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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Gold Awaiting More Cues from the Fed Next Week

www.kmggold.com The U.S. Comex gold futures retreated 0.52 percent in the past two days ahead of the FOMC meeting announcement on Wednesday while the Dollar Index rose 0.52 percent. This week, the S&P 500 Index and the Euro Stoxx 50 Index have risen 0.70 percent and 0.53 percent respectively.

During Asian Wednesday morning, the gold futures traded down about five dollars to $1,340 while the U.S. 10-year government bond yield hovered around 2.50 percent. Month-to-date, the gold futures rose 1.43 percent although the prices have dropped close to 20 percent year-to-date.

U.S. Consumers and China Money Market Rates
The U.S. September retail sales excluding autos rose 0.4 percent compared to a 0.1 percent increase in August, helped by better electronics sales and the ongoing housing recovery.

The S&P/Shiller Index jumped 12.8 percent year-on-year, the highest percentage gain since February 2006. However, the October Consumer Confidence Index plunged nine points from last month to 71.2, reflecting consumers' uncertainty with the budget talk and the employment outlook. In China, traders watch the continuous rising seven-day repurchase rate, an indicator of funding conditions, which has risen to a three-month high of five percent on 29 October.

Tightening financial conditions amidst a rebound in economic growth and inflation in China unnerves market, driving the Chinese gold price to close below the London gold fix the first time this year. In India, the Central Bank raised interest rate a second time to 7.75 percent to combat a close to ten percent inflation rate.

Investor Flows
As the Dollar Index has recovered from a nine-month trough on 24 October, gold prices have correspondingly retreated. Worldwide gold-backed ETF holdings rose the most in a year on 22 October although the holdings have fallen about 27 percent over a year ago.

Speculators increased their net long positions by 16 percent to 84,666 contracts for the week ending 8 October as the U.S. budget talk intensified, with the shorts positions falling by about 69 percent since the recent peak in early July.

Russia sold 0.37 metric tons of gold in September during the time when investors redeemed funds massively from emerging markets. Market does not expect the Fed to alter its QE positions on Wednesday and will monitor the press announcement closely. www.kmggold.com
Posted by Mike Gupton at 3:56 PM 0 Comments

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Results Are In...We Won!

After receiving dozens of kind nominations from our happy customers and being named a finalist by the Manitoba and Northern Ontario chapter of the Better Business Bureau, we're happy to announce that on October 21, 2013 we were named the winner of the 2013 Torch Award for Marketplace Excellence.

We won the award for a midsize business and were recognized for our display of honesty, integrity and transparency in all out marketplace activities. It is because of our strong customer service that we were able to win this prestigious award and we never could have done it without support from YOU, our happy customers.

President and CEO Michael Gupton started KMG Gold from inside his home (in his dining room, in case you were curious!) in 2007 and when the business outgrew the space, he moved to a Winnipeg storefront in 2009. Since 2009 and since the inception of the Manitoba and Northern Ontario BBB in that same year, we have worked hard to win four consecutive Torch Awards each year since then!

One of the reasons why KMG Gold has been repeatedly recognized is thanks to our mandate of strong customer service and education. When a customer walks into KMG Gold, our goal is to make them feel at home and comfortable with the precious metal recycling business. We want to educate our customers on the processes involved in purchasing their precious metals so that they can make informed decisions when they decide to sell their gold, silver, coins, etc. We believe this is very important since this industry often attracts its fair share of unsavory characters who are willing to do anything to get a sale.

If you nominated us for an award - thank you! And if you didn't, come by and see what sets KMG Gold apart from the competition!
Posted by Mike Gupton at 10:00 AM 0 Comments

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

KMG Gold Loves...Trade Shows!

At KMG Gold we love getting to know our customers, whether they're repeat customers or first-time visitors. This is one of the reasons why we love going to different trade shows. Trade shows give us the opportunity to reach out to new people and show them why we're so special. It's always a fun way for us (and the customer!) to spend an afternoon, meeting new people and getting to know other businesses and business owners in the community.

The most recent trade show we attended was the 50+ Living Show last weekend at Assiniboia Downs. Office manager Jodi was representing KMG Gold and offering complimentary assessments to anyone who was interested. Super friendly and easy to talk to, Jodi is one of the reasons why KMG Gold has won awards for being so accessible and customer-oriented.

We have a couple of other trade shows on our radar that you might be interested in if you missed us at the 50+ Living Show, or that you might be interested in even if you've already visited us. KMG Gold attends trade shows in Canada and the US so just make sure to take note of which city it's in! If you know of any trade shows that you think would be a good fit for us, we'd love to hear from you. Don't forget to drop us a line on Facebook and let us know what your favorite trade show is, no matter what type it is!
Posted by Mike Gupton at 12:08 PM 0 Comments

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Golden Zebra, Fact or Fiction?

