1 Aug 2014
31 Jul 2014
The US economy grew at an annual rate of 4 per cent in the second quarter, according to an initial Government estimate on Wednesday.
The figure marks a turnaround after gross domestic product registered its first decline in three years in the previous quarter.
The rebound in the April-June period reflected gains in consumer spending and business inventory. Consumer spending rose 2.5 per cent, spurred by purchases of durable goods after growing just 1.2 per cent in the previous quarter, the Bureau of Economic Analysis said.
The boost in second quarter GDP outpaced economists’ expectations. A survey of economists by Bloomberg news agency had predicted 3 per cent growth in the period.
Updated data showed first quarter growth fell a revised 2.1 per cent, less than the 2.9 per cent drop the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported last month.
The steep first quarter decline was attributed to an extremely hard winter that kept consumer spending down along with declines in private inventory investment and state and local Government spending.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) last week lowered its 2014 growth forecast for the US economy, pointing to the extremely weak first quarter.
GDP would increase by a “disappointing” 1.7 per cent over the year, the Washington-headquartered IMF said in a report.
Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve said it would cut its monthly purchases of government-linked bonds to $25 billion, down from the $35 billion level set at the central bank’s last meeting in June.
The latest cut continues a policy launched in January of regularly trimming the stimulus programme. Until then, the Fed had been buying $85 billion of bonds every month.
The Fed left its benchmark interest rate unchanged at the unprecedented, near-zero level in place since December 2008.
The GDP figures released on Wednesday are an initial estimate based on incomplete data and the Government is due to release more complete figures next month. - thehindubusinessline.com
28 Jul 2014
Zinc prices have risen sharply in the last few months. Since March, spot prices of the metal on the LME have rallied 21 per cent. The metal now trades at $2,392 a tonne The market for zinc had run into deficit in 2013 after being in surplus for six consecutive years. According to data from the International Lead and Zinc Study Group (ILZSG), there was a deficit of 91,000 tonnes in the metal in 2013. This deficit has already widened to 1,07,000 tonnes between January and April this year.
The domestic zinc futures contract, which moves in tandem with LME zinc, is also up about 21 per cent since March this year. The uptrend in MCX Zinc is likely to continue. Investors can consider buying the contract and holding it for gains in the medium term.Supply constraints
The supply deficit was due to drawdown in mine production. Mine output, which increased 3.8 per cent in 2012, rose by just 0.5 per cent in 2013.
Canada’s two major mines, Brunswick and Perseverance, had shut their operations last year. Together they contributed nearly 3 per cent to the global mine production in 2012.
Supply constraints in the zinc market may remain for some more time to come. Australia’s Century mine, the world’s second largest zinc mine, is expected to close its operations by 2016. Although there have been reports of new mines coming up in the next one-two years, they may not make up for the loss of closed mines, say market experts.
However, while supply will be tight, various projections indicate that demand for zinc will only increase in the coming years. ILZSG forecasts refined zinc consumption to go up over 4 per cent to 13.58 million tonnes this year. With global zinc production (from mines) to increase by only 2.8 per cent to 13.57 million tonnes, a deficit of 1,17,000 tonnes is anticipated.
Lower production and increasing demand could aid further rise in zinc price in the coming months.Outlook
For the medium term, the outlook is bullish for the MCX Zinc (₹144 a kg) futures contract. The price action from August 2013 to June 2014 shows formation of a triangle. The contract has witnessed a bullish breakout of this triangle pattern this month and also breached a key resistance at ₹139 last week.
Though currently it is in another resistance zone, the downside could be limited if a pullback is seen from this level. A rally to ₹160, the target level of the triangle pattern, looks likely in the medium term. Supports for the contract are at ₹139, ₹134 and ₹129.
Traders with a medium-term perspective can consider taking long positions in MCX Zinc futures contract. If the contract reverses lower from ₹145, accumulate more long positions near ₹139 and ₹135. The contract’s price chart says that the downside will be limited to ₹134. An immediate decline below this level looks less probable at the moment. Stop-loss can be kept at ₹128 for the target of ₹160.
The medium-term outlook will turn negative only if the contract records a strong close below ₹129.
The ensuing target on such a break will be ₹123 and ₹110 — the 55- and 200-week moving average support levels, respectively.
For the short term, the MCX Zinc futures contract has a significant resistance near the current levels at ₹145. Since the contract has risen sharply in a short span of time, there is a high probability for this resistance to trigger a short-term correction in the contract. A reversal from ₹145 can pull the contract lower to ₹139 initially and then to ₹137 — the 21-day moving average.
A further break below this level can drag the contract to ₹134 in the short term. On the other hand, if the contract manages to surpass this hurdle at ₹145, it can extend the current rally to ₹149. The next key short-term resistance for the contract is at ₹149.5 which is the 61.8 per cent Fibonacci retracement level. - thehindubusinessline.com
Gold prices are starting the week on a positive note but analysts are expecting prices to remain volatile with significant economic events looming on the horizon.
Comex August gold opened the Sunday North American evening/Monday Asian session at $1,307.60 an ounce, up from Friday’s pit close of $1,303.30 an ounce. As of 8:45p.m. EDT, August gold was trading at $1,305.30 an ounce, relatively unchanged from Friday’s close.
Electronic trading of Comex September silver futures opened Sunday evening/Monday morning at $20.715 an ounce, slightly up from Friday’s pit close of $20.636 an ounce; as of 8:15 p.m. EDT, September silver was at $20.740 an ounce.
Although gold prices are back above $1,300 after hitting a four-week low earlier last week, analysts at HSBC said they are expecting to see choppy markets during the week, with the scheduled FOMC and U.S. jobs numbers out on Friday.
“Gold price volatility is likely to pick-up next week with the Federal Open Market Committee meeting on 29-30 July and the July nonfarm payrolls data to be released on 1 August,” the analysts said in a report published late Friday.
Edward Meir, commodities consultant with INTL FCStone said in a research note published Sunday afternoon that gold could find some support early in the week as markets react to continued turmoil in the Middle East and Eastern Europe. He also said that a potential default by Argentina, which could come by Thursday, should keep investors on edge and boost gold demand.
However, he added strong economic data later in the week could help create some positive investor sentiment, which would be good for equity markets and bad for gold prices.
Analysts at ANZ Bank are expecting gold to struggle as geopolitical events have started to lose their impact on the gold market.
“We don't expect the latest Middle East tension to be a significant driver of prices over an extended period,” they said in their report published Sunday evening.
Physical demand, which has helped support gold prices in the last appears to be losing some momentum, Meir also noted in his report.
“In the physical markets, there was an outflow of 3.6 tons from the SPDR Gold Trust as of last Thursday,” he said. “China’s net overseas purchases of gold through Hong Kong fell to a 17-month low in June, sliding to 40.54 tons, from 52.60 tons in May and 104.6 tons in the year-ago period.” - kitco.com