Whenever you get that feeling that the way higher is free of obstacles, profit taking usually kicks in or a simple pause or consolidation comes in. That’s what’s happening now. While we had not seen any physical gold sales out of the gold ETFs we follow until now, the appearance of one dampens euphoria. Today, is an expression of that.
But when we look at the Technicals, the picture tells us that the price restraint will not last for long at all. Indeed, today may be seeing all that restraint disappear.
In the U.S. a much stronger than expected jobs report caused some wild fluctuations in the gold price with a knee jerk drive down to the $1,335 level before an almost equally rapid climb back to the $1,350s from whence the fall started.
On the fundamental side, we see Chinese demand starting to recover now. The news out of China that auto sales are up 19% confirms that Chinese middle class numbers are burgeoning, despite an overall slowdown economically. We focus on the middle classes because they drive Chinese demand for physical gold. With an estimated eventual 500 million Chinese middle classes on the way, the demand for gold will completely overwhelm available supplies.
In India markets are becoming euphoric, as the monsoon is now covering the entire country promising a strong rise in gold demand from that country too. With the U.S. demand for physical gold at levels last seen when gold was headed to its peak, the only restraint we see on the gold price is an Indian propensity to hold back when prices are rising strongly. They prefer to buy either on the fall or when a base is established. But such caution is overwhelmed when it comes to your wife’s demands when a daughter’s wedding comes up [September to May].
In China gold investors buy when the disposable income is there, with the only restraint being how much that money can buy. This diminishes as prices rise, falling by the same percentage basis that gold prices rise.
In New York yesterday there was a sale of 4.158 tonnes from the SPDR gold ETF leaving its holdings at 978.286 tonnes. But there were no purchases or sales from or to the Gold Trust leaving its holdings at 213.19 tonnes.
What is a surprise, but shouldn’t be, is the sight of a sale of gold from the SPDR gold ETF. It’s not a small sale either. We are used to holders of the shares of this fund buying to hold for the long term, so the sight of the first sale of any significance for months, causes a surprise to all. But for there to be either a trader of a stale bull in this fund should be considered as a ‘normal’ market event.