Investment sentiment sees gold head for biggest quarterly drop on record

Wholesale gold bullion prices fell back toward $1,230 an ounce Thursday morning in London, having ticked higher in earlier Asian trading, as stocks and commodities were little changed on the day and the dollar was also flat after showing little reaction to yesterday's downward revision for U.S. economic growth.

Gold in Euros traded as low as €940 an ounce this morning, with gold in Sterling dipping as low as £802 an ounce.

Silver meantime was trading around $18.71 an ounce by lunchtime in London.

"[Bullion] markets are still susceptible to the downside, but all in all, I feel that for the moment we have done enough," says David Govett, head of precious metals at broker Marex Spectron.

Gold in dollars has lost 23% during the current quarter, which ends tomorrow. Going by London Fix prices, gold is on course for the biggest quarterly loss since at least 1968, the year that the London Gold Pool collapsed.

"For investors to come back in droves, we will need to see some consolidation in prices and a return to an upward trending market," one Hong Kong-based trader told newswire Reuters this morning. "Investor sentiment is still quite sour right now."

Dutch bank ABN Amro cut its year end gold price forecast to $1,100 an ounce Thursday, a cut of 15%.

"There is no reason to hold precious metals," reckons the bank's FX and commodity analyst Georgette Boele. "The outlook for capital gains [is] dim and they pay no income."

Over in India, the biggest source of private gold demand worldwide, premiums on physical gold – calculated as the amount buyers pay over and above the spot price – jumped Wednesday as the gold price fell, local dealers report.

"We are unable to supply, though there is demand," says Harshad Ajmera at wholesaler JJ Gold House in Kolkata.

Other Asian dealers however report that the recent price drop has not been met with the kind of surge in physical demand that was seen in April.

The U.S. economy meantime grew at an estimated 1.8% annualized rate in the first three months of 2013, official figures published Wednesday show. U.S. gross domestic product growth was revised lower from the previous estimate of 2.4%.

"The revision should imply that the Federal Reserve will likely delay the rollback of its bond buying program, a variable that should be theoretically bullish for gold," says INTL FCStone Metals Analyst Ed Meir. "Instead, the release fell flat in terms of impact [on the gold price]."

In contrast with gold, the U.S. stock market rallied yesterday following the downward revision.

"Whenever there is good news out of the U.S. it will cause selling because people see it as a confirmation for Fed tapering [i.e. slowing the pace of asset purchases]," says Daiwa Securities economist Tobias Blattner. "If we have something more disappointing like yesterday people will say, 'Well OK, it won't happen yet'...that, unfortunately, is the kind of volatility that is going to continue for the next couple of months."

Across the Atlantic, the estimate for annualized U.K. GDP growth for the first quarter was also revised lower, figures published Thursday by the Office for National Statistics show.

Sterling fell to a three-week low against the Dollar following the announcement, dropping below $1.53.

"Some people were expecting an upward revision and that didn't happen," says Jane Foley, senior currency strategist at Rabobank in London.

About the Author
Ben Traynor

Editor of Gold News, the analysis and investment research site from world-leading gold ownership service BullionVaultBen Traynor was formerly editor of the Fleet Street Letter, the UK's longest-running investment letter. A Cambridge economics graduate, he is a professional writer and editor with a specialist interest in monetary economics.

Comments
comments powered by Disqus

Market Data

Sponsored By:
Check out Resource Investor - Polls on LockerDome on LockerDome