Gold News

Gold Price Rallies, "Sentiment Worse" for Mining Stocks

The GOLD PRICE traded in a tight range around $1280 per ounce Thursday morning, but gold mining stocks extended their fall as broader equities rose.
 
By lunchtime in London, gold prices had recovered two-fifths of yesterday's $30 drop from new 4-week highs.
 
London-listed African Barrick, spun out of the world's largest gold mining stock Barrick in 2010, lost 2.2% but held above last month's record low.
 
Russian gold miner Petropavlovsk lost a further 5%, taking its 2013 drop to more than 75%.
 
Like the gold bullion price, silver prices were quiet after Wednesday's sharp 4.3% swing, in line with other commodities.
 
US Treasury bonds ticked higher, nudging 10-year yields down to 2.48%.
 
"The sentiment [in gold mining stocks] is terrible – worse even than the sentiment towards gold," says HSBC analyst Patrick Chidley to the Financial Times.
 
"We have seen a 50% fall in gold mining shares in six months," the paper also quotes Evy Hambro, co-manager of the $2 billion Blackrock Gold & General Fund.
 
"Common sense would naturally say we are in very oversold territory."
 
Gold-heavy hedge fund manager John Paulson – whose $2 billion position in AngloGold Ashanti alone lost clients $317 million in the second quarter, according to the Wall Street Journal – yesterday defended his continued investment in both gold and gold mining producers.
 
"People who bought gold in anticipation of inflation have lost their patience" with the price, Paulson told CNBC's Delivering Alpha conference.
 
"[But] the consequence of printing money over time will be inflation, it's just difficult to predict when."
 
That makes buying gold "an important part of anyone's portfolio."
 
US Fed chairman Ben Bernanke restated his aim of starting to taper quantitative easing in testimony to Congress on Wednesday.
 
But on short-term rates – now at zero for more than four years – "I don't think the Fed can get interest rates up very much," he said, "because the economy is weak, inflation rates are low.
 
"If we were to tighten policy, the economy would tank."
 
Bernanke was due to resume his semi-annual testimony at 10am Thursday in Washington.
 
"The $30 pullback in gold prices [after Bernanke spoke Weds] was likely more a reflection of disappointment that prices did not manage to break resistance [at] $1300," says Swiss investment and London bullion bank UBS's strategist Joni Teves.
 
"Our economists," says a note from Commerzbank's commodity team, "are still confident that the Fed’s bond purchasing programme will be gradually scaled back from December. 
 
"This is likely to be largely priced in and should thus no longer weigh significantly on the gold price."
 
But "shifting sentiment regarding the timing of Fed tapering will impact gold and make trading volatile," warns HSBC analyst James Steel.
 
"Since investment demand is weak, with ongoing gold ETF liquidation, a strong physical market is crucial if gold prices are not to sink considerably further."
 
Further ahead, gold-mine output is set to shrink in the years to come, said Gold Fields' boss Nick Holland in an interview Wednesday, thanks both to the falling gold price and "a dearth of exploration projects.
 
"The gold mining industry is struggling to replace what it mined," says Holland, CEO of the world's 8th largest producer.

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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