Gold has problems. For example, the SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca: GLD), iShares Gold Trust (NYSEArca: IAU) and ETFS Physical Swiss Gold Shares (NYSEArca: SGOL) have each posted losses in excess of 8% in just the past month and those losses are not entirely attributable to the strengthening U.S. dollar and speculation that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates next month.
The U.S. dollar has been strengthening on greater speculation that the Federal Reserve will begin tightening its monetary policy in December after the surprisingly strong October jobs report. Most raw materials are priced in dollars and historically a strong USD has pressured commodities.
Although precious metals ETFs have recently displayed some strength, gold is still in a lengthy bear market, giving some traders pause about how much more near-term upside the yellow metal has in store. [Doubters in Gold Rally]
Now, more evidence is emerging that gold demand is expected to remain tepid in the near-term.
“India’s gold buying in the key December quarter is likely to fall to the lowest level in eight years, hurt by poor investment demand and back-to-back droughts that have slashed earnings for the country’s millions of farmers,” reports Reuters.
Gold futures and physically-backed ETFs have been pressure this year amid speculation the Federal Reserve is preparing to raise interest rates, which has pushed the dollar higher. Higher interest rates would diminish gold’s attractiveness since the precious metal does not pay interest like fixed-income assets.
Demand for gold in China is faltering and there is concern India will not be able to pick up the slack.