To talk bullish on gold looks like a risky proposition at the moment -- last Wednesday, gold saw one of the most brutal routs in a year when it tumbled five percent. It indeed recovered 1.5 percent the next day, broadly symbolizing the roller-coaster ride of bullion in recent times.
The latest gold sell-off was sparked by Fed chairman Ben Bernanke's suggestion that another round of monetary easing, or Quantitative Easing-3, was not on the cards.
It's no secret that gold's super cycle rally in the past two years was mainly fueled by the quantitative easing, or the Fed's decision to flood the market with dollars. If more of the cheap currency was not about to hit the turf again, gold investors would pull back indeed. In an atmosphere of monetary tightening, there is obviously no fuel to fire up a metals breakout.
Besides, there is talk about the U.S. economic recovery, strengthening of the dollar and mitigation in unemployment levels. All of those bode ill for gold investors.
However, some would still vouch for gold, against all odds. Gold was $1,713 on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Friday, pulling back 3.4 percent over the week. This was the steepest weekly fall since mid-December. But the bulls are undeterred; they say the recent pullbacks are typical shakeouts before an imminent bull run.
The recent selloff is just one of the many shakeouts that somehow manages to occur when precious metals are about to take off, Jeb Handwerger wrote in Daily Markets.
There is an even broader assessment from another gold investor, who thinks the precious metal will zoom to $3,000 and beyond. Steve Puetz, writing in Gold Buzzer, takes an extremist line though, predicting that gold's super cycle will coincide with the crumbling of the dollar-based economy.
At a minimum, gold will rise to $3,000. A more likely scenario, however, is that the world's financial system will break down completely. (The basis of that system is the U.S. dollar.) In that case, gold will rise as high as $10,000 to $40,000 - a point at which all credit - paper will be backed by gold, Puetz wrote.
So far this year, gold has made a sharp rise of 18 percent, from $1525 to close to $1,800.
The mainstream doesn't agree with the nay-sayers, but their tribe is growing. They fear that dollar's future is seriously challenged, with the kind of debasement it has been undergoing thanks to the runaway U.S. debt, the growing trade deficits, ballooning household debts and the very threat to the U.S. dollar's position as the world's reserve currency.
Bernanke fended off another round of easing, which essentially means printing more currency, but doubts continue to loom over the health of the economy and the future of dollar. Many believe the bad days are yet to come and precious metals will have the field day as safe havens.
We are just seeing another attempt by our monetary authorities to delay the inevitable and kick the can down the road. We may be assured precious metals and natural resources will resume its the long march upward sooner rather than later, .
What are the factors the bulls are pinning hopes on?
It's, honestly, the doom scenario. The doom of the dollar, the bombing of the economy. The gold apostles believe in the extremes.
Here's a sample:
The vaunted employment figures omit the millions of our citizens who are living on unemployment benefits. What about the millions of bread winners over 50 years of age who have given up the search for employment. -- Daily Markets
Another one from the Daily Markets: Call it what you will, quantitative easing, monetary stimulus, liquidity injection, long term refinancing option, operation twist…the net result is the printing of paper money and the debasement of currency. This may only accrue to the benefit of wealth in the earth assets and precious metals.