Gold News

Spot gold regains 0.9% as the Fed pretends to talk tough on inflation

Spot gold prices rose throughout the Asian and European sessions on Monday, closing in London 0.9% up from Friday's finish.

Closing the premier physical gold bullion market at the day's highest point, spot gold traded above $654.50 per ounce.

"The rally in equities and the metal stocks helped gold itself to do better," said Marty McNeill, a trader at R.F.Lafferty in New York, to Bloomberg.

"Oil [also] has a positive influence on gold," he added, after light crude prices rose $1 per barrel to $65.60.

By the time London closed, Europe's largest 300 stock-market shares had gained nearly 1% for the day, catching up with Wall Street's late gains on Friday.

Gold futures for August delivery rose alongside, putting on more than $10 per ounce from Friday's low – a gain of 1.8% – to hit $658 by lunchtime at the Comex in New York.

On the spot gold market, prices for British investors wanting to buy gold today recovered nearly £3 of last week's £8 sell-off, ending the day in London above £332.50.

Gold priced in Euros also rose just shy of 1%, regaining €490 per ounce.

"An overdue technical bounce seems to be setting in," reckons a note from Edward Meir, an analyst at Man Financial.

"We think the next shoe to drop, so to speak, will come out later in the week when financial markets look at key US inflation data."

The consensus forecast on Wall Street now says that Friday's US consumer price report will show a 0.6% rise between April and May, up from a 0.4% increase the previous month.

"Another surprise here could set off the [gold] selling once again," says Meir, "as it could nudge yields upwards, send the Dollar higher, and propel commodity markets lower."

Tough-talking from Cleveland Fed president Sandra Pianalto also added to jitters about higher US interest rates today.

She told a press conference in Ireland that US inflation is now "uncomfortably high".

Already this week, "market forecasters are warning of a sharp increase in US dairy prices this summer," reports today's Los Angeles Times.

"Prices paid to farmers have increased 50% this year."

According to the Miami Herald, half of South Floridians are thinking about leaving the state, with the rising cost of living their No.1 concern.

But Pianalto's comments – repeating the line taken Friday by Michael Moskow, head of the Chicago Fed – were just "typical Fed speak" reckons Bill Gross, head of Pimco, the world's largest bond fund.

"The Fed at 5.25% is on hold and has been on hold for more than a year," he told Bloomberg TV today.

"I expect them to stay on hold until the inflation number comes down."

The trouble is, Gross went on, "we're now having a housing bust.

"It would be very difficult for the Fed to raise rates in the face of rising [mortgage] delinquencies."

The Fed can't raise rates to challenge inflation, in other words, without making the slump in US home prices worse.

And Fed chairman Ben Bernanke – an expert in "depression avoidance" – is on record as saying that he'd rather sacrifice the Dollar by slashing interest rates than risk a sharp economic contraction led by falling asset prices.

The upshot for long-term gold prices, says history, will be continued fresh inflows as investors the world over seek protection from negative real rates of interest.

To get the big picture on what's really been driving this six-year bull market in gold so far, click here to learn about gold vs. the real rate of interest...

Adrian Ash

Adrian Ash, BullionVault Gold News

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.

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