October 3, 2016, 10:20 AM
The Great Recession prompted central banks to adopt non-standard policies likeand . The effectiveness of these tools in stimulating private credit expansion and economic growth is increasingly being questioned. Since more and more central bankers declare that the natural interest rate is lower than previously thought, some economists and policymakers argue that monetary policy should be even more unconventional. For example, according to San Francisco Fed President , a lower natural rate implies that “conventional monetary policy has less room to stimulate the economy during an economic downturn”.
In this edition of thewe will discuss which tools affecting and real activity do the central banks have left. We will examine thoroughly the most debated innovative instruments, such as helicopter money, and consider how these ‘non-standard unconventional’ tools affect the economy and the . It is quite unlikely that they will be introduced in the U.S. right now, but they may be only one recession away from us. This is why we decided to analyze them – quantitative easing was only an academic curiosity, once. We will also analyze recent propositions to change current monetary policy framework by increasing the inflation target or by replacing it by price level or nominal GDP targeting. Last but not least, we will address briefly the policy of targeting the long-term interest rates, last month by the . Investors should not ignore the change of its monetary policy framework as history teaches us that many of the unconventional tools adopted by the BoJ have been later adopter by other central banks, including the . How would these proposals, if implemented in the U.S., influence the precious metals market?
September 1, 2016, 7:53 AM
As the British referendum is behind us, the most important political risk is the outcome of the U.S. presidential election. This is why in this edition of the, we will discuss its impact on the gold market in more detail. We will present the theory of the presidential election cycle and examine how the shiny metal performed in recent presidential election years. We will also analyze how gold behaved during different presidential terms and study whether the governing party matters for the bullion market. And of course we will apply the conclusions from our historical analysis to the current race to the White House between and .
August 1, 2016, 2:05 PM
In this edition of the, we will discuss the Brexit vote in more detail. We will examine the reasons behind such an outcome and its consequences for the U.S. economy and the gold market. We will also analyze past examples of break-ups of political and economic unions, including exits from the European Union, to assess the potential impact of Brexit on the price of gold.
Investors have to remember that the referendum was not a formal, legally binding trigger for Brexit, so the United Kingdom is still a member of the EU. Actually, its exit has not been determined yet. And as there are some arguments that Brexit will not happen, there are precedents for countries voting against the EU, but remaining within it after all. In 1992, Denmark vetoed the Maastricht Treaty. Ireland rejected the Nice Treaty in 2001 and the Lisbon Treaty in 2008. In each case, the EU offered some concessions and opt-outs, thanks to which the treaties were ultimately accepted in the following referenda. Therefore, history may repeat itself in the case of the UK, especially when both sides fully realize the consequences of Brexit (some analysts consider them prohibitive). It would be definitely a much less gold-friendly scenario.
However, investors should be prepared for the worst, especially since the lack of a market crash after the referendum lowered the cost of exit. How would Brexit happen? According to the Treaty on European Union, to formally initiate the exit procedure, the UK has to give its notice under (theoretically, the UK could ignore this legal route and simply leave the EU without invoking that clause, but such an option would be even more costly, as it would keep many details of withdrawing from the EU unresolved – this scenario would thus be the best for the gold market). David Cameron did not trigger it and it is still unclear when Theresa May, the new British Prime Minister, will invoke this article, if at all. Then, the EU shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with the UK, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal and taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the EU. The treaty gives two years to negotiate a withdrawal agreement – and once this time is up, the UK is out with a deal or without one, “unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period”. As one can see, the procedure is not very detailed. There are many unknowns: for example, how and when the UK should make note of its exit. During this process the UK government will have to make many important decisions, including the future of its relationship with the EU. Therefore, we will also analyze the UK’s options are outside the European Union.
July 8, 2016, 10:02 AM
In this edition of the, we will discuss the relationship between gold and . We will examine the historical price movements of the shiny metal and some gold equity indices. We will also analyze the pros and cons of investing in gold stocks when compared to other gold investments. Do you want to know what are the most important gold stock indices and how to benefit from monitoring them? This edition of the Market Overview focuses on the ratios between gold and gold stocks indices, showing how to use them as an investment tool. A relative analysis of bullion to gold stocks can help understand what is happening in the market.
