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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: 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 ...

Gold and the Interest-Rate Dis-Connect

I don’t like to make short-term predictions about the price of gold – people who do are usually very lucky or very wrong. But times they are changing . . . and we are entering a new phase in gold-price action where expectations of Fed interest-rate policy will become less important and other, more bullish, gold-price drivers come to the fore. Just look at the past few weeks or even, for that matter, the past year: The day-to-day, week-to-week, fluctuations in the price of gold have been almost entirely a reflection of the gold-market’s expectations of prospective Federal Reserve ...

My Recent Interview with Mine.com

I recently sat down with Mining.com to talk about gold and the outlook for the yellow metal.  Here's a summary of that conversation:   Jeffrey Nichols has been a precious metal economist for over 25 years, so if there’s someone who knows every nook and cranny of the gold market, that is him. Like many others, including American lawyer and author Jim Rickards and RBC Capital Markets, he has been predicting that the price of gold is going rise before January 1, 2017, especially taking into account that it has been up by 25% for the past six months. “This is far better than the major ...

Gold — Pregnant with Possibility

  Despite gold’s recent sell off, I feel increasingly comfortable with our short-term (one-year) and our long-term (five-to-seven year) forecast of the future price of gold. Indeed, by this time next year, gold’s price could be challenging or even surpassing the yellow metal’s all-time high of $1,924 an ounce reached in September 2011. And, looking further out, by the end of the current decade, gold could double ($4,000) or even triple ($6,000) its previous all-time high. This bullish forecast does not depend upon some global economic crisis, financial-market meltdown, or ...

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 ...

Interest Rates, Fed Policy, and the Price of Gold

Traders and investors around the world are placing bets on whether or not the U.S. Federal Reserve, America’s central bank, will soon raise short-term interest rates given the continuing ambiguity in U.S. and global economic indicators and continuing volatility in world financial markets. Some days there seems to be a consensus in the marketplace expecting the Fed will stand pat, leaving short-term interest rates unchanged for a while longer. Other days the consensus seems to expect the Fed will sooner or later nudge rates up a tad, possibly voting to do so as early as next week’s FOMC ...

Gold: Stuck in the Mud . . . But For How Long?

A reassessment of economic prospects and Fed policy in the weeks and months ahead could be just the turn of events that will support a springtime recovery in the price of gold, lifting the yellow metal up and out of its recent trading range.   Gold prices have been stuck in the mud, trading in recent weeks mostly between $1,175 and $1,225 an ounce. Unless some “outside-the-market” surprise comes along to push gold one way or the other, the yellow metal could remain range bound for weeks to come. Meanwhile, short-term fluctuations within this $50 an ounce trading range will continue to be ...

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GOLD Explained: A Brief Note on Recent Market Action

Gold's failure to sustain its recent price gains, gains achieved over the past few weeks, triggered a wave of computer-generated technical selling on Monday morning that, in minutes, knocked gold prices back down to psychologically important technical support levels just above $1300 an ounce. I do not subscribe to any of the various conspiracy theories to explain gold's latest tumble, even though the recent news and gold-market fundamentals suggest the yellow metal should be moving higher. (For more on this bullish view, see "Gold: Now is the Time," NicholsOnGold, July 2, 2014.) The ...