Just after &#039a 12 months of two halves&#039, wherever is gold headed in 2017?

By | December 31, 2016

SINGAPORE: In a 12 months dominated by surprising world wide functions and roiling uncertainty, the actions in the gold value have defied expectations.

Subsequent the US Federal Reserve’s conclusion to elevate curiosity fees past December for the 1st time in nearly a decade, gold watchers had been anticipating a lacklustre 2016, with some forecasting the cherished metallic to tumble to multi-12 months lows down below the US$one,000 mark.

But inside of a 7 days into the new 12 months, gold price ranges attained much more than three for each cent to breach the US$one,a hundred mark as a brutal market-off engulfed world wide inventory marketplaces. The surge into risk-free-haven belongings was also fuelled by crude oil price ranges sliding down below US$30 a barrel to twelve-12 months lows, mounting anxieties about a softening Chinese overall economy and the Financial institution of Japan’s (BOJ) unprecedented transfer to adopt a negative curiosity rate plan

Even prime forecasters of the yellow metallic had been caught off guard by the functions in January, which propelled gold price ranges to a sturdy start in 2016.

“The sturdy moves in the 1st month stunned all people who was anticipating a negative 12 months. To be sincere, I was one of them,” ABN Amro’s commodity strategist Georgette Boele advised Channel NewsAsia. Rated by Bloomberg as the most precise forecaster for gold, the Amsterdam-centered analyst had at first predicted an conclude-2016 target of US$900 amid the likelihood of further more rate hikes in the US, which would bolster the greenback.

A firmer US dollar tends to place stress on gold price ranges, which is priced in the US currency and gets much more high priced to buyers located outside the house the US. In addition, with gold getting viewed as an substitute investment to the dollar, it is commonly shunned when the greenback strengthens in benefit.

But as anxieties about the world wide overall economy pulled down expectations for better US curiosity fees and deflated the US dollar rally, gold price ranges continued to soar and at some point breached the US$one,300 amount on Jun 24 as political uncertainty stemming from Brexit took a toll on previously-fragile business and consumer confidence.

By Jul 8, the value of gold was at a much more than two-12 months substantial of US$one,366, up nearly 30 for each cent 12 months to day.

“The dollar was beneath stress with US rate hikes having priced out, and with uncertainties like Brexit establishing, all people which include me, turned very bullish. With the anxieties surrounding the US elections, it seemed like a scenario that would be very good for gold price ranges but the opposite took place,” Ms Boele mentioned.

Subsequent Donald Trump’s election victory on Nov nine, gold price ranges sank into a downward spiral on expectations that the President-elect’s marketing campaign for fiscal stimulus proposals would bolster financial advancement and inflation. As a consequence, the US fairness marketplaces U-turned right after first losses, yields on US Treasuries spiked and the US dollar strengthened, sending buyers scurrying to readjust their positions into risky belongings.

Mr Jonathan Chan, investment analyst at Phillip Futures in Singapore, mentioned the gold price’s reversal arrived as a shock.

“I was anticipating gold price ranges to maintain around US$one,300 right after Donald Trump gained since I believed the political unrest in the US would add to the threat-off sentiment,” the analyst mentioned. “But as you can see from the current value motion, the sector had absent fully towards that watch.”

On Friday (Dec 30), place gold was past viewed investing at $one,a hundred and sixty.forty two an ounce, down around nine for each cent considering the fact that Trump’s victory in the elections and as the US central lender indicated a more rapidly tempo of rate hikes in 2017 right after soaring curiosity fees earlier this month. 

“It has been a 12 months of two halves,” mentioned Ms Boele. “We began the 12 months getting negative in advance of starting to be very bullish due to all the uncertainty pushing back expectations for a Fed rate hike. But now we are back to the exact themes we observed past 12 months – a more powerful US dollar and much more rate hikes – and the sentiment is yet again on the negative aspect.”

(Details from Bloomberg)

Marketed ON GOLD

Whilst the roller-coaster experience in gold price ranges seemed tricky to tummy, it has been a boon for cherished metallic dealers and jewellery vendors who advised Channel NewsAsia that desire for actual physical gold commonly rises amid value volatility.

Silver Bullion mentioned product sales of its gold solutions jumped 41 for each cent this 12 months, with the most important boost in desire coming on the back of the EU referendum. According to the company’s founder and CEO Gregor Gregersen, product sales spiked 600 for each cent around the a few times pursuing Britain’s vote to depart the European Union.

