WGC Official: China Headed For Record Gold Demand In 2013


Kitco News
By Allen Sykora
August 15, 2013

(Kitco News) – China is on a pace for record gold demand in 2013, putting it neck-and-neck in a race with India to see which nation will be the world’s largest consumer this year, said an official with the World Gold Council Thursday.

Demand has been robust in the two nations so far in 2013, with the WGC’s quarterly trends report Thursday citing increased purchases of jewelry, coins and bars in the wake of a price fall as buyers sought to take advantage of lower prices.

For the second quarter, India’s gold demand jumped 71% year-on-year to 310 metric tons. Demand for China surged 85% year-on-year to 294.6 tons, the WGC said.

“It really does show the incredible performance of those two markets in Q2,” said Marcus Grubb, managing director for investment with the WGC. He spoke with Kitco News in conjunction with the release of the quarterly report.

The Gold Council hiked its forecasts for demand in these nations, currently looking for each to buy somewhere between 900 and 1,000 tons for the full year, Grubb said. This is an especially bullish forecast for China since its previous high was around 776 tons, whereas India has hit 1,000 before, the WGC official continued.

For the first half of the year, China purchased around 600 tons, up 45% from the first six months of 2012, Grubb said. India had purchases of 566 tons, a 48% increase. While China has consumed more so far this year, the second half tends to be stronger for India due to the Diwali festival season, Grubb continued.

“So we think it’s very difficult now to call between the two markets which will be biggest,” Grubb said.

Indian authorities implemented a number of measures aimed at curbing gold imports into the country in an effort to tackle a large current-account deficit. The import tax was hiked again Tuesday. Yet, the Grubb said he looks for strong demand anyway. He pointed out that even with prior attempts to limit imports, India’s demand is up sharply so far during the first half of 2013.

He said after the latest measure Tuesday, hiking the duty to 10%, the gold premium jumped to $57 an ounce in Mumbai, meaning the new rules simply meant higher prices for consumers.

Grubb later added, “We think demand will remain unaffected in India. We think the other corollary of that is you are going to see a bigger gray market this year, with probably a bit higher than 200 tons of gold coming in through unofficial channels by year-end.”

The data in the WGC report, compiled independently by the consultancy Thomson Reuters GFMS, show that India’s jewelry demand jumped to 188 tons in the second quarter from 124.6 in the same period a year ago. Bar and coin investment rose to 122 tons from 56.5.

For China, jewelry demand rose to 167.3 tons from 108.8. Bar and coin investment climbed to 127.3 tons from 50.1.

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Chinese Gold Demand Could Hit 1,000 Tonnes This Year-WGC


By Jan Harvey
July 25, 2013

* China set to overtake India as no.1 gold consumer

* Central bank demand set to ease from 48-yr high

* Jewelry offtake to grow as proportion of demand

LONDON, July 25 (Reuters) – China’s gold demand could hit a record 1,000 tonnes this year, the World Gold Council said on Thursday, which means it would overtake India as the world’s biggest bullion consumer.

Chinese gold demand is likely to be in the region of 950 to 1,000 tonnes in 2013, the WGC’s managing director for investment, Marcus Grubb, said, but risks are skewed to the upside and could push demand past the upper end of that range.

“China will probably be the world’s biggest gold consumer this year for the first time on an annual basis,” Grubb said. “That will be driven by both jewellery and investment demand. Jewellery will be the biggest overall demand segment, but investment will grow fastest.”

Physical deliveries from the Shanghai Gold Exchange in the first half of 2013 exceeded total deliveries for all of last year, exchange data showed, while premiums over spot prices rose above $20 an ounce.

China’s demand for gold in fabrication, which covers jewellery and other decorative and industrial uses, amounted to 590.5 tonnes last year, according to metals consultancy Thomson Reuters GFMS.

India’s gold demand is likely to be at the lower end of earlier guidance, Grubb said, at around 850 tonnes. The Indian government has moved to curb gold imports this year in a bid to cut a record trade deficit.

The Reserve Bank of India said on Monday that 20 percent of all gold imports must be used for exports, up from less than 10 percent currently.

Grubb forecast global central bank gold acquisitions this year at around 400 tonnes, down from a 48-year high of 532 tonnes in 2012. He described mine supply as “a wild card” and said scrap supply was expected to decline by 300-400 tonnes from 1,616 tonnes last year.

