Photo: Flikr/Mykl Roventine
The FT reports that gold — in addition to selling off over the past several weeks — is seeing all kinds of slowness in the real, physical word.The US Mint’s sales of American Eagle gold coins, seen as a good indicator of investor sentiment, fell in February and March to their lowest level since mid-2008, down about 70 per cent from last year. Open interest in gold futures on Comex in New York is close to a 2½-year low.
More worryingly, traders say, the physical markets Asia and the Middle East, which have traditionally provided a backstop to gold when prices fall, are also quiet. In India, historically the largest consumer of physical gold, the government last Friday announced it would double taxes on gold imports, triggering outrage among the country’s jewellers, who closed their shops this week in protest.