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As I write this Gold is taking a breather and consolidating at the $960 level, this is before I believe the next launch to test the $1000 mark+ which can easily come in the next few days. Gold is certainly saying “catch me if you can!”. Todays articles include several different vehicles with which to cash in on gold! Good Investing – jschulmansr
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Currently, spot gold is traded at $967 an ounce, up more than $10 from last Friday’s close, breaking the key $950/ounce level. That’s the seven-month high for gold. Also, major stock benchmarks are likely to test the November lows amid jitters in the financial sector.
Even though there are predictions that gold could back fall after the stimulus plan became a law, that hasn’t happened. In contrast, investors are increasing their holdings of gold as a safe haven to preserve their wealth while the stock market continues to decline. Right now, gold is trading well above its 50- and 200-day moving averages, a clear indication of the uptrend of gold. (click to enlarge)
Investors’ appetite for physical gold, such as bars and coins, has driven up share prices of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) specializing in precious metal as well. For instance, take a look at SPDR Gold Trust Shares (GLD), the world’s largest gold-backed ETF. GLD gained 3% in 2008 and 6.9% so far in 2009.
The reason investors are also chasing GLD is that it offers investors an easy way to invest in the bullion without having to hold the metal themselves (you will have many more things to consider, such as storage and insurance, if you want to hold physical gold yourself). If you invest in GLD instead, your investment will reflect directly the price of gold because GLD’s share price is determined based on 1/10th of an ounce of gold. SPDR Gold Trust buys and stores physical gold to back GLD prices. In fact by tracking holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, you can get a sense of the demand for gold. Currently holding 985.86 tonnes of gold, a record level for GLD, the indication is that demand is strong.
If you are interested in investing in precious metal ETFs, check out these funds in gold and silver:
- SPDR Gold Shares
- iShares COMEX Gold Trust (IAU)
- Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX)
- PowerShares DB Gold (DGL)
- iShares Silver Trust (SLV)
- PowerShares DB Gold Double Long ETN (DGP)
- PowerShares DB Precious Metals (DBP)
- PowerShares DB Silver (DBS)
Among them, GLD has the largest daily trading volume according to Morningstar data, followed GDX and SLV. Remember, volume matters when trading an ETF. Not only because of the bid/ask spread, but also for the survival of the fund.
Stock chart from INO Stock Analysis
My Disclosure: Long DGP and GLD – jschulmansr
For every analyst arguing one side of the above arguments, you have another analyst strongly arguing the opposite. And often you have the majority of analysts taking one position in the above arguments and then flip-flopping like a politician to the opposite position just two months later if things move the opposite way from their predictions.
Make 203% as Washington becomes a global laughing stock
According to our nation’s new “Intel Czar,” the economy is the number one threat to the U.S. right now.
In testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair warned that: “The longer it takes for the recovery to begin, the greater the likelihood of serious damage to U.S. strategic interests.”
Now, one ought to keep in mind that Blair was addressing the committee just a day or so before Congress would be disgorging the bolus known as the 2009 Stimulus Act. As such, Blair, with his 49-page statement, was just one more player in the administration’s full court press.
Our Own Worst Enemy
Still, Blair does make some interesting points: Suddenly, al-Qaeda is no longer the top-listed actor. Indeed, most of the “Axis of Evil” has fallen several notches down the old hit parade.
North Korea’s current or Iran’s future nukes? Still salient, but not “Number One with a Bullet,” as old Casey Kasem used to say. Russian territorial belligerence and Chinese currency intransigence? Worrisome in the long run, but still not the top threat.
No, Washington’s Numero Uno spy tells us that our worst problems stem from the rot within. Or, to quote the ever-so-sage Walt Kelly: “We have met the enemy, and he is us.”
Our Newest Secret Weapon: The Dollar Bomb
The grand economic downturn (wow, that is such an elaborate way to avoid saying “depression”) presents two key security issues. The first seems obvious enough: We need cash to fully fund our military.
