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Gold $2,411.35 $(1.17) -0.05% Silver $30.95 $0.18 0.58% Platinum $997.12 $(3.45) -0.34% Palladium $965.08 $(3.18) -0.33%
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Blog posts tagged with 'china'

Grant on Gold – September 25, 2023
Monday, September 25, 2023

Gold continues to consolidate in the bearish channel that dominated throughout the summer. The 100-day MA successfully contained the upside last week, leaving the downside vulnerable to further tests.

Spot Gold Daily Chart through 9/25/2023
Spot Gold Daily Chart through 9/25/2023

Last week the Fed held steady on rates, as was widely expected. However, Chairman Powell noted strength in the economy and his desire to see “convincing evidence” that inflation is moderating.

The dot plot suggested that at least one more rate hike could be seen this year. Perhaps more importantly, the dots reinforced the ‘higher for longer’ scenario with the first rate cut now forecast for June 2024.

The 10-year yield moved more convincingly above 4% on Monday, reaching levels not seen since 2007. Higher yields are buoying the greenback. The dollar index extended on Monday to reach 10-month highs.

Higher yields and a higher dollar will continue to pose a considerable headwind for gold. Mounting global growth risks apply additional weight.

It is believed that the Eurozone economy contracted in Q3, even as inflation remains elevated. September CPI is forecast to be 4.5%. While that’s down from 5.2% in August, the inflation rate remains well above target.

Earlier in the month, the ECB hiked rates for a 10th consecutive meeting, pushing the deposit rate to a record high of 4%. Analysts now believe the ECB is on hold, probably into next summer.

However, the ECB also will want to see some convincing evidence to confirm that inflation has been squelched in the EU. Until that happens, at least one more rate hike can’t be ruled out.

Of course, worries about the Chinese economy persist as well. This could have grim implications for the global economy.

Chinese demand for imports has contracted in nine of the last 10 months. If China slips into recession, there are concerns that demand for commodities will suffer further. While that may help tamp inflation, the demand destruction will be the greater concern in the medium term.

The ongoing expansion of official gold reserves remains a bright spot for the yellow metal. Central banks continue to seek diversification, mainly out of dollars and into gold.

While central bank gold demand slowed in Q2, the record purchases in Q1 led to record H1 demand of 387 tonnes. Turkey was a big seller in April and May before resuming purchases in June.

The World Gold Council believes the Turkish sales were “tactical rather than strategic” amid internal economic and political strife. Interestingly, as the TCMB was selling, demand for bars, coins, and gold jewelry surged in the country as citizens sought to protect their wealth against a devaluing lira.

Estimated World Official Gold Reserves
Estimated World Official Gold Reserves

Taking into consideration estimates of China’s unreported gold reserves, analyst Jan Nieuwenhuijs of Gainesville Coins believes world reserves reached an all-time high of 38,764 tonnes in Q2. If that’s an accurate assessment, it exceeds the previous record of 39,347 tonnes from 1965.

Nieuwenhuijs points out that gold as a percentage of total global reserves currently stands at 17%, while the long-term historical average is 58%. That suggests there remains considerable potential for further central bank gold buying.

If gold were once again to make up the majority of global reserves, one of Jan’s models projects a price in excess of $8,000 over the next 10 years.

Silver

Silver continues to trade in a choppy manner within the confines of a large symmetrical triangle pattern. The white metal rose more than 2% last week, but most of those gains were given back on Monday.

Spot Silver Daily Chart through 9/25/2023
Spot Silver Daily Chart through 9/25/2023

The silver market is facing some of the same headwinds as the gold market. Perhaps most notably, sluggish demand for electronics in China is likely to adversely impact demand for silver.

The Chinese auto sector returned to growth in August, after contracting in June and July. Sales surged 8.5% m/m and 2.2% y/y with electric vehicles such as Teslas increasingly popular. However, the sustainability of these gains is in doubt as China’s real estate crisis threatens to sap consumer demand.

