Gold lower in advance of Fed announcement

In the Lead

The World Gold Council has projected that India’s gold demand will fall for a second year and it has also trimmed its 2012 Chinese gold demand estimate to 870 tonnes from a previous 1,000 tonne estimate. Moreover, market analysts at FXStreet.com note that the US Mint reported its weakest American Eagle gold coins sales level in July in 5 years (only 30,500 coins were moved in July – a 49% drop from June) and the year-to-date tally is lower by 42% than that in 2011. They also noted that the largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD), also recorded the biggest monthly gold tonnage outflow of the year last month. Their short and medium-term forecast remains “bearish” so long as the $1,630-$1,640 resistance zone is not overcome.

When it comes to the matter of short and medium-term price forecasts, the gold market certainly isn’t lacking in a good supply of them. Of course, the Fed’s statement today, the ECB’s communiqué tomorrow and the jobs data due on Friday will likely yield some fireworks worth watching (be they rising or falling displays). On the chart-based prognostication side, EW alerts indicate that gold could either turn sharply lower from $1,630 and finally take out the support that resides at $1,527 or that it could first aim as high as $1,690 before declining to a new low beneath the aforementioned support figure.

Swiss Bank UBS envisions gold rising to $1,700 around the time of the Jackson Hole Wyoming symposium, and/or the lead-up to the Fed’s September FOMC meeting. No word on what today might bring in connection with gold and the Fed. Meanwhile, French bank Natixis opines that as far as next year is concerned, gold might only average $1,225 per ounce and silver $21.80 per ounce. However, the same financial institution seems to be more positive on platinum and palladium; it projects their average 2013 per ounce price to be $1,700 and $740 respectively. As eminent physicist Niels Bohr once said, “prediction is very difficult, especially when it’s about the future.”

That however, does not mean some folks aren’t trying. But, as is sometimes the case that atoms can be split in the world of physics, predictions have become split in the gold market of late. Bloomberg News reported that, as of this time, three of the most accurate gold market prognosticators in recent years have diverged in their opinions as to where the price of gold is headed next.

In fact, Bloomberg’s single most accurate gold price “soothsayer,” Justin Smirk of Aussie bank Westpac, believes that gold prices will continue to decline going forward. Mr. Smirk observed that “[Gold] is not the ultimate safe-haven, and the steep fall last year and the performance this year showed that people preferred the dollar. While quantitative easing may bring in some buying, it’s unlikely to go back to earlier highs.” For the near-term, Mr. Smirk envisions a possible dip in gold to $1,490 per ounce. This, while his Commerzbank and ANZ colleagues opine that we will see new price records in gold inside of twelve months.

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