Is there such a thing as a gold season?
Slogans like "Sell in May and go away" are well-known from the
equity markets, and often seasonal patterns such as growing stock prices in
the winter months or the year-end rally, are subject to statistical studies.
Is there also a seasonal behavior in gold?
In order to spot similar patterns on the
gold market, we should look at a seasonal chart first. In contrast to normal
charts it does not show the price developments for a certain period. On the
contrary, it shows the average price development for several years depending
on the season. Therefore, an average based on the prices of 30 years is
calculated. The chart's x-axis shows the month, the y-axis shows the price.
Thus, seasonal patterns can precisely be recognized in the chart.
It can be seen in the chart that there
are two main phases in the course of the year. From July 6 to January 17 of
the subsequent year, the gold price rose by an average of 6.23%. In this
period of more than six months, the gold price rose more than in the whole of
the year! In 18 out of 30 years gold prices rose in this period of the year,
only in 12 years they showed losses. In profitable years average yield was at
15.77%, in loss years it was at -6.62%. On the other hand, the gold price on
average fell in the time between January 17 and July 6 over a period of
almost six months. The subsequent table shows the percentage yield of gold in
the favorable season.
Start End Yield
7/6/2000 1/16/2001 -7.05 %
7/6/2001 1/16/2002 8.13 %
7/8/2002 1/16/2003 14.43 %
7/7/2003 1/16/2004 16.78 %
7/6/2004 1/17/2005 7.67 %
7/6/2005 1/16/2006 32.73 %
7/6/2006 1/16/2007 -1.11 %
7/6/2007 1/16/2008 34.06 %
7/7/2008 1/16/2009 -8.98 %
7/6/2009 1/18/2010 22.55 %
7/6/2010 1/17/2011 14.26 %
7/6/2011 1/16/2012 7.53
Is there also an autumn rally in the
gold market? Even though December on average was not a favorable month, the
performance from November 1 to January 16 is notable. In the last 30 years,
the gold price rose by an average of 3.11% in this period with a duration of
52 trading days. That means 50% of the yield was generated in less than 20% of
the year. Once again, there were 18 favorable years and 12 loss years. In
favorable years average yield was at 7.76%, in loss years the gold price
showed average losses of -3.48%.
How stable are these seasonal phases?
How likely is a similar seasonal price development in the coming years? Among
other things, that depends on the reasons underlying the measurable seasonal
development. Only if these reasons exist now and in future, they can still
have effects in the future and increase the chance of a price movement.
Holidays are constantly mentioned - from Christmas to the Chinese New Year to
India's wedding season. The purchase of gold for the use as jewelery seems to have a strong seasonal character. But
what is about people who use gold only as a store of value? Here too,
seasonal influences are conceivable which maybe are caused by market
sentiments, political or financial accumulations, or interactions in other
markets. However, these seasonal influences are more difficult to name and
hardly discussed so far.
Whoever concludes that gold has a
sufficiently stable seasonal price development, can not only use this as a
trader but also as long-term investor, by purchasing and selling whenever
prices are low or high. However even if there is a seasonal pattern
exceptional years can occur in which gold prices develop is different to the
average. The season can only be one of many factors influencing the price.