I suspect that this is less of a problem than it seems at first blush. Coming up with more dollars these days is actually remarkably easy: Washington just prints as many as it wants.
In fact, this may even turn out to be a bit of a blessing in disguise (okay, it’s a really good disguise, but bear with me here). A great way to get more bang for your newly imagined bucks would be to hand them off to military contractors, who could then hire more workers to build more armored troop carriers, which could then be blown up in Afghanistan. Then we just do it all again!
Bingo: You’ve cut unemployment and sopped up excess industrial capacity in one fell swoop! Hey, it worked for LBJ and Nixon, right? Right? Hey, stop throwing those “Whip Inflation Now” buttons at me!
The Price of Weakness
Let’s move on to issue two: The longer this debacle continues, the more folks in odd corners of the world might get the idea that maybe those “‘Mericans ain’t so smart after all.”
Much like Britain in its day (an apt comparison, since we pretty much bought our empire used from the Brits at the end of WWI), global control pretty much depends on the projection of the image of power. When that image falters, suddenly café agitators round the world have a much easier time persuading recruits to run around with Kalashnikovs and C4 undergarments.
And indeed, if you dig deep into Admiral Blair’s report, he does mention that al-Qaeda’s successful recruitment of Westerners over the past two years is making it increasingly difficult to play “Spot the Terrorist” at airports.
Hard to March When You’ve Shot Yourself in the Foot
But a mere economic downturn could not make us look but so dumb. Seriously, these things happen all the time, without risking national security. No, what makes us look inane and weak is the way in which our ineptitude has exacerbated a downturn into a full-blown crisis.
An example: Over the past few days, Justice and I have both bemoaned the current Secretary of Treasury’s glacial pace. It’s not so much that we want to see trillions in funny money dumped on us. It’s just that we wish they would rip the damn bandage off and move on already.
After weeks of promising to reveal his latest scheme, the best we got was a promise to come up with a schedule for formulating a plan, along with some vague threats to further “stress test” banks that have obviously already failed any sort of common sense test.
“It’s the Other Guy’s Fault. Oh Wait, I Am the Other Guy”
After calming down a bit, I actually went so far as to check with some connections I have in Washington as to why Geithner is moving so slowly. The current excuse coming out of the Treasury? The “New Team” has been unable to hire adequate expertise to figure out what to do next.
As I pointed out last week, the “New Team” is pretty much the “Same Old Team” that screwed things up in the first place. Indeed, the whole reason we were told to tolerate them was because their prolonged exposure supposedly ensured their expertise on the topic.
No wonder folks outside our borders are beginning to think we are stupid.
Turning Ineptitude Into Gold
There is one place where they are treasuring our fiscal inanities. Canada is enjoying a (relative) boom at our expense. Whereas the benchmark drop for most of the world’s markets has been hovering around 7.3% so far in 2009, Toronto’s TSX composite is down a mere 2.7%.
What’s propping things up north of the border? Gold, my friends.
Barrick Gold (ABX) and 11 of their fellow miners are up some 5.2% as a group this year. And it looks like this boom is nowhere near clapped out.
And why should it be, when guys like Euro Pacific Capital’s Peter Schiff are calling for gold to increase another 60% before the dust settles. Think that’s a speculative call? Heck, you can make a pure value argument for these guys.
After being bludgeoned by 14 months of recession and a 47% share price crash, one might imagine that U.S. stocks ought to be pretty darned cheap right now. And despite all this damage, the S&P 500’s trailing P/E is hanging out around 29.1, some 40% higher than at the market’s absolute top back in October 2007. Barrick’s P/E of 18.88 beats that by some 35%!
Now if you were looking for a way to turn our foolishness into treasure, you could simply do as the Canadians do, and buy shares of ABX. That increase in gold ought to bump up the share price some $20 between now and mid-summer.
If you were interested in a bit of leverage, you could easily pick up mid-dated ABX call options. That same $20 spike would offer you gains as high as 203%.
