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Gold "Entrenched in Tight Range" as "Lazy Summer Trading" Wears On

Commodities / Gold and Silver 2010 Jul 19, 2010 - 07:48 AM GMT

By: Adrian_Ash

Commodities

THE PRICE OF GOLD ticked lower in London on Monday morning, slipping towards new 8-week lows at $1185 an ounce in what one dealer called "very quiet" trade.

Gold trading in Asia was also "lazy" according to one local dealer, as the US Dollar reversed last week's late gain against the Euro on the FX market and silver dropped 10¢ to $17.80 an ounce.


Asian stocks outside China's 2.6% gain all finished lower, but Eurozone equities then rose as crude oil crept back above $76 per barrel and major-economy government bonds slipped back.

"Despite its sharp declines [on Friday] the gold price managed to hold its recent low and thus remains entrenched in its $1218/$1185 range for the time being," says one London trader in a note.

"Traditionally July and August have been quiet months for gold, but we do not think any pull back in the short term will be substantial, because of the current uncertainty in the macroeconomic outlook," says Tony Yousefian, a manager at London's OPM multi-manager funds group, speaking to UK trade magazine Investment Week and forecasting an 11% gain for gold buyers by end-2010.

Short term, "Price direction is probably down for this week and gold will spend more time around $1180 and $1190 levels," reckons analyst Robin Bhar at Credit Agricole, also in London.

"Prices looked overbought and everybody was very long gold."

Speculative traders in the US gold futures market cut their bullish "long" betting for the third week running in the week-to-last-Tuesday, new data from the CFTC regulator showed late on Friday.

Cutting their holdings of bearish "short" contracts faster still, however, gold trading hedge funds, private investors and other speculative players grew their "net long" position (of bullish minus bearish bearish bets) by the equivalent of 10 tonnes to 862 tonnes.

Down 15% in 3 weeks, that compares with a 5-year average of 693 tonnes.

On the other side of the trade, meantime, the so-called "smart money" of commercial traders (acting for miners, refiners and bullion banks) extended their "net short" position, but only by 1.2%.

As a proportion of all bullish or bearish contracts open last Tuesday, the commercial sector's net short crept up to its long-term average of 35.6%, just above the previous week's 19-month low.

"We remain encouraged by the positive response from the gold physical market to what was only a marginal decline in the gold price," says today's commodity note from South Africa's Standard Bank analysts.

"With interest rates low and sovereign debt problems high, the investment case for gold is still intact [and] we expect it to remain healthy throughout 2010."

After the International Monetary Fund and European Union pulled out of reviewing their joint €19.4 billion rescue package for Hungary on Saturday – blaming Budapest's new banking tax and weak "austerity" measures – the sovereign debt of Ireland was today downgraded one notch to Aa2 by the Moody's rating agency, albeit with a "stable outlook".

The Euro jumped regardless, gaining 1¢ to trade within spitting distance of Friday's 11-week high against the Dollar at $1.30.

The single currency also re-touched Friday's 11-week high against gold, driving the gold price in Euros back below €29,500 per kilo.

Gold priced in Pounds Sterling was flat below £780 an ounce.

"Every single person out there should own some gold," said celebrity analyst and money manager Jim Cramer to his CNBC viewers on Friday, noting the start of what he believes to be a traditional summer sale in the metal.

"We have an uncertain world. If the economy over-heats people like gold. If the economy's weak people buy gold. If we get chaos people like gold.

"There are going to be days when gold goes down, but you must have at least a tenth of your portfolio in gold. I love to buy it on weakness."

By Adrian Ash
BullionVault.com

Gold price chart, no delay | Free Report: 5 Myths of the Gold Market
Formerly 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 www.BullionVault.com , giving you direct access to investment gold, vaulted in Zurich , on $3 spreads and 0.8% dealing fees.

(c) BullionVault 2010

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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