2011-02-19

Gold continue to benefit from safe-haven buying as unrest in the MENA region continues

Gold continue to benefit from safe-haven buying as unrest in the MENA region continues to dominate headlines. Silver moved aggressively, posting the best performance among precious metals, as pent-up investor demand was unleashed. Worse-than-expected US jobless claims and leading indicator numbers most likely added to investor demand. Initial jobless claims rose to 410k (consensus: 400k), from a revised 385k previously. The leading indicator pointed to a slowdown in the US recovery growing by only 0.1% m/m in January (consensus: 0.2% m/m), from December’s downwardly revised increase of 0.8% m/m.

The expected benign US inflation reading may have dampened the inflation-hedge buying we’ve seen earlier in the week, but this has been more than offset by increased risk aversion pushing investors into the safety of gold and silver. Momentum though is waning, especially after the announcement by Chinese authorities of a 50 bps increase in reserve requirements. While this is bearish for commodities in general, it is base metals that are generally worst hit. In addition, we find that credit rationing and renminbi appreciation are far more harmful.

Gold support is at $1,377 and $1,370. Resistance is at $1,388 and $1,395.

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