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Gold Poised to Suffer Biggest Annual Loss in More Than 30 Years


"It's going down further."

Gold this afternoon will likely register its greatest annual decline in value in more than 30 years, signaling that more investors are shifting their money into equities.

At roughly $1,199.60 per ounce at 2:53 p.m. ET, it looks like 2013 will finish as an enormously disappointing year for the precious metal.

Further, as a possible warning to gold investors, it doesn’t look like things will improve in 2014.

"It's going down further," Nick Hungerford, chief executive and founder of investment management company Nutmeg, told CNBC Tuesday.

"We think next year gold could hit $1,000 an ounce and that will just be a continuation of a trend which is forced and forced and forced by more people wanting to get back into equities and out of commodities,” he said.

Image source: monex.com

Since the beginning of 2013, the price of gold has fallen by roughly 28 percent from $1,697.70 per ounce, a sharp drop from 2011’s all-time high of $1,900 per ounce.

Gold’s earlier, record-breaking highs were due mainly to the economic crises in both the United States and Europe, which spurred the hoarding of the metal. Gold’s value increased by almost 30 percent in 2007, 2009 and 2010. In fact, in the 10 years leading up to December 2012, the value of gold increased by nearly 400 percent, pushed higher by the U.S. Federal Reserve and low interest rates, according to CNBC.

Traditionally, the price of gold, often considered to be a hedge against inflation, rises when interest rates are low and decreases when interest rates are high.

But December 2012 brought something new: Changes in the price of gold stopped correlating with announcements from the Fed. In fact, when the Fed announced last year that it would increase its monthly bond purchases to $85 billion, gold actually posted a one percent decline instead of increasing in value as it had in the past.

The price of gold continued to drop in value, spurred on in part by the debt crisis in Cyprus.

And then the Fed announced this month that it would begin to taper its quantitative easing policies, causing gold to fall to a six-month low. This has led a few analysts to argue that the decline may signal that investors have decided against using gold as a hedge against inflation.

So what’s the upside to the price of gold? Some analysts claim the only upside to the price is India and China’s mad dash to collect the metal.

But even that may not be enough to halt the decline in value. In fact, economist Roger Nightingale, who has been pretty bearish on gold all year, believes the price will continue to decline.

"I think it could go to $500 quite easily before it turns up again," he told CNBC. "It has no yield, all I'm doing is buying it on the basis that somebody else would want to buy it at a higher price in the future. And once you've got a significantly long downtrend the majority of people stop thinking that somebody's going to bail them out at the higher price."


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