The summer doldrums continue with another listless overnight session, not helpd by Japan markets which are closed for holiday, as Asian stocks fell fractionally, while European stocks rebounded as oil trimmed losses after the the IEA said pent-up demand would absorb record crude output (something they have said every single month). S&P futures have wiped out almost all of yesterday's losses and were up over 0.2% in early trading.
Today the London Metal Exchange (LME) and the World Gold Council (WGC) jointly announced the launch next year of standardised gold and silver spot and futures contracts which will trade on the LME’s electronic platform LMESelect, will clear on the LME central clearing platform LME Clear, and that will be settled ‘loco London’. Together these new products will be known as ‘LMEprecious.’
"For investors, buying gold is similar to casting a no-confidence vote," saidItsuo Toshima, 68, an investment adviser and former regional manager for the World Gold Council in Tokyo. "Gold is the unprintable currency, unlike the yen. The yen’s appreciation in spite of the adoption of the negative-rate policy has kindled skepticism about the policy’s benefits. It’s also led to investors seeking to protect their assets in case Abenomics fails.”
Chinese wholesale gold demand, as measured by withdrawals from the vaults of the Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE), reached a sizable 973 metric tonnes in the first half of 2016, down 7 % compared to last year.
"China and other countries do not want to be in a situation where all their international assets are in effect dependent on the US. Of course the US would not want to renege on its debts, but if some awful conflagration occurred, then all China’s assets in the US might be annulled."
Venezuela’s gold reserves have plunged to their lowest level on record after the country sold $1.7 billion of the precious metal in the first quarter of the year to repay debts. The country is grappling with an economic crisis that has left it struggling to feed its population.The OPEC member’s gold reserves have dropped almost a third over the past year and it sold over 40 tonnes in February and March. Gold now makes up almost 70% of the country’s total reserves, which fell to a low of $12.1 billion last week
While it must be painful for those who have such disdain for the pet rock, the fact is that central banks are losing credibility with the market, and gold is one way of expressing that. As Elliott Management's Paul Singer said last month regarding investor confidence in the central planners: "If judgement continues to weaken, the effect on gold could be very powerful." Perhaps the markets are starting to wake up to the fact that the all-knowing central planners literally have no idea what they're doing, and if so, we'll let investors borrow our tinfoil hat.