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GOLD: TREADING WATER

One big surprise in the world of gold thus far this year has been the metal’s lack of price volatility. This despite: All the uncertainty associated with a new, and somewhat maverick, president in the White House compounded by a dysfunctional and highly political Congress, The coming withdrawal of Britain from the European Union and the possibility the French will follow suit by pulling out of the EU too, The rising tensions between Russia and the United States on two fronts (Ukraine and Syria), And, most recently, rising North Korean bellicosity, the real possibility the ...

Surprise, Surprise!

Despite last week’s move by the U.S. Federal Reserve, America’s central bank, to tighten monetary policy a notch, gold prices surprised many observers of and participants in the gold scene who had expected the quarter-point increase in short-term interest rates would be sufficient to knock the metal into a still-lower trading range under $1,200 an ounce. After all, higher interest rates are widely perceived as a negative or bearish influence on the gold price. But, as noted below, it is really the “notional” real “inflation-adjusted” rate of interest, that matters, not the “nominal” rate as ...

Gold Bulls: Take Comfort in the Long Term

Last year’s big surprise in the world of gold was the failure of prices to move higher. Even strong physical demand for the metal and election-related uncertainties following Trump’s surprising victory could not underpin a sustainable rise in the price. Instead, expectations of higher interest rates, an appreciating dollar, and record-high equity prices held the yellow metal down. Now, it seems gold may have finally turned a corner . . . with prices for the yellow metal beginning their long march upward, a long march that will eventually carry the metal to new historic highs. But, even ...

Gold: Faulty Expectations

Contrary to expectations, ours and nearly everyone else’s who pay attention to the price of gold, the yellow metal has, since Election Day, shed nearly 15 percent of its value in U.S. dollars. According to the pundits who pay attention to such matters, the election of Donald Trump should have pulled the rug out from under stock prices, hammered the dollar against other major currencies, and propelled gold sharply higher. But once again the pundits have been proven wrong: Stock prices on Wall Street have zoomed to new historic highs and gold has, once again, disappointed. Despite this ...

Flash Crash?

Gold has once again surprised. This time, news from “outside the market” set in motion a chain reaction that knocked gold for a loop. First, the British confirmed the country was withdrawing from the European Union . . . and sooner than most had expected. This triggered an instant devaluation of the British pound and a corresponding rise in the U.S. dollar in world currency markets. Not surprisingly, as the dollar rose, gold took it on the chin, as it most often does when the U.S. currency appreciates. At the same time, contributing to the dollar’s recent appreciation has been a ...

Gold: Day of Reckoning Ahead

Although the price of gold is up some 25 percent so far this year, the metal still remains 30 percent below its all-time high of $1,924 registered in September 2011 – so there’s still plenty of room overhead for the price of gold to move higher – as I think it will – without excessive resistance. I’m no gold bug – but I have been “super bullish” on gold for the past few years. Now, I think the yellow metal’s day of reckoning is quickly approaching. A decisive break above $1,400 an ounce could be just around the corner – and, to my mind, would signal the start of gold’s next major ...

What’s Driving Gold — It Ain’t Interest Rates

Although gold prices have had some difficulty sustaining recent gains above the $1365 per ounce level, the metal has nevertheless registered just about the best performance across virtually all investment classes over the past six or seven months. Over the past half year, the metal has rallied some 25 to 30 percent – far better than the major stock-market averages that have received more favorable attention from the financial press for reaching new all-time highs. The reason I mention this is that gold has been trading inversely to equities – and, consequently, the yellow metal stands to ...

The Gold Bull Begins to Stir

These days I am feeling very bullish on the prospects for gold – and I would not be surprised to see prices double or possibly do even better over the next three-to-five years. Moreover, there is even some chance gold prices will break into record high territory (exceeding $1,924 an ounce) later this year or next. I expect that the U.S. and other major economies will perform poorly for several years to come with recession or near-recession business conditions forcing the Fed and other leading central banks to pursue reflationary monetary policies and low interest rates – a bullish ...

Gold in a Rising Interest Rate Environment

By the time you read this Commentary, chances are the Federal Reserve, America’s central bank, will have announced its decision to raise, if only by a slim quarter-percentage point, its key Fed funds interest rate. This is the rate banks charge one another in the interbank market for short-term funds – and it influences the whole spectrum of interest rates across the economy. A quarter-point may be seem little to speak of . . . but it does represent a significant shift in the direction of U.S. monetary policy, a shift with important implications for equities, bonds, real estate, gold, and ...

Gold: Asia to the Rescue

I’m just back to my desk from a fact-finding mission to Shanghai and other Asian gold-trading centers where I met with gold importers, traders, jewelry manufacturers, retail outlets, and exchange officials. The key take-away: Just as weakness in Asian markets may have contributed to the latest gold-price slump, an imminent recovery of physical demand across the region could be the catalyst to higher prices later this year. While demand throughout the region has been soft for over a year now, most major players we met with expect at least a gradual recovery in gold demand – and, hence, ...