Aug 12, 2020 - Economy

Gold had its worst day in 7 years, but investors remain bullish

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Gold fell by 2% on Tuesday with some ETFs seeing prices decline by 5% or more as investors took profits on the precious metal after a rally that has pushed gold to record highs near $2,100 per troy ounce.

Why it matters: It was the third straight session that gold fell, the longest losing streak since June, after seven days of appreciation, and the worst selloff since 2013.

What they're saying: “The scale of the upswing over the past four weeks has been excessive. ... Sentiment towards gold became positive in the extreme, with only a minority of participants sounding a note of caution,” Commerzbank analyst Carsten Fritsch wrote in a note to clients.

  • “The price rise was almost solely attributable to robust investor demand, with all other demand components playing hardly any role."

Be smart: U.S. Treasury yields also spiked on Tuesday, with yields on the benchmark 10-year note up by the most since June, reducing the attractiveness of gold, which does not pay a dividend or interest.

  • The unexpected rise in PPI also hurt gold prices, as it could imply higher U.S. interest rates in the future, analysts said.

Of note: Silver retreated by nearly 5% with silver-backed ETFs down more than 10%.

The big picture: “The long-term outlook for gold and silver remains positive, however," Commerzbank's Fritsch said. "Prices are likely to begin rising again as soon as the current correction has finished.”

  • In fact, analysts expect the declines to attract more buyers looking to buy the dip, as happened in March when gold swooned with the stock market, dropping 28%, only to gain 149% between March 18 and Monday.

Yes, but: "The risk to this view is that we could now be entering a period of wider swings in the gold price, akin to 2011-12, which would be suggestive of a more mature phase in the bull cycle and consistent with the 'accelerated aging' hypothesis," Marc Chandler, chief market strategist at Bannockburn Global Forex, said in a note.

  • The rally also will be dependent on the Fed remaining aggressive in keeping rates down, the dollar continuing to fall and inflation expectations recovering, he added.
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