Gold market: which scenario for 2009?

February 3, 2009

The world’s gold price has soared after Vietnam’s Tet, reaching $929/oz. The domestic market has not really restarted yet. The gold prices quoted by gold shops prove to be much lower than the world’s prices.

During Vietnam’s Tet holiday, the world’s gold price step by step increased to over $900/oz and suddenly soared to $929/oz late last week. The sharp increases of the gold price have been attributed to the US economy further fall into recession.

 

According to Huynh Trung Khanh, Deputy Chairman of the Vietnam Gold Business Association, Advisor to the World’s Gold Council, the US economic growth rate for the fourth quarter of 2008 has been announced at minus 3.8% which has caused shocks to investors. Other strong economies like Japan and European ones have not shown any positive signs. Investors have decided to store up gold as the safe asset in the context of the global economic recession.

 

The US and European countries have announced the plan to pump huge amounts of money to help recover economies, but the moves will not show prompt effects. Meanwhile, the huge sums of money to be pumped have even raised the worries about the possible high inflations, thus making gold more attractive in the eyes of investors.

 

On the domestic market, the gold prices quoted by different gold shops in HCM City on February 1 were quite different. Some shops quoted the prices at between VND18.4mil and VND18.8mil per tael (purchase and sale), while others quoted the prices at VND18.45-18.65mil/tael.

 

Meanwhile, customers don’t care about the price ups and downs, and they do not come to gold shops to make purchases or sales these days.

 

The owner of a shop next to Ben Thanh market said that he has opened the shop soon after Tet holiday because he wanted to kick start the business on an auspicious day. Meanwhile, he well knows that no buyer will make transactions these days, adding that transactions will only be made after the 10th day of the Lunar New Year.

 

The gold price quoted by Saigon Jewellery Company on its website is VND18.05-18.15mil/tael. The world’s price is now VND1mil/tael higher than the domestic price, which shows that the domestic market has not been restarted yet.

 

Khanh said that experts believe that the gold price performance in 2008 will repeat in 2009. This spells that the price will increase at the beginning of the year, reach the highest peak in the mid year, when it may reach the record level of over $1,000/oz, and then decrease gradually in the third and fourth quarters of the year.

 

Economists said that the US and the global economy will not recover before June 2009. The gold price is forecast to fluctuate between $900 and 930/oz.

 

VietNamNet/DTCK

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