Before we turn to the main topic, we will briefly address the British referendum on the United Kingdom’s membership in the European Union and its implication for the gold market. Britons decided to leave the EU – so what does it imply for the gold market?
June 13, 2016, 6:29 AM
In this edition of the, we will discuss the relationship between gold and other . We will analyze the historical price movements of gold, silver, platinum and palladium. Do you want to know what the ratios between gold and other precious metal prices are and what the normal ranges for them are? Is the gold-to-silver ratio too high, and must return to its historic average of 16? This edition of the Market Overview will answer these questions and show you why these ratios are useful, and how to benefit from them. A relative analysis of precious metals prices often signals bull and bear markets or indicates when to reallocate investment positions between gold and other precious metals.
May 3, 2016, 3:50 PM
In this edition of the, we will discuss the gold lending and swap market – a misunderstood and overlooked part of the gold market. Are you confused by the talk of gold backwardation, the gold lease rates (GLR) or the gold forward offered rates (GOFO)? This edition of the Market Overview will show you how these gold market-related interest rates and the price of gold interfere with each other. We will also discuss how the gold leasing is conducted, how it is linked to the gold prices, and why gold is leased at all. Last but not least, we will analyze whether the leasing of gold by central banks affects the price of gold, what negative gold forward rates mean, and how to interpret the occurrence of .
April 1, 2016, 11:54 AM
In, we wrote that the investment demand drives the gold prices, because only professional investors (not consumers) provoke a stable, sustainable rise (or decline) in the gold prices. A month later, in , we analyzed the most important motives for investing in gold: hedge against inflation, insurance against financial turmoil and portfolio diversifier. However, we have not examined yet how the investors’ actions actually affect the gold market, so this time, we fill the gap and analyze how the changes in sentiments among gold investors drive the price of gold. We will focus on Comex, which is the largest and the most influential gold futures marketplace in the world (as was shown in ). Additionally, we will also address two other issues our readers often ask about: the impact of ETFs’ flows on the price gold and the way the gold ETFs really work. From this analysis investors should come to understand the gold market and its true drivers (e.g., how motivations of Comex participants affect the gold prices), as well as learn a few practical investment clues, especially how to interpret the COT reports and profit from them.
March 1, 2016, 12:12 PM
In the previous editions of the Market Overview, we described the factors driving the price of gold along with the ones that do not affect it. We showed that theis one of the most complicated markets in the world. Indeed, its structure is not very transparent, as gold is traded in many markets all over the word, and the majority of its volume is exchanged in the over-the-counter (OTC) markets. This is why analysis of the structure and mechanics of the gold market is so valuable.
In this edition of the Market Overview, we will examine how the gold market really works and how the price of gold is determined. We will describe the structure of the gold market and how it functions, focusing on the U.S. futures market and the London spot market, the two most important gold marketplaces in the world. From this analysis investors should come to understand the gold market and its true drivers, as well as learn a few practical investment clues.
February 1, 2016, 1:33 PM
In, we showed that the is one of the most complicated markets in the world. Its complexity and uniqueness (gold neither derives its economic value from its yield nor from consumption or being used as an input in production) make people differ in their opinions about it. Many gold investors believe that the market for gold is systematically manipulated. There are many variations of this theory: some say that the precious metals are under the thumb of central bankers, while others blame big banks and their use of derivatives (‘naked’ shorts) and high-frequency trading for the declines in the price of gold. There are also worries about the discrepancy between and physical gold, the fairness of London trading, declining inventories at Comex and leasing of gold by central banks.
In this edition of the Market Overview, we will try to examine these views so investors have a better understanding of the gold market and its true drivers. Our analysis should, as always, enable investors to draw important investment conclusions.
January 8, 2016, 2:03 PM
What a year! This fascinating time for the global economy and thebegan with big . , removing the peg of 1.20 franc per euro, , (in a few months, ), and . Then, the attention moved to the emerging markets. The U.S. dollar appreciated further and , pushing , and several other countries into recession. The , and , which caused , raised the biggest concerns. The geopolitical situation remained unstable, especially in Ukraine and the Middle East, leading to , the growth of terrorism, and eventually multiple terrorist attacks all over the world ( , among others). In November, . And finally, the Fed hiked interest rates for the first time in almost 10 years.