Real estate is the biggest contributor to Chinese GDP, so the crisis has the potential to drag the middle kingdom into recession. Growth risks in the world’s second-largest economy pose considerable risks to the global economy as a whole.

That being said, the global trend toward electrification keeps the long-term supply/demand fundamentals undeniably positive. Therefore, retreats into the range that has emerged this year are still likely to be viewed as buying opportunities.

Initial support is well-defined by the series of lows at $22.30, $22.22, and $22.11. This zone should keep the low for the year at $19.90 (10-Mar) at bay.

Last week’s high at $23.78 is now seen as the trigger for a retest of the upper reaches of the triangle pattern, which comes in around $24.50.

PGMs

Platinum continues to struggle on upticks. The market rose modestly last week, notching a second consecutive higher weekly close. However, renewed selling pressure surfaced on Monday.

Spot Platinum Daily Chart through 9/25/2023
Spot Platinum Daily Chart through 9/25/2023

While U.S. auto sales were robust in August, global growth concerns continue to percolate below the surface. Rising interest rates also threaten to undermine consumer purchasing power.

Late-summer sales were helped by better supply, but if the expanding UAW strike persists the supply of new cars will tighten.   

Palladium remains defensive at the low end of the multi-year range.

 

Non-Reliance and Risk Disclosure: The opinions expressed here are for general information purposes only and should not be construed as trade recommendations, nor a solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any precious metals product. The material presented is based on information that we consider reliable, but we do not represent that it is accurate, complete, and/or up-to-date, and it should not be relied on as such. Opinions expressed are current as of the time of posting and only represent the views of the author and not those of Zaner Metals LLC unless otherwise expressly noted.

Grant on Gold – August 28, 2023
Monday, August 28, 2023

Gold fell to a 5-month low of $1884.88 last week but was unable to sustain losses below $1900 despite rather hawkish FedSpeak from Chairman Powell at the Jackson Hole Symposium. The yellow metal was able to post a 1.3% weekly gain, its first in five weeks.

Spot Gold Daily Chart through 08/28/2023
Spot Gold Daily Chart through 08/28/2023

Powell acknowledged that inflation has come down some, but it remains too high. He warned that further rate hikes could be in the offing.

“We are prepared to raise rates further if appropriate and intend to hold policy at a restrictive level until we are confident that inflation is moving sustainably down toward our objective.”– Fed Chairman Jerome Powell

The 10-year Treasury yield reached 4.35% early last week, a level not seen since 2007. While rates moderated in subsequent trading this is likely attributable to profit-taking in advance of the Powell speech rather than any real shift in the perception of policy guidance.

The market certainly seems to be leaning toward “higher for longer” with perhaps some new risk for more rate hikes. However, the hawkish bias remains very much data-dependent.

This week happens to be chock full of U.S. data, including home prices, consumer confidence, GDP, PCE, and nonfarm payrolls. These data points and others in the weeks and months ahead will probably have a greater impact on the rate path than any Fed jawboning.

Interestingly, while the 10-year yield reached a 16-year high, the dollar index is thus far holding below the 104.24 high from May 31. It seems like the dollar should be garnering far more support from the rise in yields. And by extension, gold should be under greater pressure.

The greenback’s share of global reserves has gradually eroded over the past 20 years. News that BRICS membership will more than double as of January 1, 2024, and rumblings of a joint currency conspire to further undermine dollar hegemony.

Speculation that the BRICS currency will at least partially be backed by gold makes for a pretty compelling case to lighten dollar exposure in favor of the yellow metal. This investment theme is already being embraced by a number of central banks.

Silver

Silver snapped back smartly last week, gaining more than 6%. It was the white metal’s second consecutive higher weekly close.

Spot Silver Daily Chart through 08/28/2023
Spot Silver Daily Chart through 08/28/2023

While China has taken a measured approach to stimulus thus far, there seems to be a growing expectation that the Chinese government will deliver more robust measures to prevent a recession in the world’s second-largest economy.

