Gold News

Gold Price Rallies from Shock "Euro-Bounce" Start to July on Strong Physical "Bargain Hunting"

Gold Prices rallied on Friday from yesterday's sharp drop to 6-week lows, gaining 1.2% as European stock markets bounced from this week's 5% drop towards 9-month lows.

The Euro and Sterling both extended their gains on the currency market, while major-economy government bonds eased back, nudging the 10-year US Treasury yield up to 2.95%.

Crude oil slipped further, dropping to $72.75 per barrel on US contracts.

Base and precious metals dealers reported "bargain hunting", with one calling physical gold demand "strong" around $1200 an ounce.

Silver Prices briefly crept above $18.00 after losing more than a Dollar-an-ounce to a 3-week low of $17.73 late Thursday.

"All metals rebounded in Asia because of Chinese buying," says Mitsui's Hong Kong office. "Customers are mainly looking for physical gold and palladium, with little interest in platinum."

Thursday – the first day of the third quarter – saw Gold Prices slump and the Euro jump after ending the first-half of 2010 some 13% higher and 14% lower respectively against the Dollar.

"Gold's sell-off was violent," says Walter de Wet at Standard Bank. "We were surprised by the speed and the depth.

"The strength of the Euro saw large-scale liquidation of long Euro-Gold positions" – a trade widely advised by bank analysts as the Greek debt crisis intensified in early spring.
 
Speculative betting against the Euro peaked in mid-May with a "net short" position worth 40% of all EUR/USD contracts on the CME's International Money Market, slipping back to 21% by the last week of June.

Speculative betting in US Gold Futures and options meantime jumped to a near-record "net long" position, rising by 3.2% and reaching the equivalent of 1016 tonnes by June 22nd in what VM Group analysts calls "a healthy dose of speculative activity".

Thursday saw the Euro regain three of the 25¢ it's lost vs. the Dollar since New Year's Day.

Gold priced in Euros dropped 5.8% – its sharpest one-day loss since Oct. 2008 – sinking to a five-week low of €30,740 per kilo.

"There hasn't really been a trade off for people to call positions in gold yet. We [were] aimlessly waiting in vain for dips," said David Hall, head of Credit Agricole's private bank FX and precious metals team, to CNBC this morning.

"If you look at the [10-year] chart and you re-base gold at a 100 versus the Dow Jones, it's been a place to hide."

Thursday's sharp drop in the Gold Price saw New York's SDPR Gold Trust – the world's largest Gold ETF trust – shed 0.1% of the gold backing its shares, the first decline in 11 weeks.

From the start of the year, the fund's hoard, which is held at HSBC bank in London, has swollen by 16% to a record 1319 tonnes.

"People like gold when it's all a bit chaotic out there," says Sean Butler, investment director of New Zealand's Liontamer group, launching a new structured product with a six-year lock-up – "the first local index offering exposure to international price movements in gold," according to the National Business Review.

"Gold is widely used as a safe haven for investors, especially during volatile economic conditions and times where there is uncertainty about major currencies like we are currently experiencing with the Euro."

Over the next 30 months, says Barclays Capital, maturing debt will cost Eurozone banks €1.5 trillion.

This month's "stress tests" on Eurozone institutions will force up to 20 banks to raise some €30 billion between them to meet capital requirements, the Financial Times reports.

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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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