Gold News

Gold Recovers 1.2% from Post-Fed Slump; "Double Whammy" Due in 2008 as World Equities Fall

Gold Prices held onto their post-Fed recovery early Wednesday, trading more than 1.2% above the overnight low – and little changed from Tuesday's start – at $806 per ounce.

"Gold's trend remains positive and there are investors buying on the dips today," said Dick Poon, head of trading at German refining group Heraeus, to Bloomberg in Hong Kong earlier.

"The Fed didn't go for a half-point cut, leading to some long liquidation yesterday. But most of the lost ground has been recovered this morning in Asia." (How come Gold Rises When Interest Rates Fall? Download this Free Gold Report now...)

The Euro also picked up after its initial shock at the Fed's 0.25% cut to US interest rates, holding at $1.4690 by 10:30am in London and putting the Gold Price in Euros just north of €549.

But the FTSE and Dax equity indices both gapped down 1% at the open. The Nikkei in Tokyo lost 0.7% for the session after the Dow Jones in New York dropped 294 points on the Fed's decision.

"Lower borrowing costs should help promote moderate growth," said the Federal Reserve in Tuesday's statement. But "these guys are academics, they're very far removed," reckons Jim Cramer – the TV analyst who famously screamed at the Fed to slash rates when the credit crunch first bit in August – on CNBC last night.

"The market's reacting correctly. They just made [Treasury secretary] Paulson's job much harder, President Bush's job much harder. Life just got harder for everyone who works at a bank. Everybody's in much more trouble."

"What I'm worrying about now is the weakening Dollar and its potential impact on global growth," said Chen Deming, vice-commerce minister of China, at a meeting with Henry Paulson in Beijing today.

Opening this "strategic economic summit", Paulson had said that "a more flexible exchange rate policy is especially important to China now," pointing to "growing asset bubbles and possible overheating" as well as inflation, now running at an 11-year high.

The People's Bank of China today priced the Yuan at 7.3647 per Dollar, the strongest rate since de-pegging it from the US currency in July 2005. The Hang Seng stock market in Hong Kong dropped 2.4% for the session, while base metals – led lower by zinc – fell hard in Shanghai.

Grain prices also dropped. Soybean futures fell for the first session in five after reaching 34-year highs yesterday, and crude oil prices slid beneath $89 per barrel, even though analysts expect today's US stockpile data to show a slight drawdown last week.

Gasoline inventories are forecast to have risen for the fifth week running.

"Although a recovery in the US Dollar is not impossible – and when it does come it's likely to take us all by surprise – it won't be in 2008," says Jessica Cross of Virtual Metals in her latest Yellow Book analysis of the Gold Market for Fortis, the Belgian investment bank.

"That is an election year, and there will be such pressure from the Republican Party...that the Federal Reserve will do whatever it takes to stave off the threat of recession."

US bond prices rose fast after the Fed's decision Tuesday, pushing the two-year bond yield below 3.0%, and leading economists in New York at UBS, Deutsche Bank and Dresdner now expect the coming slowdown to force the Fed funds rates as low as 3.5%.

Forecasting US interest rates as low as 3% by the end of next year, Jessica Cross sees a "double whammy" for Gold Prices, driven up by both the falling Dollar and a rush of money out of the stock market as cheaper borrowing fails to avert a US recession.
 
"If the Gold Price does not rise to $900 per oz some time in 2008 it will be a great surprise."

Looking at the supply-and-demand dynamics of the physical Gold Bullion market, Virtual Metals expect "little change" in the gold mining sector, where global production has failed to rise in response to rising Gold Prices since the start of this bull market.

South Africa’s gold mining output fell 5.8% in Oct. compared with the same month in 2006 said the statistical agency in Johannesburg yesterday. In 2008, "South Africa looks set to lose to China its top position as largest producer," says Jessica Cross.

Might China's new dominance of world gold-mining production enable the People's Bank to grow China's gold reserves? The amounts needed "to make a difference" would be too huge, believes Cross – and "the Chinese will be aware that the European central banks have needed a sales limit in order to exit the Gold Market in an orderly fashion."

But with Chinese gold mining forecast at 260 tonnes per year in both 2007 and 2008, China's licensing authorities will control 10% of total world output. Leading bureaucrats and politicians have spoken this year of "securing strategic resources" with the $1.3 trillion of foreign currency reserves built up at the People's Bank.

If the Dollar continues to lose value in 2008, what could be more strategic than a strong allocation to physical Gold Bullion?

To Buy Gold for your investment portfolio today, accessing live Gold Market prices direct – and paying as little as 0.12% per year for secure, market-approved storage in Zurich, Switzerland – visit BullionVault now...

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.

Please Note: All articles published here are to inform your thinking, not lead it. Only you can decide the best place for your money, and any decision you make will put your money at risk. Information or data included here may have already been overtaken by events – and must be verified elsewhere – should you choose to act on it. Please review our Terms & Conditions for accessing Gold News.

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