Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Will gold stay in the $1,700 no man's land?

What Ben Bernanke (didn't) say today - did it change the landscape for gold significantly? Or was the exit - triggering the biggest one-day fall in three years - just a short term technical blip (the link quotes Jon Nadler from Kitco who said the fall was spurred by an early 1 million ounce sell order - no doubt that will fuel conspiracy talk). Reuters had the same quoting Jeffrey Sherman, commodities portfolio manager of DoubleLine Capital, a Los Angeles-based investment manager with $28 billion in assets: "It's just a pullback, it doesn't feel like it would be the start of a bear market".

I still believe gold is still worth owning - although I don't actually own any! Should I wait to see if it will fall further before buying again?

Some chartists have pointed out that the gold price doesn't tend to hang around $1,700 for long - if it's there it's usually moving up or down at speed.

Tonight it was hovering in that former no man's land.

In sterling that's around £1,066 per ounce which is what I'd be paying as a UK gold ETF investor.

I don't know exactly how much that would be translated into a gold ETF.

When the London Stock Exchange closed at 4.30pm the sterling denominated PHGP physical gold ETF was selling for £105.99 (This ETF is a good indicator for PHAU which is dollar denominated although it is bought and sold in sterling, however it tends to have wider spreads than PHAU and I don't know what the spot price of gold was at that time. 

If I had bought at close today, how would it have compared to past buying and selling?

My boldest and most recent move was selling all of my 28 physical gold ETF shares on 16 December 2011. Back then I got £100.77 per share before fees (fees were £11.95).  If I had bought 10 shares as markets closed today I would have paid £105.90,  more than 5% above what I sold at.

At the time, according to BullionVault's spot chart, the price of gold in sterling was around £1,079 per ounce.

The gold price has fallen a bit further since then but it is now rising again. The question is where it will be when markets open tomorrow morning - and whether I will buy?

Buying at £106 may be a 5% loss compared to the price at which I sold but it is better than my first two purchases at £111 per share on 22 September 2011 and £108 per share on 4 November 2011.

I'm not sure if that is a useful way to judge this - it sounds like an attempt to justify what I do now by comparing it to earlier mistakes. The question is whether I still believe gold is a good longterm investment, whether the US economy is really improving, whether the value of currencies have really been undermined by QE.

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