Gold Prices

Gold Prices: Have We Reached "Peak Gold"?

Hands with coins

Expectations for gold prices just grew brighter due to a recent outlook on production numbers.

Gold producer Iamgold Corp. (NYSE: IMG), which has mines in Canada and Mali, forecasts gold prices will soar to a record $2,500 an ounce as global output peaks and ore grades decline.

Grade is the relationship between quality, tons, geometry and depth that indicates if a gold find can be extracted at a cost that makes doing so profitable. High grade is key in a gold deposit.

Iamgold CEO Steve Letwin told Bloomberg News in a Jan. 10 interview that the industry has exploited its best-quality gold reserves and as a result is tapping lower-grade and higher-cost deposits.

In fact, he sees this as a sign of "peak gold" - when the maximum rate of global gold extraction is reached.

"I really think we are at Peak Gold. Nobody has seen the kind of production profiles they thought they were going to see," Letwin explained.

What is Peak Gold?

After peak gold is reached, there's a terminal decline in the rate of production.

The "peak gold" theory mirrors the "peak oil" theory, which maintains the earth holds a finite amount of crude, and production will eventually outstrip supply.

The peak gold phenomenon was actually spotted several years back.

Barrick Gold (NYSE: ABX) CEO Aaron Regent told The Daily Telegraph in 2009 at the Royal Bank of Canada's annual gold conference "there is a strong case to be made that we are already at peak gold."

"Production peaked around 2000 and it has been a decline ever since, and we forecast that decline to continue. It is increasingly difficult to find ore," Regent said.

In 2001, the world saw what was believed to be record global gold production of 2,649 tons.

And what has happened since then in gold production supports the peak gold theory...

To continue reading, please click here...

German Gold Grab Could Call into Question the "Full Faith and Credit" of the U.S.

Gold grab small

The recently publicized move by the German central bank to bring its gold home is sending a major message about trust in the United States.

The bank holds 45% of its 3,396 tons of gold in the vaults of the Federal Reserve Bank in New York, and wants to reduce those holdings to 37%. It also plans to take back all of its 11% of holdings currently stored at the Banque de France in Paris.

The immediate reaction to the German central bank's decision to repatriate some of its gold was to assert that the Bundesbank no longer trusted overseas central banks to look after their gold.

The German Federal Court of Auditors (Bundesrechnungshof) has ordered the Bundesbank to audit its gold reserves "because stocks have never been checked for authenticity and weight."

Prior to that, the Bundesbank had simply relied upon written certification from the central banks where its offshore gold is stored that the correct amount of gold is actually in the vaults and is of the appropriate fineness.

What's more, samples of gold from the Fed and the Banque de France will be melted down and tested for fineness or quality.

Suppose Germany's gold isn't all it is supposed to be?

The "full faith and credit" of the United States would certainly be called into question.

To continue reading, please click here...

Gold Prices: Don’t Let Faber Scare You

The Future of Gold Prices

After hitting its 12th straight year of new highs, gold prices got off to a bumpy start in 2013.

"Dr. Doom" Marc Faber even came out Tuesday with a reduced price prediction for gold.

In a CNBC "Squawk Box" interview, Faber said, "I don't think [gold] will go up right away, and we maybe have a correction of 10 percent or so on the downside."

Faber had also estimated a gold price range in his JanuaryMarket Commentary of "... perhaps down to between $1550 and $1600."

But any gold price correction would be a short-term move. Even Faber admitted central bank action is a reason to bet on higher gold prices for the long term.

That's why investors should look at any price correction in gold as an opportunity to stock up.

By Thursday, the yellow metal jumped 1% after the European Central Bank left interest rates the same and the euro rose against the dollar. The February gold contract jumped $20.90 (1.3%) to $1,676.40 per troy ounce.

To continue reading, please click here...

Seven Ways to Tell if Your Gold Is Counterfeit

Gold bars I had just finished a walking tour of the Royal Canadian Mint when I saw it. Right there, out in the open, was a 400-ounce bar of pure gold.

It was chained to a display table and kept safe by an armed guard. At the time, in 2005, the bar was worth $220,000.

Today, the same bar is worth $549,200. In just eight years, gold prices have jumped by 150% -- and that's even with a 27% drop from the peak of $1,900 in 2011.