Disclosure: no positions- Adam Lass
My Note: Of course I agree with the above article but “no positions?”. You gotta play if you want to get paid!… – jschulmansr
The following is a Very Interesting Article! – jschulmansr
In an extremely difficult investment environment, it is often difficult to know who to believe. Deflation or inflation? Have financial stocks bottomed or do they have much more to fall? When gold corrects sharply, is the gold bull over or still alive? Is oil heading to $20 a barrel or $80 a barrel?
For example, when we look at oil prices, oil has plunged from $147 a barrel to less than $35 a barrel in 7 months! During this time, the deflationists have been out en masse in the mainstream media, claiming that plunging oil prices were directly attributable to plunging demand worldwide from economies that were stagnant. For example, here’s a link to a story that seems to infer that plunging oil prices are caused primarily by plunging U.S. demand and growing U.S. inventories. Though it would be ignorant to ignore the effect of a slowing global economy on demand for crude oil and its effect on lower crude oil prices in the futures markets, it would be equally ignorant to attribute the majority of crude oil’s plunge to a shrinking global economy as well.
How many people really believed that when we had $147 a barrel crude oil prices that this price was solely attributable to skyrocketing demand?
Instead, I can assure you that these stories have been planted to distract you from the real culprit of plunging oil prices –fraud, manipulation of crude oil futures, and political scheming to try to save the U.S. dollar. The plunge in oil prices, after the fraud that caused the run-up to $147 a barrel, is most likely more significantly attributable to the root of this global crisis – a monetary crisis – than slowing GDP rates of world economies. There is much more to the story of any continuing and extended weakness in the United States Oil Fund, LP (NYSE:USO) than just sluggish demand from slowing world economies. Has global demand really shriveled so drastically to account for a 76% free fall in crude oil futures prices?
I’ve taken the stance for a long time now that the extreme volatility we have experienced in gold, silver, and oil futures markets is most likely nearly entirely driven by Wall Street manipulation and free market interventions executed by the U.S. Treasury and the U.S. Federal Reserve. For years, I’ve argued that Central Bank and government intervention into these markets have created massive distortions. In fact, the free-market interventions are so obvious now that even mainstream investment figures such as Donald Coxe, chairman and chief strategist of Harris Investment Management in Chicago, have made similar claims in recent months.
Unfortunately, if you rely solely on technical analysis and fundamental analysis in today’s investment arena without accounting for or anticipating government and Central Bank interference into free markets, you will not understand how to make money. The problem with U.S. regulatory agencies is that they have been asleep at the wheel for the last decade and have been non-responsive to those individuals that have been awake. Repeated requests to investigate fraud in stock markets and commodity markets have been ignored over the past decade by top U.S. regulatory agencies, even when the requests were accompanied by overwhelming evidence.
U.S. Representative Gary Ackerman [D, NY] demonstrated his understanding of the worthlessness of these regulatory agencies when he berated the SEC for aiding and abetting massive fraud in U.S. Securities markets. (Click to view)
I strongly believe that fraud on a similar scale is taking place right now and has taken place for years on the COMEX gold and silver futures markets. In the future, if U.S. Congressmen finally realize this, you will see U.S. Congressional hearings of a similar contentious nature occur with the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Currently, there is a mountain of circumstantial evidence of very large players attempting to manipulate gold and silver futures contract prices, even during this recent spike in gold and silver futures prices.
Remember, Harry Markopolos presented evidence of the Bernard Madoff $50 billion fraudulent Ponzi scheme to the SEC over a period of 9 years and was repeatedly stonewalled and ignored by the SEC (Securities Exchange Commission). Markopolos stated in testimony before the U.S. Congress that the SEC was protecting fraudsters instead of prosecuting them and “that’s why they shy away from the big cases.”
Asked by lawmakers if his warnings to the SEC could have been more explicit, Markopolos said, “I even drew pictures so I don’t know how I could’ve been more explicit.” He added the agency “roars like a lion and bites like a flea…The SEC was never capable of catching Mr. Madoff. He could have gone to $100 billion” without being discovered, Markopolos testified. “It took me about five minutes to figure out he was a fraud.”
