Australia’s Perth Mint, the largest refinery in Australia and one of the largest in the world, said that demand has jumped to the highest level since the Lehman crisis in 2008. Demand has been robust due to currency devaluation concerns and then the 15% price fall led to a massive surge in demand as store of wealth buyers leapt at the chance to acquire physical bullion at much cheaper prices. This led to the Perth Mint which refines nearly all of the nation’s bullion, having to stay open over the weekend to meet orders. There’s been strong interest, including from the U.S., with buyers confident that the metal will rebound from the decline, Ron Currie, sales and marketing director, told Bloomberg in a phone interview from Perth. “We haven’t seen levels like this since the 2008 global financial crisis,” Currie said yesterday. “Compared to March sales, April sales have doubled or tripled,” he said. “We worked all weekend to keep the factory running to make more stock and that was only to fill orders,” Currie said from the facility founded in 1899. “We’re being inundated with people buying products.”
The weakness in economic data (not to be confused with the centrally-planned anachronism known as the "markets") started overnight when despite a surge in Japanese consumer spending (up 5.2% on expectations of 1.6%, the most in nine years) by those with access to the stock market and mostly of the "richer" variety, did not quite jive with a miss in retail sales, which actually missed estimates of dropping "only" -0.8%, instead declining -1.4%. As the FT reported what we said five months ago, "Four-fifths of Japanese households have never held any securities, and 88 per cent have never invested in a mutual fund, according to a survey last year by the Japan Securities Dealers Association." In other words any transient strength will be on the back of the Japanese "1%" - those where the "wealth effect" has had an impact and whose stock gains have offset the impact of non-core inflation. In other words, once the Yen's impact on the Nikkei225 tapers off (which means the USDJPY stops soaring), that will be it for even the transitory effects of Abenomics. Confirming this was Japanese Industrial production which also missed, rising by only 0.2%, on expectations of a 0.4% increase. But the biggest news of the night was European inflation data: the April Eurozone CPI reading at 1.2% on expectations of a 1.6% number, and down from 1.7%, which has now pretty much convinced all the analysts that a 25 bps cut in the ECB refi rate, if not deposit, is now merely a formality and will be announced following a unanimous decision.
With China and Japan markets closed overnight, activity has been just above zero especially in the critical USDJPY carry, so it was up to Europe to provide this morning's opening salvo. Which naturally meant to ignore the traditionally ugly European economic news such as the April Eurozone Economic Confidence which tumbled from a revised 90.1 to 88.6, missing expectations of 89.3, coupled with a miss in the Business Climate Indicator (-0.93, vs Exp. -0.91), Industrial Confidence (-13.8, Exp. -13.5), and Services Confidence (-11.1, Exp. -7.1), or that the Euroarea household savings rates dropped to a record low 12.2%, as Europeans and Americans race who can be completely savings free first, and focus on what has already been largely priced in such as the new pseudo-technocrat coalition government led by Letta. The result of the latter was a €6 billion 5 and 10 year bond auction in Italy, pricing at 2.84% and 3.94% respectively, both coming in the lowest since October 2010. More frightening is that the Italian 10 year is now just 60 bps away from its all time lows as the ongoing central bank liquidity tsunami lifts all yielding pieces of paper, and the global carry trade goes more ballistic than ever.
Gold has surged 4.9% in dollar terms so far this week and is headed for its biggest weekly gain in one-and-a-half years. Gold has recovered in all currencies and is up by 4.8% in euro terms and 3.7% in sterling terms.
Therefore, gold has recovered nearly half of its recent sharp decline and is now just 7% below its price ($1,560/oz) prior to the futures induced sell off on April 12th and 15th.
- Reinhart and Rogoff: Responding to Our Critics (NYT)
- Differences with centre-right delay Italy's Letta (Reuters)
- Italy's Letta moves forward to shape government (Reuters)
- China’s leaders warn on financial risks (FT)
- Norway oil fund makes big move from bonds to stocks (FT) - worked wonders for the Bank of Israel
- Smuggling milk is the new smuggling heroin in HK: Milk Smugglers Top Heroin Courier Arrests in Hong Kong (BBG)
- RenTec's mean reversion models fail on BOJ lunacy: Yen Bets Don't Add Up for a Fund Giant (WSJ)
- From 'Fabulous Fab' to Grad Student (WSJ)
- BOJ in credibility test as divisions emerge over inflation target (Reuters)
- Boston Bombing Suspect Moved from hospital to prison (WSJ)
- Provopoulos Says ECB May Never Need to Use Bond-Buying Program (BBG) which is good because, legally, it doesn't exist
There are growing supply issues and a range of gold and silver coins and bars are in short supply internationally and premiums are rising globally. Many smaller dealers have been cleared out of their bullion inventories.
Gold prices are expected to recover in the coming weeks and months according to the Reuters Precious Metals Poll of analysts.
Most of the 29 banking and brokerage analysts and consultants polled expected prices to find support and stay above the $1,400 mark. The majority of analysts, 20 out of 29, expect gold to end 2013 above $1,450 per ounce and 6 analysts, including GoldCore, saw gold above $1,650/oz by the end of 2013.