In this edition of, we summarize the last year in the gold market from the perspective of its fundamentals. This analysis should help investors better understand the gold market, and draw for the new year. We will present our gold outlook for 2016, focusing on the impact of the Fed’s rise on the price of gold. Given that the gold trade is generally about the Fed’s actions and confidence in the U.S. economy, the future path of interest rates may be the biggest driver in the gold market this year.
December 3, 2015, 12:04 PM
We continue our series about the drivers of the price of gold. In, we focused on the somewhat overlooked impact of the bond market on the yellow metal and analyzed the relationship between gold and changes in bond prices, credit spreads, yield curve and the financial sector’s strength. In December we analyze how the very well-known macroeconomic reports: GDP, labor market indicators (e.g. nonfarm payrolls), inflation indicators (e.g. Personal Consumer Expenditures Price Index or Producer Price Index), and on consumer activity (such as Personal Income and Outlays and Retail Sales) affect the gold market. These indicators do not always have a direct influence on the price of gold, but they often affect the Fed’s actions and markets expectations on future economic growth, and thus indirectly the gold market.
Given that the gold trade is generally about the Fed’s credibility and confidence in the U.S. economy, the above-mentioned reports may significantly change the precious metals market. Indeed, gold is the most sensitive commodity to macroeconomic announcements, according to the IMF Working Paper “”. The best example is the October Employment Situation Report, which stood behind the plunge of the shiny metal at the beginning of November. This is why it is worth analyzing the links between economic indicators and the .
What Drives The Price of Gold? Part 4: Bond Market, Credit Spreads, Yield Curve and Financial Sector’s StrengthNovember 4, 2015, 10:48 AM
We continue our series about drivers of the price of gold. Wehedging against inflation, seeking for safe-havens against financial crises or portfolio diversification. We the relationship between gold and mining production, jewelry, industrial or central banks’ demand, as well as , and . In the September edition of the Market Overview we the relationship between gold and changes in the money supply, public debt, oil prices, and stock market dynamics. We showed that the observed and these factors often constitutes a co-movement in response to the same macroeconomic factors rather than causal relationships. The list of possible determinants of the price of gold goes on, so in November we will focus on the relationship between the bond market and the yellow metal. We will analyze whether U.S. Treasury bonds could substitute for gold, and whether changes in credit spreads, indicating change of risk appetite – and Treasury yield curve drive the price of gold. We will also examine the relationship between the financial sector’s strength, representing the level of perceived systemic risk, and the price of gold. Analysts and investors often overlook the real links between these factors and gold, so in the November Market Overview we will show that including these variables into analysis can help fully understand the gold market. Since gold is the reciprocal of confidence in the Fed and the U.S. economy, it is worth analyzing the measures of confidence in them.
October 1, 2015, 1:57 PM
A lot has been going on in China recently – the second biggest economy in the world has been slowing down for months. The(and ) and then once again , and the . Concerns about the economic turmoil in China and the possible spillovers triggered all over the world on Black Monday, August 24. , described by some analysts as quantitative tightening, additionally increased the market uncertainty. All of these events were covered in , but, because of their potential importance for the global economy and gold market, in this edition of Market Overview we analyze them thoroughly. What are the real reasons behind the economic slowdown in China and what would be its consequences for the financial markets? Would it be positive for the price of gold as it would spur safe-haven demand, or rather negative, since it would ? Is the worst financial turmoil behind us or just ahead? If before us, will the possible corrections on the Chinese stock market affect the real economy and infect other economies? Did China devalue the yuan to boost its export or was it only a by-product of liberalization of the currency regime? We will answer these questions in this October Market Overview, and give precious metal investors a more comprehensive view regarding the recent developments in China and the consequences for the financial markets and the price of gold.
September 1, 2015, 6:57 PM
The financial press and academic literature analyze many potential drivers of gold prices. Wethe most important incentives for , such as hedging against inflation, seeking for safe-haven against financial crises or portfolio diversification. We the relationship between gold and mining production, jewelry, industrial or central banks’ demand, as well as and . However, the list of possible determinants of the price of gold is much longer and includes inter alia, money supply growth, public indebtedness, oil prices, the stock market, the bond market, GDP growth, inflows, and speculation and manipulation. In this edition of the Market Overview we will see how the first four factors affect the price of gold. Many analysts claim that the price of gold is driven by changes in the money supply, public debt, oil prices or stock market dynamics; however the relationship between them and gold is not so simple. In reality, the often observed correlation between gold and these factors constitutes a co-movement in response to the same macroeconomic factors rather than causal relationships. What are then the real links between them and the price of gold? And what is the ultimate driver of the price of gold if these four variables are not? We will answer these questions in the September Market Overview, and give precious metal investors a more comprehensive view regarding the stereotypical relationships between gold and money supply, public debt, oil prices and the stock market.