With substantial currency reserves at its disposal, China has the means for large-scale fiscal stimulus. There is historic precedence as well.

However, silver is not out of the woods yet. The range that was established in June and July remains intact at this point. I’m also not seeing the recent gains mirrored in the copper market.

Despite last week’s rally, silver ETFs saw outflows of 6.3 Moz. Holdings are down 3.6% YTD.

Until investors come back to the market, I have to consider the downside still vulnerable. However, the longer-term supply/demand dynamics remain favorable.

PGMs

Platinum rose nearly 4% last week. It was the second consecutive higher weekly close and an additional upside extension (2.6%) was seen on Monday. Most of the declines off  

Spot Platinum Daily Chart through 08/28/2023
Spot Platinum Daily Chart through 08/28/2023

Here too, while the long-term fundamentals remain broadly favorable, higher U.S. rates and the negative impact on auto demand, as well as persistent worries about the Chinese economy are seen as limiting to the upside.

Palladium continues to consolidate at the low end of the range, still within striking distance of multi-year lows.

 

Non-Reliance and Risk Disclosure: The opinions expressed here are for general information purposes only and should not be construed as trade recommendations, nor a solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any precious metals product. The material presented is based on information that we consider reliable, but we do not represent that it is accurate, complete, and/or up-to-date, and it should not be relied on as such. Opinions expressed are current as of the time of posting and only represent the views of the author and not those of Zaner Metals LLC unless otherwise expressly noted.

Grant on Gold – August 14, 2023
Monday, August 14, 2023

Gold remains on the defensive after seeing a third consecutive lower weekly close last week and extending to a 6-week low on Monday of $1902.73. Concerns about the Chinese economy and some uncertainty as to whether the Fed’s tightening cycle is over have conspired to weigh on a broad range of commodities.

Spot Gold Daily Chart through 8/14/2023
Spot Gold Daily Chart through 8/14/2023

Last week’s U.S. inflation data suggests that the recent cooling trend in prices has at a minimum slowed, and possibly reversed. July CPI ticked up to 3.2% y/y, versus 3.0% in June. PPI rose to 0.8% y/y in July, versus 0.2% in June.

Lingering inflation along with the July nonfarm payrolls miss sparked a modest uptick in expectations for a rate hike before year-end. However, the market is still fairly convinced that the Fed will hold steady at its next meeting in September.

The heightened prospects for tighter monetary policy pushed the 10-year yield back within striking distance of the October high at 4.337%. The dollar index followed yields higher to set a 5-week high on Monday, adding additional weight to the yellow metal.

Interest rates have already risen dramatically since the Fed’s tightening cycle began back in March of 2022. The Fed funds rate has gone from 0% to 5.25-5.5%. That’s a significant rise in the cost of carrying debt at a time when the country’s and individual debt loads are on the rise.

The national debt stood at $31.5 trillion as of Q1-2023. Estimates now put the debt load closer to $32.7 trillion. If that number is accurate, nearly $10 trillion has been added to the national debt in just the last several years alone since the beginning of the COVID crisis. That’s a surge of more than 40%!

Federal Debt: Total Public Debt
Federal Debt: Total Public Debt

Each citizen’s share of that debt is around $97,550. If you divide it among taxpayers that share jumps to $253,686.

Meanwhile, the credit card debt of American citizens surpassed an inauspicious milestone in Q2, exceeding $1 trillion for the first time ever. Overall household debt rose to $17.06 trillion.

Consumer Loans: Credit Cards and Other Revolving Plans, All Commercial Banks
Consumer Loans: Credit Cards and Other Revolving Plans, All Commercial Banks

That’s a monumental debt load no matter how you slice it. Rising interest rates will only make it more difficult for America and Americans to extract themselves from this burdensome situation, especially with student loan payments slated to resume for many in October.

While the Fed has stated its goal is to bring inflation back to the 2% level, there may come a point when a higher rate of inflation becomes desirable to help inflate away the debt. In that situation, the ones that really pay are savers that are capturing a yield lower than the rate of inflation.

