Gold Price News
Gold Price Risks 'Double Top' vs Falling Dollar as Turkey, Pakistan Challenge US Foreign Policy
Wed, 17 Jan 2018 14:33:46 +0000
GOLD PRICES pulled back from 4-month highs above $1340 per ounce for the third day running in London on Wednesday, again trading lower for non-Dollar investors as the US currency fell once more.
 
Asian and European stock markets also headed south after Wall Street marked a "key reversal" from fresh all-time record highs for technical analysts, closing 0.5% lower overnight after rising sharply earlier on Tuesday.
 
Two-year US Treasury yields rose again as bond prices fell, extending their run above 2.0% – the highest level since the Lehman Brothers' crash of September 2008.
 
Adjusted by inflation expectations, 10-year yields closed last week at 0.54%, up by 10 basis-points from the end of 2017 for the sharpest rise since October.
 
"Gold shrugging of moves in real US rates at the moment," says strategist John Reade at the mining-backed World Gold Council, noting the typical negative connection between gold and inflation-adjusted rates.
 
Reade also notes that Dollar-priced gold currently shows its strongest negative correlation with the Dollar's trade-weighted currency index in more than 18 months.
 
While gold flirted overnight with its highest Dollar price since early September, the Euro gold price touched a 2-week low.
 
Gold priced in Dollars currently trades within 3% of the top of the last 2 years' trading range, and some 23% above its low.
 
For Euro gold prices, the metal is 12% below its 2-year high and 10% above its low.
 
Chart of Dollar gold vs. Euro gold price, London PM benchmark. Source: St.Louis Fed via LBMA
 
"Gold [is] forming a possible double top on hourly chart," says the latest technical analysis of the Dollar price from French investment and London bullion market-making bank Societe Generale, pointing to gold's test in today's Asian trade of Monday's $1344 level.
 
Longer term says SocGen, "Gold is slowly inching towards $1350/1356, the neckline of the multi-year inverse Head and Shoulders pattern" it identified again last week.
 
First however, "a limited pullback looks on [the] cards."
 
Over on the political front Wednesday, officials in Ankara said Nato military alliance member Turkey is set to extend the state of emergency imposed since a failed coup attempt in July 2016 – blamed by the government on US resident Fethullah Gulen.
 
"I have bluntly told Tillerson that the [Kurdish] situation is very unfortunate and serious...could threaten our bilateral ties, and could lead us toward an irreversible route," said Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlüt ÇavuÅŸoÄŸlu after  meeting the US Secretary of State in Vancouver today, referring to Washington's plan to back a "border defense force" in neighboring Syria.
 
A US official today denied that Washington's plan includes backing separatist Kurdish group the YPG, now under threat from Turkey of being "crushed" in the Syrian region of Afrin.
 
Police in Balkan state Kosovo meantime offered €10,000 reward for information about Tuesday's murder of "moderate" Kosovan Serb leader Oliver Ivanovic – an investigation that Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has asked must include officers from his country.
 
Reports compiled for the US Senate and separately by the UK House of Lords have this month both accused Serbia of "backsliding" on democracy, with the US researchers saying Russia has a "malign influence" in the Balkan state.
 
Amid fresh tensions between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan over military exchanges along the disputed border of Kashmir, "Pakistan does not want any [US] aid and Pakistan will not compromise over its national interests," said Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif today, referring to US President Trump's accusation that Islamabad supports Taliban and radical Islamist groups in Afghanistan.
 
"The US must stop putting the blame of its own failures on Pakistan."
Silver to 'Outperform Gold' in 2018 as Gold/Silver Ratio Trades 41% Above 50-Year Average
Tue, 16 Jan 2018 13:45:33 +0000
GOLD PRICES for Euro, UK and Japanese investors fell back near unchanged for 2018 so far on Tuesday and silver fell to a small loss for the New Year as world stock markets pushed up to fresh record highs.
 
Industrial commodities fell but major government bond prices rallied from their sell-off, pulling the yield offered to new buyers down from the recent multi-month highs.
 
Dollar gold prices trimmed the New Year's gain to 2.6%, bouncing $5 per ounce from a drop beneath $1333 per ounce, some $10 below Monday's fresh 4-month high.
 
