Gold down but remains within sight of record

By Amanda Cooper

LONDON (BestGrowthStock) – Gold slipped for the first time in three sessions on Monday but remained near record highs after a pick-up in the dollar dented precious metals prices.

The gold price has risen by about 5 percent in the last five trading days, driven by the drop in the U.S. currency after the Federal Reserve last week detailed its plans to buy over half a trillion dollars’ worth of Treasuries to revive the economy.

Evidence of a cooling in investor interest in gold has put the price under some pressure this session, with holdings of gold in the SPRD Gold Trust down for an eighth session in a row and a decline in speculative interest in New York futures.

Spot gold was last quoted at $1,390.15 an ounce at 1046 GMT (5:46 a.m. ET), down from $1,394.50 in New York on Friday and down from an all-time high of $1,398.35 struck earlier in the day.

Comments from World Bank president Robert Zoellick in the Financial Times calling for leading economies to consider readopting a modified global gold standard to guide currency movements did not have much impact on the price.

“Gold could potentially play a small role in the overall framework, but I don’t think we are in a position to go back to a gold standard,” said commodities strategist Nic Brown of Natixis.

“The world economy has moved too far from there and it would need to be one that was built around a more inclusive range of currencies,” he said.

Zoellick called for a system that “is likely to need to involve the dollar, the euro, the yen, the pound and (yuan) that moves toward internationalization and then an open capital account.”

UNREALISTIC

But a number of precious metals analysts said the gold market was too small to absorb such demand.

“Unlike the World Bank, we do not believe that a form of the gold standard will return. Very simply, there is not enough gold supply in the world for the metal to perform in this role,” said Edel Tully, precious metals strategist at UBS.

“As Paul Donavon, from UBS Global Economics points out, any reserve currency needs a supply that can grow as rapidly as global trade. Gold supply falls significantly short of this basic requirement.”

Silver tracked gold higher to hit a fresh 30-year peak at $26.98 an ounce.

Outside of the policy arena, Ong Yi Ling, an investment analyst with Phillip Futures in Singapore, said another key trigger would be growth in ETF holdings to match price gains.

“What I would like to see would be the holdings in the ETF side. I would like to see it increase to really show that this rally in gold prices is sustainable,” said Ong.

“I think for today, we may actually see gold hit above $1,400 on an intraday basis. This is the level that I think a lot of investors should be watching to see if some shorter-term players may choose to take profits.”

The SPDR Gold Trust (GLD.P: ) said its holdings slipped to 1,291.766 tonnes by November 5 from 1,292.189 on November 2. The holdings hit a record at 1,320.436 tonnes on June 29.

Higher gold prices attracted selling in Southeast Asia, but premiums for gold bars were steady in Singapore as bargain hunters resurfaced at lower levels.

In main consumer India, gold futures hit a record of 20,101 rupees per 10 grams on Monday because of a weaker rupee and an early rise in international prices. But physical trading, slowed to a trickle after the Diwali Hindu festival of light.

The dollar rose sharply on Monday as unwinding of dollar short positions that began with solid U.S. jobs data snowballed, pushing down the euro to its lowest level since the Fed embarked on fresh easing last week.

But investors expect the dollar to stay on a weaker trend on global economy concerns.

Silver was last at $26.65 an ounce, roughly flat on the day and near its highest since March 1980, while platinum was down 0.7 percent at $1,752.99 an ounce, marking a second successive day of declines and palladium was up 0.7 percent at $687.47, up for a fourth day in a row.

(Additional reporting by Lewa Pardomuan in Singapore and Siddesh Mayanker in Mumbai; Editing by Janet Lawrence)

Gold down but remains within sight of record