You might have seen the images across the internet and wondered if the golden zebra was real or whether it was someone using Photoshop to pull your leg. At the KMG Gold office, we knew we had to investigate whether or not this zebra was fact or fiction!

What did we find out when we took to the Internet with the words "gold zebra" floating around our heads? It's real, or rather, she's real! Although a lot of the pictures circling around have been enhanced, we discovered that the golden zebra is indeed real, with stripes that are a subtle golden hue.

It turns out her name is Zoe and she lives at the Three Ring Ranch which spans five acres above the town of Kailua-Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii. She was born on September 16, 1998 to her mother Oreo and as you can imagine, is extremely rare. Our first reaction was that she had to be an albino, but it turns out that she has an unusual condition called "amelanosis" which results in her gold stripes and pale blue eyes.

This condition occasionally occurs in wild herds but affected wild animals would likely only survive for a few days at most. This is because zebras use their stripes as camouflage to blend in with the rest of the herd, allowing the herd to confuse predators with the changing patterns caused by the movement of such a large group of zebras. Thus, animals that stand out from the herd are easy targets to predators, which is why we're glad that at least Zoe is safe on the animal sanctuary.

But as rare as she is, Zoe isn't one-of-a-kind. There have been reports of at least two other golden zebras in captivity in the past. One was in Germany nearly one hundred years ago and the other was in a Tokyo zoo in the 1970s. As of right now though, Zoe is the only zebra with this condition known to be alive.

Have you heard of a golden zebra before? And have you heard of any other natural phenomenon in our favourite golden color? Share your thoughts with us and don't forget that you can connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and now Google+!

Posted by Mike Gupton at 11:30 AM 0 Comments

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

We've been nominated as a finalist for the 2013 BBB Torch Awards!

Thanks to nominations from dozens of satisfied customers, KMG Gold is happy to announce that we've been named a finalist for 2013's Better Business Bureau Torch Awards. We're so excited to be recognized for the strong customer service, honesty and integrity that we display in all of our business transactions.

If you live in the Winnipeg area, you might have already seen this exciting news that was posted in the BBB mailer that went out last week. KMG Gold has been named a finalist in the Marketplace Excellence category, an award that we won in 2011 and were named runner-up for in 2012. We're crossing our fingers that we'll be the winner this year and we'll find out on the night of the awards ceremony on October 24.

If you've ever wondered how the Torch Awards work and how businesses can win one, read on!

It starts with the nomination forms. A happy customer will fill out a nomination form that has a few boxes on it along with a few lines asking them to describe how a business went above and beyond the norm. All it takes is one form to be nominated, but KMG Gold was lucky to receive dozens from happy customers, all of which were sent to the BBB. Along with these nomination forms, a company also has to formally apply for the award, writing a few pages detailing what makes their business worthy of such a prestigious award, how they serve customers along the BBB's mandate of trust and integrity, how the company makes a difference in the community as well as in the lives of their employees.

It's a well-rounded report that takes everything from customer service to employee culture into consideration. You can be certain that every business who has been named a finalist is dedicated to providing the best customer service experience possible, which is why it's such an honour to have come this far for the third year in a row.

Posted by Mike Gupton at 11:00 AM 0 Comments

Friday, October 04, 2013

Central Banks Hold On to their Gold despite Weak Gold Sentiments

www.kmggold.com The U.S. Comex gold futures rebounded 2.45 percent in the past two days to $1,317.60 on Thursday after plunging to $1,286.10 on Tuesday. For the week, the gold futures have lost 1.55 percent.

The Dollar Index dropped on Wednesday and Thursday by about 0.50 percent in total to 79.749 and fell about 0.67 percent week-to-Thursday. The S&P 500 Index and the Euro Stoxx 50 Index declined 0.77 percent and 0.59 percent respectively this week.

The S&P 500 Index is now about three percent below its all time high on 19 September. The U.S. 10-year government bond yield ended at 2.6046 percent on Thursday, down about 2bp this week.

More Uncertainty in the U.S.
As the U.S. government shutdown has passed the third day, the Treasury Secretary warned that a debt default will lead to a recession that could be worse than the 2008 crisis.

The U.S. credit default swap spread, an indicator of the U.S. credit risk, rose to 42 bp on Thursday compared to a high of 56 bp in July 2011 when the government was on the brink of shutdown and default. The latest weekly jobless claims rose 1,000 to 308,000. The September non-manufacturing ISM index rose to 54.4 compared to an expected 57.

The crucial non-farm payrolls will not be issued on Friday due to the government shutdown. In Asia, China's September non-manufacturing PMI rose to a six-month high while the Bank of Japan maintained its monetary stimulus as the recent manufacturing confidence has risen to the highest level since 2007.

