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Some Changes Already in 2014

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Some Changes Already in 2014

There will be increasing volatility as the week continues because a boatload of new economic analysis and labor data is due out from a few corners of the globe. We can also expect precious metals volume to pick up as everyone returns to work after the Christmas and New Year's holidays. So, in that we will see a truer reflection of trends in the markets.
The Federal Open Market Committee's minutes will be issued on Wednesday afternoon, elucidating the FOMC's thought process concerning the first taper move last month. The European Central Bank will hold its monthly meeting on Thursday, and the U.S. employment report for December will be issued on Friday.


Interesting data will come out of China later this week, including trade and inflation reports. Last week, a disappointing PMI (purchasing managers index) there helped sink the Chinese stock market in the past few sessions. An unexpected spike in short-term Chinese interest rates in late December is still on traders' minds, as well. That means that, accurately or not, the beast of the east is worried about inflation.


In physical news, some of the wind went out of Chinese gold buying as prices rebounded. And, perhaps more importantly, there is a loud rumor floating about that India - finally hip to its own silly trip - is going to ease import duties.
This can be important for gold bulls because India was, before the duty enactments, the largest consumer of gold in the world. 

Malabar Gold and Diamonds International Operations managing director Shamlal Ahmed said it was "high time" to reexamine the import rules.


"High taxation is not the way to curtail imports, especially gold because it will only encourage people to find alternate ways to get this metal in the land. Consumer demand for gold is always high.  Whatever rules may be imposed people will never stop buying gold, as it is a part of tradition rather than an investment."


he also pointed out that India's decline in jewelry-making because of the duties hurts small craftsmen and women in their quest to make a decent living. 


This cultural and small-business dinging makes a poor macroeconomic decision really grievous to the everyday people of India. today published a nice digest of what major banks are saying about gold's direction.


"Predictions for the gold price in 2014 by investment and bullion banks don't vary much in that the majority predict a decline this year.


"There are bulls - none of them anywhere near raging - like Germany's Commerzbank and Scotia Mocatta which predict a return to $1,400 an ounce.


"Barclays is somewhere in the middle with a move to $1,350 in the first half but for gold to be back to around $1,270 by end-2014. Merrill Lynch sees the opposite price movement with $1,350 hit at the end of the year.


"Top bear, along with Goldman Sachs, which is due to bring out revised forecasts soon from its November prediction of a slide below $1,100, is Switzerland's UBS Wealth Management which sees the yellow metal weakening throughout 2014 to hit $1,150."


J.P. Morgan is turning modestly bullish, basing its analysis on the potential easing of Indian import duties and what they foresee as a probable stabilization of outflows from gold ETFs in '14. 


As always, wishing you good trading,


Gary S. Wagner - Executive Producer