But it's not the eternal fascination with gold that has boosted the price. With growing levels of worldwide uncertainties, mounting inflation risks, and government distrust, people are clamoring for gold primarily as insurance.

According to the World Gold Council, 2011 saw gold bars and coins reach nearly $77 billion in sales, versus 2002's $3.5 billion. And in November alone, the U.S. Mint's sales of the popular American Eagle coins jumped 131% in the wake of the election.

Editor's Note: Right now, four separate indicators are saying gold is set to surge. Any one of them is bullish on its own. But when all four signals flash at once...

With the market for gold growing at a feverish pace, it's now more important than ever to know that your gold is the real deal - especially now that gold has begun to show signs of a strong rebound.

Here's why...

Gold counterfeiting is nothing new. In fact, just recently there were reports of fake gold bars from China turning up in New York. Instead of gold, their centers were stuffed with tungsten.

But rest assured there are a number of methods you can use to mitigate the risks of ending up with counterfeit gold. Some are simple, quick, and inexpensive. Others are more elaborate, detailed, and not so readily accessible.

Here are seven ways to find out if the gold you own is real:

To continue reading, please click here...

Gold Prices in 2013 to Go Higher Thanks to These "Wars"

Gold nuggets Gold prices in 2013 are already expected to top $2,200, and adding fuel to that price surge is an accelerating trend in the global economy.

We're talking about currency wars.

The term currency wars describes a race between many of the world's central banks to make their currencies worth less relative to other currencies, with the goal of increasing exports by making them cheaper.

Such a strategy becomes less effective as more countries join in the battle, but a growing currency war has another effect that investors can exploit: As central banks devalue their currencies, they create inflation and cause hard assets like gold to rise against them.

Fortunately for gold investors, most of the world's central banks, from the U.S. Federal Reserve to the Bank of Japan, are expected to further step up their currency devaluation in 2013.

"Implementation of the European Central Bank's Outright Monetary Transactions, andfurther Bank of Japan easing -- both of which we expect - [will] support gold, aswould a weaker outlook for the yen, which competes with gold as a flight-to-qualityasset," wrote UBS analyst Edel Tully in a recent research note.

Why Currency Wars Will Get Worse in 2013

While the central banks' easy money policies have been aimed at stimulating their own sluggish economies, the effect has been to strengthen other world currencies, particularly those in emerging markets.

That has made their exports more expensive, hurting their economies. And they've had enough.

"Advanced countries cannot count on exporting their way out of the crisis at the expense of emerging market economies," Brazilian Finance Minister Guido Mantega said at an International Monetary Fund Meeting last week. "Brazil, for one, will take whatever measures it deems necessary to avoid the detrimental effects of these spillovers."

Mantega singled out the Fed in particular, calling its bond-buying QE3 (quantitative easing) program "selfish."

Emerging economies are also uneasy about the recent election of Shinzo Abe as Prime Minister of Japan. Abe and his Liberal Democratic Party are expected to push for as much as $120 billion of stimulus spending plus call on the Bank of Japan to print piles of yen.

"It's almost obscene what they're talking about doing," John Mauldin, chairman of Mauldin Economics, told The Daily Ticker.

To continue reading, please click here...

Your 2013 Guide to Investing in Gold

Gold bullion, gold stocks or no gold at all?

I put that question to Real Asset Returns Editor Peter Krauth last week.

You see, there's a lot of interest in investing in gold right now. Or perhaps I should say that there's a lot of interest in what gold might do.

And you can certainly understand why.

From its November 2008 market lows, the SPDR Gold Trust (NYSE: GLD) - the No. 1 proxy for the "yellow metal" - rose as much as 158%, reaching its peak in September 2011. But it's down about 13% since that time (though it's up 5% year to date), and a lot of folks are wondering what gold is worth, and how they should play it.

Wall Street has grown more tepid on gold, with many of the investment banks ratcheting back just a bit on their target prices. But most also see prices heading up to and beyond the $2,000 level in 2013, meaning they see a potential gain of 22% or better.

Peter's target price is a bit more aggressive: He sees gold trading as high as $2,200 an ounce - 34% above current prices in the $1,640 range.

I've worked with Peter for several years now, and admire the way he works.

