Bond yields have risen again, the euro zone has been hit by a fresh wave of doubt over its ability to manage the sovereign debt crisis and the UK finds itself in recession once again, so why has gold fallen $40 per ounce this week?
To quote Shakespeare, “All that glitters is not gold; often you have heard that told”. Traditionally gold thrives in turbulent markets since it is regarded by investors as a safe haven asset, but a surprisingly strong U.S. dollar has quelled the price of gold. In fact the strong greenback has done more than just negate the euro zone impact; it has caused the price to retreat. As the graph below shows, gold has been locked in a downward trend channel this week. This is a perfect example of how one cannot hope to predict the movement of gold by looking at only one dimension; its valuation is the product of many variables.
Spot Gold (Dollars per ounce) for the week beginning April 30 th
The decline represents gold’s biggest weekly drop for a month as it plunged towards the psychological $1600 per ounce level.
The dollar has strengthened against a majority of major currencies resulting in dollar-priced commodities, such as gold, becoming weighed down. Far from the U.S, in India, a weak Indian Rupee has made dollar priced commodities relatively expensive for buyers, curbing demand in the world’s largest consumer of bullion.
U.S. non-farm pay rolls data fell short of expectations on Friday which did see gold briefly jump to $1640 per ounce; although moving outside the trend channel it almost instantly retreated back within the range. Lower than expected figures will further fuel speculation of more quantitative easing by the Federal Reserve, which would hurt the dollar and help gold reverse its recent losses.
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