Gold hits record before slipping

Tuesday, 9 November 2010 04:16 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Singapore (Reuters): Gold hit a fresh record above $1,398 an ounce on Monday before a rebound in the dollar caused prices to retrace, though short-term sentiment remains upbeat.

A move by the U.S. Fed last week announcing plans to buy $600 billion in Treasurys and expected comments on currency imbalances from a leadership summit this week of the group of 20 nations meeting in Seoul, South Korea, have highlighted gold’s appeal as a safe haven.

Writing in the Financial Times, World Bank president Robert Zoellick said leading economies should consider readopting a modified global gold standard to guide currency movements.

An analyst suggested the Zoellick proposal showed how closely investors across asset classes are looking at gold.

“This is a longer-term development that the markets could look toward to as a possibility but it would really take a lot of work and time before it could actually materialize,” said Ong Yi Ling, investment analyst at Phillip Futures in Singapore.

Gold fell $3.96 an ounce to $1,390.54 by 0601 GMT, having risen as high as $1,398.35. Silver tracked gold higher to hit a fresh 30-year peak at $26.98 an ounce.

Outside of the policy arena, Ong suggested another key trigger would be growth in ETF stocks 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 investors should be watching to see if some shorter-term players may choose to take profits.”

The world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, 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. <GOL/SPDR>

U.S. gold futures for December delivery fell $8.4 an ounce to $1,389.3 an ounce.

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.

“Market has cooled-off a bit after heavy last week sales, there are queries, but nothing is materializing as prices are above 20,000 rupees again,” said Pinakin Vyas, assistant vice-president with IndusInd Bank.

“The market would take time to digest these levels. Orders are way below the current levels at $1,320-$1,350. Even scrap is low at the moment.”

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.

The Nikkei average rose more than 1 percent to a three-month high on Monday, adding to gains made last week as risk money shifts toward global equities on improving prospects for the U.S. economy.