Barclays: Gold prices remain vulnerable

Continuing geopolitical tensions and other factors threaten to weaken the outlook for gold prices, says Barclays chief investment officer for Europe Kevin Gardiner.

Despite a rally towards the end of August, where gold prices rose to a three-month high of around $1,420 per ounce, prices have since dropped by 20 per cent since the beginning of 2013. As of today, the gold price is $1,312 per ounce. 

As well lingering uncertainty surrounding Western military intervention in the Syrian civil war, the run-up to the Federal Reserve’s September meeting regarding the possible tapering of quantitative easing has played a part in weakening gold.

Gardiner says: “We continue to expect gold prices to gradually trend lower in coming months. As monetary conditions normalise, investment demand is expected to weaken while physical demand growth from India (a key consumer) will likely remain soft.”

Regarding India, Gardiner points to the fact that Indian domestic gold prices fell to their lowest level since September 2011.

With India, Gardiner says: “Looking ahead, while a good monsoon season and the start of the wedding and festival season would normally bode well for gold consumption, we expect the increase in import restrictions to curb physical demand growth in the region.

“In the near term, much will be dependent on the FOMC meeting next week. Although consensus is that the Fed will begin to reduce its asset purchases, price volatility could rise if the Fed’s announcement is not what is expected.”