Gold News

Two Bearish Gold Price Signals

But inflation-adjusted high still looks achievable...

THE DOLLAR Gold Price set a new high last Wednesday of$1552.50 per ounce at the London Fix. On the same day the Sterling Gold Price also set a new record, at £962.73. 

Since then however, the Dollar Gold Price has struggled to hold much above $1,500, writes Geoff Candy at MineWeb.

And, it is for this reason that Dundee Wealth Economics chief economist, Martin Murenbeeld believes it may be worth revisiting some of the bearish arguments against gold that he made earlier in the year.

That is not to say that Murenbeeld is a gold bear; far from it. He believes that gold is likely to continue upwards over the longer term as the arguments for gold are significantly more compelling that those against. But, he cautions in his latest Gold Monitor report, the bear factors "can dominate market trends from time to time – if only briefly."

The first of these arguments, he says, is the potential for policy exit strategies in China, India and the US, which could weigh on the Gold Price.

In the US, he says, while the end of QE2 is not a Fed "exit strategy" per se, it is not a positive for the gold market.

Murenbeeld points out that while Bernanke admitted that recovery was continuing at a slower-than-expected pace, he made no mention of the possibility of QE3 and even went as far as to say that conditions were better than when QE2 was implemented.

"What Bernanke didn't say, because this is a touchy subject, is that the Dollar should also decline. He knows that the greatest danger for the US economy is still disinflation and underperformance, just as the "economic bears" have argued And he is aware that the Peterson Institute claims the Dollar is still seriously overvalued against the Asian currencies," Murenbeeld points out.

Murenbeeld's second bearish argument, revolves around the Dollar and its interaction with the Euro in particular.

As he points out, "Europe's debt problems have tended to periodically favor the Dollar over the Euro. Gold doesn't always decline when the Dollar rises, because the Dollar often rises on the back of European debt issues that are inherently positive for gold, but a firmer Dollar is a negative headwind for the Dollar price of gold nonetheless."

While these two forces work against each other, Murenbeeld is increasingly convinced that the pressing question within the Eurozone is not whether Greece will default but, when. And, more importantly if it will be able to postpone it until banks can withstand the write-downs that will follow.

But, he says, while a scenario in which Greece is kicked out of the Euro-system, with Euro-banks taking a huge hit, yet somehow or other the Euro-system weathering the contagion (in Portugal and Ireland, to say nothing of Spain and Italy), and fiscal sanity returning would be bearish for gold, the probability of all this is very low.

"Much more likely," he says, is that peripheral country paper morphs into the "subprime paper of the 2010's", and central banks pour money into the banking system to arrest a global banking crisis." 

Murenbeeld therefore thinks the Gold Price will take out its inflation adjusted high during this bullish cycle, even if it isn't likely to happen immediately.

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Founded in 1999 as part of the Johannesburg-listed MoneyWeb media group, Mineweb is one of the world's leading sources of mining and metals-investment news, comment and analysis. Managed since 2003 by professional mining engineer Lawrence Williams – formerly of Mining Journal, and with more than 30 years' technical and financial experience in the sector – MineWeb provides thorough, international coverage of the natural resources industry.

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