Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Gold rises on Syria tensions, Africa strikes
China manufacturing expansion bodes well for gold demand outlook
SAN FRANCISCO, 3rd September, 2013:  Gold futures advanced on Tuesday and silver jumped nearly 4%, with analysts attributing gains in precious metals to continued tension over Syria, coming strikes at South African mines and upbeat Chinese manufacturing data.

Gold for December delivery GCZ3 +1.22%   rose $5.10, or 0.4%, to $1,401.20 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Gold has benefited from a “continued safe-haven bid following current uncertainty with the course of action in Syria, but also upbeat Chinese economic data,” said Jason Rotman, president of Lido Isle Advisors.

Speaking at the beginning of a White House meeting, President Barack Obama on Tuesday said he’s confident that Congress will approve legislation authorizing U.S. military action in Syria.

“Gold’s gains might be capped however at the recent high of $1,430 due to the ‘Septaper’ effect,” he said, referring to market expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will begin to taper its bond purchases in September.

But analysts at ICICI Bank noted that a “positive manufacturing data print from China aided the outlook on metal demand,” and helped support prices.

China’s official nonmanufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index was 53.9 in August compared with 54.1 in July. The HSBC China manufacturing PMI rose to a final reading of 50.1 in August from 47.7 in July.

Euro-zone manufacturing data released Monday also showed a broadening recovery, with Spain and Italy showing an improvement. Likewise, a U.K. manufacturing report showed growth in the sector at the highest level in 2½ years.

Gold prices briefly pared gains, however, after the Institute for Supply Management’s index showed a climb to 55.7% from 55.4% in July, marking the highest reading since June 2011.

Meanwhile, the latest data showed holdings in the largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund remained unchanged as of Friday. They have stood at 921.03 metric tons since Aug. 27.

“Holdings in the SPDR Gold Trust GLD +1.40%   remained steady ... which also gave some support to the metal and limited the downside,” ICICI Bank analysts said.

“So far, the gold price is holding its own fairly well despite the better economic data and firmer U.S. dollar,” said Commerzbank analysts in a note Tuesday. “It is finding support both from the continuing geopolitical risks and from investors who had recently sharply increased their bets on climbing prices. At least psychologically, the forthcoming strikes in the South African gold mining industry — announced for today by the biggest union of mine workers — should also be lending some support.”

But the analysts added that they “believe that gold’s short-term potential has been fully exploited for now.”

President Obama said he is in favor of taking military action against Syria for the alleged use of chemical weapons against its own people, but that he will seek authorization from Congress before moving forward.

Some 80,000 South African gold miners were due to go on strike for higher pay, BBC News reported Tuesday.

In other metals action Tuesday, December silver SIZ3 +3.67%   surged 88 cents, or 3.7%, to $24.39 an ounce on Comex.

December copper HGZ3 +1.50%  advanced 8 cents, or 2.5%, to $3.31 a pound.

October platinum PLV3 +1.10%   sold for $1,534.40 an ounce, rising $7.30 or 0.5%, while December palladium PAZ3 -2.72%   slipped by $1.55, or 0.2%, to $722.30 an ounce. 

Courtesy: Market Watch