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Barry Norman

Gold Traders Fearless In The Face Of Terrorism
Gold speculators are showing ISIS that they are fearless sending the precious metal down another $3 in the Asian session to trade at 1065.60. Traders are counting down the days to the Federal Reserve meeting in December. Members continue on the speaking circuit telegraphing the Fed position.  Gold which is a safe haven and usually gains during global political stress has been moving just the opposite. Last evening German authorities canceled a highly anticipated soccer game between the German and Netherlands national teams less than two hours before it was to start because of a security threat.

A security official said the decision was made because of a “concrete threat.” Elite tactical police units were on the scene in Hannover, the official said. The Hannover police chief said authorities feared that a bomb would be set off inside the stadium. Officials had decided against canceling Tuesday’s match despite terrorism fears in the wake of the Paris attacks, some of which took place outside a Germany-France soccer friendly. Chancellor Angela Merkel and other top German officials were to attend Tuesday’s game.

As the initial shock of the attacks abated, investors once again focused their attention on the prospect of diverging monetary policy, with the United States set to tighten and the euro zone expected to loosen policy. That has led to gains in the dollar, which hit a seven- month high against the euro on Tuesday.

“We believe that gold will face further headwinds in the next few weeks as an extension of euro zone quantitative easing is announced in December, thus pushing up the dollar against the euro and other major currencies, and as the market fully prices in a mid-December Fed rate rise,” Mitsubishi said in a note.

Among other precious metals, silver was down 0.1 percent at $14.10, platinum tumbled $6.95 to $848.20 an ounce, and palladium was down 1.2 percent at $540.15 an ounce. Platinum snapped 12 days of losses on Monday to edge higher, but remains near that day’s near seven-year low of $851 an ounce.

Lackluster physical gold demand from India, a top consumer, during the peak festival season this month also contributed to a bearish outlook. Chinese jewelry retailers have also warned of a tough period ahead, notwithstanding a pick-up in sales since July. Two years ago China imported 1,507 tonnes in standard gold bars. According to my estimates China is on track to import 1,400 tonnes in 2015. This year’s SGE withdrawals can have been supplied by more recycled gold than in 2013 that in part replaces gold import. SGE withdrawals can only be supplied by domestically mined gold, imported gold or recycled gold. Because China is one of the few countries that doesn’t disclose its gold trade data analysts must estimate Chinese gold import from data provided by gold exporters such as the UK, Switzerland, Hong Kong and Australia. Their foreign trade statistics show China has net imported more than 1,032 tonnes of gold in the first three quarters of 2015. In addition, Chinese domestic mining output has been 357 tonnes, according to the China Gold Association, which is prohibited from being exported.

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