He based himself in resource-rich Canada in order to be closer to the many companies that he covers. And he's made a number of truly superb market calls: In September 2010, for instance, when silver was trading at $19 an ounce, Peter told investors the metal was a "Buy" - and we then watched it soar to a high of $48 (a 153% windfall).

So when I decided to bring you the latest insights on gold - and some recommendations, as well - I went to Peter.

To continue reading, please click here...

Why Are Gold Prices Down?

Gold prices plunged Thursday, hitting lows not seen since August, after the U.S. Commerce Department reported an unexpectedly robust reading on third quarter U.S. gross domestic product (GDP).

After the surprising strong report, February gold tumbled $14.50 an ounce to $1,653.50 and spot gold sank $22.80 to $1,643.10.

Silver prices fell as well, losing $1.13 to $29.95 shortly before noon. Prior to the report, the yellow and white metals were little changed.

The fresh report revealed GDP in the third quarter expanded at an annual rate of 3.1%, the fastest growth since late 2011. That was up from the 2.7% pace logged last month, and better than economists' expected 2.8% rate.

Phil Streible, a senior commodity broker at R.J. O'Brien & Associates in Chicago told Bloomberg News, "The GDP number was better than forecast, so the thinking is that improving conditions in the economy might mean a light at the end of the tunnel on when the Fed will end QE3."

Gold and silver have been big beneficiaries of the FOMC's generous QE3 programs.

But there's more than the end of QE measures as to why gold prices are down.

To continue reading, please click here...

Gold Prices: What Happened to the Rise?

One of the more confusing things for investors right now is why gold prices aren't going through the roof. As the Fed, European banks, China and Japan pump massive amounts of money into global markets, investors are scratching their heads when they look at the price of gold. Since reaching the $1,800 an ounce level […]

Read More…

Gold Prices: Where to Now After the Sell Off

After the final Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting decision of the year Wednesday, gold prices got good news: the Fed will institute a new bond-buying program. February Comex gold increased $8.30 (0.5%) Wednesday and settled at $1,717.90 an ounce. And then the sell-off started. Gold fell 1.2% in the next session to $1,696.80, for […]

Read More…

How Gold Miners Can Effectively Leverage Gold Prices

Gazing into their crystal balls last week, Wall Street firms interpreted differing futures for gold next year.

Morgan Stanley awarded gold the "best commodity for 2013" while Goldman Sachs called the end of the metal's hot streak.

After seeing 11 consecutive years of positive performance from gold price, one needs to be wary of research analysts' price forecasts, as they have consistently underestimated the shifting dynamics driving the precious metal higher.

Take a look at analysts' annual predictions of gold prices, which is "a telling picture," CEO Nick Holland of Gold Fields told the crowd at a mining conference last summer.

From 2006 through 2011, Bloomberg's contributing analysts have forecasted that future gold prices would be lower. "The analysts who keep telling us the gold price is going down have been wrong seven years out of seven. That's a remarkable track record!" says Holland.

Take a look at the chart...



To continue reading, please click here...

Investing in Gold: What to Expect from Prices Before 2013

It's been a down week for gold prices, reaching one-month lows, but on Thursday, things began to turn around for the precious metal.

Due to short-covering in anticipation of Friday's employment numbers and comments from European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi raising expectations for an interest rate cut, Comex February gold rose $8 an ounce to $1,701.80.

Gold exchange-traded funds (ETFs) also had a good day on Thursday as they hit record highs of 76.133 million ounces.

Peter Spina, president of Goldseek.com said to Investor's Business Daily of Thursday's levels, "If gold does remain around these levels for the near term (several months), this remains a very healthy gold market, which will set the tone for the next move up."

After the November U.S. jobs report, which had been expected to be skewed from Superstorm Sandy, came out better-than-expected on Friday, gold went above $1,700 again. Expectations for Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) easing fell a bit.

Until the Dec. 10 and Dec. 11 FOMC meeting ends, investors are expected to hit the sidelines.

At next week's meeting, FOMC members will decide what to do with "Operation Twist" as it comes to an end. Many think they will extend it, plus implement a "QE4."

This would be good for the precious metals markets. But gold prices are affected by much more than the FOMC.



To continue reading, please click here...

