Gold News

Gold Finds "Strong Physical Demand", Scrap Supply Low, as Dollar Rises

Gold Prices gave back a 0.6% rise as New York trade began on Tuesday, slipping back to $1107 an ounce as world stock markets struggled near 18-month highs and the Dollar rose on the currency market.

Silver Prices earlier rose to their best level since March 18, up 4.4% from last week's low, to hit $17.41 an ounce at the London Fix.

German Bunds rose slightly, UK gilts fell, and US Treasury bonds held flat, with 10-year debt yielding 3.87%.

Crude oil ticked below $82 per barrel.

"Strong underlying physical demand for gold has continued," reports Walter de Wet at Standard Bank in London, "[and] in recent days has become even stronger.

"There is still little scrap coming to market, and selling hasn't been prevalent in 2010."

"Given the lack of scrap, once the Dollar starts to depreciate – which we expect in second-half 2010 – the Gold Price could climb substantially further."

On the data front today, German import prices rose more sharply than expected in Feb., adding 1.0% from Jan.

Raw input prices for Canadian manufacturers also extended their recent rise, defying analyst forecasts of a 1% drop.

Official UK data meantime revised late-2009's economic contraction to 3.1% of annual GDP, rather than the 5.3% first estimated.

Sterling jumped on the news, rising to $1.51 – and adding 3¢ from last week's 10-month low to the Dollar – despite weak poll results for the opposition Conservative Party, widely assumed to be the City's choice for this spring's General Election.

The Euro failed to hold an early 1-week high, in contrast, after last week's aid package for Greece did little to reduce Athens' financing costs in the bond market, and the Irish government began operating an €81 billion "bad bank" housing bad real-estate loans made before the global financial crisis.

Gold priced in Euros held above €823 an ounce, trading within 2% of this month's new all-time high.

The Gold Price in Sterling slipped to £734 an ounce, down 1.7% from last Friday's finish – its second-highest weekly close.

"Gold is one of those things that pops up in times when there's uncertainty and crisis," says Kimberly Sterling, a financial planner at Resource Consulting Group in Orlando, to the Orlando Sentinel today.

"It is like someone who bought real estate in 2006, at the height of that bubble. You could get hurt really badly...When it pops, it is too late to get in."

"I disagree that this is a bubble we're seeing now," says Al Baker chief investment officer for another local advisor, Resource Group of Winter Park.

"Bubbles only last a short period of time, a couple of years at most, while a trend builds upon itself and goes higher over time – 10 years in this case."

Over in China, in contrast, "A high savings ratio, plus a lack of alternative investment vehicles, points to a growing interest among the Chinese in commodity investment," notes Rhona O'Connell of the GFMS Analytics consultancy, writing at MineWeb.

"Gold Coins and bar hoarding have been growing strongly in recent years, but it is believed that the amount of gold currently in private hands is much lower than that in countries such as India and Vietnam."

Reporting on the new World Gold Council research on China's booming gold demand, "The domestic market is by no means mature," says O'Connell, "and the implication is that Chinese investors are much less likely to sell into strength than some of their counterparts elsewhere."

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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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