The gold price climbed $7.44 to $1,786.24 Tuesday as the yellow metal bounced back modestly from yesterday’s large sell-off. The gold price held firm while financial markets across Asia and Europe rebounded amid hopes that Greece will receive its next round of bailout money. Investors will also be keeping a close eye on Ben Bernanke and the Federal Reserve, as it begins its two-day FOMC meeting.
The gold price began the week on a sour note on Monday as it sunk $30.86, or 1.7%, to $1,780.39 per ounce. The price of gold initially held firm near $1,810 per ounce, but turned sharply lower as U.S. dollar strength and euro sovereign debt fears engulfed the entire commodities complex. The SPDR Gold Trust, the most liquid gold price proxy in the financial markets and the world’s second largest ETF, finished with a loss of $2.72, or 1.6%, at $173.31 per share.
Although the gold price posted a sizeable loss on Monday, a relatively encouraging sign developed in the precious metals sector. Gold equities substantially outperformed the price of gold yesterday, as the AMEX Gold Bugs Index dipped just 0.7% to 603.57. Over the last several years when the gold price has dropped significantly, the HUI has fallen even further. However, in recent months this trend has noticeably reversed. Thus far in September, the gold price is now lower by 2.5%, while the HUI has climbed 0.9%.
One of the top performers in the gold sector of late has been Newmont Mining, which has surged 6.8% this month. On Monday, NEM reached a new all-time high of $67.37, before finishing up 0.8% at $66.27 after the Company announced plans to enhance its gold price-linked dividend policy. For each quarter in which the Company’s realized gold price exceeds $1,700 per ounce, Newmont will raise its dividend by $0.075 per share, and by an additional $0.025 per share for every quarter in which the realized price of gold is above $2,000 per ounce.
As for silver, it dropped in concert with the gold price yesterday, by $0.91, or 2.2%, to $39.78 per ounce. The iShares Silver Trust, the largest silver ETF, declined $0.74, or 1.9%, to $38.65 per share. With its decline, the price of silver extended its monthly loss to 4.2%.
Dennis Gartman, the long-time commodities investor and publisher of The Gartman Letter, wrote on Monday that given strength in the U.S. dollar, commodities and equities are likely to remain under considerable selling pressure. “We have to believe that gold too shall be and remain lower,” Gartman wrote. “There’s no other course of action” for the gold price to follow, he continued.
While Gartman’s short-term bearish outlook for the gold price appeared quite prescient given yesterday’s sell-off, many other investors see escalating sovereign debt and recession concerns across Europe and the U.S. as key catalysts for higher gold prices over the longer-term. One individual to share this view is Tony Hall, whose Duet Commodities Fund Ltd. has surged 33% year-to-date. According to Bloomberg, Hall recently predicted that the gold price may reach a new all-time high of $2,200 per ounce by the end of this year.
“The fear of recession, the fear of worse economic numbers is weighing on commodities and stopping gains from fundamentals from coming through,” Hall stated. “We still believe in the gold story. If you believe the world is in trouble or in further economic growth disruption, then gold is a good safe haven. If you believe that the world is going to come out okay, then it’s a good inflation hedge.”