2011-08-30

Gold price dipped Tuesday morning, trading lower by $18.78 at $1,793 per ounce

The gold price dipped Tuesday morning, trading lower by $18.78 at $1,793 per ounce. Volatility in the price of gold has surged in recent days. After hitting yet another all-time high early last week, the gold price posted its first weekly loss since mid-June.

The most noteworthy economic development of the past week was Ben Bernanke’s speech from Jackson Hole, Wyoming on Friday. Given the weakness in financial markets and economic data in recent months, speculation had arisen that the Fed Chairman would discuss the potential for a third round of quantitative easing (QE3). Despite the fact that Bernanke made no mention of QE3, the price of gold rallied following the Fed Chairman’s comments.

Goldman Sachs’ chief U.S. economist, Jan Hatzius, characterized Bernanke’s speech as “anti-climactic” and offering “little guidance on the near-term policy outlook.” However, “Bernanke’s remarks contained a short passage on the prospect for additional monetary stimulus. He reiterated that the committee ‘has a range of tools’, and that it discussed the costs and benefits of those options at the August FOMC meeting.”

Hatzius noted that by the Fed extending the next FOMC meeting in September from one to two days, it “makes easing at this meeting a bit more likely than before.” He forecasted that “We continue to think that further easing via manipulation of the Fed’s balance sheet —either through expansion or restructuring of the average duration of holdings—is likely by early 2012.”

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