Just like Markopolos, it did not take me long to conclude that massive fraud is and has been occurring in the New York-based gold and silver futures COMEX markets. And just like Markopolos, I also presented what I believed to be strong evidence of this fraud to the commissioners of the overseeing regulatory agency, the Commodities Futures Trading Commission [CFTC]. While my efforts were acknowledged by the CFTC, in their own words, as “great info”, no action has been taken upon my request for an investigation into fraudulent activity in the gold futures markets. I felt that I certainly presented enough compelling circumstantial evidence enough to warrant an investigation, but so did Markopolous, and he was ignored for nine years.
On the other hand, Ted Butler’s tireless efforts in presenting fraudulent COMEX activity to the CFTC has resulted in an internal investigation but as of yet, there still has been zero action as a result of this investigation. In the end, all investigations are ultimately worthless to the common investor unless the investigations are sincere. As Markopolos stated in recent U.S. Congressional testimony, he believes that the regulatory agencies’ intent will never be sincere until a drastic overhaul of the agencies occurs.
Markopolos hit the nail on the head for the biggest reason why the efforts of people such as myself and and many others to expose fraud in certain markets is being ignored by regulatory agencies: “What you’ll see is the [regulatory agencies are] busy protecting the big financial predators from investors and that’s their modus operandi right now.” In the case of gold and silver futures markets, when the agencies involved in the fraud most likely include the U.S. Treasury and the U.S. Federal Reserve, you will never see a true investigation materialize. So if, as investors, we are all fighting an uphill battle against fraud that has been imprinted within the “system” for a while, what is my point, right? My points are the following:
(1) Fraud has been part of the system for a while now, it will continue to be part of the system, and every investor needs to anticipate fraudulent activity to be profitable in these markets. Reliance on technical and fundamental analysis only will most likely lead to poor analysis.
(2)During periods of great economic crisis such as the one we are facing today, fraudulent activity will increase.
(3) Fraudulent activity manifests itself in the form of great distortions in stock markets and commodity markets. Why do you think you have seen financial stocks bounce around from $40 a share one month to $85 two months later, back down to $30 a share six months later, and up to $90 a share one month later? Why do you think you’ve seen gold plunge from over $1,000 an ounce in futures markets to $680 an ounce and then climb right back to more than $950 an ounce?
So the lessons to be learned are these:
(1) Volatility, due to massive fraud and free market intervention, is here to stay.
(2) To know how to play this volatility, you have to be able to analyze the situations properly and understand if fraudulent schemes are sustainable over the long-term or if they are only sustainable over the short-term.
(3) By taking step (2) into consideration above, you will know if rising financial share prices are a house of cards ready to tumble again or if they are a good long term play; if tumbles in gold prices should be interpreted as the end of a gold bull or a great buying opportunity; if oil prices are likely to remain low for a while or if a rapid spike in prices is likely in the future; and so on.
Do this, and you can make volatility your friend and not your enemy, because for now, volatility is here to stay.
My Note: I highly Recommend visiting SmartKowledgeU and signing up for the free newsletter, I did… – jschulmansr
One other note: In Comex Silver it is a few large banks which represent over 90% of the short interest, and Gold has a similar situation where the shorts there are in on an average around $750 – $850oz, where the short positions where initiated. How long will they be able to hang in there? If Comex actually follows thru along with the CFTC in their investigation and these positions come to light… Wow what a potential “Short Squeeze”! We could see a frenzy where Gold will shoot to $1500 and Silver to $25-$50 oz easy. – We will see… – jschulmansr
Source: Monday Morning
Gold’s performance in 2008 could look like a real yawner.
After all, it only managed to eke out a 5.7% gain. Not the kind you’d normally brag about over cocktails.
As we rang in the 2009 New Year, gold at $850 an ounce (in U.S. dollars) was roughly 15% below its all-time record high, set in March 2008.
