Gold Heading for Another Bull Run?

Feb.28.11 | About: SPDR Gold (GLD)

The price of gold is appearing as if it is set up for another bull run. Is this from any sophisticated technical chart analysis? No, it is merely from examining the chart of the gold price (using the GLD ETF as a proxy) and observing the similarity of patterns that seems to be matching the gold price's rise from the consolidations of last summer. Here and now, we have just witnessed gold's price gyrate up and down ... gold just feels like it is headed for new highs.

[Click to enlarge]
Click to enlarge

Note that the price is just now making a fourth attempt in as many months to penetrate the new high price set in as many months. Last summer saw a similar situation, where the price made about five attempts before finally setting a new high on or about September 1. This consolidation also lasted about four months. Then, when the price set a new high at September's start, the "Gold Bull Run" was off and running for the fall.

Are there any other factors that may help the investor allay his fears of a pending crash in the price of gold, rather than starting a new bull run? Here are three significant factors underpinning gold's price:

1. Inflation of Paper Currencies

The markets interpret the FOMC's previous pronouncements as inflationary for paper currencies, and this effect is expected to continue until there are some indications of inflation being reined in. This currency inflation is a fundamental driver for the precious metals.

2. Rise of the World's Middle Class Supporting Gold Prices

There is a rising middle class as the world's emerging markets continue to grow and gain parity with the world's developed markets. The size of the world's middle class growth is largest in the Asian economies and of a scale that the world has never before seen. Asians have a particular affinity for the precious metals due to their history and culture of precious metals being a store of wealth. This buying by emerging middle classes provides a strong base of support for precious metals prices.

3. Peak Gold Is Coming Due to Higher Costs and Lower Grades

Barrick Gold's (NYSE:ABX) chief executive Aaron Regent already declared a state of "peak gold" in 2009. The thesis is that gold mining is difficult, and the challenges of increasing costs, lower gold grades, and difficult operating environments all coalesce to decrease gold production supply. This "peak gold" dynamic is ensuring that the new production supply of precious metals will be constrained in the future.


Therefore, the chart above merely reflects the market's reaction to the fundamental drivers affecting gold prices. Currency inflation is the prime driver. Buying from Asia supports the price during corrections. Future gold supply is constrained by peak gold. With these factors affecting gold prices, is it any wonder that a significant rise is in store?

Disclosure: The author is long junior miners, including precious metals miners.