Don't visit the local Cash4Gold dealers just yet- the price of gold reaches an all-time low.
Conventional wisdom holds that the safest way to store wealth is in history’s most beloved material: gold. However, that may no longer be the case. Today, the global market saw the price of gold ore tumble, coming to a five-year low at the end of trading. At one point, the prices fell by four percent in a matter of minutes thanks to Chinese sell offs.
While no one is precisely certain what caused this dramatic decline, the writing has been on the wall for some time. Ever since the Great Recession of 2007-2008 and the ensuing European Crisis, nervous investors have been trading their paper money for cold hard gold. The strategy of hedging the risks of fluctuating currencies by buying gold bullion was not unexpected. Yet it is only now that the effects of this gold rush are being felt.
One country that plunged head first into the scramble for precious metals was China. In 2013 China imported record volumes of gold. In fact, they imported so much that it created an oversupply situation.
Perhaps that is the reason behind the massive dumping of gold today. Shanghai sold more than 33 tons of gold in under two minutes. The sellers collectively made around $1.3 billion.
The rise in the U.S. dollar has exacerbated the problem. The dollar’s growing strength and the anticipation of higher U.S. interest rates have made the greenback the more attractive option for storing wealth, undermining gold as well as other precious metals and jewels.
“We have breached significant support levels, we know U.S. rate hikes are coming, there is no inflation and there is no catalyst to hold gold when other markets are doing better,” said Robin Bhar, an analyst at Societe Generale.
Liquid gold (aka oil) is also suffering from the surging dollar. The price of U.S. crude oil fell by 93 cents to $49.96 a barrel. It is the first time in months that the price of oil has dipped below $50.