After having nearly breached the $1,500-per-ounce barrier on Monday, gold on Tuesday seemed once more poised to enter record territory. It had set a new record on Monday at $1,497.20 per ounce in the wake of Standard & Poor's cut of its outlook on the U.S. and as worries over debt in the euro zone seethed.
AdvisorOne reported on Monday that the change in the U.S.'s long-term outlook to negative was criticized by both the White House and the Treasury even as its AAA debt rating remained intact. On Tuesday, Reuters reported that pressure from the change in the U.S. outlook, coupled with concerns over the possibility for Greece to restructure its debt, combined to drive the price of gold higher on the day; it closed in New York at $1,495.08, but midday European trading saw it once again lingering near record territory $1,494.05. U.S.June gold futures were up $2.20 an ounce to $1,495.10.
Upward pressure on the precious metal seems likely to continue for the near term. David Jollie, an analyst at Mitsui Precious Metals, was quoted in the report saying, "Most of the trends out there—whether that's worries about the euro, worries about coming inflation, worries about U.S. debt, Chinese buying seeming relatively strong—suggest the price ought to be going higher."
He added, "It seems there is a reasonable appetite still to buy, but if you look at the pace it has gone up at in the last week, that doesn't seem sustainable. It would be a surprise if we don't get to $1,500 an ounce, but it would also be a surprise if we shot through it."
UBS commented in a note, "The agency's comment that 'there is at least a one-in-three likelihood that it could lower its long-term rating on the U.S. within two years' was interpreted by the gold community as reflecting the seriousness of U.S. fiscal challenges and hence provided a catalyst for higher prices. That the fiscal spotlight is now on the U.S. is gold-positive."
Silver lingered, too, near Monday's 31-year high of $43.51 per ounce. It has substantially outperformed gold this year, rising a heady 40% so far compared with gold's 5% gain on the year. The gold-silver ratio fell as well on Monday to a 28-year low, below 35.