Massive gold sell order serves up opportunity to buy at lower price, says Sharps Pixley

The strong overnight fall in the price of gold was caused by a massive sell order, but investors can now buy more cheaply again, says Ross Norman, CEO of UK precious metals trader Sharps Pixley.

A reported 31 tonne sell order on the CME rocked gold which saw prices collapse from a high of $1790 in London hours to $1703 during NY trading, followed by a further dip to the low of $1687 in out of hours electronic trading. A fall of over 6% which erased roughly half of the gains since the beginning of the year.

Much has been placed on the testimony by Fed Head Bernanke but other markets saw less impact leading to suggestions that it simply provided an excuse for a particular “non US” fund to bail and take profits in dramatic fashion. It may be possible that the seller had hoped the 1,000 lot sell order would trigger stops and thereby exaggerate the move lower, allowing the buying to potentially come back in at a much lower price. Like the price, there is much speculation on their motive.

Ordinarily if a seller wanted to get the best price for his metal he would seek to finesse the selling over time, hunting out liquidity (finding people who are the other side of his sell order) and thereby ensure he gets the best possible profit. This seller was clearly simply out for effect.

Either way, market watchers enviously wishing to get into gold at an attractive level cannot complain that windows of opportunity do not present themselves from time to time. The long term gold story remains unchanged and that is to say :

   – it is largely unreadable and volatile in the very short term, driven as it is by fast-moving news, political actions, policy decisions and economic events that are almost impossible to predict. In this environment, short term speculation is frankly a bit of a mugs game.

   – however, it remains very positive for longer term investors (particularly pension funds) with very positive fundamentals (the market is supply constrained and demand remains robust) and the broad macroeconomic issues remain unchanged. Couple this with shifting pro-gold Central Bank attitudes plus producers manifestly opposed to hedging (and thereby crushing the bull run) and you have a compelling case for buying and holding gold. Best of all, news ways of accessing to gold with a multitude of products over a wide range of jurisdictions is likely to continue to fuel investment demand.

The tone of our reports might suggest (as one reader did) that we are permabulls – we are not and we will be first to let you know when our position changes… probably some time after 2015.

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