Platinum retreated $15 from its 4-month high at $1001, and silver lagged the other precious metals again, falling as much as 2.6% from yesterday's high to drop below $17.00 before rallying to $17.09 per ounce.
 
The silver price in Euro terms fell below €14 per ounce to trade almost 1.0% lower for 2018 to date.
 
"Considering silver's underperformance, its traditionally higher volatility and historic relative strength during periods when investors are building gold exposure, the white metal is on track to outperform," says a new 2018 outlook from Bart Melek at Canadian brokerage TD Securities.
 
Winner of the 2017 LBMA competition for gold price forecasts, "Tightening fundamentals owing to lackluster mining output and strengthening global industrial activity are additional positives," says Melek.
 
That's "in addition to macroeconomic and monetary policy, prompting silver to move higher this year," he believes.
 
Averaging 63.8 over the last 10 years, the Gold/Silver Ratio – a simple measure of the two formerly monetary metals relative pricing – stood at 78.1 on Tuesday.
 
That prices gold more than 41% above its 50-year average to silver, with the ratio averaging 55.2 since April 1968, when London's benchmark price moved to quoting in US Dollars.
 
Melek's outlook forecasts average gold prices at $1313 with silver at $18.88 in 2018. That would put the Gold/Silver Ratio just below 70.
 
Chart of the Gold/Silver Ratio, daily basis London benchmarks. Source: BullionVault via LBMA
 
Latest data from US regulator the CFTC say that hedge funds and other money managers grew their bullish betting on Comex silver contracts, net of bearish bets, near a 2-month high last week.
 
Coming into New Year 2018, that Managed Money category of speculators had turned net negative on silver futures and options for the first time since July, and the 10th time since the price crash of Spring 2013.
 
Managed Money betting on Comex gold futures and options, in contrast, has been bearish overall only twice since current data began in 2006, first in August 2015 and then in December of that year, coinciding with the Dollar gold price's low at $1045 per ounce.
 
"We maintain a bullish view on gold for early-2018," says Melek, "given that investors seem ready to take larger and larger long gold positions, even as equity markets are surging and nominal rates rise."
 
While silver bullion prices rose 2.7% from New Year's Eve to Monday's peak, the largest silver-backed trust fund vehicle – the iShares SLV product – in contrast shrank by 1.3%, with investor interest reducing the quantity of bullion needed to back its shares near the smallest level since March 2016 at 9,840 tonnes.
Gold Jumps vs. Sinking Dollar But Weak Demand for Bars, Comex Leads as India-Pakistan Nuclear Tensions Worsen
Mon, 15 Jan 2018 14:21:15 +0000
GOLD BAR prices shot to new 4-month highs against the Dollar in wholesale trade on Monday morning in London as the US currency plunged to a 3-year low versus the world's other currencies amid worsening tensions between nuclear states India and Pakistan, write Steffen Grosshauser and Adrian Ash at BullionVault.
 
With US markets shut for Martin Luther King Day, Asian shares hit historic highs, following Wall Street's new record-high closes on Friday.
 
But Eurozone equities held flat overall as the single currency hit new 3-year highs against the Dollar, adding 3.5 cents per Euro to the region's export prices since this time last week alone.
 
After gold rose for a fifth straight week, the Dollar price of large wholesale bars on Monday touched $1344 per ounce, gaining more than $100 since its near 5-month low of mid-December.
 
Wholesale gold bar prices measured in Euros briefly touched €1100 before dropping back below last week's close at €1096 per ounce, little changed for 2018 to date.
 
Latest data show hedge funds and other speculative investors raising their bullish betting on Comex gold futures and options contracts yet again last week.
 
Growing their bullish bets by 75% over the last month as a group, the Managed Money category of traders has halved its bearish betting from what was a 5-month high according to data released by US regulator the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
 
Overall that grew the net speculative position of hedge funds and other money managers by 146% between mid-December and last Tuesday, making it one-third larger than the last 10 years' average.
 
Chart of 'Managed Money' net speculative long in Comex gold futures and options. Source: BullionVault via CFTC
 
"We are likely to see further short squeezes over the near-term," says the latest Asian trading note from Swiss refiners MKS Pamp, predicting that more traders will be forced to close their bearish bets on Comex futures and options.
 
