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Gold set to gleam on haven demand as equities crash

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Gold prices on domestic spot and futures markets are set to top Rs 30,000/10 gm on Thursday as the US Federal Reserve move to cut its stimulus programme further has hammered equities.

With stock markets heading south, investors have switched to gold as a haven instrument. The Fed Reserve, after its Open Market Committee meeting that ended on Wednesday night, decided to cut its stimulus programme by another $10 billion to $65 billion a month.

The Fed has been buying bonds and other assets under the programme to shore up the US economy. Now that the economy is showing signs of recovery, the Fed Reserve has begun to cut its stimulus.

Investment woes in developing countries

The Fed Reserves decision has sent ripples across developing markets such as India, Turkey, Brazil and Argentina that stocks are beginning to take a hit on fears that foreign investors could now begin to cut their holdings.

Some efforts, though, have been taken by India and Turkey to retain the investments through higher interest rates.

Investors’ rising interest in gold as a haven asset showed in the increased that SPDR Gold Trust, world's largest gold-backed exchange traded fund, reporting that holdings were up at 792.56 tonnes on Wednesday. It is the second time in two weeks that the trust is reporting a rise in the holdings.

Rupee vs Dollar

In the domestic market, the rupee could come under pressure against the dollar. This could make imports of gold, crude oil and vegetable oils costlier. Expect gold to be influences to some extend as a result.

However, gold could still face a resistance at $1,275 an ounce, the way it happened earlier this week when the yellow metal fell to below $1,250 after touching $1,276.

Spot gold, gold futures

In early Asian trade, gold was up at $1,266.80. Gold futures maturing for delivery in April were up at $1,266.80.

Crude oil stockpiles

Higher demand for crude oil products in view of the cold weather in the US could fire up crude oil prices. Economic growth is another factor that will aid the fuel complex.

Brent crude quoted at $107.92 a barrel and US crude at $97.65.

The oils and oilseeds market will come under pressure as indications are now clear that South American soyabean crop will be better this year. Fears of Chinese buyers switching to Brazilian or Argentinean bean from the US are depressing soyabean futures on Chicago Board of Trade. Weather is also clearing in Argentina, lending hope of a better crop. However, hopes of rising demand for bio-fuel could provide cushion.

Soyabean, crude palm oil

On CBOT, soyabean contracts due for delivery in March quoted at $12.70 a bushel. Crude palm oil on Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange closed higher at 2,552 ringgit or $768 a tonne on Wednesday.

Fears of cancellation of US export orders, snow protecting the crop in the Black Sea region and India’s overflowing warehouses are set to put pressure on wheat that has already dropped to a three-year low this week. Corn, on the other hand, could stabilise on demand for US corn and political problems in Ukraine that could affect exports.

CBOT March wheat contracts fell to $5.53 a bushel, while corn for the same month ruled at $4.28 a bushel.

(This article was published on January 30, 2014)
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