What Drives The Price of Gold? Part 2: Gold as an Inflation Hedge, Safe-Haven and Portfolio DiversifierAugust 5, 2015, 6:29 PM
Inwe analyzed the nature of gold and defined it as a global monetary asset rather than a commodity. Because of its nature, neither mining production nor industrial demand nor consumer demand nor central banks’ demand drives the gold price. In reality the casual relationship takes place in the opposite direction: the gold price affects these categories of demand. We concluded that the investment demand drives the gold prices, because only professional investors (not consumers) provoke a stable, sustainable rise (or decline) in the gold price. This time we will focus on the investment demand and its determinants.
We begin by providing gold investment demand guide 101, because there are a lot of misconceptions about investing in gold. We explain for example why the analysis of the gold market requires the use of ceteris paribus clause, and why there is no single Holy Grail explaining the price of gold. Then, we analyze the three most important features assigned to gold: inflation-hedge, safe-haven and portfolio diversifier. We show that gold is not an inflation-hedge, at least regarding the short-run and times of low inflation rate. Gold is rather a safe-haven, which protects investors during crises, but not necessarily in normal times of high confidence in the fundamentals of the economy. We argue that the yellow metal can be considered as a form of insurance against systemic risks resulting from the current monetary system based on the fiat U.S. dollar. Finally, we show that because gold is a safe-haven it is also a good portfolio diversifier. We explain what does this mean, why is gold has this quality, and how much of wealth investors should allocate into the yellow metal.
July 3, 2015, 10:39 AM
Neither the financial press, nor academics have reached agreement on gold’s nature and the drivers of its price. In fact, no other asset divides opinions so sharply. Have you ever seen people passionately discussing the nature of copper or the Australian dollar? Probably not, while gold kindles really extreme opinions. There are true gold bugs, who regard the yellow metal as the ultimate money and the only store of value, and gold skeptics, like Warrant Buffer, who consider the yellow metal as a “barbarous relic” without any inherent value. The list of conflicting opinions goes on: gold is simultaneously an inflation hedge, safe-haven against financial crises, luxury-consumption good, reserve currency, shiny commodity with no yield, financial asset and an instrument of diversification.
This edition of Market Overview is first issue in a long series, which analyzes the nature of gold and factors driving its price. We explain why the gold market is so complex and what is the unique nature of gold: particularly, we address the old question whether gold is it a commodity or a currency? There are many opinions about what factors drive the price of gold. Among the candidates you will find the mining supply, technology demand, the jewelry demand and central banks’ purchases. Does the production or these categories of gold demand drive the gold price?
Theis so complex, that we focus today on refuting some popular myths common in the gold market. Examples of such myths include putting enormous emphasis on declining mining production, rising technology demand, strong Asian demand or high central bank buying volumes, when considering these factors as drivers of the gold prices. We believe that these considerations results from misunderstandings of gold’s nature. Thus, in this edition of Market Overview we wanted to show that gold should be analyzed as a currency or a global monetary asset rather than a commodity.
June 2, 2015, 9:48 AM
The gloomy economic situation of Greece has been the topic of many Gold News Monitors – we wrote recently about itand , but also in . Since Hellas has to pay off over €1.5 billion to the IMF in June and €7 billion to the ECB to repay government bonds (including interest), which mature in July and August, it is high time to analyze more thoroughly the relationship between Greece’s debt crisis and gold. We first examine the institutional foundations of the Eurozone and its currency, as the flawed construction of the Eurozone was partially responsible for the Greece’s reckless fiscal behavior. We explain why the euro is a political project without much economic sense and why the current Greek debt crisis was inevitable, given the “tragedy of the euro” responsible for the unstable nature of the Eurozone and its currency. We analyze how the misconstruction of the Eurozone contributed to the Greece’s debt crisis and provide a brief history of the Greece’s financial problems. We examine how the past problems affected the gold market. We focus, however, on the current economic difficulties and the possible future scenarios for Greece. We analyze how the current crisis can influence the gold prices and how the potential scenarios for Greece’s future can affect the global economy and the gold market. The base-case scenario is still that a bailout deal will be reached in coming days, however Hellas is again on the brink and the probability of Grexit increased recently. We examine, thus, what would the Grexit look like and what are the possible effects of such scenario on the gold market.
