Is Gold on a comeback?

On Monday, Gold held up the strength it gained during past Friday, which was yet one of the most aggressive bullish session the precious metal has gone through in 2018. Gold added over $15 of value in 1 day starting from the Asian session all the way to the US session, which was a runner up no one expected so powerful, on the rise. Traders were left excited and somewhat curious to what the future sessions could reveal, as Gold was considered oversold with demand to minimum levels in the past months.

The fundamentals covering the strong movement, regarding Jerome Powell’s comments were not convincing in our opinion as Gold was seen moving in a buying appetite from very early in the Asian session which indicates traders felt the precious metal’s ability to be used as a safe haven could have reenacted its comeback.

No question, the greenback was hurt as Powell spoke, reaffirming that raising rates remained the safest way to maintain the U.S. economy’s positive run. The comments found traders, short selling the US dollar as the event delivered a dovish sentiment.

On the contrary another reason was cited for Golds run up on Friday which also provides different messages for the US economy. It was noticed that, the 10-Year and 2-Year Treasury yields have been shrinking further which creates some questions regarding the real health of the economy in the US. Traditionally traders and analysts look at yields to understand the bigger picture of an economy, not paying so much attention on the fundamentals. While the two yield curves approach each other, it means that the difference between long-term and short-term rates tightens which can be a signal of possible economic weakness. There could be a positive relationship between Golds recent sharp upward movement and the uncertainty that is created from prices of bonds becoming too high while the yields dropping lower.

We would like to emphasize the pre mentioned point, by stating yield curves act as a benchmark for other debt in the market such as bank lending rates or mortgage rates. At the same time, curves are an indication of economic output and growth. Analysts are now making a case that the shiny metal is to rebound amid geopolitical tensions and a record-long bull market for U.S. equities. Let us go back to our previous report from last week when according to Reuters , financial institutions and hedge fund managers intensified their selling positions in Comex gold contracts for the sixth consecutive week. Some could say traders were quick to make a decision on the precious metal direction which on the past Friday could have hurt their interests harsh fully, knocking them into losses. It goes to show that, following the crowd comes with a huge risk when it comes to investing. However, even when it was clear on Friday during the European session that Gold was on an upswing no one was even close of imagining the total movement, which makes the event even more significant. Then again, Comex Gold call options increased in the previous week to a record 1,136 contracts, from 79 contracts on July 31, the biggest in the past two years.

In addition, Gold has been a highly underestimated instrument and was clearly overlooked for the past months as investors preferred to use the US dollar and US equity’s due to favorable economic conditions in America. We are not quite sure if Gold has made a comeback or if it will be on the rise in the following weeks but it has shown that, it still has the power to dominate the markets funds and attention. However, when the circumstances are right the precious metal will rise to the occasion.

Due to the bullish market from the previous session Golds levels have been changed because of change of trend.

If the market decides that a correction must be made for the shiny metal we could see it aim for our $1,197.27 support line and even breach it aiming lower for the $1,191.08 support hurdle.

The $1,200 psychological threshold may not be considered as a benchmark as during August the shiny metal has not stumbled across the line neither downwards nor upwards. The instrument chose to overpass it, not giving attention to the round number.

On the other side, if the precious metal continues its upward movement, we may see it breach the $1,208.35 resistance level and aim higher for the $1,214.80 resistance barrier.

Has Bullion lost its powers as a safe haven?

At the moment Gold’s sensitivity towards the US Sino matter is at its highest levels as the precious metal been very match the next best choice for traders during the past days. Massive volatility has been observed and especially yesterday and the day before when the Chinese Index’s moved higher along with their stocks and on the opposite the US dollar seemed out of breathe for the moment.

Gold, now at cheaper levels since are very last report, seemed to suddenly wake up after a long sleep, as traders utilized it for quick trades and ultimately increased volatility levels. Gold prices settled slightly higher Wednesday, locking its second day in positive territory as the U.S. dollar and U.S. government bond yields both backed down, giving space for the precious metal to climb.

On a wider perspective, investors demand for Gold was down in the second quarter. Holdings in global gold-backed ETFs dropped in July and Gold price performance was a large contributor to outflows as it fell over 2% in US dollar terms.

Moreover, the Fed’s plans to raise rates further this year have also assisted in plunging the shiny metals prices as the fact is known to strengthen the USD. The USD is negatively correlated to Gold and an advancement for the greenback equals a reverse for the precious metal. The greenback has been strengthening since late April were Gold started heading downwards breaking its $1,300 round level and now aiming for the $1,200 level.

Evidently, towards the end of July, money managers increase their net short positions bringing them to 41,087 contracts, the largest since data has become available to the public in 2006. It could be the case that, Gold has not reached rocked bottom yet.

On the other hand, countries with depreciating currencies like the Chinese Yuan and the Iranian Rial have increased their investments in Gold. Their aim could be to increase demand for gold while a weakening currency seems to prevail. However, in our opinion someone could also rely on long-term gold investment in order to escape complete devaluation in a desperate situation.

