GOLD PRICE gains of 1.0% overnight were trimmed and then reversed in London trade morning, taking the metal back to last week's finish of $1243 per ounce as world stock markets rose following stronger-than-expected US consumer confidence data.
Rising to 75.1 for November from 73.2 last month, the Reuters/Michigan consumer confidence index beat analyst forecasts of 73.5 but remained well below the summer's peak of 85.
Major government bond prices had earlier slipped, but Spanish bonds rose in pricehowever, nudging 2-year yields to their lowest level since 2009 following unsourced comments in a German newspaper that the European Central Bank is considering a new round of long-term asset purchases.
Italian yields also eased lower, down to 6-month lows, after 2014 budget plans from prime minister Enrico Letta's coalition won a confidence vote in parliament.
The British Pound rose to new 2013 highs above $1.63 despite a revision to GDP data showing a 6% drop in business investment during the third quarter.
That capped the gold price for UK investors below £770 per ounce before the US consumer confidence stats. Gold then retreated to £764, some £5 above Monday's new 3-year lows.
"Trading conditions could start to thin out going into the Thanksgiving holiday tomorrow," says a US gold and commodity broker's note.
"With the US Thanksgiving holiday fast approaching," agrees today's comment from Standard Bank's commodity team in London, "market activity may slow down, and only pick up next week Friday" when the next US jobless data are released.
China's gold trading volumes were solid on Wednesday, however, slipping from Tuesday but holding above recent averages as the Yuan price ended barely changed, equivalent to $5 per ounce above London gold settlement.
Gold price bearishness will take the metal back to $1180 per ounce, the 3-year low hit at the end of this spring's crash, says London market maker Barclays.
Joni Teves at Swiss investment bank and London bullion market-maker UBS agrees, saying the gold price will average $1180 per ounce between now and New Year.
Teves yesterday cut UBS's 3-month gold price forecast to $1100 per ounce from $1375.
But "gold posted a bullish daily reversal at the lows" on Monday, says a technical analysis of price charts from Citigroup.
"Additionally silver posted a bullish daily reversal, and momentum has also crossed up from stretched levels."
Silver prices slipped in London trade Wednesday, but held above $20 per ounce after dropping through that level for the first time in 4 months last week.
New data meantime said gold imports to China rose almost 20% to a near-record monthly high in October, with 130 tonnes being shipped through Hong Kong on what local analysts and traders called "stockpiling" ahead of the Lunar New Year festivities.
Gold imports to Turkey last month took year-to-date inflows to a record, the Istanbul Gold Exchange showed on its 18-year data series, more than doubling from 2012 to 251 tonnes as buyers in the world's 4th largest consumer nation took advantage of the sharpest price drop in 38 years.
"We can [also] increase our gold exports to Iran dramatically," Hurriyet Daily News quotes Ayhan Güner, head of Turkey's Jewelry Exporters Association, "if [international] sanctions against Iran are eased" following last weekend's agreement over Iran's nuclear development program.
Currently targeting 10 tonnes of domestic gold mine production per year, Iran is boosting its domestic gold refining capacity, says the Tehran Times, with 3 tonnes of gold bars slated for annual output from the new north-western Zarshouran plant, due to start production next month.
German regulator BaFin has meantime joined the "investigation" of gold's London benchmark Fix, according to the Wall Street Journal Deutschland.
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