GOLD PRICES sunk to a 8-week low at $1459 last week, only to rally near $1520 on Thursday, gold prices today retreated below $1500 per ounce for US investors, while global stock markets popped higher but held over 1% down for the week on the MSCI World index.
Oil prices also rallied, trimming this week’s loss on European Brent crude contracts to 5.5%.
Western government bond prices meantime slipped back, edging up 2-year Treasury yields from their lowest since fall 2017, hit Thursday’s on shock weakness in the ISM’s survey of US service-sector activity.
With No.1 gold consumer market China marking its annual National Day holidays this week, retail sales in No.2 India continue to suffer from high Rupee prices and additional taxes, local sources report.
“We are expecting a moderate Diwali,” says one London analyst of the sub-continent’s key Hindu gold-buying festival, starting 3 weeks from today with Dhanteras.
Falling for 3 months running, legal gold imports into India hit a 3-year low in September according to Reuters and Bloomberg, both quoting un-named “government sources” for the data.
“Everything is affecting consumers’ sentiment,” says N.Anantha Padmanaban, chair of the All India Gem & Jewellery Domestic Council, pointing to India’s slowing economic growth as well as costly gold prices.
Seeking to deter gold imports further – and so reduce non-mining nation India’s current account deficit with the rest of the world – the Government will issue gold-tracking bonds twice this month, paying 2.5% annual interest with no capital gains tax.
In neighboring Nepal, “sales have gone up by only 10%, which is low for the period,” says Tej Ratna Shakya, former president of the country’s bullion dealers’ association, of this week’s Dashain festival.
In contrast, inflows to Western gold-investment trusts backed by gold have risen yet again this week according to data compiled by the mining-industry backed World Gold Council.
September saw record daily trading volumes in Comex gold futures contracts, the CME derivatives exchange said this week, with the number of open contracts outstanding setting a fresh record in the middle of last week.
The VIX volatility index – sometimes called the ‘fear index’ as it tracks the size and speed of swings in US stock-market betting – has edged lower this week after coming into October at its highest monthly level since last December’s crash in global equities.
Like the Dollar gold price, bullion for Euro investors fell back in London on Friday, trading at €1367 per ounce.
UK gold prices also neared the weekend unchanged from last Friday’s finish, trading at £1219 as senior figures in the European Union said they are “open to but unconvinced by” Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s proposed alternative to the Irish back-stop for resolving a deal on Brexit.
Documents submitted to a Scottish court say Johnson has said he will seek an extension to Article 50 – delaying the UK’s exit from the European Union beyond the current Halloween deadline – should Brussels, Westminster and the other 27 EU member states fail to agree a deal.