Gold News

Gold slips vs. the Dollar as Euro and Sterling fall despite higher interest rates

Spot gold prices measured in Dollars continued to slip as London closed leaving the US to trade out the session on Thursday.

By midday in New York, the physical gold bullion market had dropped just over $3 from Wednesday night's close, dipping below $668 per ounce.

This 0.4% move only came for US investors, however, as the Dollar rallied on the currency markets despite higher interest rates across Europe.

Following the ECB's decision to raise Euro interest rates to 4.0% as expected on Wednesday, the Bank of England kept Sterling rates on hold in London today. (Read more about the outlook for global interest rates here...)

The Pound sank half-a-cent versus the Euro – but the Euro itself gave back more than half-a-cent against the Dollar to $1.3452.

That left the price of gold in Euros little changed, spiking down to a low of €496 per ounce.

For British investors wanting to buy gold today, the price held as it had for most of the day in London above £337.

"Options trading over the last two weeks was very bearish," said one independent trader at the US Comex to Reuters.

"Hedge funds and mutual funds had been buying a lot of puts," he went on – adding that the price of put options is now rising while call options are growing cheaper.

In the gold mining sector, Newcrest Mining – Australia's largest gold miner – announced earlier that it's "looking" to close its gold hedge book.

Gold mining firms sold as much as 3,421 tonnes of production, as yet unmined, onto the futures market during the late 1980s and 1990s.

Following the lead of Barrick Mining – the world's largest gold mining group, which bought back all its forward sales by March this year – Newcrest would now need to purchase around 700,000 ounces of gold to close its hedge book.

"That's a lot of ounces to be bought," as Jack Allen, chief gold trader at Natixis in London, notes to Bloomberg – potentially draining gold supply in the open market and pushing prices higher.

Also capping gold supply in the near-term, South African mining unions have today consulted lawyers about their proposed strike in support of the country's public-sector workers.

A spokesperson for the National Union of Mineworkers – which has also just demanded a 15% pay rise from South Africa's leading gold companies – said the NUM is "confident" the courts will approve the action.

You can read more about the threats facing global gold mining production here...

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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