He expected jewellery to account for a larger slice of world gold demand this year as investment in the metal drops.

Investor selling on expectations that the Federal Reserve is set to rein in its gold-friendly quantitative easing policy in the near future has been blamed for a more than 20 percent drop in gold prices this year.

“Jewellery demand is likely to increase globally this year as a proportion of overall gold demand for the first time in 12 years,” Grubb said.

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Gold’s Comeback: Why Prices May Head Even Higher


Daily Finance
By Mike Obel
July 23, 2013

The price of gold has surged 13 percent — its biggest gain in more than a year — from a late-June low of $1,211.60 as recent signals from the U.S. central bank of continued money-printing hold down the value of the dollar and the recently depressed price sparks Asian bargain-hunting.

The yellow metal’s July bounce may continue, vindicating the small number of bullish forecasters still keeping faith with the precious metal, or the slide that began in late October could resume, vindicating the many sell-side analysts working for giant investment banks who are happy to see gold get what they see as well-deserved comeuppance.

Here’s what’s happened. From its Oct. 4, 2012, price of $1,804.50 per troy ounce the gold price had, by June 28, fallen to $1,180, a more than one-third plunge in its value. Investors in such popular exchange-traded funds as SPDR Gold Trust and iShares Gold Trust couldn’t exit quickly enough. But since June 28, the price of gold has been clawing its way back, and Monday in New York trading it climbed to $1,336.10, a 13 percent gain.

The case for a long-term bullish view of the gold price rests on two developments. Supplies are tightening. Rio Tinto said its second-quarter 2013 gold production was down 19 percent from the year-earlier level. And in a preliminary report AngloGold Ashanti, the world’s third-largest producer, said it was cutting its full-year production guidance to a range of 4 million ounces to 4.1 million ounces from the previous range of 4.1 million ounces to 4.4 million ounces.

Central banks are holding on to their gold rather than selling it. Russia said that in June its supply of gold was unchanged, and the latest report from the European Central Bank noted that for a second week gold reserves remained unchanged.

Besides the tightening supplies, the case for a long-term bullish view of the gold price also depends on demand for physical gold — not the once-popular gold exchange-traded funds — increasing. Indians, who comprise the world’s largest group of gold buyers, are buying more, and as the price has fallen there has been increased demand in China. The volume of business on the Shanghai Gold Exchange last month rose more than 25 percent, year over year.

Even Americans are buying physical gold: the U.S. Mint says gold coin sales popped to 46,000 ounces so far in July, already one-third higher than in July of last year. So far this year, gold coin sales by the Mint have reached 836,500 ounces compared with 832,000 ounces for all of 2012.

Both developments, tightening supply and increased demand for physical gold, have nothing directly to do with what is happening in non-physical markets.

“There are really two markets in gold,” noted emerging markets investor Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments told the Financial Post on Friday. “There is the market price, and there is real demand. Market price is influenced by derivatives, by short sellers, by all kinds of actions by traders who are not taking physical delivery.

“My personal opinion is, this big downturn we’ve seen is an aberration and you’ll probably see a return to the long-term growth trend of gold. But in the short term, there’s going to be a lot of pain, basically prices coming down and looking like they’re not going to stop coming down. But at the end of the day, the demand is there and supply is limited. The cost of mining is not going down, but going up. So I would say I’m reasonably bullish on gold.”

There are, moreover, two market trends that augur well for gold. The U.S. Commodities Futures Trading Commission says that the net speculative long position on physical bullion has wound down to the level of 2001, when gold was selling for $330. In other words, gold is looking more and more oversold. Secondly, data released by Comex on Friday revealed that gross speculative short positions — bets that gold’s price will decline — fell from the all-time high set the week before and “indicated perhaps that the negative bullion sentiment may be waning,” HSBC gold analyst James Steele said.

Economic and industry reports that show a weakening U.S. economy, one that will do well to average 2 percent GDP growth this year, are also expected to help gold because of the perception that weakness just delays the winding down of the Federal Reserve’s money-printing.

Any continuation in the gold price rally will face obstacles. The head of the All India Gems & Jewelry Trade Federation said India’s gold imports may drop to 175,000 tons in the second half of this year because of the nation’s central bank recent moves to restrict gold imports. Such a drop would contrast sharply with the 478,000 tons of gold India imported in 2012.

