Gold falls after Fed minutes and new India reporting requirements

In the Lead: “Great Expectations May Lead to Great(er) Disappointments”

Underscoring once again just how much of a premium Fed QE3-oriented expectations had added to certain market price equations, gold fell out of bed on Tuesday afternoon after the ritual parsing of the Fed’s March 13 meeting minutes left many a smugly hopeful bullish participant with nothing but…hope to hang onto, as their trades/bets (as well as sentiment) soured very fast.

Currency strategists at Brown Brothers Harriman had cautioned as early as yesterday morning that while many market players were expecting at least some kind of QE3 hint in the FOMC’s meeting minutes, there might not be anything in there but a summary mention of the fact that if conditions dictate, then such measures might be put into motion. The firm’s caution was then more than vindicated by a 0.74% rise in the greenback’s value on the trade-weighted index (@79.43) by the end of the trading day. Gold headed sharply lower and touched the $1640.00 bid level as panicked sellers pulled the “Bail!” triggers en masse.

This morning, the meltdown continued in gold, but this time, unlike during yesterday’s after-hours electronic trading, silver and the noble metals joined gold and fell hard as well. Once again, the only green color to be seen was the net change in…the greenback. It surged another 0.47% to reach 79.80 on the trade-weighted index. In the futures market, the active June gold contract was actually off by more than $52 or 3% per troy ounce.

Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao projects that on the technical side of things in gold, the yellow metal has the potential to fall to the $1,392 per ounce level over the next 90 days. That figure represents the 100% Fibonacci projection level while the $1,447 mark represents the 38.3% Fibonacci retracement of the rise from $680 to $1920. The sub-$1,400 gold price target – according to Wang Tao-will be “confirmed when gold falls below the March 22 low of $1,627.68 per ounce.

A negation of this trend might only occur if and when gold is able to breach $1,790.30 on the upside. Wang Tao projects $22.96 per ounce silver for the upcoming three-month period; however, a break of that number could usher in a target of $13.99 per ounce for the white metal. On the other hand, a successful vault to above $37.46 could mark a double-bottom in silver and the path toward $45.50 per ounce target.

Spot gold opened the midweek session in New York with a loss of more than $25 and a bid-side print very near $1,620.00 per ounce (a near 11-week nadir). This took place at a time when most projections for this week had called for much higher than $1,680 gold and a take-off to be underway in silver as well. Adding insult to injury, the Reserve Bank of India today turned up the heat one more notch on gold imports when it announced a new set of reporting requirements for bullion. Monthly statements from local banks are now required by the RBI as well as the description of payment methods used.

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