We believe that mandatory hallmarking will be positive for India’s gold market, improving transparency and giving consumers more confidence in the purity of the gold they buy.
Over the past two months, economic growth has disappointed even as inflation has exceeded expectations. A real risk of stagflation, with rising costs amid lower growth, appears to be on the cards.
Gold fell in September by 4% to around US$1,743/oz. This was the second consecutive month of declines, with gold now over 8% lower y-t-d. Gold wasn’t alone. Treasuries, Corporates, US- and non-US equities all fell in September possibly as a result of deleveraging. The Q2 level of margin debt for equities was at a record high. It would be understandable if some leverage has been removed as we head into the historically volatile month of October. And it’s quite possible that this de-leveraging has affected most assets (energy and industrial metals excepted).
Gold-backed ETFs (gold ETFs) experienced net outflows of 15.2 tonnes (t) (-US$830mn, -0.4% AUM) in September. Outflows in Europe and North America were only partially offset by inflows in Asia. Global gold ETF holdings fell to 3,592t (US$201bn) during the month – the lowest tonnage level since April – as the gold price fell on the back of rising yields, a stronger dollar and a reduction in COMEX managed money net long positions.
This year marks 50 years since the end of gold’s formal link to currency. In the half-century that has passed since this milestone, the world has evolved in ways that were probably unimaginable to the political and economic leaders of that time. As the world has changed, so too has the role of gold. Whereas central banks steadily sold down their gold reserves for several decades after the end of the Bretton Woods system, they have since re-emerged as net buyers of gold for the past eleven years, with emerging market countries leading the way.
Climate change is both a physical reality and a rapidly growing systemic and existential risk that all aspects of society are currently learning to address. It is now widely understood that greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions must therefore decrease very rapidly – ultimately, to ‘Net Zero’ – if we are to avoid potentially catastrophic consequences. The process of decarbonising the economy is such an urgent priority that it is currently reshaping nearly all policy, business, and investment decisions.
A better gold valuation tool for investors
We launched QaurumSM almost two years ago in response to a vocal need for more robust and accessible gold valuation analytics. While these exist in abundance for other asset classes, gold investors have historically had to settle for something more cursory or incomplete.
Amid strong growth in the economy, a relatively stable gold price and the effective containment of the COVID-19 pandemic, China’s gold jewellery demand in the first half of 2021 totalled 338t.
Gold-backed ETFs (gold ETFs) experienced net outflows in August of 22.4 tonnes (t) (-US$1.3bn, -0.6% AUM), as North American outflows outweighed inflows into European and Asian funds. Gold faced headwinds early in August as the dollar briefly strengthened and rising Treasury yields weighed on investment flows, triggering momentum selling shortly thereafter. Gold prices recovered late in the month, but it did not spur sufficient offsetting inflows, as global holdings fell to 3,611t (US$211bn) – the lowest tonnage level since May.
Transitory or not, inflation is already impacting consumers
Gold fell slightly during August, down 0.6% in US dollars, on modestly firmer interest rates following strong US jobs data.