"Physical demand out of Asia [in contrast] remained relatively restrained on Monday," MKS says.
 
With only a month to go before the Lunar New Year holidays, the price of gold bars already landed in China – the No.1 consumer market – today edged up to around $8.40 per ounce above comparable London quotes.
 
But that held the average Shanghai premium in 2018 so far at just 80% of the typical incentive to new imports.
 
Amongst physically-backed Western investment products meantime, the giant SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEArca:GLD) shrank 1.6% over the month preceding Friday's close, while the Dollar price of wholesale gold bullion bars rose 6.9%.
 
"While the weaker Dollar remained gold's primary driver, investors are keeping an eye on the simmering geopolitical hot spot in the Middle East," reckons Stephen Innes, head of FX trading at spread-betting broker Oanda.
 
US President Donald Trump set an ultimatum to European policy makers this weekend to fix the "terrible flaws" of the nuclear deal between Teheran and the major Western governments, threatening the United States will pull out.
 
"I am very happy to see that the White House has failed to disrupt international obligations," countered Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, noting that Trump has yet to revoke the deal as promised in his electoin campaign of late 2016.
 
"This means victory of law over dictatorship."
 
Tensions meantime rose over the disputed Kashmir border after India said it killed 7 soldiers from Pakistan at the weekend, spurring Karachi's Dawn newspaper to say that crossing the border amounts to "an act of war" between the two nuclear-armed nations.
GLD Gold Investment Goes AWOL as 'Short Covering' Sees Bullion Jump vs. Sinking Dollar
Fri, 12 Jan 2018 13:42:57 +0000
GOLD INVESTMENT bars pushed their New Year 2018 gains to 2.3% versus a falling Dollar in London trade Friday, rising even as world stock markets extended yesterday's fresh record highs in US equities.
 
Large bullion bars traded by wholesalers and investment dealers reached new 4-month highs at $1332 per ounce before edging back after new data said US inflation in consumer prices held firmer than expected in December.
 
The official CPI index rose 2.1% from 12 months before, with so-called "core" prices rising 1.8% from November's 1.7% annual pace.
 
Platinum prices outpaced gold yet again, adding 7.3% for 2018 to date to touch 17-week highs just $4 shy of the $1000 mark.
 
But silver lagged badly, trading lower for the week even against the US Dollar.
 
"No doubt stretched shorts instigated over the past fortnight are playing a role in the [gold] price gain," says the latest trading note from Swiss refiners MKS Pamp, pointing to speculative trading in Comex futures and options contracts, rather than physical bullion.
 
"[A] test [of] the recent high of $1357 (September 2017) will see further aggressive short covering."
 
Amongst gold-backed trust funds, the giant SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEArca:GLD) ended Thursday unchanged in size even as the share price rose with the cost of bullion.
 
Thanks to shareholders liquidating the GLD – a major proxy for investment funds wanting to track the gold price – it has now shrunk 1.6% since bullion bottomed at 5-month lows immediately before the US Fed's December rate rise.
 
Investment gold prices have in contrast gained 7.6% for Dollar buyers.
 
The GLD was last this small in late-August. Gold prices were also then rising through $1330 per ounce.
 
Chart of SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEArca:GLD) size versus Dollar gold prices. Source: BullionVault via ExchangeTradedGold
 
The single Euro currency meantime rose Friday to new 3-year highs above $1.21.
 
That pushed gold investing prices in Euro terms back down to unchanged for the week at €1098 per ounce.
 
Yen gold prices stood 1.0% lower from last Friday's 30-month peak as the Japanese currency rose to 6-week highs versus the Dollar on the FX market.
 
"Most Western commentators do not give developments in Japan as much attention as it deserves," says the latest Global Strategy note from perma-bear Albert Edwards at French investment bank Societe Generale.
 
"Could it be that a surprise monetary tightening in Japan will finally burst the global asset price bubble£ It is now entirely conceivable that the improved economic and inflation picture...prompts [the Bank of Japan to cut its QE]...leaving the market badly wrong-footed and prompting a massive 2008-like unwind."
 
Having bucked the trend of gaining versus the Dollar all week, the Chinese Yuan also jumped overnight Friday, hitting its strongest level versus the US currency since September's spike to 18-month highs.
 
