All news is now bad news for gold

The air was sucked out of gold for delivery in August on Friday after US jobs data disappointed investors.

Not long ago traders interpreted bad news for the US economy as good news for gold, because that increased the likelihood that the US Federal Reserve would flood markets with cheap money. Since the Fed's first round of quantitative easing was put in place at end-2008 gold has almost doubled in value.

But lately stimulus for the economy – another of the Fed's easy money programs, Twist, was extended to the end of the year a fortnight ago – has not translated into stimulus for gold.

Yesterday, the precious metal also reacted negatively despite co-ordinated (by default not design) central bank action from China, Europe and Britain to print more money.

The stars are aligning for gold take up its position of the ultimate storer of wealth, hedge against inflation and all-round best alternative to paper currency.

But gold is not reacting the way it used to.

Instead it is trading back below $1,600 an ounce, down almost $30 on Friday and now showing a loss for 2012. Should gold not improve from here, it would be the first down year in more than a decade.

It is not even certain anymore if Ben Bernanke bringing out the big guns – QE3 – it would do much for the price.