6 Reasons Why Gold Prices Could Crater 80% From Here

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Dr. Phil McGraw preaches "There's no reality -- only perception." We see the world through individual lenses, shaped by our past, attitudes and personal agenda. That's evident in gold markets this week.

Now that the yellow metal has melted nearly 30% from its September 2011 high, those who see the glass half-full claim gold will rebound from oversold levels on bargain buying and short covering. Those who see the glass half-empty say it stands to crash another 50% and as much as 80%.

Global Monetary Stimulus

Cheerleaders contend the fundamental reasons for gold remain: central banks around the world are slashing interest rates to new lows, buying debt and printing more money, thereby devaluing paper currencies and pumping inflation, which bolsters gold prices.

After the European Central Bank cut its interest rate to an epic low of 0.50% in earlier this month, 12 other countries -- including Australia, India, and South Korea -- clipped their key rates .

Those follow the Bank of Japan's bold bond buying plan -- much bigger as a share of the economy than America's under the Federal Reserve. The BoJ action has sent the yen plunging.

"It is a currency war and those who inflate first, get the most benefits," Przemyslaw Radomski, CEO of Sunshine Profits , a gold and silver trading advisory in New York City wrote in client note. "They are short-lived because other countries will follow and the ultimate result will eventually be huge inflation on a global scale."

Gold bears, on the other hand, argue that gold will meltdown further for the very same reasons. But they believe global central bank policies will lead to deflation and eventually blow up in their faces.

"If governments are actively fighting deflation, which is exactly what they're doing, then deflation is the trend, not inflation," Harry Dent, founder of HS Dent, an economic and forecasting firm in Delray Beach, Fla., wrote in his "Survive And Prosper" newsletter. "But we only see the deflation when such artificial stimulus fails to create growth."

He projects gold will collapse to "at least $750 an ounce over the next few years" and even as low as $280 an ounce, down 46% to 80% from Tuesday's price. He lists six reasons why the global economy will spiral south over the next two years:

1. Spain's real estate bubble continues to deflate. At some point it will overwhelm the banks and Germany and the European Union will lose faith in bailouts.

2. France's economy continues to slow and its population continues to sour on the euro and bail out plans for weaker nations.

3. Demographics in the strongest countries in Europe, like Germany, Switzerland and Austria, will peak in spending and go off the demographic cliff in 2014 -- just like the U.S. did in 2008.

4. Commodity prices, which keep falling in a vicious circle, hurt exports and growth for emerging countries, who then buy less from China, hurting its exports and growth, so commodity prices go down further.

5. If Japan succeeds at raising its growth and inflation rates, it'll see bond yields rise and the government will faces a massive rise in its interest expenses. The bond markets will lose faith in Japan.

6. The wealthiest 10%-20% (of the population), who control about 50% of consumer spending in the U.S. economy, are finally slowing their spending as their kids leave the nest and they begin to feel the sting of ever-rising taxes on them.

Physical Vs. Paper Gold

Successful investors should buy physical gold as a hedge against inflation and currency debasement but stay away from the paper gold markets, says Jeff Sica, founder of Sica Wealth Management with about $1 billion in assets under management based in Morristown, N.J.

They physical market is dictated by supply and demand. The gold options and futures market, on the other hand, is about hedge funds playing leverage and momentum, which exacerbates moves in either direction, said Sica.

"Gold remains vulnerable to the continuation of the asset rotation into stocks since most managers consider momentum to be the only rational way to generate returns in a market that is short on fundamentals," he wrote in an email Monday. "The hedge funds are in the process of generating liquidity and embracing momentum. The hedge fund liquidations are not over." he wrote in an email Monday.

The Fed's comments suggesting more quantitative easing Wednesday could spark a bounce in gold, which would suck momentum traders back into the trade, he added. He's purchased physical gold and hedged the position by buying put options, which rise when the underlying stock or commodity falls.

Gold Market Action

Spot gold prices fell 1.30% Tuesday to $1,377 an ounce.

On the stock market SPDR Gold Shares ( GLD ), tracking a tenth of an ounce of bullion, lost 1.66% to 132.88. It traded completely within the prior day's wide trading range, referred to as an "inside day" for technical analysts, indicating a lack of direction short-term.

Gold's chart made a "key reversal bar" on Monday and may have formed a bullish double-bottom pattern with an upside price of $1630 an ounce, Tom McClellan, founder of "The McClellan Market Report" wrote in his client note Tuesday.

"For now, we have an oversold condition, a bottom retest, a key reversal, and a really extreme sentiment condition as shown by the COT (Commitment of Traders) Report data," he wrote. "These are the makings of a great bottom."

A correction is healthy and doesn't suggest the end of a bull run, says Adrian Day, president of Adrian Day Asset Management in Annapolis, Md. with $125 million in assets under management.

"It should also be noted from a broad view that it is not un usual for long-term bull markets to experience mid-cycle corrections," he said in an email. "Gold itself famously fell 43% in 1975-1976, before rising eightfold in the next four years."

PowerShares DB US Dollar Index Bullish ( UUP ), measuring the greenback against a basket of major foreign currencies, was nearly flat at 22.79.

Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF ( GDX ) lost 2.57% to 27.30.

Silver Prices

Silver prices dropped 2.14% to 22.53 an ounce.

iShares Silver Trust ( SLV ) skidded 2.96 to 21.62.

Global X Silver Miners ETF ( SIL ) gave back 1.64% to 13.28.

Follow Trang Ho on Twitter @TrangHoETFs



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.



This article appears in: Investing , ETFs

Referenced Stocks: GDX , GLD , SIL , SLV , UUP

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