One of the best ways to preserve one’s wealth in an inflationary environment is to buy physical gold. In 2021 inflation began to surge due to government spending (see the national debt graph above) and pandemic-related supply chain disruptions.

CPI jumped from 1.7% in February of 2021 to 2.6% in March. At the time gold was trading around $1734. By the time CPI topped out at 9.1% in July of 2022 gold had challenged its record high above $2070. Only drastic action by the Fed prevented new record highs.

During the previous major inflationary period during the 1970s, gold rose from around $35 at the start of the decade to $512 in December of 1979. In January 1980 the yellow metal reached the unheard-of level of $850, a 10-year rise of 2,329%.

Here too only drastic action by legendary Fed chairman Paul Volcker finally tamped inflation and gold. It took a Fed funds rate of 20%.

Setbacks offer buying opportunities for wealth-preservation-minded investors.

Silver

Silver tumbled nearly 4% last week, notching a fourth consecutive lower weekly close. Follow-through losses on Monday saw a 6-week low set at $22.37.

Spot Silver Daily Chart through 8/14/2023
Spot Silver Daily Chart through 8/14/2023

The white metal violated the 50-week, 100-week, and 200-week moving averages on Monday. While the latter was only penetrated slightly and silver firmed into the close, the downside remains vulnerable.

A true challenge of the June low at $22.11 seems likely. If this level gives way, potential would be to the $21.25 Fibonacci level.

Metals like silver that derive the majority of their demand from industry need strong growth from major economies to support prices. Lately, data from China, the world’s second-largest economy, have been rather bleak and the government seems to be reluctant to offer full-fledged stimulus.

PGMs

The PGMs are also being weighed by China’s economic woes.

Platinum notched a fourth consecutive lower weekly close last week, reaching a 9-month low at $887.39. The market remains defensive to start the new week.

Spot Platinum Daily Chart through 8/14/2023
Spot Platinum Daily Chart through 8/14/2023

Palladium continues to consolidate just above multi-year lows. The downside may be at least temporarily limited by the record net short positioning in the market, but it’s going to be difficult to scare up any buyers given the Chinese growth risks and deflationary pressures.

 

Non-Reliance and Risk Disclosure: The opinions expressed here are for general information purposes only and should not be construed as trade recommendations, nor a solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any precious metals product. The material presented is based on information that we consider reliable, but we do not represent that it is accurate, complete, and/or up-to-date, and it should not be relied on as such. Opinions expressed are current as of the time of posting and only represent the views of the author and not those of Zaner Metals LLC unless otherwise expressly noted.

Grant on Gold – August 7, 2023
Monday, August 7, 2023

Gold is maintaining a corrective to consolidative tone in the wake of the July FOMC meeting. The market now looks to this week’s inflation data for further confirmation that the Fed is on hold.

Spot Gold Daily Chart through 8/7/2023
Spot Gold Daily Chart through 8/7/2023

July CPI comes on Thursday and median expectations are for a 0.2% monthly increase. PPI is out on Friday and the market is expecting a 0.2% increase here as well.

While decent U.S. economic data suggests there is conceivably room for further monetary tightening, Fed funds futures show an 85% probability that the FOMC will hold steady when they next meet in September. That conviction is not as strong into year-end.

There is heightened optimism in recent weeks that the Fed is going to successfully negotiate a soft landing. It would be quite a feat to avoid recession on the heels of 11 consecutive interest rate hikes over the past 16 months.

The DJIA has rebounded to 16-month highs in recent weeks and is a mere 4% off its all-time high as investors are lured back into stocks. This appetite for risk has weighed on gold with Friday marking the tenth consecutive day of outflows from ETFs, leaving holdings down 2.86 Moz year-to-date.

Is there another shoe to drop in the form of a second wave of inflation and/or a rebound in growth risks? Time will tell, but energy prices are already back on the rise. Crude oil has risen nearly 20% in the past 6-weeks.