Priced in the Yuan, Shanghai gold rose only one-third as fast as global Dollar quotes for investment-grade bullion.
 
That squashed the Shanghai premium back below $8 per ounce, holding this week's average incentive for new imports to the world's No.1 consumer nation almost 20% below typical levels.
 
"Physical interest out of Asia continues to remain muted," says MKS Pamp. "Rather, the metal continues to remain bid on the back of a weaker greenback.
 
After China's factory-gate inflation slowed only to 4.9% per annum in December, stronger than analysts forecast, US producer prices showed their first month-on-month decline in a year on Thursday's new data, pulling the annual rate of inflation down to 2.6%.
Gold Price Slips from 30-Month Yen High as Beijing Calls 'Fake News' on US T-Bond Rumor
Thu, 11 Jan 2018 14:05:48 +0000
GOLD PRICES rose back above $1320 per ounce against a weakening US Dollar on Thursday as major government bond yields rose once more and Beijing played down rumors it might stop or cut its demand for US government debt.
 
Responding to Wednesday's claims from Bloomberg that the People's Bank may stop buying Treasuries as a protest against President Donald Trump's rhetoric on China's trade surplus with the US, "We learned the news through some media reports," said the State Administration of Foreign Exchange, calling itself a "responsible investor" acting only on the "principle of diversification.
 
"In our opinion, the news may quote the wrong source of information, or it may be false news."
 
The Euro replayed yesterday's 1-cent gain, rising back above $1.20 and pushing the gold price for single currency investors back below €1100 per ounce.
 
World stock markets meantime extended Wall Street's fall, with Tokyo's Nikkei index trading 1% below last week's 26-year high as the Yen continued to rise on the FX market.
 
The gold price in Japanese Yen today traded 1.5% below last week's jump to 30-month highs.
 
Chart of gold price in Japanese Yen. Source: BullionVault
 
Mexico's Peso and the Canadian Dollar meantime both fell to 1-week lows against the US currency after President Donald Trump said he's pushing for a change to the NAFTA free trade agreement, and may pull out – as threatened during his election campaign – if Washington's partners don't agree.
 
"The most straightforward (& boring) explanation" for Wednesday's report on Beijing's T-bond holdings "is that China has hit its Treasury portfolio target [around] 40% and has no further need to buy if reserves are constant," says Brad Setser, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and former assistant secretary for international economic analysis in the US Treasury.
 
"But why not make a virtue out of a necessity and remind the Trump Administration of the possibility that China could impact US markets as it considers a set of trade remedies£"
 
The Chinese Yuan today edged higher on the FX market after being the only major currency to drop against the plunging US Dollar on Wednesday, a move Beijing refused to confirm or deny imposing on Chinese banks.
 
That helped the Shanghai gold premium rise to $8.80 per ounce above London bullion quotes, back near the typical incentive for importers to make new shipments into the world's No.1 consumer nation.
 
The key gold buying festival of Lunar New Year will coincide next month with Valentine's Day.
 
"Despite improving over 2016 levels, 2017 demand in Asia, gold's biggest market, sits significantly below that of a few years ago," write Emily Balsamo and Rhona O'Connell at specialist analysts GFMS Thomson Reuters in a new 2018 outlook,
 
"Purchases in the two largest consuming nations, India and China, were mixed [in 2017] with India recovering from low offtake in 2016, but with China hampered by faltering economic activity and reduced price expectations."
Gold Prices Jump with Yen, Shrug Off Bond Yields, on China-US Bonds Rumor
Wed, 10 Jan 2018 13:43:19 +0000
GOLD PRICES jumped 1.2% against a plunging Dollar in London trade Wednesday morning, setting the highest bullion-market benchmark in 4 months as financial markets whipped on rumors that China may stop buying more US government debt for its huge foreign currency reserves.
 
Bloomberg News says officials running China's $3.14 trillion of central-bank reserves have "recommended" reducing or pausing the purchase of US Treasury bonds, blaming tensions with President Donald Trump over China's huge trade surplus, plus better returns offered by other assets.
 
Beijing grew its holdings of US debt some 13% to $1.19 trillion in the 12 months to October, Treasury data show, after slashing them at a record pace in 2016.
 
Bloomberg's report comes a day after the Bank of Japan said it's cutting the amount of long-dated Japanese government debt it buys.
 
