Sharp movements in gold, as occurred last week, are always interesting and important, not just for players in that market but for a much broader audience because of its indicator value. However, gold is not a simple indicator and it is, therefore, always a challenge to understand the meaning of its market movements. The two recent triggers—the widely publicised Goldman Sachs bearish report and concerns that pressure on Cyprus to sell 10 tonnes of gold—have created fears that there is a much larger bearish story out there. That story is based in part on the evident and growing dark clouds of deflation and failing global economic growth.
In particular, China is in the crosshairs of economists and analysts who are concerned about its faltering growth, serious debt problems and the declining productivity of credit in producing growth. A consensus is emerging that China’s growth may be on a much more serious slide than people formerly expected, perhaps to 5-6% p.a. If so, the implications for global growth and demand for commodities is obvious.
It seems that people are increasingly becoming aware of the disconnect between the likelihood of failing economic recoveries as indicated, for example, by falling commodity prices and the expectation of many investors as to future growth and profits.