But everything in life is perspective. In a year when oil lost 59%, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was down 38%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average gave back 30%, things could certainly be worse for gold bullion investors. Much worse, in fact. Just ask the typical investor about his portfolio: He’s likely to grumble, and change the subject.
As it turns out, 2008 marks the eighth consecutive year that gold has clocked a positive annual return. It’s now starting to look like the trade of the decade.
Truth be told, many are disappointed with gold’s behavior during the October-November stock-market panic, too. But here again, it’s all relative. When we compare the Standard & Poor 500 Index (a proxy for the market) with the SPDR GLD Trust (an ETF proxy for Gold) (GLD), we know where we’d rather have our money.
As this chart shows, from September to December, gold, despite its volatility, ended essentially flat in U.S. dollar terms, yet shows a marked recovery since the end of November. The S&P, on the other hand, looks like an Alpine ski hill heading for Jackson Hole. The divergence between the two is remarkable.
During last fall’s violent stock market downdraft, the U.S. Dollar Index (USDX) put on a spectacular, unprecedented two month – 15% rally. Spectacular, because to get even a 10% move over an entire year is a big deal for any major currency.
But gold is still (mistakenly) considered by many as the “anti-dollar.” So its behavior during a U.S. dollar rally does not come as a complete shock in hindsight.
First, try going out there and buying an ounce of physical gold. In normal times, the average coin dealer will charge in the neighborhood of 3% above spot price. This past November, that premium shot up by 3-5 times, with many charging 10%-15% above spot, plus eight weeks or more for delivery. So when buying an ounce of gold, how realistic is the spot price, especially during a panic? In the midst of the mayhem, one larger Canadian precious metals dealer, Kitco, saw its list of products shrivel overnight from about 16 items to merely three, due to a lack of supply.
Second, gold is quoted in U.S. dollars around the world. But India is the single-largest gold market, with the rest of Asia showing a strong affinity for the universally cherished yellow metal. Throw in Europe and Latin America, and you can see how most of the world looks at gold through entirely different lenses – through their own currencies.
To be fair, let’s gain some distance from our own provincial viewpoint by taking a small trip around the globe. This way, we can get a handle on how the price of gold has behaved elsewhere.
During the anomalous spike in the U.S. dollar last fall, the European euro lost considerable ground against it. So gold priced in euros shot up. March saw the record of near € 650 gold bettered in September by € 670 gold. Europeans were clearly happy with gold’s behavior, which currently sits around an all-time euro high of € 720.
Gold priced in British pounds sterling has performed astoundingly well. Brits saw gold at £500 per ounce in March, then £530 in September, and £600 by year’s end. Gold, now at £650, is still setting new record levels, dating back to 1717 when they began keeping records.
Canadian gold investors have few gripes. In March of last year, gold was trading at C$1,003; by late September, the price was up by nearly C$50. And right now, it hovers at a record C$1,160 level. Despite the amazing strength the Canadian dollar has shown in recent years, gold has performed very well in this resource-based currency.
Brazil is the most populous country in Latin America. And gold’s performance in the Brazilian real did not disappoint either. The record set in March at R$ 1,719 per ounce was easily surpassed in September with a sharp spike to R$2,069. Today, it sits at R$2,115; which is R$415, or 24%, above its March levels.
India’s currency is the rupee (INR). And for traditional, cultural, and even practical reasons, Indians are the biggest gold investors on the planet. As in much of the rest of the world, gold set a record near INR41,000 in March. It then pulled back in July, but spiked to a new record near INR43,000 in September. At roughly INR45,800 today, gold is priced way above its previous March and September 2008 record levels.
Chinese and Japanese Gold
If anyone should be disappointed with the performance of gold over the past year, it is investors in China and Japan. Gold’s record in March, at CNY (yuan) 7,050, has not been bettered yet. September saw a spike back near the CNY6,250 level, and gold currently rests at a price of roughly CNY6,400 per ounce.