That's part of what some news-wires call "QE tapering" by Japan, despite Tokyo's official plan to create and spend enough money buying bonds to support their price and so keep the yield they offer at 0%.
 
London's AM gold price benchmark on Wednesday took 19 rounds and lasted 13 minutes after finding a heavy imbalance of demand over supply at an opening quote of $1316.05 per ounce.
 
The process finally cleared at $1321.65 per ounce – the highest fix since 15 September.
 
Commodity prices all rose against the falling Dollar, pushing copper up to new 4-year highs and Brent crude oil up above $69 per barrel.
 
China's stock markets edged higher but Tokyo fell from 26-year highs and Eurozone equities dropped hard as the single Euro currency jumped almost 1 cent and the Japanese Yen surged near a 6-week high at stronger than €111.3 per Dollar. 
 
Dollar-priced gold showed its strongest-ever connection with the Yen's Dollar value in 2017, averaging a 5-week correlation across the year of minus 0.83 with the USDJPY exchange rate.
 
That statistic would read -1.0 if the Dollar's Yen value moved perfectly opposite to the Dollar price of gold. 
 
Chart of Friday gold price in Dollars vs. 1-year average of rolling 5-week correlation with USDJPY exchange rate. Source: BullionVault
 
Alone amongst major currencies the Chinese Yuan in contrast fell 0.5% against the Dollar on Wednesday even as the rest of the world's money jumped.
 
The People's Bank "neither confirmed nor denied" interfering in the Yuan's exchange rate in an email reply to Caixin News.
 
Despite next month's Lunar New Year holidays – the heaviest gold-buying season in the world's No.1 consumer nation – the drop in the Yuan squashed the Shanghai premium to London gold quotes beneath $5.80 per ounce.
 
The smallest incentive for new bullion imports into China since September, that was one-third below its average level.
 
Bond yields rose across the board Wednesday as all major-government debt prices fell, jumping sharpest on UK Gilts and German Bunds.
 
Outside the Japanese Yen, gold prices also jumped for non-Dollar investors, taking the UK gold price in Pounds per ounce back to Friday's 5-week highs at £978 and taking bullion for Eurozone investors up near €1105.
 
Silver prices in contrast struggled, reclaiming only half of this week's prior loss against the Dollar to trade at $17.11 per ounce.
 
Platinum tracked gold prices more closely, edging its highest price against the falling Dollar since mid-September at $972 per ounce.
Gold Price Slips But Technical Analysts Target Break Above $1355 Sept High
Tue, 09 Jan 2018 14:01:25 +0000
GOLD PRICES slipped Tuesday in London's wholesale market, falling for only the fourth time in 16 trading days as world stock markets, commodities and government bond prices all rose yet again.
 
The US Dollar extended this week's rally from 3-month lows on the currency market, pushing the Euro down to $1.19205, a 7-session low.
 
That held the price of wholesale gold investment bars above €1100 per ounce for French, German and Italian investors, its strongest level for nearly 9 weeks.
 
China's Yuan also fell against the Dollar, while Shanghai gold premiums – an indicator of demand and supply inside the world's No.1 mining, importing and consumer nation – slipped back to $7 per ounce above London quotes.
 
With only 5 weeks until China's peak Lunar New Year shopping season, that was near the weakest incentive for new bullion imports since mid-September.
 
"Gold could finally break out of its four-year trading range if inflation starts to lift globally," says a new 2018 commodities outlook from former London bullion clearing bank Barclays, tipping mining stocks  more broadly as "compelling [on] a strengthening macro backdrop, limited capex, strong earnings momentum...cheap valuation multiples and light [investor] positioning."
 
Shorter term, "Gold should see [support] at the recent low of $1315 and the psychological $1300 level below that," reckons Swiss refining and finance group MKS Pamp's Asian trading desk.
 
"On the upside, a break above lasts weeks high of $1324 could see the yellow metal make a move on the September top of $1355."
 
The September peak "will be a decisive level for a larger up trend" agrees French investment and bullion market-making bank Societe Generale's technical analysis team today, calling that $1350-1356 level "the neckline" of a "large Inverted Head and Shoulder pattern."
 