May 5, 2015, 9:55 AM
Last month a lot of negative data on the global economy was brought to light. China’s trade plunged in March and the World Trade Organization cut the 2015 global trade growth outlook to 3.3 percent from the previous 4 percent. We have already suggested in the Gold News Monitor that weak worldwide trade indicates a coming global slowdown. It is time we shared more details and in this edition of Market Overview we analyze whether the global economy is coming into recession and what it would mean for the U.S. economy (is it really decoupling from the other economies?) and the gold market.
To answer these questions we must examine the correlation between the yellow metal and world GDP growth. How the gold performs during recessions? Does it behave well as investment demand increases or rather badly, because of drop in consumer demand in times of weak economic activity?
We dig also into data on global liquidity, since the BIS and the IMF are warning against global liquidity shock. Market liquidity is structurally lower now than it was in the past, so if the pace and scale of Fed’s tightening are not correctly anticipated by the investors, the possible Fed’s hike could trigger a sell-off in the bond markets similar to the U.S. bond crash in 1994. What are the possible consequences of such shock for the gold market?
In response to numerous questions from European and Asian investors, we also analyze how gold behaves when measured in different currencies than the U.S. dollar, what is the explanation for the negative correlation between gold and the U.S. dollar index and what non-American investors should take into account analyzing their investment in gold.
April 7, 2015, 1:28 PM
The U.S. recovery and the Fed's interest rate hike are the hottest topics right now. The stronger than expected February job market report fueled expectations that the Fed would increase interest rates sooner rather than later. We believed that the market’s reaction was a bit exaggerated, and suggested in the Gold News Monitor not to take the hike for granted. The U.S. recovery is not as strong as it is commonly believed (as was confirmed by the downgraded Fed’s economic projections) and there are many downside risks, such as the Greek crisis, stubbornly low inflation, sluggish wage growth, the Chinese and global slowdown and a too strong greenback, which all may stall the Fed’s hike.
However, we are witnessing divergent monetary policies among the major central banks in the world, with the Fed being practically the only hawk. The financial markets have already set U.S. interest rates at much higher levels than in Europe. And although the Fed looks very hesitant on the proper timing of the hike – how long have we been hearing about the need to normalize monetary policy? – we can assume that the American central bank will finally increase its interest rates, especially that since March it is no longer as “patient” as it used to be.
How will this action change the global economy and affect the gold market? We observed that mere expectations of the Fed’s hike after the publication of the February job market report boosted the U.S. dollar (and punctured expectations after the March FOMC statement caused its plunge). But perhaps a modest increase of 0.25 percent is too small (if not already priced into the market) to change anything? Is the U.S. economy really experiencing recovery, which warrants the Fed’s hike? Has the gold market already discounted the Fed’s hike? How will a strong U.S. dollar affect the global economy and gold market? We are going to answer these critical questions in this edition of the Market Overview.
February 26, 2015, 3:34 PM
A lot has been going on in Europe in the first two months of 2015. Swiss National Bank removed the peg of 1.20 francs per euro and European Central Bank announced the QE program. Then radical left-wing Syriza won the elections in Greece and announced that it wants to renegotiate the bailout plan with the hated troika. Shortly thereafter Sweden joined the growing group of countries that cut its key interest rate and moved it below 0. While the Russian economic crisis aggravated as S&P downgraded (as well as Moody’s a bit later) Russia’s credit rating to junk status, the conflict in Ukraine continued, although the ceasefire was eventually agreed.
All of these events were covered in individual Gold News Monitors, but in the March edition of Market Overview we analyze them very thoroughly (as we did in the case of Russia’s financial troubles in the Feb Market Overview), because of their potential importance for the global economy and gold market. These are the key events that are likely to drive the price of gold in the following months - be sure to be aware of their impact.
