By Adrian Ash
Gold investment prices rose from 3-week lows but struggled to hold gains versus major currencies on Thursday as world stock markets retreated from new all-time highs amid news that neither Japan nor the Eurozone plan to add more monetary stimulus for the time being.
Briefly topping $1320 per ounce, €1200 in Euros and £1000 for UK investors, gold edged back at lunchtime in London as the European Central Bank announced no change to either its QE bond-buying or zero refinancing rate, nor a further cut to its 0.4% negative interest rate on commercial bank deposits.
European equities meantime slipped for the first session in five as commodity prices edged higher with major government bond yields.
Investment gold had earlier sunk 1.1% versus the Yen, briefly falling below ¥4,500 per gram as the Japanese currency soared following a BBC interview with Bank of Japan chief Haruhiko Kuroda in which he ruled out printing and giving money to government or business – so-called 'helicopter money' – to try and end 27 years of asset-price, GDP and consumer-price deflation.
The Yen then slipped, and gold rallied, as the BBC said the interview was recorded in mid-June, before the UK's Brexit referendum result.
"In quiet [summer] conditions," says a note from global investment and London bullion bank HSBC's James Steel, "the gold market may gravitate to the vicinity of large round numbers, with $1300 the closest and most obvious.
"[But] there may be limits to further declines. Geopolitical risks remain. This should help cushion [gold prices]."