May 18, 2013
Gold bears are dominant again after prices resumed their slump and billionaire George Soros joined investors selling holdings in exchange-traded products that have retreated to a two-year low.
Seventeen analysts surveyed by Bloomberg expect prices to fall next week, with eight bullish and three neutral, the highest proportion of bears in two weeks. The analysts were divided a week ago after gold rebounded as much as 13 percent from the two-year low of $1,321.95 an ounce on April 16. ETP holdings slid 16 percent to 2,207.1 metric tons this year, the lowest since July 2011, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
Prices that rallied as much as sevenfold in the past 12 years entered a bear market  last month after some investors lost faith in gold as a store of value and equities rallied on mounting confidence the U.S. economy  is improving. The slump spurred a surge in demand around the world, with coin purchases from the U.S. Mint  rising to a three-year high in April. This month’s sales are on course to be 65 percent lower and global ETP holdings increased on just one day in the past six weeks.
“The momentum has slowed significantly,” said Jeremy Baker, a senior commodities strategist who oversees about $800 million of assets at Harcourt Investment Consulting AG in Zurich and who forecasts prices may drop as low as $1,200 in six months. “The safe haven has definitely lost its gleam. We are in a declining phase here.”