This major reversal pattern "forms after a downtrend," explains StockCharts. "[It] contains three successive troughs with the middle trough (head) being the deepest and the two outside troughs (shoulders) being shallower.
 
Chart of Dollar gold price with 'neckline' of inverted head and shoulders as seen by SocGen's technical analysts. Source: BullionVault via St.Louis Fed
 
"A clear move above $1356 will mean confirmation of the formation," says SocGen's note, "and this will lead to next leg of up move towards $1433/1485 first."
 
"It is quite possible that the yellow metal could attempt to hit $1357 in the not too distant future," says a separate note from Canadian brokerage TD Securities, "[because] investors seem ready to take hefty long gold positions even as equity markets are surging."
 
Last week's positioning data for Comex gold futures and options showed the sharpest jump in speculative bullish betting by money managers, net of that group's bearish bets, since mid-August.
 
TD's Bart Melek gave the best 2017 average gold price forecast in industry body the LBMA's annual competition last year, predicting $1257 per ounce against the $1256 out-turn at London's afternoon benchmarking.
 
He now forecasts a 4.5% rise in gold for 2018, predicting an average annual price of $1313 per ounce.
 
Near term, "A move toward $1375 is possible should the market believe the US central bank will be gentle in their rate hike signaling," says TD's latest note.
 
Federal Reserve voting member Raphael Bostic of the Atlanta branch yesterday said he sees a need for only 2 further rate rises in 2018, echoing a growing chorus of Fed officials calling for "lower for longer" amid weaker-than-expected inflation data.
Silver Lags Gold Price But Comex Speculators Turn Net Bullish as Fed Member Cuts Dollar Rate Outlook
Mon, 08 Jan 2018 14:45:37 +0000
GOLD PRICES held onto last week's 1.4% gains in London trade Monday but silver slipped amid a rally in the Dollar on the forex market.
 
World equities pushed up to fresh all-time record highs as major government bond prices also rose, pushing interest rates lower.
 
European banking stocks lagged the broader gain in equities, however, after Germany's Deutsche Bank said at the weekend it will post a small loss for Q4 2017 thanks to US President Donald Trump's US tax reforms, now blocking it from claiming a credit against €1.5 billion ($1.8bn) of prior losses.
 
Silver prices retreated 0.4% as the Dollar rose, holding at 5-week highs for non-Dollar investors.
 
Gold meantime held just shy of $1320 per ounce, gaining 6.8% against the Dollar since the US Federal Reserve raised its key interest rate as expected in mid-December.
 
"The tax reform is mixed bag for gold," says a note from US financial services group Bank of America-Merrill Lynch, forecasting an average gold price of $1350 per ounce this year.
 
"A potential US Dollar rally in [early] 2018 may increase headwinds, but rising inflation, a higher budget deficit and linked to that, the risk of a sustained decline of the US currency medium-term are supportive.
 
"The tax cuts enacted by the US Congress are unlikely to provide significant support for the US Dollar," counters French investment bank Societe Generale.
 
"The Fed should tighten only very gradually...[So go] long commodities; long gold & gold miners."
 
Federal Reserve 2018 voting member Patrick Harker on Friday said he wants to see just 2 more rate rises this year, because "If soft inflation persists it may pose a significant problem."
 
The last week of 2017 saw hedge funds and other money managers trading Comex gold futures and options hike their bullish bets, net of bearish contracts, by 39% according to the latest data from US regulators the CFTC.
 
Reaching the largest size since mid-November, the net speculative long position of the Managed Money category rose almost one fifth above the last 10 years' average.
 
Silver betting meantime swung back to positive after recording 3 weeks of 'net short', the first time since July marked the first such positioning in almost 2 years.
 
Chart of silver price vs. net betting by the 'Managed Money' category of Comex trader. Source: BullionVault via CFTC
 
"Silver was unable to test above Friday's high during Asian hours today," says one trading desk in a note, "[but] should continue to see support around $16.95, the 200-day moving average."
 
"Resistance remains unchanged at $17.38," adds the New York team at bullion bank Scotia Mocatta, pointing to the metal's high in November.
 
Monday's Dollar rally saw the Euro fall to a 1-week low, down more than 1 cent from Thursday's top near 3-year highs despite a raft of positive data on retail sales and economic confidence.
 
