The Great Debate UK

Gold rally could start to tire


JaneFoley.JPGSpot gold prices are up over 40 percent year on year.  Yet, according to the World Gold Council, demand for gold in the third quarter of 2009, dropped by 34 percent year on year.  Of course, demand in the third quarter of 2008 was exceptionally high due to the financial crisis. As well, relative to the third quarter average of the five years to 2007, demand for gold in Q3 2009 was down 4 percent.

When confronted with the ferocity of the rally in gold, the fact that the third quarter demand for gold was below the seasonal average is surprising. The dynamic between price and demand suggests some fall in supply perhaps led by increased hoarding.

According to the council mining supply is fairly inelastic.

Supply of recycled gold generally helps stabilise the price, in recent years this has been 28 percent of annual supply.   Between 2003 and 2008 central bank sales represented the third biggest source of supply.

It remains unclear what the recent gold purchases from the Central Bank of India means for the demand/supply dynamic of gold going forward.

The stockmarkets: irrational nonchalance


Laurence Copeland- Laurence Copeland is a professor of finance at Cardiff University Business School and a co-author of “Verdict on the Crash” published by the Institute of Economic Affairs. The opinions expressed are his own. -

Before the credit crunch, we had what I called a Prozac market. Investors on both sides of the Atlantic seemed to be in denial, as irrational as the people who end up in the bankruptcy court because for years they have kept on smiling while the bills piled up unopened.

The economy: reasons to be miserable


Laurence Copeland- Laurence Copeland is a professor of finance at Cardiff University Business School. The opinions expressed are his own. -

Is the crisis over yet?

In the last 3 months, the Dow and the FTSE have each risen by about 25 percent, the Standard & Poor’s 500 by a third. House prices appear to be stabilising in the UK. Stress-tested and backed by seemingly unlimited government funding, the banks are lending again (if only to each other), so that 1-month libor is down to only 0.3 percent.