Japan’s gold price hasn’t fared much better. The March record near ¥100,000 per ounce remains unchallenged. Gold managed a rally to ¥95,000 in September, but has since fallen back to the ¥84,850 level.
So as the U.S. dollar rose late last year, the Chinese yuan and Japanese yen were the two major currencies that tagged along, making gold investors relative losers in those nations. The Chinese and Japanese 2008 gold experience differs little from the American one. And yet, gold in U.S. dollars is currently just 8% shy of its all time record at $1,023.50.
Despite the recent American, Chinese and Japanese gold experience, most of the rest of the world’s gold investors are a happy lot. When converting the price back into their home currency, those investors are basking in its glow, while gold sits at or near all-time record highs.
For now, however, gold is still priced in dollars for many market participants. The same is true for all other commodities. I expect that will change over the next several years. Scores of foreign central banks have indicated their intentions to lower levels of dollar-denominated reserves to reduce exposure. Meanwhile, Kuwait has dropped its dollar peg, opting instead for a basket of currencies. And Iran already trades some of its oil for non-U.S. dollar currencies.
As the U.S. dollar continues to lose value – and hence, its influence – on the world stage, commodities are increasingly likely to be priced either in local money, or to be quoted in a variety of currencies.
Heck, commodities may even be priced in quantities of gold before this is all over. Gold investors can only hope. For now, as new price records are regularly being established, most aren’t complaining about the value of their gold.
With their sights set on breathtaking new heights to come, American, Chinese, and Japanese gold investors are sure to see their patience rewarded, as have already so many of their fellow investors the world over.
Catch the New Bull! – Buy Gold Online – Get 1 gram free just for opening account!, no minimums – Buy Safely, quickly, and at low prices, guaranteed! – Bullion Vault.com
In yesterday’s post I included a partial list of tier 2, tier 3 junior mining companies to check out, and after doing your due diligence; potentially invest in. Some Bargains in there at or near book values.
Ever seen what happens to a piece of meat thrown into a tank full of vicious piranhas?
The water is whipped into a froth and within seconds the meatless bone sinks to the bottom. There’s virtually nothing left.
The same thing is about to happen in the gold bullion market.
After some apparent weakness in Asian markets, gold powered higher Monday as news of the Japanese economic rout sent global markets into freefall. The only thing that stopped it from happening in the Unites States was the mixed blessing of a holiday keeping markets closed.
I say mixed, because a second day of selling overseas means the American market will have two days of pent up selling pressure to be unleashed as the market opened Tuesday morning.
The news keeps getting worse out of global G7 economies, and that has investors flocking to gold in recognition of its safe haven role.
ETFs are the biggest consumers of physical gold right now, and last week global ETFs took down the equivalent of 5% of the annual world gold production in just one week.
SPDR Gold Trust GLD.PGLD.A, popularly known as GLD, said the gold bullion it owned rose by more than 100 tonnes to 970.57 tonnes as of Thursday, which marked the biggest weekly gain in the history of the gold-backed exchange-traded fund.
One does want to bear in mind that all ETFs are not created equally. There are very few, in fact, that hold their full portfolio worth completely in physical bullion. It is incumbent upon the investor to read carefully the information provided by ETF vendors. While there has yet to be an instance of ETF-related fraud (that I’m aware of), ETFs are nonetheless a paper representation of the physical bullion, and therefore presents the opportunity for subterfuge.
This is the phase of the secular gold bull that silences all gold critics, and puts smiles on the faces of gold bugs that is so wide their heads threaten to fall in half! This is also the phase where the herd mentality starts to get folks looking around for the nearest bandwagon to jump on. Most of the bandwagons have rattled off into the sunset, though, so there will be a lot of head scratching as the left behind try to figure out how to get in the game.
Investors need to beware though. As gold demand increases so will volatility, as the sheer number of investors means profit-taking is likely to cause same-day leaps and drops by as much as $100 per ounce.
That’s because there are a lot of investors who will be taking profit off the table as the price ratchets higher, and the see-saw effect threatens tender hearts with life-threatening cardiac sincerity.