That took the gold price in single currency terms up to its strongest since mid-November at €1103 per ounce.
 
The UK gold price in Pounds per ounce traded flat below Friday's 5-week high of £975 as Sterling held firm despite what pro-Brexit, pro-Conservative newspaper The Telegraph called a "chaotic" Cabinet reshuffle of senior ministers by Prime Minister Theresa May.
 
China's benchmark gold price traded overnight back up to $8 per ounce above comparable London quotes, just below the average incentive for new imports to the world's No.1 consumer market. 
 
But with 6 weeks until the Year of the Dog begins, "Chinese New Year demand is yet to pick up as the prices are too hard to swallow," Reuters quotes one trader in Singapore.
 
This close to Lunar New Year 2017, the Shanghai premium was more than 3 times today's level.
Gold Prices Set 16-Week Closing High vs. Jobs-Data Hit Dollar, GLD Shrinks
Fri, 05 Jan 2018 15:30:23 +0000
GOLD PRICES rose back above $1320 per ounce versus the falling Dollar in London's wholesale trade on Friday, heading for the highest weekly close in 16 after new data said the United States added far fewer jobs than analysts expected last month.
 
The official non-farm payrolls estimate also put average annual wage growth in December at 2.5%, unchanged from November's pace when inflation was seen at 2.2%.
 
That month's US trade deficit meantime came in today near a 6-year record at almost $50 billion, up 3.2% and wider than analyst forecasts.
 
The Dollar fell hard on the FX market, with the Euro jumping back towards this week's attempt at 3-year highs just below $1.21, while the British Pound also tested last September's multi-month peak.
 
That kept the UK gold price in Pounds per ounce £5 below Thursday's 5-week high at £978.
 
The gold price for Eurozone investors traded below €1095 per ounce, some 1.9% lower from this day last year.
 
The Dollar had already fallen overnight to its lowest level against the Chinese Yuan since September's spike to 18-month lows.
 
So-called "digital asset" Bitcoin today rallied to a 2-week high at $15,900 as competitor "currency" Ethereum extended its rise above $1000, more than tripling from this time 3 months ago.
 
Co-founder of Ripple Chris Larsen is now the fifth richest person in the United States according to data compiled by Forbes, thanks to his "crypto" jumping 10-fold in price in the last 4 weeks alone.
 
Unlike Bitcoin – now down 25% after rising 12-fold in the year to mid-December – Ripple was launched and is controlled by one company, with no technological limit on the number of units in issue.
 
"As investors were consumed with Bitcoin's price action in December," says CNBC, "many missed the longest winning streak ever" in gold-backed vehicle the SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEArca:GLD).
 
The 13-year old exchange-traded gold trust "rallied for 11 straight days before dipping into the red on Wednesday," it says.
 
Investors have failed to buy into the GLD's rally however, analysis by BullionVault shows.
 
Since bottoming at 5-month lows on 12 December, Dollar gold prices have now risen 6.8%.
 
The GLD in contrast has shrunk 0.8% in size as investors liquidated stock, needing 7 tonnes less gold to back the value of its shares outstanding, now near the lowest since mid-September at 836 tonnes.
 
While the gold price ended Thursday 12.9% higher from 12 months ago, the GLD was only 2.7% larger year-on-year.
 
With gold prices this strong, that's the widest gap since April 2012.
 
Chart of Dollar gold price's 12-month % change vs. change in size of GLD
 
Shanghai gold premiums meantime held below $7 per ounce on Friday, more than $2 beneath the average incentive offered for new imports into the world's No.1 gold consumer nation despite next month bringing both Valentine's Day and the annual demand peak of Lunar New Year.
 
"Strong physical demand leading into the Chinese New Year is yet to materialise this year," says Swiss finance and refining group MKS Pamp trader Alex Thorndike to Reuters.
 
"Premiums in Hong Kong were at about 70 cents an ounce, unchanged from last week," the news-wire adds.
 
Platinum prices meantime held near Thursday's new 15-week highs at $966 per ounce even as a new report said sales of diesel cars – which use platinum catalysts to reduce harmful emissions – sank 17% in the UK in 2017.
 