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Gold Logs Biggest One-Day Gain in Over a Year


By MarketWatch Staff
July 22, 2013

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Gold futures climbed , posting their biggest one-day gain since late June of last year as helped pull prices for the precious metal to their highest close in almost five weeks. August gold jumped $43.10, or 3.3%, to settle at $1,336 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. That was the highest settlement for a most-active contract since June 19, FactSet data show. The session’s percentage and dollar gains were also the largest for a most-active contract since June 29, 2012.

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Detroit Files for Bankruptcy


By Chris Isidore
July 18, 2013

Detroit filed for bankruptcy Thursday, becoming the nation’s largest public sector bankruptcy. The move could slash pension benefits to city workers and retirees, and leave bond holders with only pennies on the dollar.

The bankruptcy was filed by Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr and approved by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder. Snyder said the financial condition of the city left him no choice.

“Now’s our opportunity to stop 60 years of decline,” Snyder said at a Friday news conference with Orr. “How long had this been going on and people were kicking the can down the road and not doing something? We’re doing something.”

Snyder has said that 38% of the city’s budget is being spent on “legacy costs,” such as pensions and debt service. He said police take almost an hour to respond to calls, compared to a national average of 11 minutes, and that 40% of street lights in the city are turned off.

“Does anybody think it’s OK to have 40-year-old trees growing through the roofs of dilapidated houses,” Orr said.

But public employee unions are sure to fight the move, charging that the city did not negotiate in good faith and should not be allowed to walk away from obligations made to employees and retirees.

The Detroit Fire Fighters Association said it was “very disappointed” with the bankruptcy filing.

“We are working with other Detroit employees to form a unified coalition to address the financial concerns of Detroit,” the group said. “Detroit’s Fire Fighters will continue to protect and serve during this difficult time, regardless of the economic challenges.”

Orr already halted payments on about $2 billion in debt last month, saying the city needed to preserve its dwindling supply of cash. The city faces total liabilities of about $18 billion.

Orr’s reorganization plan calls for cutting $11.5 billion in debt down to $2 billion. That would mean that investors and retirees would receive an average of just 17% of what they are owed. Specific plans for the cuts are unknown at this time.

No municipal bankruptcy has ever resulted in involuntary cuts to retiree benefits, said Michael Sweet, a California bankruptcy attorney.

“It’s relatively easy to blow off a creditor. It’s much harder when it’s people who are the fabric of your community,” he said. “You need a police force, you need a fire department. You’re saying [to them] you’re not worth what you were previously promised.”

Sweet said that case law on whether pensions can be cut this way is very limited, and it could take years for a court fight over such cuts to work its way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Given the poor state of funding for many public sector pension funds nationwide, “it’s a big enough question, that (the Supreme Court) is where it likely will have to go,” he said.

When employees of a bankrupt business lose their promised pensions, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. steps in and provides a minimal level of benefits. But that federal agency doesn’t back pensions in the public sector.

Retirees and city employees say they can’t accept cuts in their pension benefits.

“How am I supposed to live without my pension?” said David Sole, 65, after a protest in Detroit last month. Sole retired from the city’s water department in January after 22 years.

Investors say the bankruptcy will make it more difficult for cities and towns everywhere to raise the money they need to build bridges, schools and other infrastructure. It will also hurt municipal bonds held by individual investors.

There are more than $1 trillion worth of bonds at risk, said Peter Hayes, head of municipal bonds at BlackRock. He said there will be a ripple effect nationwide.

Orr said that the city needs to cut debt to restore services and lower costs, such as taxes and insurance, which he says have chased businesses and residents out of the city.

Detroit’s population has fallen 28% since 2000. The unemployment rate, while down from a peak of 27.8% in the summer of 2009 — when General Motors

and Chrysler Group were going through their own bankruptcies — is still at 16.3%, nearly twice Michigan’s statewide average.

While the auto industry has enjoyed a resurgence with strong car sales and profits, most of the industry’s Michigan plants lay outside of city limits.

