But with all this dough being thrown around promiscuously at every so-called asset class-as indulgences such as mansions and art have come to be classified, even if they really are forms of conspicuous consumption-why doesn't gold get any ardor? After all, for reasons probably buried deep within the human genome, the precious metal has been sought for thousands of years as an object of adornment and, most importantly, a store of value.
That value has been battered of late, with massive outflows from gold-related exchange-traded funds, notably the SPDR Gold Trust (ticker: GLD.) For a brief time, it actually was the world's biggest ETF, eclipsing the SPDR S&P 500 (SPY), just before gold hit its high of about $1,900 an ounce in September 2011. Indeed, it has been the flight from "paper gold"-ETFs and futures or goptions contracts-that has sent the metal tumbling, from a recent high of $1,800 last October, to around $1,700 at year end, and about $1,600 as recently as the end of March. That was just before the market plunged-or was pushed-into a virtual free-fall in mid-April that slashed the price by more than $200 an ounce in just two sessions. So extraordinary was the 9.4% collapse on April 15, wrote Howard Simons of Bianco Research at the time, that the odds against such a move were 20 trillion to one-"a lower probability of occurrence than randomly selecting a [particular] $1 bill out of pile of singles representing the U.S. national debt."
David Fuller's view At the risk of sounding glib, traders have been selling what is going down and buying what is going up. However, today, we have seen some climactic selling in silver, and gold is bouncing following a test of its April low. Technical action suggests that we have seen lows of at least near-term significance.Back to top