Silver prices also traded near yesterday's peak, holding over 10% higher from mid-December's low against the Dollar – made just as the US Federal Reserve raised its key interest rate for the third time in 2017 – to reach $17.23 per ounce.
 
"Support is at $16.97 – the 200-Day Moving Average," says the latest technical note from bullion bank Scotia Mocatta's New York office, "and momentum indicators are bullish.
 
"Silver appears poised to target the November High at $17.38."
Gold Prices Shrug Off Asian Selling as Dollar Drops, Stocks Surge with Commodities
Thu, 04 Jan 2018 13:58:40 +0000
GOLD PRICES popped back to $1315 per ounce Thursday lunchtime in London's wholesale market as new US jobs data saw the Dollar drop and world stock markets rise yet again.
 
New claims for US jobless benefits rose last week, defying analyst forecasts. But ahead of Friday's official jobs estimate for December, the private-sector ADP report said the world's No.1 economy added more jobs than expected last month, with payrolls expanding the most in 9 months.
 
Silver tracked gold prices higher again to test $17.20 per ounce for the third time in 3 days, while commodity prices extended what Bloomberg calls their best-ever run of daily gains and Asian and European stock markets also rose once more.
 
The Euro flirted with 3-year highs against the Dollar above $1.20, holding the gold price for Eurozone investors at €1090 per ounce, some 0.6% below yesterday's 6-week high.
 
The UK gold price in Pounds per ounce extended its straight-line rally from mid-December's 12-month low, trading above £971.
 
Chart of UK gold price in Pounds per ounce. Source: BullionVault
 
Thursday morning's Dollar-price benchmarking in London failed to rise from yesterday, ending gold's strongest run of back-to-back gains since its record run of February 2016.
 
But today's AM auction did find solid demand from wholesale players around $1313 per ounce, just $1 below Wednesday morning's LBMA Gold Price.
 
That was in marked contrast to the heavy selling interest around $1317 at Wednesday afternoon's auction, which then found a balance with demand at $1314.90 – the highest London benchmark price since 15 September.
 
"[After] Chinese banks quickly sold into [Wednesday]'s strength," says a trading note from Swiss refiners MKS Pamp's Asian desk, "further liquidation was seen today for gold as speculators and Chinese traders continued to sell.
 
"Platinum, which was the best performer overnight, was under a lot of pressure from Japanese specs, who were eager sellers given the significant rise over the past week while they have been out [for New Year]."
 
Against the US Dollar platinum fell 1.5% overnight from yesterday's spike to mid-September highs just below $960 per ounce, before recovering that drop in London trade Thursday.
 
Japan's Nikkei stock index meantime leapt 3.3% on its first trading day of 2018, reaching its highest level since 1992.
 
"Unlike snow, Japan's deflationary mindset won't melt easily," said Bank of Japan chief Haruhiko Kuroda in Tokyo today, vowing to maintain "patiently" the central bank's unprecedented QE asset-purchase program.
 
Federal Reserve officials also worried last month "that inflation might stay below [their 2.0% annual] objective for longer than they currently expected," according to minutes from the US central bank's December meeting released yesterday.
 
Choosing to raise Dollar rates to a decade high of 1.5% however, "most participants" said that President Trump's tax reform bill was "a factor that led them to boost their projections of real GDP growth over the next couple of years."
 
"Strong corporate appetite for US Dollars at the end of the year usually means reduced demand for gold," says analysis of commodity positioning by French investment bank Societe Generale, yet speculators grew their bullish betting on gold derivatives in late-December.
 
"Going forward," the note adds, "geopolitical unrest in Iran could continue to provide some support to gold prices in the near term."
 
Iran today accused US President Trump of "grotesque...absurd" interference by tweeting support for the anti-government protests which have now seen 21 killed and been met with arrests and pro-government rallies.
 
Turkey's Foreign Ministry also attacked the US after a New York court found ex-banker Hakan Atilla guilty on 5 counts of helping Iran evade sanctions over its nuclear program using smuggled gold and illegal payments in a trial where one prosecution witness implicated Turkish president Recep Tayyip ErdoÄŸan in the plot.
 
Trump's political colleagues at home meantime defended his Twitter attack on sacked PR guru Steve Bannon, accused by the President of having "lost his mind" after claiming in a new book that meetings between Team Trump and Russian officials amounted to "treason".
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