GOLD At 24-1/2 Year High!
How high will the price of GOLD rise before you consider buying some?
Gold rose to a 24½-year high on Wednesday, touching $516.50 a troy ounce on Japanese private investor buying as well as benefiting from the flow of investment funds into commodities markets, which has pushed many metal prices to record peaks.
Paul Merrick, vice president commodities at RBC Capital, said the strength in the gold market has raised the possibility of central bank buying.
“There is concerted buying by a significant buyer, and it could be a central bank,” said Mr Merrick. Central banks have been net sellers of gold for the last 40 years, although there have been occasional purchases. However, recent positive comments on gold by officials from Argentinian, Russian and South African central banks have given bullion traders hope that some banks may start buying again.
Mr Merrick said the 10 per cent rise in the gold price in the past three weeks has not been accompanied by a significant lift in buying of Comex gold futures in New York. Turnover in gold futures on the Tocom exchange in Tokyo was 7.5m ounces, exceeding Comex in New York by nearly 3m ounces. Normally, Tocom volumes are only one third of those traded on Comex.
“This suggests that there could be another large buyer out there, as there is a concerted effort to buy on any dips in the prices,” Mr Merrick said.
Gold also reached a record high of €440.53 a troy ounce in single currency terms, and neared £300 sterling for the first time in almost 20 years.
Silver reached another 18-year high when it hit $8.86 a troy ounce.
Base metals also had a record breaking day. The three-month copper price hit a record high of $4,452 a tonne on the London Metal Exchange after Chilean rail workers that serve the country’s top copper mines went on strike on Wednesday, prompting concerns that output of the metal could be affected.
China’s State Reserve Bureau, which is at the centre of market speculation that it might have to buy copper to cover its obligations, only managed to sell 3,700 tonnes of copper from a planned 20,000 tonne auction.
The three-month LME aluminium price hit a 16-year high of $2,248 a tonne and zinc also reached a 16-year high of $1,832 a tonne.
Oil prices extended their losses after a bigger than expected increase in US crude inventories. IPE Brent for January delivery declined 63 cents to $56.98 a barrel at the close of London trade. January Nymex West Texas Intermediate slipped 73 cents to settle at $59.21 a barrel in New York trade.
Refined sugar futures touched a nine-year high of $333.5 a tonne in London, while raw sugar prices in New York reached a 10-year high of $13.50 a pound.
The following source was used in the creation of this Kentroversy Paper . . .
Gold at New 24-1/2 Year High - Financial Times of London (December 7, 2005 8:37pm)