SO THAT'S IT in gold then. The bull market that peaked in May 2006 finally gave up the ghost this week.
At least, that's what Wall Street is saying. No wonder private investors are selling out, too.
"We broke through major support levels [on Thursday], and there was also follow-through liquidation from the ETFs," said one dealer to Reuters early on Friday. StreetTracks GLD, the world's largest exchange-traded gold fund, had already sold 8 tonnes of bullion on Wednesday as investors quit the trust.
In the last month alone redemptions have now forced the sale of 6% of GLD's gold. But "the funds' selling is not done yet," reckons Wallace Ng, chief trader at Fortis Bank in Hong Kong. "Gold might continue to weaken."
Ng puts a floor under this move at $652 per ounce. Standard Bank is more bearish still. After failing "to regain the key $665 technical level - and now trading below the 100-day moving average - gold is in serious danger of slipping lower," it says.
"The next key support to look to lies at the $650 level," Friday's technical note warned, "with a break lower suggesting another move lower toward the 200-day moving average currently around $635."
Golly, what a great market to short! And isn't it funny to think - gold just recorded its highest-ever monthly average in Dollars...four bucks above the top of last spring at an all-time high of $679 per ounce...
Versus the Pound Sterling, beloved of central-bank managers everywhere, gold hasn't been stronger since its own all-time record of May 2006...
In fact, if you look at gold priced on a 90-day time-frame - short enough for hedge fund traders to bear, but long enough for the mass of private investors to spot making a trend - you can see gold hitting new highs almost right across the board...
The only exception is the Euro price of bullion. But even for Frankfurt gold traders, the metal finished last month with its best 90-day period in 26 years.
The South African Rand has never been weaker against gold across rolling 3-months. Nor has the Canadian Dollar or Indian Rupee. And if you were wondering whether the Japanese Yen can go any lower from here, the answer is yes - measured against gold, at least...
Gold priced in Yen hasn't traded this high in 22 years. But the Japanese currency would have to halve in value again to hit an all-time record low versus the metal.
Could that happen? Be warned - if you ignore the sound and fury for too long, you might see gold going higher against all government money today.
You might see its six-year bull market rolling on in the long-term. You might even see this week's 5% setback in gold as a great chance to buy cheap!
City correspondent for The Daily Reckoning in London and a regular contributor to MoneyWeek magazine, Adrian Ash is head of research at www.BullionVault.com, giving you direct access to investment gold, vaulted in Zurich, on $3 spreads and 0.8% dealing fees.
(c) BullionVault 2007
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