Demand for gold grew 16% over the past 12 months to 1,098 tonnes, according to the World Gold Council’s Q1 2012 Gold Demands Trend Report. Globally speaking, that translates into a tidy sum of $59.7 billion in gold.
While 16% growth is impressive, today’s gold prices are still around 18% lower than their 52-week high. Why the discrepancy?
The May 5 trading session was the first in a while that gold has bucked the trend by going up when the S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) and Nasdaq-100 (NASDAQ:QQQ) are down. Over the past several months, gold has traded in tandem with volatile assets like stocks (NYSE:SCHB), industrial metals (NYSE:JJM), and oil (NYSE:OIL).
On the demand side, the gold market (NYSE:IAU) has long relied on India (NYSE:INDY) for consumer buying, but the threat of bans on imported gold could stop that.
China figures to become a bigger player in the gold market. China increased its gold holdings in Q1 to a record 98.6 tonnes, up 13% from Q1 2011. Can China be counted on to boost gold demand higher?
Chinese stocks (NYSE:FXI) have lost 17.56% over the past three months and China’s real estate bubble (NYSE:TAO) is quickly deflating. Will Chinese money flood into gold and push prices higher?
Europe’s sovereign debt crisis (NYSE:FXE) adds another monkey wrench into the gold demand/price equation. Will Europeans start liquidating their gold to raise cash?
The ETF Profit Strategy Newsletter via its Weekly ETF Picks explains what’s behind gold’s demand/price discrepancies and how to be on the right side of the market. The right gold strategy begins with clearly identifying support/resistance indicators along with strict trading discipline. No major rally or sell off happens without taking out key support/resistance levels.