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Gold prices drop after Soros dumps gold ETPs

Gold prices underwent sharp correction today after regulatory filings revealed that billionaire and long time gold bull George Soros offloaded nearly all of his gold holdings in the first quarter. Soros held a US$800 million stake in gold backed exchange traded funds, including SPDR Gold Trust (NYSE:GLD) the world’s largest gold backed exchange traded fund, 99 percent of which has now been sold.

However, hedge fund manager John Paulson has stayed put, having refrained from dumping the yellow metal. Paulson's stake in SPDR is worth US$4.4 billion.

In addition to that, gold was pushed down by a stronger US dollar. The American currency has gained against the euro, which has been weakened by the arrest of International Monetary Fund (IMF) chairman Dominique Strauss-Kahn on sexual assault charges in the US.

Gold is seen as an alternative asset to the US dollar and has an inverse relationship with the American currency.

Gold last traded at US$1,482/oz. Silver followed, slipping to US$33.45/oz, while platinum rose to US$1,757/oz.

Gold last traded at US$1,482/oz. Silver followed, slipping to US$33.45/oz, while platinum rose to US$1,757/oz.

Companies focused on precious metals were in decline. Fresnillo (LON:FRES) and Lonmin (LON:FRES) shed 2.8 percent and 1 percent respectively. Randgold Resources (LON:RRS) was sitting just below the opening level.

Base metal miners pulled back following a positive start. Eurasian Natural Resources (LON:ENRC) and Kazakhmys (LON:KAZ) dropped 1.7 percent and 1 percent. Xstrata (LON:XTA) did better, tacking on 1 percent.



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