Gold News

Gold hits 6-week opening high as Euro rises ahead of ECB decision

Spot gold prices reached a fresh 6-week opening high in London for the seventh session running on Thursday.

Versus the Dollar, physical gold bullion opened London $2 higher from the end of last night's US session at $679.50.

Sterling investors found the metal trading at £343.80, an opening level not seen since Feb. 28th – the day Asian, European and US equity markets all sank together, dragging the price of gold down with them.

Only the Euro managed to push the metal lower from Wednesday's opening – down 50 cents to €504.60 – as the European currency reached a two-year high versus the Dollar ahead of today's interest-rate decision from Frankfurt, due at 13:30 London time.

"The market is speculating that we could see a hawkish [ECB chief] Trichet given that the data has been fairly strong out of the Eurozone," reckons Niels From of Dresdner Kleinwort in Frankfurt.

The Euro also hit fresh life-time highs against both the Yen and Swiss Franc, the two "carry trade" currencies that rose sharply when global equity and commodity markets fell at the start of last month. (Click here to learn more...)

Meantime in the gold market, yesterday's news from Bloomberg that a "leading financier" called Edward Pastorini was about to launch a bid for Gold Fields – the world's fourth largest gold miner – has turned out to be a hoax.

Bloomberg was sent a 3-page document announcing the bid, apparently sent by a Gold Fields executive. The newswire also interviewed Pastorini by telephone.

Gold Fields' stock jumped 11% on the story. That added $940 million to GFI's market cap.

But no one has since been able to source or verify the claims. Nor had anyone in private equity circles ever heard of a major player called "Pastorini" before.

"It happens [to] all media organisations," says the Financial Times – "the FT included.

"Whether it’s high market jinks or financial skulduggery, the fact is people make up stories and sometimes newswires and newspapers swallow them."

Bloomberg now faces legal action from GFI shareholders, reports the Toronto Globe & Mail. The newswire itself admits that the Florida phone number used during the "Pastorini" interview was previously used to ramp a hoax takeover bid for Zapata Corp., a US fishing company, in 2003.

"This is evidence of the frothiness of the market,” says John Turner, head of Fasken Martineau DuMoulin, the mining group.

"People have been making so much money for so long that they are getting careless."

More money – careless or otherwise – for shareholders of Kinross Gold Corp. today, after the miner gave fresh 2007 guidance on output and reserves.

Kinross now expects to produce 1.65 million ounces per year, up from 1.5 million as previously announces, following its purchase last month of Bema Gold Corp.

Yet Bema itself was producing 230,000 ounces of gold annually. So as with other recent gold-mining mergers, the whole doesn't seem to equal the sum of its parts.

Kinross's cost of sale, meantime, has increased by 3% following its Bema acquisition.

For more on why more money in the mining sector doesn't always mean more gold for investors, click here and read on...

Adrian Ash

Adrian Ash, BullionVault Gold News

Adrian Ash is director of research at BullionVault, the world-leading physical gold, silver and platinum market for private investors online. Formerly head of editorial at London's top publisher of private-investment advice, he was City correspondent for The Daily Reckoning from 2003 to 2008, and he has now been researching and writing daily analysis of precious metals and the wider financial markets for over 20 years. A frequent guest on BBC radio and television, Adrian is regularly quoted by the Financial Times, MarketWatch and many other respected news outlets, and his views from inside the bullion market have been sought by the Economist magazine, CNBC, Bloomberg, Germany's Handelsblatt and FAZ, plus Italy's Il Sole 24 Ore.

See the full archive of Adrian Ash articles on GoldNews.

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