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Gold Retreats Below $1300, But Downside Limited

by Peter A. Grant

Jul 24, AM
(from USAGOLD.com) --

Gold fell back below $1300 in overseas trading on Thursday. The yellow metal retreated on news of softer Chinese demand. Gains in equities and a firm dollar also weigh.

Chinese gold demand was off 19.4% in the first six-months of 2014, versus the same period last year, according the China Gold Association. However, Chinese demand was extremely robust last year as the price of gold fell for the first time in 13-years. This likely pulled future demand forward. I don't know any serious analysts that believed last year's pace was sustainable.

Strong PMI readings out of China and Europe added to the froth in global stock markets. However, U.S. flash PMI missed expectations, falling to 56.3 in July.

The IMF made their concerns about U.S. growth known yesterday with yet another cut to their 2014 growth forecast for America. IMF expectations for U.S. growth have ratcheted lower throughout the year; from +2.8% in April, to +2.0% in June, and now just +1.7%.

Weaker U.S. growth expectations led to weaker global growth expectations today. The IMF announced today that it had trimmed its 2014 global growth forecast from +3.7% to +3.4%.

Initial jobless claims plunged 19k to 284k for the week ended 19-Jul, well below expectations of 305k, vs upward revised 303k in previous week. That's the lowest level seen since 2006. However, the BLS made note of seasonal volatility in claims this time of year. The market isn't giving the print much credence.

U.S. new home sales plunged 8.1% to 406k in June, well below market expectations of 480k, reigniting concerns of a false-dawn in the housing market. May sales saw a sharp negative revision as well, from 504k to 442k.

If there's anything in today's U.S. data that might influence the Fed on rate hike timing, the housing data is probably it. I'm inclined to continue believing Yellen, that rates are going to remain low for some time to come.

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand, which is tightening, is simultaneously jawboning its currency lower. The RBNZ raised the official cash rate 25 bps to 3.5%. This was widely expected and the OCR is now up 100 bps since February. However, in an effort to prevent yield chasers from driving up the NZD, the RBNZ warned that the value of the kiwi is "unjustified and unsustainable" and prone to "significant fall."

The currency wars continue, with the world's financial powers adamantly opposed to currency appreciation. That, along with persistent and broad geopolitical risks, should limit the downside in gold.

Opinions expressed in commentary on the USAGOLD.com website do not constitute an offer to buy or sell, or the solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any precious metals product, nor should they be viewed in any way as investment advice or advice to buy, sell or hold. USAGOLD, Inc. recommends the purchase of physical precious metals for asset preservation purposes, not speculation. Utilization of these opinions for speculative purposes is neither suggested nor advised. Commentary is strictly for educational purposes, and as such USAGOLD does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy, timeliness or completeness of the information found here.

 

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