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Back from Vacation: The More Things Change . . .

I’m just back from a two-week vacation from the gold market.  In the interim much has changed – especially the metal’s price, which has fallen some $65 to $75 an ounce.  That’s more than five percent – but no reason to despair! While the price has weakened, the metal’s fundamentals, fundamentals we have discussed in past reports, have continued to improve, so much so that some bounce-back now seems likely – with bigger gains due later this year. ...

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Gold-Price Weakness: More March Madness?

Frankly, I’ve been surprised by the recent decline in the price of gold.  I expected a stronger finish to the first quarter with gold prices somewhat higher – possibly even breaking out above the $1,400 an ounce level by the end of March. Instead, gold prices have softened considerably over the past couple of weeks – off nearly $100 an ounce from its mid-March highs and down three percent in just the past week.  On a more positive note, gold is still up 7.5 percent for the year to date. With gold now hovering around the 200-day moving average and short-term momentum now moving into ...

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Gold, ETFs, the Fed, and Equity Valuations

Over the past year or two, as the broad equity indexes moved from one high to the next, institutional money – seeking higher quarterly returns – has been moving out of gold and into stocks. This institutional flight from gold by Western investors may have been the single-most important factor weighing on gold prices in the past couple of years – and it owes much to the introduction and popular acceptance of gold exchange-traded funds over the past decade. ...

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The Fed Tapers and Gold Topples

Surprised?  So am I, both by the Fed’s decision, announced this past Wednesday, to taper back its easy-money policies of the past year . . . and, even more so, by the subsequent fall in gold and silver prices. In fact, Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke surprised many investors, traders, and analysts, announcing the Fed would cut back its monthly asset purchases by a relatively modest $10 billion in January – and continue “in further measured steps” if the economic recovery stays on track. To understand my own expectations ahead of the Fed announcement, read my last commentary ...

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Gold This Week — Eyes on U.S. Monetary Policy

Precious metals and the broader financial markets continue to react to the latest economic news, both statistical and political, with traders and investors guessing how each new bit of information on the economy may affect the Fed’s decision – when and by how much – to cut back, or taper, its $85 billion per month bond-buying program. It has become the accepted wisdom of the markets that rosy economic prospects increase the odds that the central bank will choose to begin tapering sooner rather than later . . . and expectations of reduced monetary stimulus have been one of the key bearish ...

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Gold, the Economy, and a Whiff of Stagflation

It was only a matter of time before gold prices broke through overhead resistance at the technically important $1,300 an ounce level.  Now, $1,300 - plus or minus a few dollars - may be the new floor . . . and it looks like $1,350 may be the new ceiling. ...

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Fed Policy: A Quick Note

At this morning's presentation to the House Financial Services Committee, Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke said reductions of the Fed's bond-buying program, known as Quantitative Easing or simply QE, is "by no means on a preset course" and that the Fed could leave the program intact-or even increase purchases-if warranted. Most Fed watchers and financial market participants -- including many gold traders and investors -- are betting QE3 will continue with monthly asset purchases of $85 billion for another quarter or two before a gradual reduction and winding down of the current ...

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