Interestingly, the majority are bullish at these price levels with average price forecasts for the year of 2013 much higher than today's prices - at a mean of $1596/oz and a median of $1627/oz.
- The Inland Empire bubble is back: BMW to Amazon Space Demand Spurs Rush to Inland Empire (BBG)
- Tamerlan Tsarnaev was on classified government watch lists (Reuters)
- Brothers in Boston Bombing Case Said Drawn to Radicalism (BBG)
- Germany Spurns Calls to Loosen Austerity Stance (WSJ)
- Spain poised to ease austerity push (FT)
- What ever happened to France's voice in Europe? (Reuters)
- U.S., South Korea Reach Nuclear Deal (WSJ)
- U.S. Sees No Hard Evidence of Syrian Chemical Weapons Use (BBG)
- RBA Set to Invest Foreign Currency Reserves in China, Lowe Says (BBG)
- FedEx Wins $10.5 Billion Postal Contract as UPS Shut Out (BBG)
Asia is seeing a new gold rush. Demand for gold bars, coins and jewellery has soared as bargain hunters try to capitalize on the dip in prices. In Hong Kong and Beijing customers lined up outside banks and jewellery shops to make purchases and in some instances there was not enough physical metal to meet the demand. The Shanghai Gold Exchange’s cash contract hit a new record high yesterday (43 metric tonnes, up from 30.4 on April 19th) while gold coin sales at the U.S. Mint have nearly tripled in April against last month’s figures. Joni Teves of UBS research said, “Physical markets have responded to the much cheaper gold price levels,” and “our physical flows to Asia have been particularly elevated this week.” Asian investors demand for the physical yellow metal has supported the gold price, rallying it up 8.1% from last week’s low.
As we noted last week, all around the world the demand for physical precious metals has soared in the days following paper gold's price collapse. As the FT reports, from Shanghai and Hong Kong to India, one dealer noted, "Older members who have been in the business for 50 years haven’t seen such a thing." The feverish buying has left many of Hong Kong's banks, jewelers, and even its gold exchange without enough gold to meet demand. Record volumes on Shanghai's exchange, lines outside Beijing jewelry stores, and the proximity of Hindu festivals drove "Indian physical demand and premiums," higher as the worlds two largest gold buying nations prompted one exchange CEO to note that we hadn't, "seen this kind of gold rush in over 20 years." It would seem the concerted effort to collapse paper prices in London and New York has provided the rest of the world a multi-decade buying opportunity.
Why the Western Banking Cartel’s Gold and Silver Price Slam Will Backfire - And How You Can Protect Yourself from the BlowbackSubmitted by smartknowledgeu on 04/22/2013 05:27 -0400
Let's get down to the facts of the recent banker gold & silver paper price smash and the lies about the banker gold & silver paper price smash being propagated by the mass media and banking shills like Paul Krugman so everyone can understand why this smash will blow up in the face of the very bankers that executed it at some point down the road. Retail individuals AND global institutions all around the world are finally beginning to understand that physical ownership of gold and silver is how to counter banker fraud & intervention into the gold and silver markets and this realization is going to produce massive blowback.
Many investors are now buying yield with little regard to the price that they're paying. It's a dangerous game that's not going to end well.
Hong Kong’s Chinese Gold & Silver Exchange Society has been in operations for over a century, and it’s President Haywood Cheung was interviewed by Bloomberg news earlier today. Whoever orchestrated the attack on gold and silver in the last week or so has gravely miscalculated, since the response to the drop has been surging demand for physical gold and silver. While I tend to be skeptical when I hear about silver shortages since these reports have been so exaggerated in the past, the lack of silver coin availability and premiums are the most extreme I have seen since the financial and economic meltdown of 2008. Now we discover that the Chinese Gold & Silver Exchange Society has essentially sold out of gold bullion, and must wait until Wednesday for shipments to arrive from Switzerland and London.
Back in 1980, just as the gold price blasted upwards past $800/oz, buyers reportedly lined up in droves at various bullion dealers to participate in the rally. Investment analyst Jay Taylor writes, “I remember 1980… there was panic buying of gold by people in the streets of New York City. They were lined up around the block to buy gold and Krugerrands at that time.” That flurry of buying ended up representing a classic top. As gold failed to move higher, the speculative frenzy soon reversed into a despondency that dragged gold into a twenty year bear cycle. For those investors who bought at the top, it was a hard lesson learned.
Government mints, bullion refineries and dealers around the world report a dramatic increase in demand for coins and bars.
Bullion refiner, MKS said that “physical demand is extraordinary.”
In terms of transactions, gold buyers outnumbered sellers by a ratio of nearly five to one yesterday. In terms of volume, gold buyers outnumbered sellers by a ratio of nearly nine to one yesterday. Meaning that there were more buyers than sellers and buyers were placing larger orders than those selling and this trend has continued today.
U.S. gold coins sales have been at record levels this week. Lower prices and the tragic events in Boston may have contributed to increased buying due to concerns about the risk of terrorist attacks.
Premiums are rising in Europe and the U.S. and there are delays of a few weeks on some smaller coins and bars showing the growing tightness in the market.
The Treasury Department planted a "dirty bomb" at the Bank of Japan, and tossed a grenade at the Swiss National Bank.