On another front, a very significant development has been enacted that is related to the banking system. According to Basel III regulations, banks are required to match cash holdings with proportional Gold reserves to protect itself from any strong price movements. The percentage of the matching until now, has been 85%. However, the percentage has now been set lower to 50%. According to Reuters, LBMA the London Bullion Market Association has been able to convince the European Union to ease the Gold requirements and plans to keep going for even lower levels, as a way to reduce costs for banks. This developments creates some questionable points for analysts and market participants. Since banks are now allowing less exposure to be hedged on Gold, we can reasonably question the metals traditional power and dominance as a safe haven. Is this a new era we are moving into, were gold is turning into an ordinary financial instrument?

Gold rallied in yesterday’s US session gaining some 4 dollars on an upward movement after it had been lower in the European morning session when it was trading under the $1,210 psychological threshold. Golds upswing could continue today as traders may use it as a hedge instrument for any further economic uncertainty. If the precious metal is undertaken by a bullish movement we could see it move higher aiming for the $1,216.37 resistance level and remain nearby that price. Technically, the RSI indicator in the 1 hour chart remains near the reading of 50, implying a rather indecisive market. Should traders favor Gold short positions, we could see the shiny metal moving lower breaking the $1,210.27 support level and aim for the $1,207.33 support barrier. Also Gold could remain on a sideways movements between the $1,216.37 resistance line and the $1,210.27 Support level.

US Iran tensions awaken the bulls (Crude Oil Outlook)

Most of the Oil market would like to see a showdown between the US and Iran however nothing positive seems to be gained out of tensions. In the previous days, Iran has strongly shown its frustration towards the US sanctions, through Iranian President Rouhani. Oil followers were strongly alerted once the news was out and several analysts were quick to assume Oil prices would be affected by the matter. The Iranian president used harsh words and somewhat spread some fear around the globe, as the reply from the US president was equally tough. We believe, the reason behind Iran’s warning could be the fact that many countries are now turning to alternative sources in order to import Oil. In other words, the world is now turning its back on Iran and is getting supply from Saudi Arabia, Russia or Iraq. The US is deliberately trying to diminish Iran’s Oil business with the outer world, as per their known disapproval of the Persian country’s nuclear activities.

Evidence for the proclaimed statement is Reuter’s report last month, affirming India had asked refiners to prepare for drastic decreases to zero levels for Iranian oil imports. However and quite paradoxically in India’s latest Oil import statistical data published, indicates Oil imports from Tehran persisted in the previous months April to June. The first Oil choice for India remains Iraq, but Iran has passed second overlapping Saudi Arabia regarding the export race to India. India remains among the giants in Oil consumer countries with demand reaching sky high levels. A significant note is that previously in the current year, Indian refiners decided to almost double imports from Iran due to free shipping and extended credit period on oil sales. This scenario could be now forced to change as sanctions will take effect on Aug. 6, following a 180-day adjustment period ending on Nov. 4. Furthermore, it is our opinion the world has much more to lose than to gain out of the current situation between the US and Iran. First of all, if Iran is removed from global supply completely, even with a 6 month adjustment period, global supply could be severely hurt. Some countries from Europe and Asia have shown hesitation towards the US’s plans because Iran has been a reliable supplier towards them. This sharp cut of reliable glut reserve, may have the effect of hiking Oil prices, raising them even higher than the prices have touched until now in 2018.

On a separate note, by closely reviewing Fed Chair Powel statement last week, he stated that Inflation in the US was seen increasing in the first half of the year, mostly because of energy prices. With that said and in accordance to Donald Trump publicly showing his dislike towards high Oil prices, now we can
reach the conclusion that petroleum prices strongly affect the US economy. Evidently ,higher Oil prices is something the US wants to avoid in all cases but may have to face if they are not willing to find a midpoint solution with Iran. Iran has also said it would retaliate by shutting down the Strait of Hormuz if
further actions are taken against them from the US.

Oil prices advanced more than 20 percent in 2018 with analysts citing it as a dangerous sign, adding it could lead to the next economic downturn. This has been the case for some periods in historic market analysis but could also belong to a more speculative viewpoint. Indeed, Oil prices have risen significantly since last year, however in our opinion prices remain moderate compared to years 2010 to 2014. OPEC and Russia have agreed to remain at moderate price levels, though the US has indicated it prefers better price regulation working together with Russia. If the market allows the commodity’s price to fluctuate between $68.0. to $71.00 per barrel and stabilize, the majority of Oil market makers could be satisfied.

If traders decide the commodity is worth purchasing, it could move up towards the $70.19 resistance level and break it, moving further near the $71.65 resistance barrier. This scenario could be supported if any retaliation measures are taken from Iran or if the US is to move further on sanctions imposed towards the Middle Eastern country.

If for any reason, the API weekly crude Oil stocks reading releases a surplus today, Crude Oil could enter a bearish movement and could move downwards towards the $66.58 Support level.

Please be advised , our Support level $68.10 has proven to be a vital one as Crude Oil has been trading back and forth that price since last week. We also see the case for the commodity to swing between our $70.19 resistance level and the $68.10 support level in a sideways movement, as the RSI indicator on the 4 Hour chart is on the reading of 50 indicating the market is somewhat puzzled of Crude Oils future direction.