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Gold Break Below $1,000 Finds Support at $990

Commodities / Gold & Silver 2009 Sep 25, 2009 - 06:59 AM GMT

By: Adrian_Ash


THE PRICE OF GOLD ticked higher early in Asian and London trade on Friday, briefly reaching $999 but remaining 1.3% below last week's finish after suffering its worst daily drop in three months.

Asian stock markets closed lower as European shares held flat – pegging the German Dax almost 2% down for the week.

Government bonds ticked higher. Crude oil traded at $66 per barrel after losing 4.5% on Thursday.

"Investors who were buying gold as a hedge against inflation on economic hopes are finding they have less appetite," says senior Fukitomi analyst Kazuhiko Saito, citing the weakness in oil prices and sudden volatility in equities.

As investors pushed equities higher despite a lack of strong data this month, says David Darst – chief investment strategist at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, speaking to the Chicago Tribune – an increasing number chose to hold gold "as a calming device, a financial Tylenol."

Here in London today, the five large market-makers who agree two "gold fixes" each day – both to clear outstanding orders and act as a benchmark price – set the AM Gold Fix at $997 an ounce.

That broke this month's second run of three consecutive days above $1,000.

Following Thursday's disappointing US home sales report, new data meantime confirmed a 20% drop in UK business investment, plus much-weaker-than-forecast growth in the Eurozone money supply.

On the monetary-policy front, Thursday saw the Bank of England, the European Central Bank (ECB) and the Swiss National Bank announce the end of US-Dollar liquidity injections to their local money markets, begun last year with help from the Federal Reserve.

The central banks will cease their 84-day Dollar loan auctions at the start of October. The offer of 7-day loans will then be withdrawn in Jan.

Bloomberg notes that the United States authorities have reduced their monetary support to the financial system, cutting it by 9% since March to $11.6 trillion of loans, guarantees and asset purchases.

"Investors finally started to lose faith in the yellow metal [on Thursday]" says one London dealer in a note today, pointing to yesterday's low of $991 as "key" support on a technical analysis.

"We [also] believe the $990 level is key support on a close basis," says Scotia Mocatta in its daily note, "as it has held since Sept 3rd."

Over in Tokyo today, the Nikkei share index sank almost 3% as the Yen rose to a 6-month high vs. the Dollar and added 1.2% vs. the Euro, driven by Japanese companies repatriating profits for tax purposes according to lone analyst.

The British Pound sank further from Thursday's 1.8% plunge – its worst daily drop on Sterling's trade-weighted index since March 9th.

That buoyed the gold price in Sterling above £620 an ounce, more than 6% higher for Sept. so far.

Gold priced in Euros held just shy of €680, down 0.7% from Friday last week but 2.5% better from the start of this month.

"Of note," says Walter de Wet, senior precious metals analyst at Standard Bank, "the gold:silver ratio [of gold to silver prices] has increased from 59.70 in New York trade yesterday to 61.95 this morning – signaling that silver has decoupled from gold in overnight trade."

Physical gold dealers reported a "very active market" as gold prices fell hard on Thursday, dropping $28 an ounce inside five hours.

MKS Finance in Geneva reports seeing "opportunity buying" as prices fell to the low $990s on Thursday, while Standard Bank reports strong "physical market buying interest in early Asian trade" today.

Over in the so-called "paper gold" market of derivatives and securitized metal, the world's largest Gold ETF – the SPDR – said its holdings shrank 0.7% yesterday as demand for its trust-based exposure to gold declined.

Open interest in US gold futures showed a small rise however from last week's 14-month record, increasing by 0.6%.

By Adrian Ash

Gold price chart, no delay | Free Report: 5 Myths of the Gold Market
City correspondent for The Daily Reckoning in London and a regular contributor to MoneyWeek magazine, Adrian Ash is the editor of Gold News and head of research at , giving you direct access to investment gold, vaulted in Zurich , on $3 spreads and 0.8% dealing fees.

(c) BullionVault 2009

Please Note: This article is to inform your thinking, not lead it. Only you can decide the best place for your money, and any decision you make will put your money at risk. Information or data included here may have already been overtaken by events – and must be verified elsewhere – should you choose to act on it.

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