Gold is set to rule firm with spot prices likely to top Rs 30,000 for 10 gm and futures ruling above Rs 29,000 on Tuesday.

In the global market, gold has vaulted higher on hopes that the new US Federal Reserve Chief Janet Yellen could spell out some sort of slowdown in the tapering of the central bank’s stimulus programme. Since January, the programme (to pump money into the economy by mopping up bonds and other assets) has been pruned twice by $10 billion each to $65 billion. The cut in the stimulus followed signs of recover in the economy.

Yellen will testify before the US House Financial Services Committee later in the day where she could respond to issues relating to the labour market and the pace of tapering.

Last week’s economic data has particularly been disappointing with the economic growth again showing signs of slackening. This has led to rising bets that the tapering of the stimulus could slow down.

Aiding the rally in gold currently is the return of the Chinese after the Lunar New Year holidays. That has resulted in physical buying in Asia. China has already topped India as the largest gold consumer, with demand exceeding 1,100 tonnes last year.

Rolling favourably for gold are holdings in the world’s biggest gold-exchange trade fund, SPDR Trust, ruling unchanged at 797.05 tonnes after posting a 0.5 per cent gain last week.

Eyes are also on India, where the Government could ease curbs on imports and may even cut Customs duty after the Congress President Sonia Gandhi wrote to the Commerce Ministry for a review of the measures that made shipments into the country difficult.

In the domestic market, currency movements could also matter since a weak rupee against a strong dollar will make imports of gold, crude oil and vegetable oils costlier.

By mid-day in Asia, spot gold zoomed to $1,285.59 an ounce and gold futures maturing for delivery in April to $1,285.30.

Spot gold on NCDEX ended at Rs 29,950 for 10 gm on Monday.

On MCX and NCDEX, gold April contracts could exceed Rs 29,000.

Crude oil prices are likely to rule steady on bets that stockpiles in the US decreased. This has driven West Texas Intermediate crude prices to $100 a barrel. However, improving Libyan supplies could cap gains.

Brent crude contracts maturing for delivery in March ruled at $108.71 a barrel, while US crude at $100.10.

The oils and oilseeds market is likely to come under pressure on the US Department of Agriculture projecting an unchanged ending stocks, higher Brazilian crop and lower demand for soyameal.

On Chicago Board of Trade, soyabean contracts maturing for delivery in March slid to $13.25 a bushel. Crude palm oil on Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange dropped to 2,608 ringgit or $782 a tonne.

Wheat prices are set to head higher on the USDA projecting a lower carryover stock as well as Argentine exports. Corn (industrial maize), on the other hand, is expected to head south on projections of higher-than-expected stocks.

CBOT wheat for delivery in March was up at $5.87 a bushel but corn for delivery the same month slipped to $4.42 a bushel.

(This article was published on February 11, 2014)
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