Gold traded down in 11 of the last 13 sessions and struck a 10-month low this week. Last year, investors rushing to gold to protect their wealth from the euro zone crisis sent prices to record highs, but more recently the U.S. dollar and low-risk government bonds have become more attractive safe-havens.
For the first time in quite a while gold occupied center stage, being a leader of the pack rather than looking to other assets for cues, said a UBS investment research note. To see a return of gold reacting positively to macro stresses is indeed refreshing, but it is still far too early to make any firm conclusions from here that gold has indeed turned the corner.
The euro's recovery from a four-month slump against the dollar took downward pressure off gold. The fall in gold prices has investors looking toward the commodity once again.
In this multi-crisis environment, we are seeing a change in attitude towards risk in gold, so we are very optimistic, LGT Capital Management analyst Bayram Dincer told Reuters. We got to the point where the year-to-date performance was zero, and from a risk perspective people started to recognize that this was somewhere with lower risk compared to other asset classes.
Also helping give gold a bounce was the World Gold Council's report on Thursday regarding rising demand in China, but recent demand may be leveling out even if the council predicts China will surpass India as the No. 1 gold buyer in the next year. Demand for gold in India has declined, however, as the country grapples with inflation and an eroding rupee.
The relative stability of monthly gold flows from Hong Kong to mainland China so far this year could therefore be a reflection that gold stocks have now somewhat normalized on the back of steady consumer demand, said the UBS report.
Metals were trading up on Friday, led by silver for July delivery, up over 2 percent to $28.64. July delivery of copper was up slightly to $3.49, or 0.39 percent. Copper, which is an important indicator of construction growth, lost 10 percent of its value since late April, leaving it with 2 percent year-to-date growth, according to Thomson Reuters.