Gold is volatile and unsafe says Soros
Legendary financier George Soros told the South China Morning Post that gold disappointed after going down with everything else during the euro crisis last year.
In February Soros slashed his exposure to gold, which included more than a 50% reduction of his shares in GPDR Gold Trust and dumping a stake in Kinross Gold Corp.
Last week gold hit a 10-month low going to $1,548/oz. It recovered after Friday's dismal labour report.
Q: What is your view on gold?
A: That’s a complicated question. It has disappointed the public, because it is meant to be the ultimate safe haven. But when the euro was close to collapsing in the last year, actually gold went down, because if people needed to sell something, they could sell gold. Therefore they sold gold. So gold went down together with everything else.
Gold was destroyed as a safe haven, proved to be unsafe. Because of the disappointment, most people are reducing their holdings of gold. But the central banks will continue to buy them, so I don’t expect gold to go down. If you have the prospect of a crisis, you will have occasional flurries or jumps. So gold is very volatile on a day-to-day basis, no trend on a longer-term basis.
In more bad news for miners, Soros said China is unlikely to keep growing at the breakneck pace it has for the last several years. He pointed to the imbalance between domestic consumption compared to exports and investment. He says the country is going to have to make changes.
"It is going to be a very difficult transformation, because the household consumption is only 1/3 of the Chinese economy," said Soros.
"Exports and investments are 2/3. The growth of 1/3 cannot make up for the slower growth in the 2/3. Therefore, the overall growth rate will have to be significantly slower than it has been up to now. That is a very important point."