How to Buy Gold: Don't Miss the Yellow Metal's Next Move Up

With experts predicting rising gold prices for at least the next year, it's no surprise that more and more investors want to know how to buy gold.

According to the facts and figures cited last week by Money Morning Global Resources Specialist Peter Krauth, 2013 should be a banner year for gold. Krauth projects prices for the primary precious metal could easily climb from the current $1,704 an ounce to $2,200 - or even more - a one-year gain in excess of 25%.

That means every serious investor should have at least some gold in their portfolio.

That raises two immediate questions:
1) What are the best vehicles for investing in gold; and,
2) What are the best ways to buy the yellow metal?

For each investor, the best approach to how to buy gold depends on your goals and expectations.

How to Buy Gold

If you're worried global political and economic tensions will intensify, then holding the actual physical metal is your best choice.

Possible flash points include strife in the Middle East, a meltdown in the Eurozone debt crisis, a continued slowing of China's growth rate and, of course, the U.S. fiscal cliff crisis, which could plunge America and perhaps the world economy back into recession - or worse.

Under such conditions, purists feel holding physical gold provides the only truly effective hedge against almost certain declines in the value of the dollar and other fiat currencies - declines that could be amplified by sharp reversals in global financial markets.

For smaller investors, how to buy gold in physical form typically means buying gold bullion bars, rounds (unadorned coin-shaped pieces) or minted gold bullion coins.

To continue reading, please click here...

Why Gold Prices Will Soar After the Dec. 12 FOMC Meeting

Gold prices will start another epic run beginning Dec. 12 - the day the Federal Reserve will double down on QE3 at its Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting.

Decisions made at the Dec. 12 FOMC meeting could add as much as $2.2 trillion to the Fed's balance sheet over the next two years, which will turbocharge gold prices, silver prices and oil prices.

The FOMC is the select group within the Fed that sets monetary policy, such as interest rates and the bond-buying programs known as quantitative easing, or QE.

That the Fed will dramatically increase QE3, which launched in September with the monthly purchase of $40 billion in mortgage-backed securities (MBS), at the Dec. 12 FOMC meeting is almost a given; it practically has no choice. QE3.

But the real issue at the Dec. 12 FOMC meeting will be what to do about the Dec. 31 expiration of the Operation Twist program. In Operation Twist, the Fed sells about $45 billion of short-term Treasuries each month and uses the proceeds to buy long-term Treasuries.

The Fed probably would opt to extend Operation Twist - which has not added to the Fed's balance sheet as QE1, QE2 and QE3 have -- except that it is starting to run low on short-term securities to sell.

Yet the Fed committed in October to extending its easing policies as long as necessary to bring down unemployment and aid the U.S. economy. Its only option is to convert Operation Twist to a conventional bond-buying program - effectively doubling its QE3 money-printing.

"Our baseline expectation is a continuation of the current pace of asset purchases of $85 billion per month on an open-ended basis, which would imply that the current $45 billion per month in [Operation] Twist-financed Treasury purchases is replaced by $45 billion per month in QE-financed Treasury purchases," Jan Hatzius of Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) said of the likely actions at the Dec. 12 FOMC meeting.



To continue reading, please click here...

Stock Market Today Stalled on Fiscal Cliffhanger

The stock market today was down slightly as concerns over the fiscal cliff continued to weigh on markets.

Shortly after 1 p.m. on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 10 points, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index was down about 3 points and the Nasdaq slipped nearly 14.

Of note in the ongoing fiscal cliff saga was U.S. President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden's 10 a.m. meeting with six state governors on how to avoid the looming double whammy of higher taxes and government spending cuts.

The White House guests included three Republican governors: Gov. Gary Herbert, R-UT; National Governors Association (NGA) Vice Chair Gov. Mary Fallin, R-OH; and Wisconsin's Republican Gov. Scott Brown, who is best known for his battles with public employee unions during the election season.

Representing Democrats were Gov. Jack Markell of Delaware, chairman of the NGA; Arkansas's Gov. Mike Beebe and Gov. Mark Dayton of Minnesota.

Following the meeting, President Obama will engage in his first television interview since the election at 12:30 p.m. with Bloomberg News.

Market participants continue to sit on the sidelines as the GOP and Obama administration butt heads over how to avert falling off the cliff.



To continue reading, please click here...