The risk-free-haven desire also lifted product sales of actual physical silver up by forty eight for each cent at the Singapore-centered bullion vendor and storage company.

“Our buyers are motivated by the drive to safeguard them selves. There are previously concerns about underlying structural difficulties in the West, this kind of as the amount of personal debt that exists in the process. When surprising functions like Brexit transpire, they produce uncertainty and increase to the fret, producing much more people to get curiosity in getting actual physical gold and silver as a form of insurance,” mentioned Mr Gregersen.

Above at Ho Bee Goldsmith & Jewelry, desire from community retail buyers has been constant through the 12 months, mentioned business manager Jessica Chia.

“People are even now getting. They have viewed the uptrend and are inclined to spend particularly with the price ranges coming down,” mentioned Ms Chia, adding that seasonal getting in advance of Chinese New 12 months may possibly have also contributed to the sustained curiosity.

Apart from actual physical gold bars and cash, there are other methods to spend in the yellow metallic this kind of as getting gold futures or solutions, stocks of gold miners, gold exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and opening gold accounts with banking companies. 

In Singapore, United Overseas Financial institution (UOB) mentioned it has viewed a 30 for each cent boost in the variety of new openings this 12 months for its gold-linked lender account, which does not have Items and Solutions Tax (GST) and allows for transactions on-line.

“More than 80 for each cent of our Gold Conserving Account turnover volume was transacted on-line, more and more by more youthful buyers who favor the convenience of on-line banking and are displaying better curiosity in gold-connected solutions,” mentioned Ms Beh Hsia Wa, director of UOB’s Group Bullion Brokerage and Clearing.

“Given the backdrop of reduced-to-negative curiosity fees in many made economies and world wide macroeconomic uncertainty in the past 12 months, we have viewed much more buyers turning to gold to diversify their investments and to minimize their pitfalls,” she additional.


Going in advance, analysts that Channel NewsAsia spoke to are break up on wherever gold price ranges are headed.

Ms Boele from ABN Amro mentioned she has turned negative on the cherished metallic, with a target of US$one,a hundred for 2017, citing the threat of a rejuvenated US dollar.

Phillip Futures’ Mr Chan, having said that, believes that the rally may possibly occur back to lifestyle future 12 months and forecasts that the value of gold will head back up to US$one,300.

“Most people would search at the US rate hike in terms of how it strengthens the US dollar but there are other factors to take into consideration and the most significant one to watch is whether or not Trump can have out what he promised, how much inflation that will produce and how the Fed reacts to all that,” he advised Channel NewsAsia.

There are expectations that a more powerful US overall economy will quicken inflation, which tends to stoke getting curiosity amid buyers as they imagine the metallic will maintain its benefit much better than other belongings in moments of soaring consumer price ranges, Mr Chan described.

Funds Economics’ commodities analyst Simona Gambarini is forecasting gold price ranges to attain US$one,450 by conclude-2017, noting that financial marketplaces have “jumped the gun” in believing that the President-elect will be ready to provide swiftly on his assure to ramp up infrastructure paying.

“The euphoria about infrastructure paying could soon be replaced by concerns about a trade war and geopolitical pitfalls, restoring the risk-free-haven bid for gold. What’s much more, the prospect of a significant deficit-funded fiscal stimulus is most likely to thrust inflation effectively previously mentioned the Fed’s 2 for each cent target, indicating that even if the Fed raises fees much more aggressively, actual curiosity fees should continue being reduced.”

To be sure, analysts mentioned they are not composing off prospective surprises that could derail gold price ranges from expectations, yet yet again.

For one, elections due in France and Germany will continue being substantial up on markets’ watch record right after Italian Key Minister Matteo Renzi missing a referendum earlier this month and as Britain navigates its exit from the EU.

The direction of insurance policies in the world’s most significant overall economy beneath Donald Trump will also be keenly eyed, mentioned Mr Chan.

“Surprises could transpire: For instance, the scale of Trump’s expansionary insurance policies getting smaller than expected or he goes back on his marketing campaign on trade protectionism. These would pressure me to revise my forecast. Even the Fed would have to change its rate hike cycle,” he described. “It’s a domino outcome.”

Adhere to See Kit on Twitter @SeeKitCNA

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