If you’re late to the game, the trick might be to a look a little further down the road than where the vultures are already fighting over the last few American Eagles or Krugerrands to what will inevitably be the next meal for the hungry mob – mining companies.
In particular, mining companies that boast near-to-production Canadian National Instrument 43-101 compliant resources. There are more than a few of them out there. With the intense interest that will follow a gold price spike, these companies will be able to raise a lot of capital at premium levels, and that will speed up the timeline to production in a lot of cases.
Other companies are not going to themselves go into production, and instead are developing huge deposits for joint venture or outright sale to major and mid-tier mining companies. Important here is the existence of agreements with aboriginal groups (if applicable) and stable democratic jurisdictions. Projects in Canada, the United States, Australia, and Mexico rank highest, with those in Peru, Chile, Colombia and Argentina, followed by African nations. Highest risk are those with socialist governments or military regimes, such as Ecuador, Venezuela, Russia, Mongolia.
Information is the key to successfully investing in the juniors, and keeping abreast of developments on a day-by-day basis is the secret to not losing your shirt.
Investing in juniors is risky, but in the current environment, investing in blue chip stocks, treasuries, mutual funds and financials is far riskier.
After another strong week last week (both gold and silver were up some 3%) despite falling stock markets, gold continues its outperformance of other asset classes due to safe haven demand. It has surged again overnight in Asia and is now at 7 month highs and looks very likely to target its record high of $1,000/oz in the coming days.
Resistance at $950/oz was sailed through very easily overnight and the next level of resistance is $980/oz prior to a likely challenge of $1,000/oz in the coming days.
click to enlarge
With the global economy slowing very sharply, international demand remains very strong as seen in gold coin, bar, certificate and exchange traded fund demand. ETF holdings of the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded reached a record 985.86 tonnes as of February 13, up 15.29 tonnes or 1.6% from the previous day. The trust’s gold holdings are up a very significant 205 tonnes, or 26% in just the first six weeks of the year (see chart below).
Besides increasing retail, pension and institutional demand, many central banks are increasingly favourable to gold. Russia’s central bank has increased gold’s share in reserves, and plans to continue this trend in 2009, first deputy chairman told Reuters in an interview on Monday. The ECB Eurosystem’s reserves of gold and gold receivables increased EUR 1 million to EUR218.320 billion in the week ended Jan. 30.
Gold’s strength in recent days is particularly impressive as it comes in conjunction with a stronger dollar. However, this “strength” is more a function of a weakening in most fiat currencies internationally versus the dollar.
Gold has risen above £675/oz and €760/oz reached new record highs in many other currencies such as the South African rand and the Canadian dollar.
This bodes well for gold prices in the coming weeks as when the dollar begins to weaken again in the coming weeks, which seems very likely, then gold should rise even more sharply and target levels above $1,200/oz in the coming months.
Importantly, the commonly quoted COMEX gold price is actually lagging considering the extent of international demand as seen in the charts above.
And this marked rise in demand comes at a time when world gold production is actually falling.
While investment demand remains very strong and is increasing, there are growing fears about the declining supply of gold – the world’s mine gold supply has been falling in recent years and it fell to 2,385 tonnes last year, down 3.6 per cent from 2007 (despite the rise in prices in recent years).
This is a recipe for markedly higher prices in the coming months and the inflation adjusted high of some $2,400/oz looks more and more likely in the next few years.
Disclosure: no positions
Gold -“Catch Me If You Can” – Whichever way you invest remember to do your due diligence especially if investing in the “junior” gold mining companies. I usually only invest in those companies which have production or are set to start producing in the very near term future… – Good Investing! – jschulmansr
Nothing in today’s post should be considered as an offer to buy or sell any securities or other investments; it is presented for informational purposes only. As a good investor, consult your Investment Advisor/s, Do Your Due Diligence, Read All Prospectus/s and related information carefully before you make any investing decisions and/or investments. – jschulmansr