Precious metal ETP outflows surge as sentiment sours
ETF Securities Weekly Flows Analysis – Precious metal ETP outflows surge as sentiment sours
- Precious metal weekly outflows surge amidst a stronger US dollar and rising US Treasury yields.
- WTI’s discount to Brent widens and outflows from crude oil ETPs rise for the sixth week in a row.
- Yen ETPs remain well bid, despite the soft economic patch reported in Q1.
As WTI’s discount to Brent crude oil prices deepens, outflows worth US$5.4mn continue for the sixth week in a row. Brent prices surged to US$80 per barrel for the first time since November 2014; likely owing to the ongoing concerns of supply from Venezuela and Iran. The unsurprising overnight victory of President Nicolas Maduro at the Venezuelan election is likely to spark unrest within the nation and worsen the decline in Venezuelan oil production. Last week the International Energy Agency (IEA), showed signs of further tightening on the oil market, as oil stocks in OECD countries decreased in March to their lowest level in three years and dipped below the five-year average for the first time since 2014. The crude oil inventory reduction was aided by record high crude oil exports, as the deep discount of the WTI price with Brent is making US crude oil more attractive to the international buyers. In contrast to the inventory build reported by the API, the US department of Energy reported a 1.4 million barrel fall in US crude oil stocks. Furthermore, US oil rig count held steady at 844 last week after rising for six weeks in a row.
Gold ETPs faced weekly redemptions worth US$82.3mn, the highest level in 12 weeks. Gold prices faced significant pressure as the US dollar strengthened and 10-year US treasury yields crossed 3.112% last week. The yield differential of the 10-year US Treasuries versus the equivalent German government bonds of the same maturity widened to 250 basis point, marking its widest level in over 30 years. This points to further strengthening of the US dollar against the euro and more weakness ahead for gold prices as it fails to yield any interest, making it appear unattractive in the current rising rate environment. Meanwhile, gold’s historical role as a safe haven, may allow significant upside potential from the ongoing geopolitical risks emanating from protests in Gaza, uncertainty over the Iranian Nuclear agreement, US-China trade wars, the Korean conflict and progress from the coalition of populist Eurosceptic parties in Italy.
Gold prices declined for a time to their lowest level since the start of the year, falling below the psychologically important $1300 mark, such low levels should also encourage physical buying. Silver prices recouped some if its losses over the latter half of last week resulting in the gold/silver ratio declining to 78.5. Investors took profits as we saw weekly outflows from Silver ETPs surge to US$98.4mn their highest level since September 2017. Precious metal basket ETPs also saw US$12.3mn worth of 0utflows as sentiment toward the precious metals sector deteriorated.
Long Yen ETPs versus the Euro attracted the highest inflows in 10 weeks, last week. Following eight consecutive quarters of growth, the Japanese economy contracted in the first quarter as GDP contracted -0.6% more than consensus estimates owing to sluggish household consumption and capital spending. However strong corporate profitability, an upbeat global growth outlook and signs that wage pressures are starting to build provide evidence that the Japanese investment case still remains intact.
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