The gold bear raid is happening at the expense of you - and anyone else trying to protect their wealth from the printing presses. Chris Martenson explains. Read more...
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When stocks fall by 20% or more from their peak, it's labeled as a "bear market."
With gold prices down 26% from their record close back in August 2011, the "yellow metal" has entered a bear market of its own.
It took an especially ugly day on Monday to get us to that point.
Two days ago, gold prices plunged as much as 9.7% - the biggest decline since 1980 - and continued a sell-off that saw the yellow metal fall by 4.7% last week, including a 4.1% drop on Friday.
The metal has now fallen 26% from its Aug. 22, 2011 settlement record of $1,888.70.
To get some expert insights on this sell-off, I telephoned Peter Krauth, our resident natural resources expert and editor of our Real Asset Returns research service. Peter based himself in Canada to be closer to the miners and natural-resources companies he covers for his subscribers.
I asked Peter for insights on the following three questions:
What's going on in the markets?
Stuart Varney of Fox Business' "Varney & Co." put that question to Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald Thursday.
Of Apple, Keith said, "I wouldn't touch it," then ticked off a number of reasons.
But Keith had a decidedly different take on gold, saying, "I am buying gold and I intend to buy more if it goes down, and I hope I'm smart enough to do it for a long time to come."
Asked what else he's investing in, Keith said he's "cautiously buying" energy, defense technology and medical technology stocks.
To hear more from Keith on these topics as well as his view of the massive money-printing in Japan, watch the video below.
Before investors even attempt to guess what's next for the price of gold, they first need to understand why gold prices have fallen so much.
While some have blamed Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) for manipulating gold markets, Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald explains that the Goldman "puppet masters" are only partly responsible for gold's slide.
In fact, Keith says Goldman simply set the market up for this fall and that another catalyst actually caused gold's selloff...
The news is great at telling us what's happening. But understanding what's happening is what makes the difference between an average and a truly great investor.
Gold's crash on Monday is a perfect example.
The media fell all over itself talking about how gold was falling and how far it was off its highs. Yet few tied the devastating slide to real economic events let alone made the connection to actual trading.
But that's my bread and butter. And today I'm going to tell you what really happened and why.
Better yet, I'm going to tell you exactly how to play it...
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Tokuriki Honten Co., the country's second-largest gold retailer, reported Tuesday that Japanese investors doubled their gold purchases this week from the week before.
And Reuters reported how 63-year-old Yujiro Yamashita traveled to Tokyo's Ginza district to buy gold for the first time in 20 years.
It's thanks to fears stemming from Japan's new monetary easing, known as "Abenomics."
Although Rogers admitted he wasn't going to be selling his hard assets, he predicted further consolidation and a near-term correction in the metals markets.
Predicting this short-term downturn, Rogers cautioned that gold had been on the rise for twelve consecutive years, a streak that was unparalleled. That was then.
This week, his prediction rang true as gold and silver prices took another huge hit. In the aftermath, gold prices are now down approximately 30% since reaching an all-time high in August 2011.
After an especially ugly day for gold investors on Monday, the "yellow metal" has now entered a "bear market". As of yesterday, gold is down 26% from its record close back in August 2011.
To get some expert insights on this sell-off, I telephoned Peter Krauth, our resident natural resources expert and editor of our Real Asset Returns research service.
I asked Peter for his insights on the following three questions:
- Why gold is selling off.
- What you can expect from here.
- And what investors should do now.
Gold prices tumbled $140.40, or 9.4%, to $1360.60 an ounce. This brought the two-day decline to $203.70, or 13%.
- The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting minutes that came out last week suggested the central bank may start scaling back its monetary stimulus measures later this year, reducing inflationary pressures.
- Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) last week cut its 2013 average gold forecast, for the second time, to $1,545 from $1,610. Investors like to dump the metal after the release of bearish research.
- There have been rumors financially strapped Cyprus was selling 400 million euros of gold, 75% of its reserves to raise cash.
