If you’ve been around the gold sector for a little while you’ve no doubt come across talk of “gold seasonality”.
(This article was first written in August 2014. Latest update July 2018).
What is Gold Seasonality?
Gold seasonality generally refers to the northern hemisphere mid summer lull in precious metals markets – which often seems to match the share market lull at this time of year. This is where the old sharemarket adage “Sell in May and go away” comes from. Likewise it seems to be the case with Bullion Dealing Desks. Perhaps because the big money players that drive the futures markets are on holiday (like their share-trading brethren).
On top of this it is the Indian monsoon season, so the demand from Indian gold consumers typically does the opposite of the weather and “dries up” significantly over the mid summer months.
The other aspect to gold seasonality is that buying momentum then generally returns in the North Hemisphere Autumn, coinciding with the Indian Diwali festival which is in October/November depending on the lunar cycle. So this often pushes gold higher in the last quarter of the year.
Does Gold Seasonality Affect the NZ Dollar Gold Price?
The local gold price is a function of the gold price in US dollars and the NZ dollar/US dollar Forex rate, so this USD/NZD cross rate could throw this pattern out in NZ.
But does it?
Perhaps the simplest way to check is visually. So we’ve put together a simple chart (updated July 2018).
We’ve placed arrows showing the price movement from the July/August period through to the end of the year each year for the past 13 years. Greens arrows indicate the price has gained from July/August to December. Red arrows it has fallen.
The chart clearly shows that in 9 of the past 13, years the NZ dollar gold price has gone up from the July/August period through to December. With the only falls being in 2006, 2013, 2015 and 2016.
In mid 2014 we wrote:
So after what is getting close to a 3 year correction in gold, and an unusual fall in the July/August to December period last year, could this make now a pretty good buying zone?
We’d hazard a guess to say that it could be. And so far so good with the price edging quietly higher since June.
That proved to be the case with gold rising in the 2nd half of 2014. But then the following 2 years saw 2nd half falls in price. However bear in mind that the 2nd half year falls in 2015 and 2016 came after very sharp prices rises to start the year
So the gold seasonality in NZD gold is not quite as strong as it was back in 2014 when gold rose in the 2nd half year in 7 of the previous 9 years. But the numbers still say gold is more likely to rise from mid year to end of year.
What About Silver Seasonality for Silver in NZ Dollars?
We’ve plotted the same 13 year chart for NZ dollar silver below.
So does this same phenomenon exist for NZ dollar silver? Yes but only just. Over the past 13 years silver has risen in the 2nd half of the year 7 times.
You can see that in 7 of the last 13 years NZ dollar silver has moved higher from July to December versus gold’s 9 out of 13.
Recent history is in the opposite direction with silver falling in the 2nd half of the year for 4 of the last 5 years.
Interestingly it is only in recent years (being 2013, 2015 and 2016) that silver had in common with gold, in terms of falling over this period. The other 3 years where silver fell in the later part of the year, were 2008 (when silver fell more sharply and recovered slower than gold during the financial crisis) along with 2011 and 2014.
So NZ dollar silver has been rising very slightly since late 2014. Although silver seasonality has not been too obvious since then with silver falling at the end of the year for 2 our of the last 3 years.
However unlike 2014 to 2016, this year silver has not started the year off with a sharp rise in the silver price. Rather it has been very flat so far in 2018.
So perhaps this sets NZD silver up to have a better 2nd half of the year in 2018?
Again like gold – a likely good buying zone likely exists here and now. Particularly if the NZD continues to weaken further or at least remain below its recent highs.
If you’d like a buy gold or buy silver head over to our online bullion shop. Or simply give us a call on 0800 888 465 (+64 9 281 3898 outside NZ). We’re always happy to have a chat about precious metals markets.