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Gold market demand quiet despite recent strong gains
(FILES) - Gold bars are pictured on April 6, 2009 at a plant of gold refiner and bar manufacturer Argor-Heraeus SA in Mendrisio, southern Switzerland. The price of gold hit a record high above 1,100 dollars an ounce in trading on November 6, 2009 in London following a report that Sri Lanka had joined India in purchasing the precious metal in favour of the US currency. AFP PHOTO / SEBASTIEN DERUNGS (Photo credit should read SEBASTIAN DERUNGS/AFP/Getty Images)

Gold market demand quiet despite recent strong gains

HÀ NỘI — Gold prices on global markets have made strong gains in the past two months, but investors with short-term appetite seem uninterested in gold.

Gold futures for the first time in six years broke the US$1,450 an ounce last week, gaining 1.75 per cent on Friday and a total 13.6 per cent since May 28.

The strong growth of gold futures is attributed to previous speculations of a Fed rate cut – which was realised on May 31, worries about the global economy outlook, and increasing political, geographical and economic tensions.

Those developments, especially the Fed rate cut, sent US bond yield rates down and weakened the US dollar, which are the key factors making gold more expensive.

In addition, more tensions around the globe have pushed investors away from risky assets like stocks and towards safety in gold. Meanwhile, the possibility of a global economic slowdown increases after China reported its Q2 economic growth of 6.2 per cent is the lowest in 30 years and central banks have delivered gloomier economic growth forecasts.

Those negative factors are forecast to boost gold prices to $2,000 an ounce at the end of the year as they may make investors more pessimistic and avoid purchasing risky assets.

The increases of gold futures on global markets also raises the prices of Vietnamese gold products to around VNĐ40 million per tael, equal to VNĐ30 million ($1,290) an ounce

Since May 28, prices of gold products have gained about 10 per cent at Phú Nhuận Jewellery JSC (PNJ) to VNĐ39.92 million for a tael, equal to VNĐ29.94 million an ounce.

Though prices have reached new levels, market demand is quiet, proving Việt Nam’s success with its anti-gold policy.

According to Phan Dũng Khánh, director of investment consultancy department at Maybank Kim Eng Securities Co Ltd, the domestic gold market may not heat up like it did eight years ago.

Some factors that may benefit the domestic gold market include the stability of foreign exchange rates between the Vietnamese đồng and foreign currencies, a zero per cent US dollar savings yield rate and tightened policies regarding the number of eligible gold businesses, he told Đầu tư (Investment) newspaper.

According to banking expert Cấn Văn Lực, the domestic gold market was quite quiet in the first six months of the year though gold prices gained 10 per cent globally and 6.3 per cent in the domestic market.

In the past, buyers rushed to gold shops immediately when they heard gold prices were up only 2-3 per cent, he said.

The gold market had been controlled well and the stability of the foreign exchange rates had increased the economy’s creditability to people, making them less interested in buying gold, Lực said.

The domestic gold market had remained stable, economist Nguyễn Minh Phong said, as there was not much difference between buying and selling rates as well as between global and domestic gold prices.

The daily trading was stable, plus, the central bank did not have to make public announcements to stabilise the market – which had been done before whenever the market turned volatile, Phong said.

In addition, rushing into gold at the moment may not be a smart decision, especially after the Fed cut lending rates, business insiders said.

Buying gold is somewhat risky in the short term while there are also other attractive options for investors such as securities, real estate and corporate bonds, they said.