It was a good day for gold, which managed to pass the $1,300-per-ounce mark for the first time in three months. Allowing the yellow metal to do so was more disappointing data out of the United States, which helped weigh down the US dollar enough to allow gold to make a run at its technical resistance level.
For gold, the key technical resistance level is $1,304, its 200-day moving average, Brian Stutland of the Stutland Volatility Group commented to CNBC. He explained to the publication that of late gold has been “all about the technicals.”
“As soon as we broke above $1,275 basically, it’s been a straight push to $1,300,” Stutland said, adding, “I think it continues — I’m looking around that $1,320, $1,340 level where gold could probably trade. The technicals are just too strong behind it.”
According to Tom Fitzpatrick, an analyst at Citigroup’s technical research unit, CitiFX, the yellow metal could get a pick-me-up from a “bullish double bottom between June and December last year,” Reuters reported. ”We fully expect that gold has the potential to once again test the neckline of a double bottom which stands at $1,434 an ounce,” Fitzpatrick said.
US data disappoints
As Reuters notes, recent US economic data, including several months of weak jobs growth, has raised questions over whether the US can sustain its economic growth. That has resulted in many investors hoping that the Federal Reserve will reduce its tapering of economic stimulus. The latest data out of the US shows that retail sales fell 0.4 percent in January compared to an expected increase of 0.2 percent.
Adam Sarhan, chief executive officer at New York-based Sarhan Capital, said “[t]he underlying notion that central banks are slowing down their quantitative easing is boosting gold’s appeal as an inflation hedge and alternative currency.”
Comments from newly instated Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen indicate that the Fed will continue with its approach to monetary policy. However, it has left the door open to easing up on tapering the bond-buying program should the US economic outlook deteriorate.
Gold spot prices climbed to an intraday high of $1,302.40 per ounce. Meanwhile, US futures for April closed at $1,300.10. So far in 2014, the gold price has risen 8.3 percent.
Barrick Gold (NYSE:ABX) reported a large fourth-quarter loss this week as it took a hefty impairment charge and cut its gold reserves estimate by a whooping 26 percent. The company lowered its gold reserves estimate to 104.1 million ounces from last year’s 140.2 million ounces. On the back of this announcement, the company’s cost per ounce is likely to rise. Barrick also shouldered $11.54 billion in impairment charges last year, in part due to difficulties at its Pascua-Lama project on the Chile-Argentina border.
Scorpio Gold (TSXV:SGN) is planning on producing 40,000 to 45,000 ounces of gold this year from its Mineral Ridge project in Nevada. According to CEO Peter Hawley, the company is gearing up for its third year of commercial production at the mine, which has consistently exceeded tonnage and grades indicated by the company’s 2012 Life of Mine Plan Study.
“These factors contributed to a strong operating performance in H1 2013, enabling the Company to increase its 2013 production forecast and decrease its cash cost estimate midway through the year,” Hawley said in a statement, adding “[a]s in early 2013, the Company has taken a conservative approach to estimating total cash cost for 2014 at US$800-$850 per ounce of gold sold, and may revise this estimate at a future date if warranted by quarterly operating results.”
This week, Seafield Resources (TSXV:SFF) released the results of the recent evaluation of the exploration data it has amassed on the Tesorito area of its Quinchía gold project in Colombia. Despite having focused most of the last couple of years on advancing the Miraflores gold deposit, continuing exploration efforts on other aspects of the company’s landholdings within the extensive gold-copper-molybdenum porphyry system at Quinchía have shown that Tesorito area is a significant new mineralized zone.
Klondex’s general manager, Mike Doolin, commented on the company’s program, stating “[o]ur drilling program continues to impress us as we have intersected several new areas of gold and silver mineralization. This continues to support our geologic model that there is a strong likelihood to encounter additional subparallel veins within the East and West zones. Our planned infill and exploration drill programs for 2014 will be expanded in all directions in an effort to increase the current known mineral resources at Fire Creek.”
Tarsis Resources (TSXV:TCC) has identified a previously unknown zone of skarn alteration at the Erika property by the optionee that recently returned the project. The company states that of the eight holes completed, three different styles of mineralization at four separate locations on the property were targeted, including a Carlin-style gold trend and a high-sulphidation epithermal target.
Securities Disclosure: I, Vivien Diniz, hold no investment interest in any of the companies mentioned.