Gold prices rose back to $1,730 per ounce in early
London trade on Friday – the same level seen just before last week's
late jump and subsequent 2.0% sell-off on Wednesday.
Silver touched a new eight-week high just shy of $34.40
per ounce, while the broader commodities market ticked lower.
Major-government debt prices were flat. So too were
European stock markets.
New data today showed euro-zone unemployment hitting a
post-unification record of 11.7%.
The German Bundestag voted 473 to 100 to approve the
latest €44 billion aid to Greece.
"[Gold demand from] central banks could help the
price, specifically South American banks," says one London trader in a
"But that's demand for the long run, and our days
are made of shorter-term decisions."
Latest data from the US Mint showed a strong rise in
sales of gold
coins to retail dealers in late November.
Holdings in exchange-traded trust products (gold ETFs)
rose globally to a new record high of 2,619.4 tonnes
according to Bloomberg.
"[That's] proof that gold remains in high demand
as a store of value and a safe haven despite all the price
fluctuations," says this morning's note from Commerzbank in Frankfurt.
"My average [gold price]
forecast for 2013 is $1,920," says David Jollie at Mitsui, the Japanese trading conglomerate. He
was the winner in 2011 of the London Bullion Market Association's silver
"We expect investment demand to remain robust in
China," adds the latest monthly report from Standard Bank's precious
metals analysts here in London.
"The reasons for the expected rise in gold
investment demand in China are broad-based and, we believe, very similar to
those in many other countries...substantial monetary stimulus and low or
negative real interest rates."
Speaking today to Reuters, Marcus Grubb, director for
investment at market-development organization the World Gold Council, said
"There's evidence already that the Chinese economy is bottoming out, and
beginning to recover again.
"[Gold will] have strength into Q1 next year on
Chinese New Year," Grubb added, forecasting a 10% rise in 2013 gold
demand from this year's likely 800-tonne total.
"I think you'll see China perform strongly in 2013
as the economy recovers."