Weak Gold Sentiment
Although the gold prices are holding above $1,300 in light of the uncertainty surrounding the U.S. budget and debt limit, the gold-backed ETP holdings have dropped another five metric tones in October after falling 25 metric tonnes in September and 708 metric tones year-to-date.

The continuous decline in holdings reflects a further weakening in gold sentiment despite the uncertainty in the U.S. When gold prices dropped almost five percent in September, the gold premium in China also did not rise as high as expected.

The ones who beg to differ are the central bankers who have either held on or added to their gold reserves this year, viewing gold as an important diversifier.

What to Watch
We will watch how the U.S. budget talk unfolds before the 17 October debt limit deadline. We will also watch for the release of the September FOMC meeting minutes on 9 October, the IMF/World Bank meeting from 10 October to 13 October, the U.K. Bank of England monetary policy meeting and the U.S. initial jobless claims (four-week moving average) on 10 October as well as the U.S. September retail sales on 11 October. www.kmggold.com
Posted by Mike Gupton at 9:17 AM 0 Comments

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

A Pause in the Safe-Haven Bid for Gold?

www.kmggold.com After suffering from the biggest quarterly decline in Q2 2013, the U.S. Comex gold futures rebounded 8.40 percent in Q3. On Tuesday, the gold futures dropped 3.05 percent to $1,286.10 after falling 0.89 percent on Monday.

During Asia Wednesday morning, the prices traded above $1,290. The S&P 500 Index rose 0.80 percent on the first day of the U.S. Government shutdown and climbed 4.69 percent in Q3 while the Euro Stoxx 50 Index surged 11.16 percent in the past quarter and rose 1.38 percent on Tuesday.

The Dollar Index fell 3.51 percent in Q3 and fell 0.10 percent on Tuesday. The CRB Commodity Index climbed 3.60 percent in the last quarter but declined 0.53 percent on 1 October. The U.S. 10-year government bond yield ended the quarter at 2.61 percent, from 1.7574 percent at the end of last year.

U.S. and China Disappoint while Europe Gains
U.S. has begun its partial shutdown starting 1 October, costing an estimated $10 billion a week and delaying the release of economic data. The debt limit of $16.7 trillion will be reached on 17 October. China's official September PMI was at 51.1, lower than the expected 51.6, raising concerns that the economy's momentum is not that strong.

On the other hand, the September U.S. ISM Manufacturing Index was higher than expected at 56.2 while the Euro Area ISM in September was at 51.1, expanding for the third month. The market does not think that the U.S. government shutdown will last long and has sold gold and bought riskier assets.

However, a last-minute debt deal could raise the safe-haven bid for gold while economic damages from the U.S. shutdown could delay the Fed's tapering and support the gold prices.

Investors' Positioning and Gold Premiums
The combined net gold speculative positions rose 6.52 percent in the week ending 24 September while they fell a total of 28 percent in the previous two weeks. However, as Barclays pointed out, the gold-backed ETP holdings fell another 26 tonnes in September with year-to-date outflow at 697 tonnes.

While the seasonally strong gold demand season in India has begun, gold purchases remain very price sensitive, and the government's hike on import duties certainly has not helped. Premiums in India went from $40 earlier in September to about $5 to $7oz while those in China's Shanghai Gold Exchange is now at $7/oz compared to the $30 level seen in April and May.

Still, the World Gold Council expects the Chinese gold consumption to grow in line with GDP growth, which is expected to be around 7.5 percent (real). www.kmggold.com
Posted by Mike Gupton at 6:10 PM 0 Comments

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

The Case of the $16,000 Engagement Ring

Like something straight out of a reality TV show (and perhaps a little more real!) comes your classic he-said-she-said battle over a staggering $16,000 engagement ring. After breaking off their engagement, Jessica Bennett and Pasquale Angelino Zampieri have found themselves in an acrimonious court battle over who gets to keep the expensive engagement ring.

This story has certainly given Canadians lots to talk about over the water cooler and we at KMG Gold definitely have our own opinions. Firstly, lots of us in the office don't even think the ring is nice, it seems like a knock-off of Princess Diana's (and now Kate Middleton's) engagement ring. But that's besides the real point of the story! The majority of us think that the ring was a gift and that Bennett is entitled to keep it - although whether she should keep it is an entirely different issue.

And then there's the issue of the kidney transplant. The Toronto Sun claimed that shortly after meeting online, and becoming engaged, Zampieri gave Bennett a kidney after which she broke off the engagement. However, the CBC reported that he did not actually give her the kidney after all!

CTV Winnipeg visited the KMG Gold Academy Road location on Sept. 20 to interview President Michael Gupton and get his thoughts on the story. His opinion? Whoever keeps the ring might find themselves disappointed at the selling price, which often is a fraction of what was originally paid for it.

Our final thoughts: leave this twisting drama to where it really belongs...on one of the Real Housewives shows!

Posted by Mike Gupton at 12:00 PM 0 Comments