The gold rush is over: 2013 the worst in 32 years
Gold held steady in thin year-end trade on Tuesday, inevitably heading for its first annual price decline since 2000 and the biggest in 32 years, signalling what some say is the end of the gold rush that saw the price surge six-fold and an unprecedented mining super-cycle.
Bullion futures, which rebounded after reaching a six-month low today, traded 0.6% higher at $1,211.30 an ounce at 10:30 am ET on the Comex in New York, after hitting a scary $1,181.40, the lowest since June 28.
Spot gold was up a mere 0.1% at $1,197.66 an ounce at 8:05 am ET.
The precious metal fell out of favour with institutional and retail investors since they braced for the US Federal Reserve to cut its monthly $85 billion bond-buying scheme, moving funds to equities and other riskier assets.
Investors discarded as much gold from exchange-traded products in 2013 as had been purchased in the previous three years. According to data compiled by Bloomberg, they sold 789.3 metric tons since the start of January, pushing holdings to the lowest level since March 2010 and wiping $67.5 billion from the value of the funds.
As a consequence of this year weak prices, analysts say gold miners will likely announce a series of fresh write-downs in 2014.