February 2, 2015, 7:13 AM
In the last Market Overview we wrote about falling commodity prices and problems of emerging markets resulting from the strong U.S. dollar. In this edition focus on the Russian economy, which suffers from both problems. The rise in the U.S. dollar and the plunge in commodity prices significantly hurt the Russian economy.
The key question is whether the 1998 Russian meltdown will repeat itself. Some analysts point out a few significant differences between 1998 and the current crisis in Russia, like larger foreign exchange reserves and lower public debt, and argue that today’s financial troubles will not be as severe as in the past. Why do they think so and why are they wrong?
In our interconnected global economy, Russia’s financial instability can affect other markets, but should investors expect the Russian trouble to positively affect the gold prices (and your portfolio)? You’ll find our detailed comments on the wounded eastern bear’s impact on the Western economies and gold market in the Feb 2015 Market Overview report.
January 5, 2015, 6:32 AM
Is gold a hedge that rallies when stocks are falling or is gold now a risk-on / risk-off asset just like the stock market? Gold’s performance through business cycles has always been an important issue, but with tumbling crude oil prices in a freefall, it’s become very timely.
The decline in crude oil prices has more implications than most investors think – there is even a very important, yet overlooked link to the part of the bond market. The US dollar’s very strong performance (the fundamental aspect thereof is of great importance), action in the emerging markets, carry trades (not only the yen carry trade) and the issues that investors in the commodity market and – particularly – in the precious metals sector need to be aware of and take into account.
In the January 2015 Market Overview, we analyze the above-mentioned issues and discuss their implications for commodity investors in general and – in particular – for precious metals investors.
December 1, 2014, 11:31 AM
QE3 is now history... Or Is It?
Is the end of QE really a sign of a strong U.S. recovery? Some analysts agree, forecasting that gold will fall towards the $800-$900 level, while others fear that without Fed’s bond-buying program, a market crash may be on its way, leading to investors’ renewed interest in gold.
On October 29, the Fed stopped pumping money into economy in the form of the third round of Quantitative Easing, but there are ways in which the program is still present.
In the Fed’s statement we could read the following: “Committee is maintaining its existing policy of reinvesting principal payments from its holdings of agency debt and agency mortgage-backed securities in agency mortgage-backed securities and of rolling over maturing Treasury securities at auction”. These are the subtle signs that not everything is over just yet. Ending QE is not putting on the brakes; it is just easing off the accelerator.
In the December Market Overview we take a much closer look into this very important matter, explain the above intricacies and discuss their impact on the gold market. We invite you to read it and stay prepared for the coming changes.
November 3, 2014, 9:26 AM
Much is usually written about the link between gold and the USD Index and it is not without a reason. This key relationship often provides the necessary confirmation for opening and closing positions in gold, silver and mining stocks. In turn, taking or failing to take it into account can be equal to the difference between a winning and losing a gold trade.
In the November Market Overview, we dig very deep into this relationship. We explain why’s, how’s and why not’s regarding this all-important link. Does gold always follow dollar’s footsteps (hint: gold soared between 1978 and 1980, while USD moved sideways)? When gold rallies along with the dollar and when does it move independently? In this report you will find answers to these important questions and - most importantly - you’ll learn how to apply this knowledge in the current market environment. We invite you to profit from our insights.
October 6, 2014, 7:53 AM
Gold and the interest rates - the topic has been covered multiple times, but we feel it didn't get enough coverage with regard to some key issues and in October Market Overview we fill this informational gap.
It is often emphasized that gold moves in tune with the real interest rates. However, the situation is not as simple as most analysts suggest. The relationship between gold and rates is complex and there are times and circumstances under which it doesn't have to work in the above-mentioned way (this month's report covers 7 reasons for which it doesn't have to work at all times). Knowing when to apply this link and when to refrain from it could make you many dollars in the following months.
What do terms like: Gibson's Paradox, Golden Dilemma and Elfenbein's model mean in the gold vs. rates discussion and how should one take this relationship into account while preparing for gold's future price swings? We invite you to read the October Market Overview and learn more about these important issues.
October 24, 2016, 12:12 PM
October 24, 2016, 8:19 AM
October 21, 2016, 11:28 AM