improved demand on sustained global economic recovery and declining inventories. US PMI and consumer sentiment would be eyed. Copper this morning is trading in the green at 3.385 up by 4 pips while traders wait for Chinese HSBC manufacturing data due on January 1, 2014. 

Gold Remains In Down Trend As Bargain Hunters Support Prices

Gold Remains In Down Trend As Bargain Hunters Support Prices
Gold Remains In Down Trend As Bargain Hunters Support Prices

Gold eased $1.60 to trade at 1210.70 after climbing yesterday on bargain hunting on low volume trading as many markets remained shuttered for the extended Christmas holiday. Commenting on gold outlook, Ekman Commodity Research, said, ”Gold prices are expected to move in range to lower as better than expected US unemployment claims along with Chinese buying and thin volumes can keep the prices in range.

Gold was little changed in thin trade this morning, heading for its biggest annual loss in more than 30 years as hope of a global economic recovery and rallies in equities dent its appeal as an alternative investment. Bullion has fallen more than 25% this year, hurt partly by the long-expected tapering of the US Federal Reserve’s bond-buying stimulus programme, which has been a key driver of gold’s rally in recent years.

Premiums in Singapore, a centre for bullion trading in Southeast Asia, were steady at $1.50 an ounce, with dealers watching the political drama in Thailand. Thailand’s government rejected a call from the Election Commission on Thursday to postpone a February vote after clashes between police and antigovernment protesters in which a policeman was killed and nearly 100 people were hurt.

“Indonesia has been quiet but it has exported a lot of gold in 2013 because of the weak currency,” said a physical dealer in Singapore. “I guess for Thailand, we will have to wait and see. I don’t think the protests will end unless there’s a consensus.”

While in the world market Gold is headed for a near 30 percent drop this year as the United States Federal Reserve is set to begin unwinding its stimulus measures ending a 12-year rally.   

However, low volume during the holiday season could tend to keep the yellow metal volatile. Thursday’s gain of over $10 an ounce is an example of this trend. Investors’ interest is evident from further pruning of their holdings in gold-backed exchange traded funds. Gold holdings in SPDR Trust, world’s biggest exchange-trade fund, dropped further to 804.22 tonnes. It shouldn’t be surprising if the holdings drop below 800 tonnes before the year rolls out.

Silver on the other hand tumbled 91 points to trade at 19.825 after recovering this week from the low $19 price range. Copper declined by 15 pips to trade at 3.374 well above its recent trading range after an erroneous trade before the holiday pushed markets to 3.42 as traders adjust their positions and expect copper to fall back to 3.30-3.34 range. Industrial metals steadied on Tuesday with tighter near-term supplies underpinning prices amid thin liquidity. Japan’s output of rolled copper product rose to 67,751 tonnes in November on a seasonally adjusted basis, up 9.6 percent from a year earlier, preliminary data showed on Wednesday.

 

Copper Traders Get A Surprise as “Error Trade” Sends Prices Soaring

Copper Traders Get A Surprise as "Error Trade" Sends Prices Soaring
Copper Traders Get A Surprise as “Error Trade” Sends Prices Soaring

Copper skyrocketed on Tuesday touching 3.42 breaking its near term highs and sending investors to the bank with huge unexpected profits. Copper had been trading at 3.32 as the session opened in Asia. Just before the early close for the holidays a CME spokesman has now confirmed that an “erroneous trade” had been entered. Volume skyrocketed as automatic sell orders kicked on as the commodity rose. Copper topped out at 3.45 and closed the day and the holiday at 3.37. Copper should continue its decline back to the 3.24 range as soon as markets reopen. U.S. copper jumped 2 percent on the error. The contract gained 7 cents in about 10 seconds during the trading glitch, said, a senior metals trader at Chicago’s Integrated Brokerage Services who watched the move.   “Unless you had something sitting up there, there was no ability to react,” the trader said.

The excitement in copper aside, activity was light in commodity markets across London, New York and Chicago on position squaring before the holiday season. Global markets will be closed on Wednesday for Christmas.

