Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Silver Retraces Only Part of its Gains. Stands Ready for Another US Market Open Rally?

After silver's biggest run-up in over 3 years yesterday, it has only corrected slightly in the overnight session heading into the U.S. market open.  Silver is down $0.56 to 29.25 while gold is down $6.20 to $1596.  China and U.S. bullion buying are trumping the bearish India bullion figures which were the headline news yesterday.  The world gold council has predicted an increase in central bank buying to result in a higher return in gold compared to 2011 (going out on the limb there with that prediction).  The Doc reported last night that the U.S. mint sold, reported, rolled-over (whatever you want to say about the U.S. mints reporting "when I feel like it" transaction system) 3.2 million ounces of silver. 
Some readers pointed out some sales may have been rolled over from 2010 including Cleburne61.

The U.S. Mint did the same thing this year that they did last year: they don't wanna make the total year end count good higher than they have to, so they pushed literally the last 10 days of December sales into January. That's why we had a 6 million oz January last year. It was nonsense. They're doing it again, cuz they didn't want the big ole magic number 40 million popping up.

Either way, even if they rolled over 10 days worth of sales data, the 3.2 million ounces of silver is a staggering number.  One day or 11 days of sales, however you look at it, was still greater than the MONTLY totals for March, April, July, October, November, and December. 

Yesterday the news was bearish coming out of India.
Latest data from India – the world's heaviest consumer of gold, which has no domestic mine
output – meantime said Monday that imports of gold bullion fell by 56% year-on-year in the
last 3 months of 2011, dropping to 125 tonnes and pulling full-year imports some 8% lower
compared with 2010.

"Imports were very bad in October to December," said Prithviraj Kothari, president of the
Bombay Bullion Association, in an interview yesterday.

"People were even selling gold in November" – typically a strong time to buy gold during the
Hindu festival of Diwali and then the wedding season which follows – because for some, "it
was an investment," says Kothari, rather than the religious and social necessity more
typically associated with India's world-leading demand.

That doesn't appear to be the case in China.  While it would be nice to have India on board with the precious metal buying spree, a theological shift in the Chinese desiring to own bullion more than the Indians is bullish on a comparative basis.  According to our good friends over at Goldman Sachs, China's equity market capitalization may surpass the US by 2030 which would make China the powerhouse of the world. 
Well amid global volatility, investors the world over have been pouring their money into gold this year. And here in China, demand for the yellow metal is surging, on the back of rising incomes and inflation concerns. Figures from the World Gold Council show, China overtook India in the third quarter as the largest gold jewellery market.

World Gold Council has also predicted a higher return in 2012 due to an increase in central bank buying.

It will be interesting to see silver's performance today and if it can hang on to the gains yesterday.  Even SD readers where skeptical of the rally with caution being advised among many readers.