Thursday, October 23, 2008

Gold's recent slump bewilders investors

Why? Going back to mid-September, with gold at $882.00 we've been posting headlines like:
September 15
Credit Contraction, Deleveraging and the Coming Interest Rate Cut
September 25
The Great Deleveraging (and what it means)
September 29
House Votes Down Bailout Bill; Dow Down 701. AND: The New Biggest Risk of All – DEFLATION
September 30
The Financial Times Sings Praise of Gold. They're wrong
Oct. 1
Wealthy investors hoard bullion
Oct. 2
"Retail investors seek haven in gold coins amid crisis"- They're Early (or Late)
On a couple days that gold popped up to $920 it made us feel silly but we've grown accustomed to that feeling. December gold was recently quoted at $707.20 down another $28.00 with spot gold changing hands at $706.40 down $21.80.
From MarketWatch:

World Gold Council points to fund liquidation, stronger dollar, stock markets
Gold is often seen as an investment safe haven whose prices tend to rise when the economy falls into troubles, but its recent slumps have defied conventional wisdom.
Gold futures hit a historic high above $1,000 an ounce a few days after Bear Stearns was taken over by JP Morgan Chase & Co. on March 14. But in the recent round of crises triggered by the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. gold has fallen to below $730. The metal has so far lost more than $150 in October.

The reason, according to analysts at the World Gold Council, was that the latest bout of the credit crisis has been deeper and more far reaching. Funds were forced to sell desired assets such as gold to meet margin calls, while weakness in European economies lifted the U.S. dollar, which then pushed dollar-denominated gold prices lower.

"The fact that gold did not head higher during the current leg of the crisis seems to reflect a combination of the rise in the dollar, deleveraging of commodity positions, sales to meet margin calls, and the unwinding of the long gold, short dollar trade," Natalie Dempster, an analyst at the WGC, wrote in a research report released Thursday....MUCH MORE