Edition:
India

K. Sathya Narayanan

PRECIOUS-Gold dips as equities rally on economic recovery hopes

03 Jun 2020

* For an interactive graphic tracking the global coronavirus spread, open https://tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7 in an external browser (Updates prices)

PRECIOUS-Gold dips on strong equities; trade jitters, U.S. unrest limit losses

02 Jun 2020

* SPDR Gold Trust holdings rose on Monday to a fresh 7-year high

PRECIOUS-Gold gains on weaker dollar, U.S.-China tensions

01 Jun 2020

* For an interactive graphic tracking the global coronavirus spread, open https://tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7 in an external browser (Adds comments, updates prices)

India's April crude processing in biggest drop in at least nearly two decades

25 May 2020

India's crude oil processing in April slumped by 28.8% from a year earlier, its biggest drop since at least 2003, as a nationwide lockdown weighed on fuel demand and forced refiners to cut production.

PRECIOUS-Gold gains as new wave of infections stokes hopes of more stimulus

11 May 2020

(Updates prices) * Dollar firms, Asian equities move higher * Specs cut bullish positions in gold in week to May 5- CFTC * IMF warns Sino-U.S. trade war will weaken economic recovery * For an interactive graphic tracking the global spread, open https://tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7 in an external browser By K. Sathya Narayanan May 11 Gold prices rose on Monday as bullion's safe-haven appeal was boosted by worries about a new wave of coronavirus infections, which reinforced expectations of more stimulus measures and lower interest rates. Spot gold gained 0.3% to $1,705.73 per ounce by 0742 GMT, having lost about 1% in the previous session. U.S. gold futures eased 0.3% to $1,708. "People have bought the dip. Even in the best of circumstances, we are still in an environment where (interest) rates are going to remain very low, fiscal policies are going to remain very accommodative and inflation is going to be high," said IG Markets analyst Kyle Rodda. Gold is poised to strengthen in the longer term and investors are trying to get their hands on the metal before it rockets higher, he said, adding that there was a lot of technical support around the $1,700 level. Gains in bullion were limited, however, as the dollar firmed and Asian shares rose, with investors looking ahead to more countries restarting their economies, even as some reported an unwelcome pickup in new coronavirus cases. "Gold requires a new fundamental trigger. Unless we get a new trigger, like the U.S.-China trade war, we can expect a fall towards $1,680," said Ajay Kedia, director at Kedia Commodities in Mumbai. However, the decline would be small due to support from concerns over a second wave of coronavirus infections in some countries, recession worries and interest rate cuts, he said. Chinese authorities reported on Sunday what could be the beginning of a new wave of virus cases in northeast China, while South Korea warned of a second wave of new infections. On the Sino-U.S. trade front, the International Monetary Fund on Friday warned Washington and Beijing against rekindling a tariff war that could weaken recovery from the pandemic, while signalling a possible downward revision of global economic forecasts. Highlighting the impact of the pandemic, the U.S. economy shed a record 20.5 million jobs in April, a Labour Department report showed on Friday. Americans should not expect a quick return to growth, U.S. Federal Reserve officials said last week. Speculators reduced their bullish positions in COMEX gold contracts in the week to May 5, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said on Friday. Among other metals, palladium rose 2% to $1,919.96 an ounce, platinum gained 0.6% to $769.93 and silver climbed 0.4% to $15.51. (Reporting by K. Sathya Narayanan in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Aditya Soni)

