October 29, 2012

Gold Down, Gas Up as Sandy Strikes

Commodities are trading lightly, with demand for gold likely to shift next month, experts say

Commodities traded lightly on Monday as Hurricane Sandy closed the New York trading floor, but electronic trading continued.

Gold futures were down slightly in electronic with delivery for December off by about 0.1% at $1,710.80 on Globex, according to the CME Group, which owns the Comex and Nymex.

Gasoline futures for November, though, were up about $0.07 and trading at $2.77 mid-day on Monday. December crude oil, however, was off 0.8% to $85.50, CME Group data shows.

The boost in gasoline futures was associated with refinery shutdowns and disruptions on the East Coast. These measures, analysts say, have pushed regional production down by roughly 65% in the short term, though less than 7% of total U.S. refining capacity is in the path of the hurricane.

In the past month, the iPath S&P GSCI Crude Oil TR Index ETN (OIL) fell about 7%, moving down sharply in the past 10 days.

Meanwhile, the SPDR Gold Shares ETF (GLD) has lost about 4% so far in October. It traded just below $166 on Friday.

Over the past week, gold futures traded down 0.7%, while oil futures declined 4.2%, according to U.S. Global Investors.

Gold Trends

Experts say that over all, gold appears to be following its historic trading pattern.

“In fact, going back 30 years, the historical seasonality of gold has been to rise during September, with a subsequent correction in October,” said Frank Holmes, head of U.S. Global Investors, in his Friday newsletter on market trends.

“This fall, gold has followed this historical trend, with the metal climbing throughout the month of September to reach a high of $1,790 an ounce on Oct. 4, only to have a normal correction to $1,701 by Oct. 24,” he wrote. “This decline typically comes ahead of the Love Trade fueling demand prior to the Hindu festival of lights, Diwali, which begins in November.”

Standard Chartered estimates that gold should trade at $1,750 an ounce by the end of the fourth quarter.

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