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Gold Bears Continue Growling

Yesterday the gold price fell once again, although a better than expected HSBC PMI report from China helped to support prices.

Both the gold and silver price found little support in comments from Fed President William Dudley who said the US economy was too weak for tapering at this time. Attention will now be turned towards the US GDP data released later this week.

Dazed and confused

Everyone appears to be wandering around a little dazed and confused at the moment. Having been so sure that tapering had been clearly signalled by the Fed, investors now appear to be in limbo. Many still expect tapering, however whether it will be in December or with the arrival of the new Chair, noone knows.

Both Citigroup and Morgan Stanley joined the goldbears yesterday. Citigroup analysts expect gold to drop below $1,250 should the Fed decide to taper asset purchases, whilst Morgan Stanley see the yellow metal averaging between $1200 and $1350 in the coming months before heading lower. Morgan Stanley also attributed their bearish outlook on the potential tapering.

Citigroup left their silver price outlook unchanged. They believe the price of silver will drop from $21.45 in Q3 to $20.20 in Q4. Morgan Stanley are also down on the precious metal, stating that silver will average $21.01 for 2014.

Explaining their gold price prediction, Morgan Stanley analysts wrote:

    The postponement is only delaying the inevitable,…The longer-term narrative for gold remains in place — waning investor appetite for a risk and inflation hedge, challenged physical demand and a rising U.S. dollar.

There is little doubt that QE has helped to fuel some of gold’s rise in the last five years. How much influence it had, however, is something the gold bulls and bears disagree on. For JP Morgan, the past five years of gold’s performance have been entirely due to gold. Therefore, they believe, the decision not to taper last week means there is further opportunity for gold to rise. The also cite ‘much cleaner’ positions following the outflows from ETFs and the increase in physical buying in Asia.

We do not necessarily agree that the past five years have been entirely thanks to Bernanke, but he has certainly helped. The other factors mentioned by JP Morgan such as physical gold demand, have always been present. It’s just that it is now so huge that it can no longer be ignored.

Buy gold in Singapore

This morning Bloomberg reported on Singapore’s ongoing quest to be the centre of gold-price referencing in south east Asia. According to the site, the government of Singapore are working to lure Thailand’s top five gold traders by offering relaxed rules and tax incentives to those who open offices in the country. This opportunity is likely to look more incentivising as traders wait to see if the Bank of Thailand will decide to impose controls on the gold market.

The success of currency competition

In a tale Hayek fans might well be pleased with, Zimbabwe’s Finance Minister has said that he will retain the multi-currency regime, ‘for an indefinite period’. The country currently uses the US dollar, South African rand and the Botswana pula, and other currencies are also purportedly used. The country has seen some success in the currency regime, having only achieved growth once it was introduced. No one has any faith in the sovereign currency (i.e. in the central bank) according to the minister following the record hyperinflation it experienced.