PRECIOUS-Hopes of gradual economic recovery weigh on gold

06 May 2020

(Adds comments, details and updates prices) * SPDR gold holdings jump to 7-year high * Palladium hovers around more-than 1-month low * U.S. service sector activity contracts in April * For an interactive graphic tracking the global spread, open https://tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7 in an external browser By K. Sathya Narayanan May 6 Gold slipped on Wednesday as the easing of coronavirus-driven restrictions by several nations raised prospects of a gradual recovery in economic activity, denting the bullion's safe-haven appeal. Spot gold eased 0.1% to $1,704.69 per ounce by 0703 GMT. U.S. gold futures gained 0.1% to $1,712.10. There is "optimism about the outlook for economies as we start to move away from lockdown," said Michael McCarthy, chief strategist at CMC Markets. Gold prices ended higher in the previous three sessions, and have risen about 17% since mid-March, as uncertainty remained with the virus spreading and as U.S.-China trade tensions re-emerged. "There is fear about another wave of trade war between U.S. and China. So, investment demand is rising - ETF holdings are rising," said Jigar Trivedi, commodities analyst at Anand Rathi Shares and Stock Brokers in Mumbai. Holdings in the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund (ETF), SPDR Gold Trust , rose 0.4% to 1,076.39 tonnes on Tuesday, the highest level since April 2013. U.S. President Donald Trump urged China to be transparent about the origin of the virus as his administration weighs new tariffs on Beijing for its handling of the virus, which has now infected more than 3.67 million people globally and disrupted economic growth. CMC Markets' McCarthy said that there were market doubts whether the U.S. would be bullish enough to spark another trade dispute while economies are recovering from the virus. "We are seeing support for safe-haven yen and the U.S. dollar is also holding up quite well. So there clearly are different views about the outlook for the global economy." The U.S. dollar rose for a fourth straight session, making gold costlier for investors holding other currencies. Underscoring the deepening economic impact of COVID-19, data showed that the U.S. services sector contracted for the first time in nearly 10-1/2-years in April. Elsewhere, silver rose 0.5% to $15.10 per ounce and platinum gained 0.7% to $769.60. Palladium rose 1.3% to $1,823.67, having touched a more-than one-month low on Tuesday. Prices of the metal, widely used in catalytic converters to reduce harmful emissions from cars, have plunged nearly 40% from a record high hit on Feb. 27. Prices of platinum group metals could fall 15-20% in near term on rising surplus, though it could be seen as a longer-term buying opportunity, Citigroup said in a note. (Reporting by K. Sathya Narayanan in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V and Supriya Kurane)

PRECIOUS-Gold slips as virus-led curbs ease; tariff worries persist

05 May 2020

(Updates prices) * Focus on U.S. ISM non-manufacturing PMI data due later * For an interactive graphic tracking the global spread, open https://tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7 in an external browser By K. Sathya Narayanan May 5 Gold prices slipped on Tuesday as moves by some countries to relax coronavirus-led restrictions overshadowed concerns of souring U.S.-China relations, dampening its safe-haven appeal. Spot gold declined 0.4% to $1,695.29 per ounce by 0736 GMT. U.S. gold futures fell 0.7% to $1,700.90. "We are holding quite steady around the $1,700 level. On one side, you've got easing in lockdowns and that is probably improving investor sentiment and a move away from safe havens towards risk assets," said ING analyst Warren Patterson. "On the other side, tensions between China and the U.S. in relation to COVID-19 are re-igniting once again. These two opposing forces are keeping the market on hold at the moment." Italy and the United States were among a slew of countries that tentatively eased lockdowns on Monday to revive their economies. Investors, however, remained worried about brewing Sino-U.S. tensions after President Donald Trump threatened new tariffs on China for its handling of the outbreak, with his administration "turbocharging" an initiative to remove global industrial supply chains from Beijing. Gold, which is considered an alternative asset during times of economic and political turmoil, rose 18% last year due to the tariff war and interest rate cuts by the U.S. Federal Reserve. It has gained nearly 12% so far this year as the Fed kept its benchmark rate at near zero and pumped trillions in emergency funding into U.S. financial markets. Other central banks and countries have also taken similar measures to prop up their virus-hit economies. The widespread stimulus measures will be gold's longer-term tailwind, analysts said, as the metal is considered as a hedge against inflation and currency debasement. Meanwhile, investors awaited U.S. ISM non-manufacturing PMI data, due later in the day, and weekly jobless claims and April non-farm payrolls numbers scheduled for later this week. "The consensus is for very bad numbers ... the main catalyst for gold here is the extent to which they can surprise lower or higher. The data should really deviate from expectations to really animate gold one way or the other," DailyFx currency strategist Ilya Spivak said. Reflecting the appetite for bullion, holdings in the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, SPDR Gold Trust , rose 0.4% to 1,071.71 tonnes on Monday. Among other metals, palladium rose 0.5% to $1,857.24 per ounce, while platinum eased 0.4% to $763.11 and silver slipped 0.4% to $14.78. (Reporting by K. Sathya Narayanan in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu, Anil D'Silva and Uttaresh.V)

