Another tough day for gold yesterday. The metal looks like it could test support at $1,600/oz, depending on the noises coming from governments in the run up to the weekend’s G20 gathering in Moscow. The short-term problem for gold bulls remains: central bank QE has temporarily succeeded in geeing up markets, and has got equity bulls partying like it’s 1999. Gold could be on course for its lowest weekly close since August, with chart-watchers keeping a close eye on the 50 and 200-day moving averages ($1,670 and $1,665 respectively) for clues as to where the price may be heading next.
Amphora Commodities’ John Butler provides good analysis of the goings on in the currency wars this week – noting that the splits in the G7 over the yen question do not auger well for any kind of consensus among the G20, with more countries involved and hence more interests at stake. He also notes – little commented on by the media – that the Chinese appear to have stopped allowing the yuan to appreciate against the dollar since November. The CNYUSD thus bears watching in the coming months for indicators that Beijing is once again pursuing a “soft-peg” against the dollar. If this does prove to be the case – and provided that the Dollar Index remains firm – then it would be rational to expect the Fed to up its quantitative easing efforts (again).
In other news, central banks bought more gold last year than in any year since 1964. Remember though who the buyers are: developing nations. In particular, Asian gold demand is key.
Probably 75% of the “Jewellery” cited above is held for monetary reasons. Indians and other Asians prefer to fabricate their savings as pieces of jewellery, while in the West, we prefer to fabricate our gold as coins and bars. Monetary gold (whether held privately or in central banks, and also whether held as coins, bars or high-karat jewellery) is a far larger portion of total aboveground gold than official figures would suggest.