After all, in spite of some short-term fixes, there remains no real resolution to the sovereign debt issues in many European countries. We’re certainly not spending less money in the US, and now we’re bailing out Europe via currency swaps with the European Central Bank. Shouldn’t gold be rising?
Yes, but nothing happens in a vacuum. There are some simple explanations as to why gold remains in a funk.
1. The MF Global bankruptcy, the seventh-largest in US history, forced a high degree of
liquidation of commodities futures contracts, including gold. Many
institutional investors had to sell whether they wanted to or not. This
is similar to why big declines in the stock market can force funds and
other large investors to sell some gold to raise cash for margin calls
or meet redemption requests.
2. The dollar has been rising. Money fleeing the Eurozone has to go somewhere, and some of it is heading into US bonds, which means first converting the foreign currency into dollars.
3. It’s tax-loss selling season, something that’s also impacting gold stocks. Funds and individual investors are selling underwater positions for tax purposes. Funds also sell their big winners to lock in gains for the year and dress up quarterly reports.