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Here’s How to Trade Gold Miners


In the segment, DRJ gave advice on buying physical gold, where he states, “I pulled the trigger and bought a lot of physical gold below $1200 to the ounce. I’m happy today obviously, because it’s 80 points higher than that.” Jon went on to say, “June 28th was the low tick for gold and then the miners took a few days in July, but then they just went off to the races too. As far as buying either physical or the securitized versions of gold, I think these are much more attractive levels and I don’t know if we would get back down to those $1100s to the ounce of gold.”


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Dollar Retreats Ahead of Fed Minutes, Bernanke


By William L. Watts and Barbara Kollmeyer
July 10, 2013

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — The U.S. dollar fell on Wednesday, a day after a popular dollar index scored a three-year high, as investors awaited minutes of the Federal Reserve’s last policy meeting and a speech by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke for further insight into the central bank’s time frame for slowing the pace of its monetary stimulus.

The ICE dollar index, which measures the U.S. unit against six other major currencies, fell to 84.295 versus a level of 84.598 in North American trade late Tuesday.

The release of the minutes of the June 18-19 meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee at 2 p.m. Eastern and Bernanke’s speech after the close of Wall Street trading “could be key in either cementing or undermining market expectations with respect to the chances of Fed tapering the quantity of its monthly asset purchases in September,” said Jane Foley, senior currency strategist at Rabobank International.

Economists will scour the minutes to gauge the individual views of Fed policy makers. The Fed has been purchasing $85 billion in government and mortgage bonds each month in an effort to keep interest rates low and boost the economy.

But Bernanke affirmed in a news conference following the June meeting that the Fed could begin to scale back those purchases later this year. Increased expectations for tapering have undercut bonds, sending yields higher and lifting the dollar.

“Given the risk of unsettling markets, it is likely that even when the Fed [begins] to taper QE that Bernanke will continue to evoke the use of dovish rhetoric and forward guidance in order to achieve a more moderate market impact. This may mean that Bernanke could disappoint the U.S. dollar bulls” in his speech later Wednesday, Foley said.

The dollar, meanwhile, dropped versus the yen with the Bank of Japan due to wrap up its two-day policy meeting Thursday.

The dollar traded at ¥100.24 in recent action after briefly dipping back below ¥100, down from ¥101.05 on Tuesday. Most analysts don’t expect a change in the Japanese central bank’s policy or economic forecast, but a change of sentiment is hitting the dollar.

“Yen gains in Asia appeared to come from a growing belief that the Bank of Japan will sound a more bullish tone on the economy at this week’s Bank of Japan meeting,” said Simon Smith, chief economist at FxPro in London.

The euro regained some ground versus the dollar a day earlier, when it fell to a three-month low. The shared currency fetched $1.2849, up from $1.2781 late Tuesday in North America.

The greenback on Tuesday logged a three-year high against the British pound, with sterling hit after weaker-than-expected U.K. data on industrial production. The pound on Wednesday was higher, trading at $1.4934, up from $1.4861.

Last Friday’s stronger-than-expected jobs report for June underscored expectations for tapering by the end of this year. Bernanke recently said the Fed may end asset purchases completely by next year.

Meanwhile, the euro and the pound have seen losses since the European Central Bank and the Bank of England last week each said their monetary policy would remain accommodative as regional leaders work to spur economic growth.

The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday lowered its growth expectations for the euro zone this year, but it raised its view on the U.K. economy.

The Australian dollar gave up early gains to trade at 91.68 U.S. cents, down from 91.80 U.S. cents.

The WSJ Dollar Index, which measures the currency against a slightly wider basket than the ICE dollar index, fell to 75.84 from Tuesday’s close at 76.29.

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Gold Advances on Jump in China Inflation, Physical Metal Demand


By Debarati Roy & Nicholas Larkin
July 9, 2013

Gold futures climbed for the second straight day as accelerating inflation in China boosted the appeal of the metal as a hedge while demand improved for jewelry, coins and bars.

China’s consumer price index rose 2.7 percent from a year earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics said today, compared with a median estimate of 2.5 percent in a Bloomberg survey. Asian interest in gold has been supported by reports of strong physical buying in China, Standard Bank Plc said in a report today. Demand has picked up after the precious metal tumbled a record 23 percent in the second quarter, touching $1,179.40 an ounce on June 28, the lowest since Aug. 2, 2010.

