Gold News

Gold Hits Yet Another High on Central-Bank Rumors, Dollar Slide, and Return to July 2008 in Risk Appetite & Commodities

Gold broke fresh record highs vs. the Dollar for the 19th session since Oct. 6th early Wednesday in London, trading above $1180 an ounce as the US currency fell with government bonds and world stock markets reversed yesterday's drop.

The Gold Price in Euros dipped 0.6% to €783 an ounce, but gold rose to fresh record highs against the Chinese Yuan, British Pound, Swiss Franc and Indian Rupee.

India's Financial Chronicle claimed the Reserve Bank was "open" to extending its 200-tonne purchase of IMF Gold from October. But when asked, India's central-bank governor Duvvuri Subbarao said only "No comment" to reporters.

"Central-bank buying has been one of the main factors of this recent gold rally," agree three analysts interviewed separately by Bloomberg News this morning.

"There is far more to this [surge] than just normal Gold Investment demand," writes Lawrence Williams at MineWeb. "Indeed the previous big drivers in the form of Gold ETFs no longer seem responsible for the big price upturns.

"It is metal purchases which seem to be the root cause – but who is it who is buying?"

This week marks the fifth anniversary of the SPDR Gold Shares trust (GLD), with assets under management now totaling a record $40 billion.

By volume, however, the world's largest securitized gold trust now holds 1126 tonnes of metal – below this spring's all-time peak, and a rise of only 5.7% since the current price-surge began on Sept. 1st.

Over in the physical retail market, "[There are] signs of a looming shortage of physical metals," claims Patrick Heller at coin-dealer website Numismaster, with "just about all US bullion wholesalers unable to accept orders for the South Africa Krugerrand.

"My own company had to discontinue accepting new orders until we could lock in a supply."

The US Mint told wholesale dealers last week that it will continue to issue 2009-dated Gold Coins until the end of December, rather than finishing sooner as in previous years.

But new 2010-dated production won't begin until January, however, meaning "the Mint will now face this higher seasonal demand and the continuing high investor demand with less of a running start than usual," says collector David Harper, also at Numismaster.

US crude oil futures meantime bounced higher from $76 per barrel early Wednesday – rising almost 69% from this time last year – while the Dollar fell to its worst level against the Euro since July 2008, trading below $1.50 to the single currency.

The Aussie Dollar rose towards 15-month highs after Australia's central bank declared the economy to be entering a new "upswing".

Silver traded wholesale in 1000-ounce bars also held near its best level since July 2008, recording a London Fix of $18.63.

"We believe that risk has played an important role in the current commodities price rally," say Walter de Wet and Manqoba Madinane at South Africa's Standard Bank, pointing to the VIX index of volatility in US stock-market options.

"Often used as a proxy for risk appetite," the VIX has fallen towards levels "last seen before risk aversion exploded in August 2008" they note.

"Speculative positions are very high for many commodities...[raising] the risk of deep price corrections. However, due to the massive amounts of liquidity, speculative positions are sustainable for as long as monetary policy remains accommodative.

"Global liquidity remains ample," agrees Standard Chartered Bank in a new report today, "helping to boost the whole commodities complex and keeping the US Dollar under downward pressure.

"Gold is well positioned, given its strong inverse relationship with the Dollar, central bank buying, and continued investor inflows."

Standard Chartered sees Gold Prices as "likely to consolidate" in the first half of 2010, with renewed appreciation in the second half "as the USD weakens once more."

Shorter-term, and ahead of tomorrow's Thanksgiving Holiday in the United States, "Any price dips [in Gold] are likely to be short-lived," said one London dealer in a note.

"The Gold Price is on its way to the minor psychological 1200 level and the 2008/09 uptrend channel resistance line at 1239," says the latest Bullion Weekly from Commerzbank analyst Axel Rudolph.

"It may pause for a day or two...The daily RSI [relative strength index] is at extremely overbought levels not seen since September 2007."

Gold rose 20% against the world's major currencies in the four months following that extreme "over-bought" position.

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Adrian Ash is director of research at BullionVault, the physical gold and silver 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 is now a regular contributor to many leading analysis sites including Forbes and a regular guest on BBC national and international radio and television news. Adrian's views on the gold market have been sought by the Financial Times and Economist magazine in London; CNBC, Bloomberg and TheStreet.com in New York; Germany's Der Stern; Italy's Il Sole 24 Ore, and many other respected finance publications.

See the full archive of Adrian Ash articles on GoldNews.

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