16 April 2013: Gold prices collapse

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Gold collapsed completely yesterday as precious metals plunged to the lowest levels seen in years. Gold trades at USD 1351 an ounce falling 250 dollar in two days. Silver fell from USD 28,25 ending yesterday at 22,50. Oil and other commodity prices sharply declined. Brent crude fell below the critical USD 100 a barrel level at USD 98,42. Stock market plunged as investors dumped risky assets and worries over slowing growth in China and US took hold. After a short spell of relief, Japanese yen, JPY, continued to slide against USD, before rebounding to 97,67 yen to a dollar.

The dramatic development in financial markets follows a worldwide rally in stocks in the first months of 2013 where daily new records on Wall Street have outpaced fundamentals. The monetary easing in the US, Europe and lastly Japan have injected huge capital into stocks without succeeding to create new employment. Risk markets have been rallying at a pace not in line with a tepid global growth recovery. Investor’s sell off of precious metals, commodities and shares might be seen as a last ditch effort to take some profit while markets evert to levels more in line with fundamentals.

Investors are reassessing their portfolio allocations for the second quarter of 2013 on that basis. In this perspective it seems likely that funds would be pulled out of the US stock market also taking European uncertainties into account. US debt might then back as a secure long term investment and reduce demands for an alternative safe-haven as gold. There are therefore valid question marks as to whether the deep plunge in gold will continue and that we are still far from a bottom.

USD/JPY recovered during Monday. The dollar fell to 95,67 yen. The Euro hit a low of 125 yen. Both USD and Euro have rebounded. Euro is trading at 126,75 yen. In a market dominated by steep falls and quick rebounds, EURO/USD has traded steady in an interval between 1.3050 and 1.31. In early Asian trading, the Asian-Pacific index, MSCI, has stabilized after a 2% drop in European and US markets yesterday. A bomb explosion killing two and injuring 130 people at the finish line of the Boston marathon added to the downward pressure on the New York exchanges. 

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