Gold Ends 2008 Higher for US

By Pete Southern in LiveWire Economics Blog | December 31, 2008 14:54 |

THE PRICE OF GOLD BULLION slipped into the New Year’s shutdown on Wednesday, ending 2008 a little shy of 3% above the close of 2007 for US investors at $865 an ounce.

The last London Gold Fix of the year also pegged the Gold Price in Euros at €614 for French, German and Italian buyers – more than 7% higher from 12 months ago.

UK gold investors saw the price end 2008 at £596 per ounce, fully 40% better from New Year’s Eve 2007.

“Thin market volumes limited any major moves on the upside,” reports Manqoba Madinane for Standard Bank in Jo’burg, “which kept precious metals under pressure in aftermarket activity [late Tuesday].

“The US Dollar did not weaken as much as we may have anticipated following worse-than-expected consumer confidence data – which also weighed on precious metals. This may have been a result of increased investment flows into US equity markets, shielding the greenback from economic headwinds.”

US stock futures pointed higher as the last session of 2008 drew near. European stock market also gained before the lunchtime close. But like the S&P on Wall Street, both London and Frankfurt shares finished the year more than 30% lower overall, suffering their worst ever 12-month loss.

“We’re dealing with something that is really historic and we haven’t had a playbook,” says US Treasury secretary Hank Paulson in an interview with the Financial Times.

Ignoring his own role in creating the credit bubble when he led Goldman Sachs as the investment bank’s CEO, “The reason it has been difficult is, first of all, these excesses have been building up for many, many years,” Paulson goes on.

“Secondly, we had a hopelessly outdated global architecture and regulatory authorities in the US.”

Now those “excesses” are to be compounded by record levels of government debt and all-time lows in global interest rates – apparent solutions which have so far failed to stem capital losses and dividend cuts for equity buyers.

The outlook for Gold in 2009, in contrast, continues to hold strong – if only because everything looks so weak in comparison.

Adrian Ash
BullionVault

Formerly City correspondent for The Daily Reckoning in London and head of editorial at the UK’s leading financial advisory for private investors, Adrian Ash is the editor of Gold News and head of research at BullionVault – where you can Buy Gold Today vaulted in Zurich on $3 spreads and 0.8% dealing fees.

(c) BullionVault 2008

Please Note: This article is to inform your thinking, not lead it. Only you can decide the best place for your money, and any decision you make will put your money at risk. Information or data included here may have already been overtaken by events – and must be verified elsewhere – should you choose to act on it.

Pete Southern About Pete Southern
Pete Southern is an active trader, chartist and writer for market blogs. He is currently technical analysis contributor and admin at this here blog.


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