July 17, 2024

Ten Reasons Gold Is Not Above $1,000

Gold reached its all time high price above $1,000 per ounce a few days after the shocking Bear Stearns bailout. In the following months gold often experienced sharp declines and has stubbornly refused to reattain the key $1,000 level despite more shocking bailouts, bank failures, and bankruptcies.

Reporters, analysts, and bloggers have cited a variety of reasons why gold has not exploded higher amidst the ongoing turmoil. Some of the reasons are more valid than others, but all are worth examining. Without further ado, the Gold and Silver Blog brings you the Top Ten Reasons Gold Is Not Above $1,000:

1.) Dollar Strength

Against nearly every world currency, the US Dollar has been strengthening. The Dollar’s path higher has accelerated in recent weeks. Gold is thought of as a weak dollar play. With the dollar strengthening, selling gold is simply the other side of the trade.

2.) Commodity Collapse

Since the summer months, commodities have been on the rapid decline. Oil has fallen by more than half from its peak price of $147. Base metals and precious metals have experienced similar if not more drastic declines. While gold has been holding up well on a relative basis, the weakness in commodities may be keeping any price appreciation at bay.

3.) Deleveraging

After years of using excessive leverage in an attempt to maximize returns, firms are rediscovering the notion of risk. Massive deleveraging is taking place as firms sell any asset available to pay down debt. As an asset class, gold is not immune to such sales.

4.) Speculative Selling

With the dollar rallying and gold breaching key technical levels, traders may be taking speculative short positions in gold, anticipating that prices will continue to move lower. This speculative selling compounds the impact of selling taking place for other reasons.

5.) Recession

Fears of a worldwide economic slowdown and deep domestic recession will have a big impact on consumer discretionary purchases. This would likely hold especially true for luxury items such as jewelry.  Since jewelry production is the largest non-investment use for gold, any slowdown would put a drag on demand.

6.) Deflation

While some fear inflation, others fear deflation. If prices decline across the board, some believe that all asset classes will be dragged down, including gold. Notably some people take the exact opposite position about gold and deflation.

7.) Hedge Funds and Mutual Funds

Some people feel that hedge funds had a hand in driving the price of gold from below $300 to above $1,000. Now that fortunes have turned for their other investments, hedge funds are being forced to unmercifully liquidate large positions in gold. Mutual funds are also being forced to liquidate positions in gold to meet redemptions.

8.) “George Costanza Trade”

On Seinfeld, George Costanza realized that every decision he ever made has been wrong. He discovered if he did the exact opposite of what his instincts told him to do, he would be successful. In relation to investing, when everyone believes that a certain trade or investment philosophy is certain to work, oftentimes with uncanny precision the exact opposite happens. This year, a growing number of people began to believe with absolute certainty that gold would move higher. While the opinion was far from universal, was the opinion widespread enough to invoke George Costanza?

9.) Government Manipulation

There is a growing camp which believes that the primary reason that gold has not moved higher in a big way is due to government manipulation. If gold prices skyrocketed, the public at large would lose faith in fiat currencies and start to panic. It would be in the government’s best interests if this did not happen.

10.) These Things Take Time

Some of the forces mentioned above are going head to head with the economic realities that should be driving the price of gold higher. Eventually we will reach a tipping point when demand for physical gold is enough to overwhelm all other factors. Once we reach that point, the price of gold will rise in leaps and bounds.