Gold had a rough 2013. With a loss of 28% on the year, the spot price of gold was down by nearly the same percentage that the S&P 500 was up. And I don’t expect gold to regain its shimmer in 2014.
Let’s take a look at the macro environment as we enter the new year:
- The inflation that gold enthusiasts have feared since the onset of the 2008 crisis is dead on arrival. The latest CPI figures show an inflation rate of just 1.2%, and energy prices are actually falling.
- The quantitative easing that fueled the inflation fears of the past few years is already being tapered, from $85 billion in bond purchases per month to $75 billion per month…with more tapering to come.
- The Federal budget deficit, though still far too high, continues to fall and is expected to be just 3.3% of GDP in fiscal year 2014.
- Gold miners are contemplating hedging their risk by selling their production forward, which will effectively cap the price of gold (and sends a very negative signal to the market).
- Hedge funds and other large institutional buyers—the driving force behind much of the rise in the spot price of gold in the past decade—appear to be abandoning gold if the outflows from gold ETFs are any indication. Gold ETF holdings are now at their lowest levels since 2008.
- Gold now has competition in the anti-establishment crowd from Bitcoin and other “virtual” currencies. (I think Bitcoin is a joke, mind you, but that doesn’t mean that it won’t continue to steal gold’s thunder for a while longer.)
I try not to spend much time on specific price targets, as I see these as being something of a distraction but I expect the spot price of gold to finish in the range of $1,000 to $1,100.
About the author:
Mr. Sizemore has been a repeat guest on Fox Business News, quoted in Barron’s Magazine and the Wall Street Journal, and published in many respected financial websites, including MarketWatch, TheStreet.com, InvestorPlace, MSN Money, Seeking Alpha, Stocks, Futures and Options Magazine, and The Daily Reckoning.