Gold News

Gold Price Gains Amid US Fed Taper Talk on "Short-Covering & Bargain Hunting"

GOLD PRICE gains were extended Tuesday morning in Asia and London, as the metal touched $1250 per ounce for the first time in 7 sessions and major government bonds rose after comments from US Fed officials on the odds of a QE tapering at this month's policy meeting.
European stock markets crept higher, but Asian shares closed lower.
Silver broke to a 2-week high above $20 per ounce as commodities rose, and the British Pound meantime hit a new 2-year high vs. the Dollar, capping the gold price in Sterling at £760 per ounce.
"A recovery may be gaining pace," said Bank of England governor Mark Carney in a speech in New York overnight, "but our economies are a long way from normal."
In gold, "We see short-covering and some bargain hunting," Bloomberg quotes David Govett at London metals brokerage Marex Spectron, "coupled with signs of some physical demand in China.
But the gold price "is still limited on the upside," Govett adds. "We continue to wait for next week's Fed meeting."
Gold price gains this week "[are] no doubt due to a large extent to speculative financial investors covering their short positions," agrees Germany's Commerzbank in a commodities note, "having previously built up record-high bets on falling prices."
But again, and looking ahead to the US Federal Reserve vote on Weds 19 December, it says the debate about possible Fed tapering of its $85 billion per month in quantitative easing "hangs like the sword of Damocles over commodity prices in general and gold in particular."
"It is time to taper," said Richard Fisher, president of the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank, in a speech in Chicago yesterday, warning of "financial shenanigans" thanks to "a surfeit of excess liquidity sloshing about in the system."
Fisher, who has repeatedly called for an end to quantitative easing – and who said in August that "We have artificially suppressed rates...this cannot go on forever" – will become a voting member of the Fed in 2014.
But also speaking Monday, "Inflation continues to surprise to the downside," said current voting policy-maker James Bullard, president of the St.Louis Fed.
"This is a concern that often gets lost amid other encouraging economic metrics like jobs [which] a small taper might recognize.
"Should inflation not return toward target [currently at 2.0% per year], the Committee could [then] pause tapering at subsequent meetings," Bullard added.
Pointing to the fact that gold "tends to struggle" when real interest rates rise, "If you have a view on US 10-year rates and US inflation, you can formulate a view on gold prices," says a note from Canadian bank CIBC.
"With the latest [US] October inflation reading at 1.2%, we see little room for inflation to fall further without instigating fears of deflation," says the note – a trend likely to boost QE from the Fed, rather than tapering.
Because of the US Fed's stated policy of keeping interest rates low to support housing and credit, "We also see limited scope for a material rise in 10-year yields," add the bank's analysts, who said gold's "glorious run" was over in Feb. 2013, eighteen months after the peak but shortly before gold's worst price crash in three decades.
On the supply side meantime, and recovering from a series of violent wildcat strikes in late 2012, South Africa's gold mining production jumped 75% in October from a year earlier, the government said today.
The former world No.1, but now the fifth largest gold mining nation after annual production more than halved from record levels a decade ago, mined only 170 tonnes of gold last year.
China, the current world No.1, mined 347 tonnes of gold in the year to October, new data showed Tuesday, versus 403 tonnes in full-year 2012.

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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