Gold tumbled to a three-month low just above $1,600 per ounce last week and has been stuck in a range between $1,600 and $1,800 for seven months.
Last week's wobble was due to the minutes of the Federal Reserve's latest meeting, signalling no further money printing. Meanwhile, gold jewellers in India, the biggest jewellery market, closed in protest against an increase in the government's import tariff, which could dent demand.
Buying on dips still looks the best bet, says WirtschaftsWoche. One thing to keep in mind is that the overall state of the market still looks healthy. Short-term speculators and traders in the futures market are the tail wagging the dog: they have been selling of late as global risk appetite has improved, making stocks look a better bet. But while the so-called paper market has had a rocky ride, the physical investment market, comprising long-term investors, remains in solid shape.
Subscribe to MoneyWeek
Subscribe to MoneyWeek today and get your first six magazine issues absolutely FREE
Indeed, inflows into gold-backed exchange-traded funds have risen, notes Morgan Stanley. And the short-term investors' latest worry that there will be no more quantitative easing looks overblown. Given the scope for further defaults and bank losses in Europe, and the fragile state of most major economies, further money printing can hardly be ruled out just yet.
But even without it, "the Fed is still ultra-accommodative", says HSBC's James Steel. With inflation creeping up, real interest rates are negative and falling.
Moreover, the danger of inflation eventually surging as all the printed money begins to move around the economy more quickly as the hangover from the burst credit bubble begins to fade has hardly gone away. Central banks may also be tempted to let it rise in order to erode our towering debts. "The only way out of this banking crisis will be inflation in the end," says Peter Hambro of Petropavlovsk.
Not only is the global monetary and financial system still far from returning to normal, but gold supply is constrained too, says Ambrose Evans-Pritchard in The Daily Telegraph. World output has been stuck for the last ten years at around 2,700 tonnes a year, despite a quadrupling of investment. Gold has risen more than sixfold from its 2001 low, and "the golden age is not over" yet.
House prices are falling in London but how does it compare to the rest of the UK?
Advice The capital remains the most expensive part of the UK to buy a property, but it isn’t being as badly hit by the housing market slump. Where are London house prices heading?
By Marc Shoffman Published
Will a Santa Rally provide festive cheer for investors this year?
News Equities often get a seasonal boost during December - will there be a Santa Rally in 2023?
By Marc Shoffman Published