Demand from China and India remains subdued, with the former still struggling to recover from COVID-related lockdowns and the latter facing record-high prices against the rupee.

The Indian monsoon season began late this year, but crops have been damaged by more recent torrential rains. A ban on some rice exports from India, meant to ensure domestic availability, is likely to contribute to global food-price inflation while simultaneously putting further pressure on gold demand.

Friday’s price action resulted in a key reversal (lower low, close above the previous session’s high). That’s generally a pretty favorable technical chart pattern, but upside follow-through failed to materialize on Monday. Nonetheless, Friday’s low at 1924.78 now provides a good intervening barrier ahead of the more important $1893.07 support level (29-Jun low).

A breach of initial resistance at $1947 would bode well for renewed tests above the 100-day SMA at $1968.14. I see the July high at $1987.53 as the trigger for a run back above $2000 and an eventual challenge of the all-time high at $2075.28.

However, this bullish scenario threatens to get derailed by weakness in the silver market.

Silver

Silver remains on the defensive weighed by ongoing concerns about the Chinese economy. The white metal notched a third consecutive lower weekly close last week and extended 2% lower on Monday.

Spot Silver Daily Chart through 8/7/2023
Spot Silver Daily Chart through 8/7/2023

An ascendant China and its growing middle class have been at the core of every long-term bullish commodity scenario. However, harsh COVID restrictions that didn’t get rolled back until late-2022 sapped investment and consumer spending. Each has been disturbingly slow to recover.

The devastating supply chain issues that were revealed during the pandemic put pressure on international companies to repatriate some key manufacturing, or at least shorten and diversify supply lines. This means China could be facing disinvestment for some time to come.

Stimulus measures have thus far failed to shake free hoarded cash from Chinese businesses and consumers. Both are understandably worried about the level of authoritarian control exerted by Beijing over the past several years and fear that it could easily happen again.

Seems like a good reason to buy some gold.

Heightened political tensions between China and the U.S. further exacerbate the situation.

More than 61.8% of the June/July rally in silver has already been retraced and the 200-day SMA at $23.16 is under pressure. A convincing penetration of this level would shift focus to the 78.6% retracement level at $22.79. Beyond that, the June 23 low at $22.11 would be back in play.

A rebound above $24 is needed to ease short-term pressure on the downside. Such a move would suggest potential back to the July 20 high at $25.27.

PGMs

Platinum closed 1.6% lower last week. It was the third consecutive lower weekly close and the weakness extended into Monday’s session.

Spot Platinum Daily Chart through 8/7/2023
Spot Platinum Daily Chart through 8/7/2023

The PGMs are also being weighed by the economic situation in China, which is adversely impacting car and truck demand. Heavy monsoon rains and flooding in India have not been good for car and truck demand either.

Palladium is coiling near multi-year lows, but with the market already quite short, a rebound may be needed to attract renewed selling interest.

 

Non-Reliance and Risk Disclosure: The opinions expressed here are for general information purposes only and should not be construed as trade recommendations, nor a solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any precious metals product. The material presented is based on information that we consider reliable, but we do not represent that it is accurate, complete, and/or up-to-date, and it should not be relied on as such. Opinions expressed are current as of the time of posting and only represent the views of the author and not those of Zaner Metals LLC unless otherwise expressly noted.

Grant on Gold – June 26, 2023
Monday, June 26, 2023

Gold is maintaining a corrective tone after dropping to a 14-week low of 1910.21 last week. The yellow metal has been weighed by mounting expectations that the Fed will hike the Fed funds rate by another 25 bps when they meet this week.

Spot Gold Daily Chart through 6/26/2023
Spot Gold Daily Chart through 6/26/2023

Fed funds futures are currently showing that probability at 74.4%. That’s up from 52.2% a month ago and a very low probability right after the May FOMC meeting. While inflation has continued to moderate, it remains well above the Fed’s 2% target.