“Prices got a boost on news that China’s inflation rate heated up a bit,” Peter Hug, the global trading director of Kitco Metals Inc., said today in a report. “We are seeing some continued physical demand from the Far East.”

Gold futures for August delivery advanced 1.1 percent to $1,247.80 at 10:52 a.m. on the Comex in New York, after climbing 1.8 percent yesterday.

Bullion slumped 26 percent this year through yesterday, wiping $61.3 billion from the value of gold held by exchange-traded products. Some investors lost faith in the metal as a store of value as the Federal Reserve said it may slow bond buying this year. Prices also dropped because unprecedented stimulus failed to spur U.S. inflation. Expectations for gains in U.S. consumer prices, as measured by the break-even rate for 10-year Treasury Inflation Protected Securities, fell 15 percent this year.

Lease Rate

The one-month lease rate for gold rose to 0.2988 percent, the highest since December 2008, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The rate is derived by subtracting the gold forward offered rate from the London Interbank Offered Rate.

Silver futures for September delivery added 0.6 percent to $19.16 an ounce in New York. Trading was 43 percent lower than the average in the past 100 days for this time of day, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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Economist Caution: Prepare For ‘Massive Wealth Destruction’


By MoneyNews Staff
July 7, 2013

Take immediate steps to protect your wealth . . . NOW!

That’s exactly what many well-respected economists, billionaires, and noted authors are telling you to do — experts such as Marc Faber, Peter Schiff, Donald Trump, and Robert Wiedemer. According to them, we are on the verge of another recession, and this one will be far worse than what we experienced during the last financial crisis.

Marc Faber, the noted Swiss economist and investor, has voiced his concerns for the U.S. economy numerous times during recent media appearances, stating, “I think somewhere down the line we will have a massive wealth destruction. I would say that well-to-do people may lose up to 50 percent of their total wealth.”

When he was asked what sort of odds he put on a global recession happening, the economist famous for his ominous predictions quickly answered . . . “100 percent.”

Faber points out that this bleak outlook stems directly from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s policy decisions, and the continuous printing of new money, referred to as “quantitative easing” in the media.

Faber’s pessimism is matched by well-respected economist and investor Peter Schiff, the CEO of Euro Pacific Capital. Schiff remarks that the stock market collapse we experienced in 2008 “wasn’t the real crash. The real crash is coming.”

Schiff didn’t stop there. Most alarming is his belief that daily life will get dramatically worse for U.S. citizens.

“If we keep doing this policy of stimulus and growing government, it’s just going to get worse for the average American. Our standard of living is going to fall . . . People who are expecting Social Security can’t get all that money. People expecting government pensions can’t get all their money . . . We simply can’t afford to pay them.”

Equally critical of the current government and our nation’s economy is real estate mogul and entrepreneur Donald Trump, who is warning that the United States could soon become a large-scale Spain or Greece, teetering on the edge of financial ruin.

Trump doesn’t hesitate to point out America’s unhealthy dependence on China. “When you’re not rich, you have to go out and borrow money. We’re borrowing from the Chinese and others.”

It is this massive debt that worries Trump the most.

“We are going up to $16 trillion [in debt] very soon, and it’s going to be a lot higher than that before he gets finished,” Trump says, referring to President Barack Obama. “When you have [debt] in the $21-$22 trillion [range], you are talking about a [credit] downgrade no matter how you cut it.”

In a recent appearance, Trump went to so far as to say the dollar is “going to hell.”

Where Trump, Faber, and Schiff see rising debt, a falling dollar, and a plunging stock market, investment adviser and author Robert Wiedemer sees much more widespread economic destruction.

In a recent interview to talk about his New York Times best-seller Aftershock, Wiedemer says, “The data is clear, 50 percent unemployment, a 90 percent stock market drop, and 100 percent annual inflation… starting in 2013.”

Before you dismiss Wiedemer’s claims as impossible or unrealistic, consider this: In 2006, Wiedemer and a team of economists accurately predicted the collapse of the U.S. housing market, equity markets, and consumer spending that almost sank the United States. They published their research in the book America’s Bubble Economy.

When the interview host questioned Wiedemer’s latest data, the author unapologetically displayed shocking charts backing up his allegations, and then ended his argument with, “You see, the medicine will become the poison.”

