Bearish Cracks Appearing In Bullish Gold Market
(Kitco News) - After three-straight weeks of gains, cracks are starting to appear in gold's bullish veneer, particularly among Wall Street analysts, according to the latest results of the Kitco News Weekly Gold Survey.
It has been a volatile week for the precious metal as unprecedented recession fears and new lows in bond yields drove investors from equity markets and into alternative safe-haven assets. However, the gold market is preparing to end Friday well off its six-year high, hit earlier in the week.
Although sentiment, especially among Wall Street analysts, remains clearly bullish, caution continues to creep into the marketplace.
"I think now is the time for the gold market to take a breather, but maybe not a long [one]," said Jasper Lawler, head of market research at the London Capital Group. "Central banks are on the cusp of devaluing their currency, and that will be good for gold."
This week 17 market professionals took part in the Wall Street survey. A total of 10 voters (59%) called for gold to be higher next week. Meanwhile three analysts (18%) said they were bearish on gold in the near-term. Four participants (24%) saw gold prices trading sideways next week.
Kitco's online Main Street poll had 1,140 respondents. Participation in the poll hit a fresh one-year high, a sign that retail interest continues to grow in the marketplace. A total of 815 voters (71%) called for gold to rise further. Another 168 participants (15%) predicted for gold to fall. The remaining 156 voters (14%) saw a sideways market.
In the last survey, Main Street and Wall Street were both bullish on prices for the week now winding down. As of 12:20 pm EDT, Comex August gold futures were trading $13.00 higher for the week so far at $1,521.30 an ounce.
For many analysts the main driver for gold going higher will be falling bond yields, a trend that is not expected to end anytime soon. According to many analysts, there is now a race to the bottom among global central banks after the Finnish central bank governor, Olli Rehn, raised the prospect of new easing measures from the ECB.
Richard Baker, editor of the Eureka Miner Report, noted that gold rose to new multi-year high against the euro this past week.
"With increasingly negative bond rates in Europe and Japan, gold at zero yield remains a good deal," he said. "The 10-year real rate actually dipped slightly negative this week -- even with falling inflation expectations -- making the cost of holding gold very cheap in the U.S."
Adrian Day, chairman and chief executive officer of Adrian Day Asset Management, said that even with gold's recent rally, there is enough pent up demand to drive prices higher in the near-term.
"Many investors are feeling that some hedge is called for in the current circumstances—an easy Fed, a volatile stock market, Hong Kong protests," he said. "If one is putting a small amount of a portfolio into gold as insurance, then the price is less important."
However, some analysts who are bullish long-term are also becoming cautious as gold appears to be testing long-term resistance.
Mark Leibovit, publisher of VR Metals/Resource Letter, said that he is bullish on gold, but he is looking for a pullback.
Kevin Grady, president of Phoenix Futures and Options LLC, said the fact that gold was able to hold initial support above $1,480 shows that there is some underlying strength in the marketplace.
Although buying gold at these levels may not be an attractive trade right now, Grady said that many investors are trading gold through options and buying calls on dips.
He added that one trade he likes is a bullish call spread. As gold moves back to $1,480, investors could buy a November $1,510 call and at the same time sell a $1,575 call, he said.
On the other side, some analyst have said that gold is due for a correction and the market is overextended. Sean Lusk, co-director of commercial hedging at Walsh Trading, said he was bearish for the second week.
While he wouldn't short the market in the current environment, Lusk said that he would expect some investor to take profits.
"There are a lot of longs in the marketplace, and I think a correction is in the cards," he said.
Colin Cieszynski, chief market analyst at SIA Wealth Management, said that he is also bearish on gold in the near-term. However, long-term he remains bullish as dovish central bank monetary policies will continue to support prices.
"Gold had a good run, but upward momentum has slowed and a lot of negative developments surrounding the yield curve and the trade war are already out there and built into the price," he said. "It would likely need something new to move higher."