By Geoffrey Smith
Investing.com — Gold prices fell on Friday as a more authentic risk appetite returned to global markets in response to signs that both companies and governments expect the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic to be over soon.
By 11:30 AM ET (1530 GMT), for delivery on the Comex exchange were down 1.3% at $1,709.55 a troy ounce, while was down 1.4% at $1,693.13.
were down 1.6% at $15.37 an ounce while were down 0.4% at $790.25.
However, sovereign bonds were also well bid, with Treasury yields broadly unchanged, and European sovereign yields falling slightly on hints of more aggressive bond-buying from the European Central Bank.
The moves came on a day when stocks rose sharply in response to the most detailed guidelines yet for reopening the U.S. economy. Quarterly updates from the likes of L’Oreal and LVMH also encouraged hopes of a swift rebound in demand (although they weren’t corroborated by data showing Chinese retail sales still down nearly 16% on the year in March).
There were also signs that the strong retail flows seen in recent weeks may be ebbing. According to Bloomberg data, ETF holdings of gold rose for a 19th-straight day on Thursday, but by only 73,000 ounces, much less than at the peak of the recent panic.
Longer-term hedging considerations continue to support prices, though. Analysts at Pictet Wealth Management said on Friday that, according to their models, a 10% holding in gold (and proportional reduction of equities and bonds) since the start of 2007 would have improved a portfolio’s annual returns and lowered its volatility by half a percentage point over a decade.
Elsewhere, reports suggest a bout of downward pressure coming from the physical market in Asia on a two- to three-month view, where a nationwide lockdown in India is threatening to disrupt the key season of weddings and religious festivals. Demand traditionally surges during this period.
“We have never seen such kind of demand destruction happening. Sales are zero during the lockdown,” Reuters quoted N. Anantha Padmanaban, chairman of the All India Gem and Jewellery Domestic Council, as saying on Thursday. Padmanaban reckoned India’s gold consumption in 2020 could fall to 350-400 tons, the lowest since 1991 and down from 690.4 tons in 2019.
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