by John Foster. Email John.
Gold prices moved below $1,660 an ounce this week, as profit-taking accelerated due to a COMEX options expiration. A smaller-than-expected increase in U.S. manufactured goods orders added to downward pressures as the dollar moved to session highs versus the euro. However, the overall long-term projection remains strong. Goldman Sachs said this week, “As we look forward, our U.S. economists forecast subdued growth and further easing by the Fed in 2012, which should push the market’s expectations of real rates back down near zero basis points, and Gold prices back to our six-month forecast of $1,840 an ounce.” According to Goldman Sachs, Gold’s price is too low compared to real interest rates, and Matthew Lynn of Strategy Economics commented this week on the buying power by central banks in regards to Gold, saying, “By holding more Gold, central banks are insuring themselves against their own profligacy. They print money. The price of Gold goes up. And if they hold a lot of the stuff in their vaults, they are the big winners from the rise in price.”
The recent increases in crude oil prices have left former General Electric CEO Jack Welch distraught regarding the condition of the U.S. economic recovery. “It’s not taking off. We’re sort of relatively strong but not booming,” Welch said in a CNBC interview. “I am normally to one extreme or another, and I’m a little shaken about not knowing where this is going.” He said he has a lot of uncertainty about the economic recovery. The rising gasoline costs and tax uncertainty are key components to his opinion. “Gasoline prices — you can’t have this jump and not think that it affects the pocketbook,” Welch said. This is already starting to affect consumer confidence. Continue reading