Gold bears are betting that the rout in the metal isn’t over, sending assets in the biggest bullion-backed fund to the lowest since the month that Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. collapsed.
Holdings in the SPDR Gold Trust slid 0.3 percent yesterday to 738.8 metric tons, the lowest since September 2008. Oil’s tumble into a bear market and the Federal Reserve’s exit from bond buying have cut the appeal of bullion as a hedge against rising consumer costs.
Gold is heading for its first consecutive annual drop since 1998. Prices surged for 12 straight years through 2012, with buying accelerating after Lehman’s 2008 bankruptcy spurred a rout across global markets and central banks increased money supplies. Six years later, the runaway inflation that some investors were betting on hasn’t materialized and U.S. equities have climbed to records.
“The whole thesis of the financial world coming to an end has disappeared,” Peter Jankovskis, who helps oversee $1.9 billion as co-chief investment officer of Lisle, Illinois-based OakBrook Investments LLC. said yesterday. “Concerns about inflation have been washed away from the system. We will probably see more investors exiting gold if the equity market continues to soar to new highs.”
On the Comex, futures for December delivery dropped as much as 1.9 percent to $1,145.60 an ounce, the lowest since April 2010. The price traded at $1,148.90 at 3:06 p.m. in Singapore, down 4.4 percent in 2014.a