Gold edged higher on Christmas Eve as last minute bargain hunters emerged to take advantage of the prices below the 1200 level pushing gold to close at 1203.30. Positive economic data have generally served to undercut gold. The Federal Reserve last week said it would begin to slowly scale back the size of its monthly bond buys, and expectations for a stronger economic recovery have underlined expectations the Fed will continue to slow the flow of monetary stimulus, which is seen as a negative for gold. The precious metal had soared in the wake of the financial crisis as the Fed undertook quantitative easing and other central banks engaged in aggressive stimulus measures. Gold remained under pressure Monday after data showed U.S. consumer spending rose a seasonally-adjusted 0.5% in November, the fastest pace since June. Personal income rose 0.2% in November. The consumption figure was in line with forecasts, while economists had penciled in a 0.4% rise in personal income.

Bears have been firmly in control of gold for much of 2013. The yellow metal soared in the aftermath of the financial crisis as the Federal Reserve and other central banks pursued quantitative easing and other extraordinary measures, sparking fears of inflation and currency debasement.

Futures markets closed an hour early and will remain shut on Wednesday for Christmas. U.S. economic data released Tuesday included durable goods orders, the U.S. house price index, new residential sales, and the Richmond Fed business survey. None of the data had a major impact on the markets. In other metal trading platinum rose $9.10, or 07%, to $1,336.50 an ounce, while palladium was down 20 cents to end at $695.45 an ounce.

Ho Ho Ho The Drop In Gold Prices Spurs Christmas Sales For Jewelry

Ho Ho Ho The Drop In Gold Prices Spurs Christmas Sales For Jewelry
Ho Ho Ho The Drop In Gold Prices Spurs Christmas Sales For Jewelry

Gold eased a bit again this morning as we are down to just a few more trading days of the year. Gold is trading right at the 1200 level down by $2.50 in the Asian session to trade at 1201.20. Gold is expected to close the year below the 1200 price point. Investors now expect a slow phasing out of the Fed’s bond-buying program though realize that tapering does not mean the end of central bank stimulus which has bolstered the rally in equities, with the Dow up 27 percent in 2013 and the S&P 500 gaining 30 percent.

The FOMC will probably cut its bond purchases by US$10 billion in each of its next seven meetings before ending the program in December 2014, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of 41 economists conducted on December 19. Interest rates are expected to stay near current historic lows through 2015. Although no one can predict what Ms. Yellen will do once she steps in next month, although she is from the Ben Bernanke School of monetary policy, she has her own opinions.

The coming days will offer several clues on the economy including the Chicago Fed national activity index and consumer sentiment, both on Monday, followed by the FHFA house price Index, new home sales, durable goods orders, and the Richmond Fed manufacturing index, due on Tuesday, and weekly jobless claims, on Thursday.

US markets will close early on the 24th, at 1pm in New York, and are closed on the 25th for the Christmas holidays. Trading volumes are expected to be light until the New Year. Jewelers around the world a predicting a record season for gold jewelry sales as demand continues to increase with the current price declines. Major retail jewelers such as Tiffany’s are showing a huge unexpected jump in sales.

Gold futures ended the week above the closely watched $1,200-an-ounce, gaining back some of their 3%-plus drop to three-year lows in the prior session. But it was the only positive day of the week, as another batch of strong economic data weighed further on prices. Gold prices in the futures market are likely to be range-bound as attraction for buyers, especially in Asia, could be dampened by fears of further drop in prices due to US cutting its stimulus program. Odds that gold will fall further have increased. Holdings in gold exchange-traded funds increased for the first time in seven weeks, though. Gold holdings in SPDR Trust, world’s biggest exchange-trade fund, increased to 814.12 tonnes.

Bearish bets on gold increased to 75,199 contracts, while bullish bets fell to 32,524 last week, according to US Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Rising bearish or short positions do pose a risk in that prices could rise if investors try to square them.

Silver continues to take a beating as the demand for precious metals wanes and the US dollar continues to build momentum. Silver gave up 123 points in the Asian session to trade at 19.330 while copper remained flat at 3.302. Palladium and platinum are both trading in the green to begin the week with Palladium at 701.60 recovering above the 700 level and platinum at 1332.00. All metals are expected to remain rangebound ahead of the holidays.