Goldman Sachs Called It… Gold Enters Bear Market


Goldman Sachs called for investors to short their positions on gold April 8, and so far the group has been right. Gold futures fell into bear territory with a loss of 4 percent on April 12—their lowest level in 21 months—dropping $63.50 to settle at $1,501.40 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile exchange. The metal is down more than 20 percent from its August 2011 high of $1,891.90.

Give credit where credit is due—to Goldman Sachs, for a masterful sell raid on gold,” Gene Arensberg, editor of the Got Gold report, said. “Without Goldman’s very public call to short gold when it was most vulnerable, there is no way gold would have broken down today.

The short is a shift in outlook after investors have clung to gold for the past 12 years as the global economy has struggled. But Goldman predicted all along that gold would decline in the second half of 2013, it just happened sooner than expected. Goldman’s note followed more negative speculation last week from French bank Societe Generale, which declared “The End of the Gold Era,” forecasting not only a bear market but a complete crash in the gold market. “Gold may have had its last hurrah,” the report stated.

Holdings in the Standard & Poor’s Gold Trust fell to 1,181.40 metric tons April 11, its lowest in almost three years. But gold slumping into a bear market also signals a strengthening global economy and stronger favor of the dollar. Traditionally, gold and the dollar trade inversely from one another. In fact, as gold fell, the dollar rose as much as .5 percent against the euro April 12, and the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index of shares reached a record April 11. The Federal Reserve even indicated April 10 that some policy makers favor pulling back on its $85 billion per month in quantitative easing.

On the basis that the global economy is slowly getting better, that’s a negative for gold, and the Fed may be stepping off the QE pedal,” Robin Bhar, an analyst at Societe Generale SA in London, told Bloomberg in a telephone interview. “All the positive factors that have been in place for gold are now going into reverse.

And gold may have further to fall. Cyprus recently proposed it sell 40 tons of gold—the catalyst that sparked many of the recent gold sales.

“It’s not the fact that Cyprus may have to liquidate their gold reserves in order to finance their bailout, it’s the fact that if any other country in the world gets in trouble, gold is going to be the first thing to go,” Bill Baruch, senior market strategist at iiTrader in Chicago, told CNBC. “And really,generally speaking, in the last five years, countries have had enormous gains in gold reserves. So if you’re a country and you run into financial troubles, those gold reserves are the first thing they’re going to have to liquidate in order to finance their bailout.

Analysts are calling for gold to stabilize anywhere from $1,474 to $1,500. But with a still-volatile market—retail sales fell .4 percent for March, the consumer confidence index is at its lowest in nine months, and the International Energy Agency is speculating a potential bear market for crude oil—it’s really anyone’s guess.