Gold fell $20.20 or 1.2% in New York yesterday and closed at $1,664.50/oz. Silver slipped to as low as $29.972 and finished with a loss of 2.55%.
Gold fell a further 2% to a 4 and a 1/2 month low today after minutes from the U.S. FOMC meeting highlighted increasing concerns over its highly stimulative monetary policy, sending stock markets tumbling and boosting the dollar.
Today, U.S. non-farm payrolls data is due at 1330 GMT which will show whether the fragile US economy really is recovering.
Silver's slip yesterday made its value at its cheapest compared to gold since late August, with 55.76 ounces of silver now equal to one ounce of gold, against 50.4 in early December.
Gold's price falls may be due to profit taking by speculative players. Since December 20th gold had risen from $1,638/oz to $1,694/oz or by 3.5%.
It may also be the case that bullion banks with large concentrated short positions are using the pretext of the Federal Reserve minutes to manipulate the price lower - both to profit and to allow them to close out their significant short positions at more advantageous prices and possibly even go long.
Federal Reserve policy makers said that they probably will end their $85 billion monthly U.S. bond purchases sometime in 2013. The key word is probably and many doubt whether the Federal Reserve will stop their debt monetisation programmes any time in 2013.
Even if the Fed did end them, ultra loose monetary policies and negative real interest rates are set to continue as are competitive currency devaluations - two other fundamental pillars supporting the precious metal markets.
Yet again, the precious metals move down began in earnest during illiquid markets in Asia. On Thursday, gold fell almost 1.5% during the first three hours of Asian trading.
Gold has broken below the December low of $1,635/oz and below the 50, 100 and 200 day moving averages. However, technical analysis should be ignored in favour of fundamental analysis given that there are strong grounds for suspecting that the gold and silver markets are subject to manipulation by certain banks in the same way that interest rates were in the LIBOR manipulation.
The move down is overdone and the smart money will again see the over reactive sell off, manipulative or not, as a nice gift to start the New Year and will again accumulate on the dip.
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