PRECIOUS-Gold prices rise as U.S.-China tensions resurface

04 May 2020

(Updates prices) * SPDR gold holdings rose 1.1% on Friday * Markets await U.S. non-farm payrolls on Friday * For an interactive graphic tracking the global spread, open https://tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7 in an external browser By K. Sathya Narayanan May 4 Gold prices extended gains on Monday, having jumped more than 1% in the previous session, as rising tensions between the United States and China over the coronavirus' origin bolstered bullion's safe-haven appeal. Spot gold gained 0.3% to $1,703.77 per ounce by 0752 GMT in thin trade as markets in China and Japan were closed for holidays. U.S. gold futures rose 0.9% to $1,715.20. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday said there was "a significant amount of evidence" that the coronavirus emerged from a Chinese laboratory, following President Donald Trump's remarks on Friday that tariffs on China were "certainly an option" as he considers ways to retaliate for the outbreak. "Some sort of fears are there that the trade war might be ignited and such events are good for gold. All these comments from officials indicate a new round of hostility as far as the trade is concerned with China," said Avtar Sandu, a senior commodities manager at Phillip Futures. Gold rose 18% last year as the Sino-U.S. trade dispute increased demand for the safe haven amid interest rates cuts by the U.S. central bank. The Federal Reserve has kept interest rates at near zero, with other central banks and governments taking similar measures to cushion their economies from the impact of the pandemic. The widespread fiscal and monetary impetus will support bullion in the longer term as it is often seen as a hedge against inflation and currency debasement, analysts said. However, "U.S. dollar demand is competing for safe-haven lustre in Asia this morning," said Stephen Innes, chief market strategist at financial services firm AxiCorp, in a note. The dollar moved away from an over one-month low on Monday, making gold costlier for investors holding other currencies and limiting bullion's upside. On the macro front, investors were awaiting U.S. jobs report for April due on Friday. "Beyond the rhetoric from Washington we would expect gold to consolidate until the non-farm payrolls figures are out. A decline in the (unemployment) numbers wouldn't be good for gold prices," Phillip Futures' Sandu said. Reflecting an appetite for gold, holdings in the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, SPDR Gold Trust , rose 1.1% to 1,067.90 tonnes on Friday. Palladium rose 0.7% to $1,913.33 per ounce, while platinum gained 0.1% to $761.19. Silver was up 0.1% to $14.96. (Reporting by K. Sathya Narayanan in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel, Aditya Soni)

PRECIOUS-Gold heads for weekly fall on lockdown easing hopes

01 May 2020

(Adds comments, updates prices) * Bullion down 3.3% so far this week * Palladium eyes 5th straight weekly drop * U.S. jobless claims rise to 30.3 mln since March 21 * For an interactive graphic tracking the global spread, open https://tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7 in an external browser By K. Sathya Narayanan May 1 Gold fell on Friday, giving up early gains en route to its worst week in more than a month on growing optimism that global coronavirus containment measures would be eased, offering potential respite from economic gloom. Spot gold fell 0.6% to $1,670.88 per ounce by 0754 GMT. U.S. gold futures fell 1% to $1,677.50. Gold was down about 3.3% for the week, its biggest drop since mid-March, having slumped nearly 2% on Thursday. "Comments about easing restrictions in a number of countries and some encouraging news about the drug Remdesivir for treating the coronavirus has led to increased optimism, and lowered demand for gold," said National Australia Bank economist John Sharma. Half of all U.S. states forged ahead with their strategies for easing restrictions on restaurants, retail and other businesses in hopes of reviving the virus-stricken commerce. "The virus is far from over, but the wave of positive news had taken some air out of gold's wings," said Edward Moya, a senior market analyst at broker OANDA. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson too promised to set out a plan next week on how Britain might start gradually returning to normal life. There were still plenty of uncertainties over the timing of any moves to ease lockdowns, however, and worries that any such steps might result in secondary outbreaks, said Michael McCarthy, chief strategist at CMC Markets. Bullion also rose as much as 0.6% earlier in the session as dismal data from the United States underscored the deep economic impact of the virus, before reversing course. "The impact of the crisis will keep economic data sombre. Ample liquidity, lower interest rates and elevated equity market volatility will keep gold investment demand strong," said Soni Kumari, commodity strategist at ANZ. Millions more Americans filed claims for unemployment benefits last week, lifting the number of applications to 30.3 million since March 21, amid a record collapse in consumer spending in March. This despite elaborate stimulus measure from the U.S. government and the Federal Reserve. Bullion tends to benefit from widespread stimulus measures as it's often seen as a hedge against inflation and currency debasement. Palladium declined 2.3% to $1,915.50 per ounce, on track for its fifth straight weekly decline. Platinum fell 1.6% to $759.56 per ounce. Silver was down 1.5% to $14.80, en route for its worst week in more than a month. (Reporting by K. Sathya Narayanan in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Tom Hogue)

PRECIOUS-Gold eases as firm dollar offsets safe-haven buying

22 Apr 2020

* Interactive graphic tracking the global spread: open https://tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7 in an external browser

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