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Gold Swoons as Stocks Bounce

Commodities / Gold & Silver 2009 Mar 03, 2009 - 09:49 AM GMT

By: Adrian_Ash

Commodities THE PRICE OF GOLD slipped to fresh 3-week lows at the New York opening on Tuesday, dropping 2.2% to $907 per ounce as world stock markets bounced everywhere but London.

Crude oil rallied above $41 per barrel. Long-dated Treasury bonds fell, pushing interest rates higher.

"Will the ghost of margin calls return to haunt the gold market once again?" asks London dealer Mitsui today after the US stock market plunged 12% last month to its worst levels since 1997.

In mid-2008 the Dollar Gold Price swooned, even while market analysts forecast "safe haven" gains amid the quickening financial crisis, as speculators using borrowed money to trade gold were forced to close their positions.

Now, "with gold in Rupee terms approaching fresh highs, we are unlikely to see [Indian] buying enthusiasm return this week, and once again scrap flows will likely dominate," the London metals dealer continues in its Gold Investment analysis.

"Upside momentum remains intact over the medium term, but this market needs the return of Gold ETF buying before we can consider another stab of $1,000 possible."

Looking at the flurry of press comment on gold – both bullish and bearish – in the Western media, "There is no doubt that gold is getting a lot of coverage in the media," says Daniel Sacks of Investec Asset Management.

Sacks writes today for the London Telegraph 's special new Gold Investing section of its website.

"However," he goes on, "it does not appear that we are approaching the stress point that a market often reaches near the end of a sustained price move as the graph becomes parabolic."

In the broader financial markets Tuesday morning, the US Federal Reserve launched $200 billion aimed at making credit more available to consumers and small business.

The new program – the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility – may generate up to $1 trillion of new lending, says the Fed. But "the new [Obama] administration's stuttering attempts to repair the US banking and lending mechanisms so far suggests that by late 2010, the specter of a second dip into recession will be looming large," reckons one Merrill Lynch economist.

"[Only] at each corner where a policeman is stationed [do] we witness a decline in crime," agrees the chief economist at Wachovia. Credit conditions only improve in those markets "where the Fed focuses its liquidity facilities."

Back here in London, "I've given the Bank of England powers to put money into the economy," says finance minister Alistair Darling in an interview.

"We've given them the levers. They may decide this month that it's appropriate to do so."

The Bank of England meets tomorrow, and is expected to cut UK interest rates to a fresh all-time low of 0.5% on Thursday.

Press reports say the Bank's first attempt at Quantitative Easing (a.k.a. money printing) will pump £150 billion into short-term government bonds, boosting prices and depressing market-set interest rates.

Meantime in Europe – where capital flight out of newly-joined states has sparked a crisis in their emerging-market currencies – monetary affairs commissioner Joaquin Almunia told the European Policy Centre think tank today that the European Union would step in to rescue a failed member state before emergency aid from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) became necessary.

"Don't fear," he said in his speech. "We are equipped intellectually, politically, economically to face this crisis scenario.

"It's not clever to tell you the solution in public. But the solution exists. By definition, this kind of thing should not be explained."

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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