Gold Investors Weekly Review – March 14th

In his weekly market review, Frank Holmes of the USFunds.com nicely summarizes for gold investors this week’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in the gold market. Gold closed the week at $1,382.65, up $42.67 per ounce (3.18%). The NYSE Arca Gold Miners Index lost 0.36% on the week. This was the gold investors review of past week.

Gold Market Strengths

Gold rose $43.07 per ounce in the last trading week fear about Chinese macroeconomic data and geopolitical tensions in Ukraine. Furthermore, as shown on the following chart, the 50-day moving average closed less than $10 below the 200-day moving average, which implies that barring a gold collapse below $1,300 next week, we should see gold making a golden cross before the end of the week. Our analysis shows that, going back to 2000, a golden cross in gold is followed on average by a 50% rally lasting on average 15 months.

GOLD_golden_cross_14_march_2014

Gold ETFs appear to be back in fashion, as total known gold ETF holdings are now 870 thousand ounces higher since bottoming at 55.8 million ounces in mid-February. The ETF data comes as the situation in Ukraine reinforces gold’s safe haven status and the weak macroeconomic data coming from China highlight gold’s hedging properties amid a risk-off investing environment.

Gold Market Weaknesses

The China Gold Association (CGA) said China’s gold demand may decline by 17 percent to 250 tonnes in the first quarter of 2014, from 300 tonnes in the first quarter of 2013. Despite this fact, CGA vice chairman Zhang Yongtao expects annual demand to remain strong at 1,176 tonnes, very close to the actual annual demand for 2013. According to HSBC Research, Mr. Zhang’s forecast indicates that China’s gold demand should be stronger for the rest of 2014 after the first quarter, when compared to the same period in 2013. This may indicate that China’s strong appetite for gold is likely to be sustained well into 2014.

Gold Market Opportunities

A Royal Bank of Canada report shows similarities between the 2005 to 2008 gold price rally and the current gold price environment, which analysts believe could lead to a sustained gold price rally over the next 12 to 24 months. While still early in gold recovering from its lows, Chinese and emerging market gold demand combined with the absence of central bank selling both offset any ETF liquidations. Given the volumes seen in China recently, and the fact the Chinese market is not as price sensitive – thanks to high savings rates – Chinese demand on its own could replicate the 2005-08 ETF-driven gold rally.

Gold Market Threats

The instability in Ukraine, together with the China hard-landing fears, has not changed Goldman Sachs’ bearish view on gold. According to Jeffrey Currie, the bank’s head of commodities research, the weakness in the U.S. and the turmoil in Ukraine are not driving gold. Instead, the lower mining costs mean it is more probable that gold drops below $1,000. Marc Faber on the other hand believes the near tripling of the S&P 500 since the end of the bear market in 2009, together with heavy insider selling, high valuations, and extremely high corporate profits should make any investor consider the possibility that we may be at a top of the U.S. equity cycle.

A wave of weak economic data released by the Chinese government agencies this week helped propel gold higher as U.S. and Europe markets weighed the risk of a deceleration in Chinese economic growth. The weak data points released show the risk of Chinese physical gold and jewelry buyers to defer consumption to a later date. As a matter of fact, Chinese retail sales data showed growth of 11.8 percent, missing analysts’ estimates for a 13.5 percent increase. As a result, gold demand from China may be lower in the short term, or until the festive and marriage season starts later in the year.

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