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Saturday, January 22, 2011
Friday, January 14, 2011
Gold's steep ascent continued in 2010, finishing the year in New York at $1,420.75. Though just shy of its all-time high of $1,432.50 registered on December 7th, gold nevertheless advanced some 29.5 percent from the prior year's close and scored its tenth consecutive annual increase.
Despite a rocky start - with prices dipping briefly under $1,360 an ounce on January 7th - 2011 promises to be another stellar year as the metal's bullish price drivers continue at full throttle.
I expect the price will very likely rise to the $1,700 level by year-end 2011. This would be a "modest" gain of "only" 19 percent from last year's closing price. And, with the right confluence of events, gold could quite possibly rise to $1,850 or higher by next New Year's Eve.
Over time and across currencies, bull markets in precious metals often last twenty years or more - so we should not be surprised to see the current decade-long advance continue for at least a few more years.
Indeed, I strongly believe gold will surpass $2,000 an ounce in the next few years . . . and I wouldn't be at all surprised to see gold reach $3,000 or higher at the next cyclical peak.
Gold prices are likely to remain volatile, registering big short-term swings both up and down. Although sizable intermittent price declines will lead some to question the bull market's staying power, the long-term trend, as noted above, will remain positive for years to come.
PHYSICAL DEMAND REMAINS FIRM
As we begin the New Year, physical demand in key world gold markets - especially China, India, and other Southeast Asian trading centers - has remained remarkably firm despite the record price levels prevailing in recent weeks.
In the past few years, each time gold prices reached for the big round numbers - $900, $1000, $1100, $1200, and $1300 - buying interest diminished and a return flow of price-sensitive old scrap weighed heavily on the market. But now, even with prices once again at or near all-time highs, physical demand remains remarkably strong and only limited quantities of old scrap are coming back to the market.
This suggests not only a continuing price appreciation and revaluation of gold - but also a mental re-evaluation and upward shift in expectations among many gold-market participants about the metal's future price.
If physical buying remains fairly firm - as I believe it will - we can expect that gold will soon advance to new all-time highs.
BULLISH PRICE DRIVERS
In brief, here are the seven fundamental reasons why gold's long-term outlook is rosy:
Number One: Inflation-producing U.S. monetary policies, irrational U.S. fiscal policies, little if any progress reversing growth in Federal debt, and a depreciating dollar overseas all promise rising inflation at home. Higher industrial and agricultural prices around the world and across currencies are a harbinger of things to come.
Number Two: No quick or easy solution to the Eurozone sovereign risk crisis, a widening economic schism across the continent, and possibly the demise of Europe's common currency, the euro, as it exists today.
Number Three: China's already huge and growing appetite for gold - both jewelry and investment - will continue in tandem with economic growth, rising personal incomes, worrisome inflation expectations, and pro-gold government policies.
Number Four: Rising long-term gold demand from India and other traditional Asian gold markets reflecting (as in China) growth in personal incomes and wealth, the maturation of local markets, and introduction of new gold investment vehicles and distribution channels.
Number Five: Increasing central-bank interest in gold will continue to underpin the market as countries (such as China and Russia) over weighted in U.S. dollar and euro currency reserves and under weighted in gold play catch-up - and as both the dollar and the euro continue to lose their appeal as official reserve assets.
Number Six: The continuing reevaluation of gold as a legitimate investment class is prompting greater participation from both retail and institutional investors in the United States and Europe, coupled with new products and channels of distribution (especially the growing popularity of gold exchange-traded funds) will continue to make gold more convenient, more attractive, and more accessible to more investors around the world.
Number Seven: Little or no growth of aggregate world gold-mine production for at least the next five years - with gold-mining nations absorbing more of their own production to meet domestic demand for jewelry, investment, and additions to central bank reserves.
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Gold rose above $1,420 an ounce coming into 2011 within 1 percent of its record high, and silver and palladium hit multi-year peaks, driven by pent-up demand on the first trading day of 2011.
