Asian traditions say autumn and spring. But is in-between the best time to buy gold at low prices?
[This article originally appeared on BullionVault and is republished here with permission.]
Call it superstitious, call it good marketing, or call it tradition. But where India has Akshaya Tritiya in spring and Diwali in autumn, China then has Lunar New Year – the most 'auspicious' time of year for people to buy gold.
The best time for gold traders, however, is different. And it may be due in some part to those same religious and astrological dates observed by gold buyers in Asia.
"Sell in May, come back on St.Leger's Day," claims stockbroking lore in the City of London. That old chestnut basically tells clients and staff to take a long summer vacation, starting with the Whitsun Bank Holiday and returning after the year's last big horse-race meeting. Wouldn't want to disturb your broker from studying the form, after all.
If you like such things, the data suggest mid-summer can indeed be a good time to buy gold at a discount. Better certainly than relying on that old stockbroker's saying for trying to trade in and out of the FTSE share index.
Folklore says the gold market tends to see a 'summer lull', with prices softening as trading volumes dry up amid the showers and downpours of May-August. We have written about this patter before. Many...many...times before. Like, loads.
Our lack of imagination aside, you might link this lull in prices to the 'closed period' of Indian demand (better known as 'shradh', when new investments and ventures, including marriages, become unlucky on Hindu calendars).
But take the Hindu festival of Akshaya Tritiya – an auspicious day for new ventures, falling in late April in 2015. It has become a major date for gold retailers in India, the world's No.1 jewelry market. Getting ready for this year's festive demand, and thanks to easier import rules, India's wholesalers took in twice as much gold this March as during the same month last year.