Sterling Falls As UK Downgraded – Gold In GBP 1.8% Higher YTD
Today’s AM fix was USD 1,592.50, EUR 1,201.89 and GBP 1,051.85 per ounce.
Friday’s AM fix was USD 1,580.00, EUR 1,196.15 and GBP 1,034.78 per ounce.
Silver is trading at $29.27/oz, €22.14/oz and £19.41/oz. Platinum is trading at $1,631.50/oz, palladium at $749.00/oz and rhodium at $1,175/oz.
Gold rose $3.60 or 0.23% on Friday in New York and closed at $1,580.50/oz. Silver gained 0.28%. Gold fell 1.77% this week while silver slipped 3.49%.
Gold climbed in Asia, pulled back and then continued higher in Europe. Investors remain wary over the Italian election result and the risk of contagion to the monetary union.
Exit polls will be published around 1400 GMT. What will it mean for the euro remains to be seen, but gold bullion stayed above the 7 month low hit last week.
Russia and Turkey both increased their gold holdings for a second consecutive month in January, data from the IMF highlighted on Friday, continuing the trend for central banks to diversify their reserves.
HSBC releases a survey on China’s manufacturing sector at 0145 GMT; this sector hit a 2 year high last month.
The Nikkei soared to over a 4 year high on Monday after sources named Asian Development Bank President Haruhiko Kuroda, a strong supporter of aggressive quantitative easing as the next central bank chief. Cheap money rather than healthy economic growth is leading to stock market gains.
This week’s U.S. economic highlights include the Case-Shiller 20-city Index, FHFA Housing Price Index, New Home Sales, and Consumer Confidence on Tuesday, Durable Goods Orders and Pending Home Sales on Wednesday, Initial Jobless Claims, GDP, and Chicago PMI on Thursday, and Personal Income and Spending, Core PCE Prices, Michigan Sentiment, the ISM Index, and Construction Spending on Friday.
Hedge funds cut bets on a rally in gold by the most since 2007 which is bullish from a contrarian perspective as weak hands are shaken out of the market.
Less informed speculators are being knocked out of the market while the smart fundamentals driven money again accumulates with a focus on the long term.
Hedge funds and other large speculators reduced their net-long position in gold futures and options by 40% in the week ended February 19th to 42,318, the biggest drop since July 31, 2007, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data show.
Global holdings of exchange-traded products backed by Gold tumbled 1.6% last week, the most since August 2011, after minutes of a Fed policy meeting showed several officials said the central bank should be ready to vary the pace of their monthly bond purchases.
The pound weakened against the dollar, the euro and especially gold as currency markets reacted to Moody’s decision to downgrade Britain from AAA citing “continuing weakness in the UK’s medium-term growth outlook” and concerns over massive debt levels in the UK.
Market reaction has been muted with bonds reasonably firm and the FTSE higher. However, the move was already priced in. What is not priced in is a series of cuts which seem very likely given the appalling finances in the UK.
This will lead to weaker gilts, higher borrowing costs for the UK, inflation and a continuing fall in the pound against gold.
Gold is nearly 2% higher in sterling so far in 2013 after the 2.2% gain in 2012 and 10.5% gain in 2011.Goldcore
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