Commodities

Gold sees healthy trend; ‘constructive’ outlook for oil

G. Chandrashekhar Mumbai | Updated on March 12, 2018

Ever-shining: (file pic) Gold bars on display in Tokyo. The world is now entering a seasonally weak demand period for gold. Yet, longer-term investor interest stays firm because of the supportive environment.



The OPEC meeting last week ended without a decision to do anything substantial. The next meeting is six months away in December. The market has been left more vulnerable, further outages cannot be ruled out and oil prices run upside risks. At the same time, momentum of global economic growth seems to be slowing. Outlook for China is creating some anxiety. Overall, therefore, the global commodity markets for energy and metals in particular look susceptible to further periods of price volatility.



Experts assert that in the months ahead, the key differentiator in terms of price performance is likely to be supply and output trends. At the forefront is crude. In case of agricultural commodities, weather is going to be the key driver. With lingering weather uncertainties, grains supplies can potentially face some problems.

Gold prices remain well supported. Even as we enter the seasonally weak period of demand - monsoon season in India, for instance - investor interest continues to stay healthy. There are other supportive factors too like the sovereign debt crisis, inflation and weak dollar.

Base metals are largely growth-related commodities where market fundamentals do assert themselves. So, watch those magic numbers and look especially for changes, if any.

Overall, global markets are still searching for direction. Changes in the interest rate of credit flow cannot be ruled out. Simply put, as for commodity investment, caution is the watchword.

Gold: Prices have remained well supported even above $ 1500 an ounce levels. Although the risk appetite is somewhat subdued, it is still high enough. So, gold prices may not decline in a hurry. Coin sales at the retail level are healthy.

On Friday, in London, the PM fix was $ 1529/oz, down 0.6 percent from the previous day's $ 1538/oz resulting from firming up of the dollar by more than one percent against major currencies. Silver, on the other hand, firmed up on Friday with AM Fix at $ 37.38/oz versus the previous day's $ 37.03/oz.

The world is now entering a seasonally weak demand period for gold. Yet, longer-term investor interest stays firm because of the supportive environment. Trading is likely to range-bound in the short-term.

On the other hand, after the collapse, silver prices have struggled gain upward traction, but with limited success. The metal's fundamentals of demand and supply are weak with a hefty surplus for the year. There has also been outflow from ETP.

So, for sometime until new triggers are detected, gold and silver may trade in a range. According to technical analysts, overbought gold is ready for a correction. Price pullbacks offer buying opportunity. The medium term outlook is bullish.

Base metals: In line with other commodity and global equities, base metals sold off on Friday. The US dollar appreciated by more than one percent against major currencies.

Currently, price action in the complex is dictated by global growth concerns. However, the market fundamentals in some cases such as copper are strong with tight supply side. If the market prices-in an overly bearish macro outlook, it can potentially create tremendous volatility later when fundamentals catch up, as they inevitably would, assert experts.

In case of aluminium, production costs are rising because of rising energy prices. Zinc and nickel markets are likely see a surplus for the year as a result of which the scope for prices moving up is limited.

According to technical analysts, copper once again threatens to close below 9000 which may imply a push into support zone of 8610-8740. Aluminium is also seen pressing lower towards the late May low at 2605 which would offer buying opportunity.

Crude: The OPEC meeting failed to dampen the bullish sentiment in the global market. Low inventories, a lack of spare capacity and risk of deterioration in geopolitical tensions make the outlook constructive. The big question is where the oil will come from to meet the needs of the next two quarters. The price implications seem to be clear.

Published on June 12, 2011

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