Gold prices ended the drastic two-day decline Tuesday, up nearly 2% to $1,387.40.
Investors want to know: What's driving down the price of gold - and how long will the plunge last?
Gold prices tumbled Monday by more than 9% - the biggest percentage drop in 30 years.
The yellow metal had fallen to just above $1,360 an ounce Monday afternoon.
Gold and silver are taking it on the chin again today - leading many readers to keep asking me why gold is going down, and how long the plunge will last.
Gold futures today (Monday) logged their biggest decline since the 1980s, falling $140.30, or 9.3%, to $1,361.10.
What's up? Or rather, what's down?
On Friday, I went into a few reasons why gold is going down to provide some understanding of the action.
But with still further weakness, I'd like to delve in a little more, without repeating myself.
Why Gold is Down
You see, general markets are selling off today too, and even oil has lost $6 per barrel since Thursday.
Though off slightly, the U.S. dollar has maintained strength, probably thanks to speculation the U.S. Federal Reserve may end its quantitative easing sooner than previously expected. That hurts commodities which are all priced in U.S. dollars.
There's also been a considerable amount of selling of gold exchange-traded fund holdings, which has forced those ETF managers to sell their physical bullion. That has temporarily added supply to the market, which helps push gold's price down.
Gold and to a lesser extent silver got hammered pretty hard today (Friday) - leading many of our investors to write in and ask why gold prices are down so much this week.
Gold closed Friday at its lowest level since July 2011. In the last two days, gold was off about $70 and silver off about $1.60 at their worst points.
So what's going on?
Well, in the search for answers I can see a few reasons.
It started Tuesday, when UBS cut its average gold price forecast for 2013 to $1,740 from $1,900. UBS cited risks the U.S. Federal Reserve would end its current QE sooner than expected, a move into equities, low inflation, improving economic growth, and a stronger U.S. dollar.
Then Wednesday, the leaked Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting minutes showed that several members believe the costs of the $85 billion monthly bond purchases outweigh the benefits. We're being led to believe that "many participants" think improving unemployment could justify slowing up on bond-buying "at some point over the next several meetings."
Remember that these are not minutes where members' comments are actually written down word-for-word (like they ought to), these are carefully crafted statements to influence opinion. The Fed is known to try to "manage expectations, so it wants it to look like bond-buying will end sooner than later.
But I, for one, don't buy it.
Goldman set the table by predicting a turn in gold prices back in December 2012, which no doubt contributed to the precious metal's 5% decline in the first two months of the year.
At the end of February, Goldman issued a research report that said the big Wall Street bank had soured on the yellow metal, and dropped its three-month target for gold prices from $1,825 an ounce to $1,615, its six-month forecast from $1,805 to $1,600, and its one-year outlook from $1,800 to $1,550.
Then, just yesterday (Wednesday), Goldman doubled down on its negative outlook for gold prices.
The bank's new targets for gold prices are $1,530 in three months, $1,490 in six months and $1,390 in one year.
The double whammy - two downgrades in two months - had its intended effect, as gold prices fell 2%, to $1,558.80, after Goldman released its report. It was the biggest single-day percentage drop for gold in nearly six months.
"If you've ever suspected gold prices are being manipulated, you're not alone - and you're right, they are," said Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald.
The proof is right in front of us.
With inflation above the current interest rate, a negative real interest rate increases the attractiveness gold. Frank Holmes explains. Read More
Despite a pullback in gold prices, hold on to your gold. In fact, look to buy more.
You see, thanks to record highs for the U.S. stock market, a notable shift from defensive assets to "risk-on" trades has occurred.
The yellow metal slumped 1.4% to $1,552.80 Wednesday marking a nine-month low. That's after gold prices slid below $1,600 an ounce in Q1 on hints of a global economic rebound. The slide prompted market participants to shed gold holdings.
It's "certainly understandable" for investors to have sold gold following a 400% appreciation over the last decade and move into stocks, said Malcolm Burne, chairman of the Golden Prospect Precious Metals investment trust.
But, here's why the tide may be about to turn.