The interview has become a wake-up call for those unprepared (or unwilling) to acknowledge an ugly truth: The country’s financial “rescue” devised in Washington has failed miserably.

The blame lies squarely on those whose job it was to avoid the exact situation we find ourselves in, including Bernanke and former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan, tasked with preventing financial meltdowns and keeping the nation’s economy strong through monetary and credit policies.

At one point, Wiedemer even calls out Bernanke, saying that his “money from heaven will be the path to hell.”

But it’s not just the grim predictions that are causing the sensation in Wiedemer’s video interview. Rather, it’s his comprehensive blueprint for economic survival that’s really commanding global attention.

The interview offers realistic, step-by-step solutions that the average hard-working American can easily follow.

The video was initially screened for a relatively small, private audience. But the overwhelming amount of feedback from viewers who felt the interview should be widely publicized came with consequences, as various online networks repeatedly shut it down and affiliates refused to house the content.

Bernanke and Greenspan certainly would not support Wiedemer publicly, and it soon became apparent mainstream media would not either.

“People were sitting up and taking notice, and they begged us to make the interview public so they could easily share it,” said Newsmax Financial Publisher Aaron DeHoog. “But unfortunately, it kept getting pulled.”

“Our real concern,” DeHoog added, “is the effect even if only half of Wiedemer’s predictions come true.

“That’s a scary thought for sure. But we want the average American to be prepared, and that is why we will continue to push this video to as many outlets as we can. We want the word to spread.”

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Gold Holds Around $1,250/oz After Record Quarterly Drop


By Clara Denina
July 2, 2013

* Dollar index hits 5-week high

* Gold bar premiums steady in Hong Kong

* SPDR holdings at lowest since February 2009 (Updates prices, adds comment)

LONDON, July 2 (Reuters) – Gold was little changed on Tuesday, struggling to hold gains for a third straight session as the dollar strengthened and investors looked for further indications of an end to U.S. monetary easing soon.

It started the day on a strong footing as traders were forced to cover their short positions and buy back metal they had agreed to sell at a future date after gold logged its biggest three-month loss since at least 1968, according to Reuters data.

“There was some short-covering earlier in the day but generally investors are a bit cautious to take positions due to a strong dollar ahead of the U.S. data on Friday and if numbers are better than expected, selling momentum could kick in again,” MKS Capital senior vice president Bernard Sin said.

Investors, wary of taking fresh positions before a U.S. holiday on Thursday, are now focusing on Friday’s U.S. payrolls report, and a strong reading would lift both Treasury yields and the dollar, in turn weighing gold down.

Spot gold rose to $1,267.20 an ounce earlier in the day and was unchanged at $1,252.66 by 1408 GMT. U.S. gold futures for August delivery fell 0.3 percent to $1,251.70 an ounce.

Gold had lost 23 percent in the April-June period on speculation the U.S. Federal Reserve’s ultra-loose monetary policy could end soon. This would support a rise in interest rates, making gold less attractive.

Analysts warned the current recovery from last week’s three-year low of $1,180.70 was not likely to last for long, with some anticipating that prices still could ultimately fall to $1,000 an ounce.

“The dollar is likely to strengthen further in the second half of the year as the economy improves … the tide may turn but not much more than temporarily,” Societe Generale analyst Robin Bhar said.

The dollar rose to a five-week peak against a basket of currencies, while U.S. bond yields were steady around 2.5 percent.


SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold exchange-traded fund, reported an outflow of 1.2 tonnes to 968.30 tonnes on Monday, its lowest level since February 2009. Its holdings have dropped 382.5 tonnes since the start of the year.

Physical demand has not come to the rescue of gold as it did in April, when prices fell the most in 30 years, but Shanghai futures were trading at more than $30 premiums to spot prices, indicating some renewed interest.

“There has been some good physical demand with premiums in Asia remaining elevated … (showing) that buyers believe that gold has probably done enough on the downside for now,” Marex Spectron said.

In Hong Kong and Singapore, however, gold bar premiums remained at the same levels as last week, indicating demand had not picked up strongly.

Silver rose 0.1 percent to $19.58 an ounce. It reached a near three-year low at $18.19 on Friday.

Platinum rose 0.2 percent to $1,377.74 an ounce and and palladium gained 1 percent to $691.22 an ounce.

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