Meanwhile, the labor market and economic growth remain at least marginally resilient. The FOMC indicated in May that policy moves would be data-dependent moving forward.

Median expectations for Final Q1 GDP are +1.4%, although some trusted sources are predicting +2.0%. Initial forecasts for Q2 GDP are +1.3%.

This does indeed give the Fed room for at least one, and maybe two 25 bps hikes. If it’s two, that will take Fed funds to 5.5%-5.75%, the highest rate since January 2001.

On the other hand, global growth prospects have dimmed in recent weeks, largely due to concerns about China’s tepid recovery. While rising global growth risks do not bode well for the industrial metals, they may spark some haven interest in gold.

Additional safe haven interest is being supplied by political tensions in Russia. On June 23rd, the Russian paramilitary organization Wagner Group initiated what has been called a “rebellion” against the government and began advancing toward Moscow. A negotiated deal reportedly halted that march, but plenty of uncertainty remains.

Gold closed slightly higher on Monday, but scope remains for further tests of the downside. The next tier of support to watch is $1904.89/$1900.00.

A rebound above $1940.00 would ease short-term pressure on the downside and shift focus to more important resistance at $1983.51.

With the dollar still looking vulnerable, despite favorable interest rate differentials, I believe the underlying uptrend ultimately prevails and these setbacks are likely to be viewed as buying opportunities.

Silver

Silver has been hit harder by mounting global growth risks. The white metal dropped 7.3% last week. It was the second consecutive lower weekly close.

Spot Silver Daily Chart through 6/26/2023
Spot Silver Daily Chart through 6/26/2023

Investors have been slow to accept the realities of the supply/demand dynamics in the physical market. Demand reached a record 1.24 billion ounces in 2022, resulting in a massive 237.7 Moz supply shortfall.  

This came on the heels of a 51.1 Moz deficit in 2021. The Silver Institute is predicting another deficit this year of approximately 142.1 Moz.

While the Silver Institute sees industrial demand growing by 4% this year, they predict overall demand to contract by 6% due to weaker expectations for the silverware, jewelry, and bullion sectors.

Growth risks will continue to periodically spook investors in the paper market resulting in price retreats. However, such setbacks are likely to be viewed as buying opportunities.

Many believe that the industrial sector is largely recession-proof at this point with sweeping electrification initiatives being supported by government subsidies. I’m inclined to concur and would therefore consider this year’s low just below $20 to be well protected.

PGMs

Platinum remains on the defensive, dropping nearly 7% last week. It was the second consecutive lower weekly close.

Spot Platinum Daily Chart through 6/26/2023
Spot Platinum Daily Chart through 6/26/2023

Substitution for palladium has been helping to underpin the platinum market as the auto sector recovers post-COVID. While that is still happening, accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles may be becoming the more dominant storyline.

EVs accounted for 14% of global new car sales in 2022. That figure is expected to rise to 18% in 2023. Some are projecting that EVs will make up 35% of new car sales by 2030.

That bodes well for silver and copper, but not so much for the PGMs. Platinum has probed back below the midpoint of the COVID-era range, leaving this year’s low at $902.16 vulnerable to a retest.

Palladium slid to a 4½-year low of $1262.22 last week, keeping focus squarely on the downside.

Spot Palladium Daily Chart through 6/26/2023
Spot Palladium Daily Chart through 6/26/2023

Palladium is facing the double-whammy of substitution for still significantly cheaper platinum and the rising market share of EVs.

The next support to watch is $1243.20 based on a Fibonacci objective.

 

Non-Reliance and Risk Disclosure: The opinions expressed here are for general information purposes only and should not be construed as trade recommendations, nor a solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any precious metals product. The material presented is based on information that we consider reliable, but we do not represent that it is accurate, complete, and/or up-to-date, and it should not be relied on as such. Opinions expressed are current as of the time of posting and only represent the views of the author and not those of Zaner Metals LLC unless otherwise expressly noted.