When Ben Bernanke speaks, the gold market listens - closely.
Our Chief Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald has uncovered one of the most shocking charts in recent memory.
And it signals big changes for one of the world's most important market sectors. This spells big opportunities for smart investors.
If you own gold or wonder whether gold is worth buying here, read on..
Will gold prices rise in 2013, or will the bear market continue in the second half of the year?
The bears have certainly been loud this year, as short-term bets against gold paid off in the first half of 2013. Gold lost 27% in Q1, the worst first-half performance since 1981.
Whether you own gold or have been sitting on the sidelines, you must be wondering whether now is the time to buy more or to finally get in the game.
The answer is one of refreshing clarity in these uncertain times.
What's going on with gold prices?
With the price of the yellow metal near two-year lows through much of 2013, some investors wonder whether the price decline will continue.
Is this a bear market for gold or will it rebound?
A new report from analysts at Incrementum AG in Liechtenstein says there are good reasons to be bullish on gold, which was trading Wednesday at about $1,252 an ounce.
In fact, the report, titled "In Gold We Trust 2013," set a 12-month target for gold prices at $1,480 and a long-range target at $2,230.
Can a continued reaction from the Fed be why gold is down today - a week after the FOMC meeting?
Both gold and silver tumbled to near three-year lows in overnight trading.
"Actually, I think we've got multiple factors at work here," Money Morning resources expert Peter Krauth told us when we asked him to explain the 4.13% ($52.80) fall in gold prices today.
"First, it's an ongoing reaction to the Fed," said Krauth. Last week Team Bernanke sent stocks and gold tumbling on the idea that the Fed's quantitative easing measures could taper by year end.
"Second, rising interest rates create a bit more opportunity cost for owning gold," continued Krauth. "Third, we're in summer now, a seasonally weak period for gold, and finally, there's ongoing apathy for gold as official inflation remains tame."
Official government-reported inflation is 1.7%.... Although you probably would argue otherwise if you've been grocery shopping recently. That's still below the Fed's 2% target.
After the carnage in the markets last week and whipsawing volatility, investors must remember the adage: Keep calm and invest on… Read more...
Comex August gold fell $76.50, or 5.56%, to 1,229.50 in early morning trading Thursday. The August contract traded as low as $1,285.00 in overnight trading as the U.S. dollar rose to the highest in more than a week against six major currencies.
Gold prices plunged Thursday to near three-year lows as precious metals investors took a "risk-off" stance following Wednesday's FOMC meeting. Bernanke announced that the current $85 billion worth of monthly bond purchases could slow near the end of this year, and end in 2014, if the economy keeps improving.
He said interest rates could increase "far in the future."
Over the last several years, the move in gold prices have been more and more in sync with market perceptions of what actions will be taken by the world's major central banks.
For example, today's Fed meeting and its anticipated outcome has kept gold prices under pressure lately, with gold on Tuesday falling 1.2%.
The past few years has seen the Federal Reserve, European Central Bank and, most recently, the Bank of Japan flood the world's financial markets with money through bond purchases and other operations.
As this occurred, the price of gold floated higher on the sea of liquidity.
Gold soared 70% from the end of December 2008 to June 2011 through the first two rounds of QE (quantitative easing). Then after the announcement of the launch of QE3 last September, gold climbed to over $1,770 an ounce on the back of the Fed announcing open-ended purchases of bonds.
Rick Rule, the founder and chairman of Sprott Global Resources Investments, provided the answers.
Rule says he'd put a portion of the money into gold bullion and a portion into gold stocks.
But he warns those unfamiliar with the sector should stick to what they know: If you're bullish on gold, buy gold, but realize gold stocks don't necessarily mirror the price of the yellow metal.
The last several months have been tough on gold prices, but gold bugs haven't lost their insatiable appetite for the yellow metal. With gold officially in a bear market, demand is surging at today's bargain prices.
Gold demand is especially strong in India, where gold is the investment of choice among consumers. India's gold imports reached 162 tons in May, almost twice the average level.
That's why last week the country - the world's biggest consumer of gold - increased the duty of gold imports for the second time in six months.
The duty was boosted from 6% to 8% on gold ore, and from 5% to 7% on intermediate products
in attempts to decelerate the accelerating gold demand. Bullion prices fell 0.25% to $1,399.36 an ounce following the move.
Gold imports are one of the biggest contributors to India's mushrooming account deficit (which occurs when imports exceed exports). An increasing deficit affects the country's foreign exchange reserves and the value of its currency.
Friday, the ruppe closed below the key 57 mark against the U.S. dollar for the first time in a year. The slide further casts a shadow on India's economy amid pricier imports and heightened inflationary risks.
Policy makers in India have been attempting to reduce its deficit and improve finances as it faces possible rating downgrades. They hope the duty increase will help.
The Federal Reserve and other central banks keep printing money. The U.S. stock market is soaring. And gold prices, after a brief recovery, have continued their plunge.
Are these phenomena connected? We put the question to one of the world's foremost gold experts, Rick Rule, founder and chairman of Sprott Global Resources Investments.
Listen to his explanation for falling gold prices in the following interview.
And even as gold prices sink, mining costs have climbed. If gold prices keep falling, miners could take "fairly drastic measures" to remain profitable, according to Rule.
One megatrend continues on its path, unperturbed, with no end in sight: The East's huge push for investing in gold.
This was discussed in a recent Money Morning article on the "Love Trade" in gold by guest writer Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors.
Wall Street, never enamored with investing in gold in the first place, still leads the charge to sell the precious metal at every opportunity.
Meanwhile, Asians - led by India and China - pick up as much of the shiny metal as they can every time the price is pushed lower by Wall Street selling.
Just look at what happened when gold prices hit a two-year low in mid-April thanks to huge short sales in the futures market. This set off a buying frenzy in Asia for gold, according to the World Gold Council (WGC).
The WGC says Asian gold demand in the current second quarter is expected to hit a record high. The Council expects Indian gold imports to be between 350 and 400 tons in the quarter, up 200% from a year earlier and nearly half of 2012's total gold imports!
Its managing director, Marcus Grubb, said net imports of gold into China in April alone were around 160-170 tons. Demand has continued apace since then, so the WGC believes demand could reach 880 tons this in China.
As pointed out in a recent article by Money Morning Global Resource Specialist Peter Krauth, there is something interesting happening with gold prices.
Paper gold, controlled by Wall Street, is going down. But demand for physical gold all over the globe is going up every time that gold prices are down.
That's not the only place divergences are occurring in the global gold market. A divergence can even be seen in the difference between Wall Street speculators and commercial interests in the paper gold market.
The speculative momentum players continue piling on shorts, while commercial interests are following a path 180 degrees opposite.
The question remains for those investors interested in gold as to who will be right in the end. The short-term Wall Street speculators or more long-term players?
Frank Holmes explains why traditions in China and India will continue to boost the demand for gold. It’s called the “Love Trade”. To continue reading, please click here...