Why did gold prices pick up this year?
''The gold price has discounted all of the headlines that were responsible for driving it lower, including the continuation of tapering [of the Federal Reserve's asset purchases] by the Federal Open Market Committee. After the FOMC's latest meeting in June, the price of gold actually went up. That was a departure from the previous 11 meetings, after which gold declined when tapering was discussed.
I'm also encouraged that the shares of precious-metal mining companies have been leading the gold price. That's different from what we saw in the past couple of years. The gold price outperformed the shares going into the peak in 2011 and through the remainder of that year. Now we are seeing the gold shares outperform the metal price. That typically is characteristic of better things to come.
Why is that the case?
All markets are forward looking, so if the stock market is anticipating a better gold price, the shares are going to do better than the gold price at the beginning of an upward move. In contrast, when the price of gold continued to make new highs in 2011, it was front-page news. And yet the shares lagged conspicuously. That was a sign that the move in the gold price wasn't going to be sustained.''