Nicholas Larkin, Claudia Carpenter and Millie Munshi
May 24, 2010
Speculators are buying gold faster than the world’s biggest producers can mine it as analysts forecast a 27 percent rally that may extend the longest run of annual gains since at least 1920.
Exchange-traded products backed by bullion added 41.7 metric tons in the week to May 14, the most in 14 months, data from UBS AG show. China, Australia and the 15 other largest mining nations averaged weekly output of 41.6 tons last year, researcher GFMS Ltd. estimates. Even though prices have fallen 5.1 percent to $1,185.30 from a record $1,249.40 an ounce May 14, the median in a Bloomberg survey of 23 traders, analysts and investors shows it will reach $1,500 by the end of the year.
Buying accelerated as the MSCI World Index of 23 developed nations’ stocks tumbled as much as 16 percent since mid-April and the euro weakened to a four-year low against the dollar. Holders of ETPs, including George Soros and John Paulson, accumulated a record 1,938 tons by May 21, eclipsing all but four of the biggest central-bank holdings.
“You could see gold go up another $1,000,” said Evan Smith, who helps manage $2 billion at U.S. Global Investors Inc. in San Antonio and in 2006 correctly predicted that gold would reach $700 within two years. “All of the turmoil and problems we’ve seen in Europe is just another reminder that there’s a lot of value in gold as a safe haven.”