While a firm dollar is limiting gains, expectations for more bad news on euro zone debt, concerns over potential inflation in developing economies and an increased focus on the U.S. deficit are set to maintain surging demand for gold, analysts said.
Pradeep Unni, senior analyst at Richcomm Global Services in Dubai, said fresh highs in gold were “likely” this year after the metal was becalmed over the Christmas holidays, with an initial target seen at $1,455-$1,480.
“Gold (steps) into the New Year with all its current fundamentals intact…. sovereign debt risk, macro uncertainty, concerns over currency stability, medium-term inflation fears as the U.S. Federal Reserve implements Quantitative Easing II, geopolitical tensions and low interest rates.”
Spot gold was bid at $1,420.40 an ounce at 1035 GMT (6:35 a.m. ET), against $1,419.45 late in New York on Friday. The precious metal hit a record $1,430.95 an ounce in December. European trade is expected to remain quiet, with London still on holiday.
U.S. gold futures for February delivery eased 40 cents an ounce to $1,421.00.
Bruce Krasting, former hedge fund manager predicts, that “volatility is going up across the board. If you have the stomach for the swings that are coming across all markets there is a ton of money to be made; balls and timing are all that are necessary.
Gold will be higher a year from now but off its peak. At some time in the fall, gold will be near 1,800 and the New York Times will do a front-page story that gold is on its way to 2,000. That will be the high point of the year.” So watch out you skeptics…cause spot silver has already risen to 30 year peak of 30.72 an ounce higher with our short positioned, Copper right behind as one of the oldest metals used in the development of civilization.
And, copper will continue to rise. This metal will benefit as the poor man’s gold. Why buy an ounce of something for $1,600 when you can have a whole pound of something else for only $5? The logic is compelling only because there is no logic. Increasingly, it will become understood that money does not hold value, but gold, silver and copper does and will.
These three metals remind me of the parable about the three men and the elephant, who had never seen an elephant before and were blindfolded, then asked to describe the new animal based on what they could perceive by touch. One man felt the trunk and said “It seems to be a large snake.” The second man felt the side of the elephant and said “It seems to be built like a wall.” The third man felt a leg and said “It seems to be built like a tree.” Neither had the ‘big picture,’ “As the central banks stimulate their economies for 2011, the ‘big picture’ will be revealed”,” says Regal Assets, “as it will only add fuel to the fire of the growing anxiety over rising inflation, and again bode well for gold.
Gold as a Reserve Currency
“Combining the fundamental factors discussed here and technical signals,” said Krasting, “the euro could break below $1.25 or even $1.20 sometime this year, which could drive gold up towards $1,600 levels. It is worth noting that gold priced in Euros has risen more than 38% so far in 2010, reaching a new record high above €34,475 per kilo, far outpacing gold’s nominal price gain (in dollars) of around 28%.”
“So in a way, gold is treated almost like a second reserve currency, replacing the Euro, and you would have gotten a better return getting into gold via the Euro. If the US dollar shows strength then gold will go to $2000/ounce. If the US dollar shows weakness it will go to $3000/ounce. It clearly points the way to invest, is in gold, which is the safest investment for 2011,” he added.
So, to recap, with the QE2, unemployment, foreclosures, geopolitical chaos and huge global inflation that will all contribute to a strong physical demand for gold, one needs to peak in on silver, which is already inching towards its 30-year peak supported by the strength in industrial metals such as copper. “Copper prices have been very firm, supporting silver as well as palladium,” added Regal Assets, “and that short-covering in silver also helped push prices higher. We expect silver to trade in the range of $30 to $35 this year, with $40 as a potential target. Buying silver isn’t just a way to back up your investments in the New Year. It’s now a profit play, too. And you could be earning real gains with the other precious metal alongside gold. The silver market is small. But the profits aren’t. You can turn silver into golden gains!” Call Regal Assets today, and you’ll have a great year!