Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is recommending that investors get out of gold and lock in their gains just two months after it suggested they buy.
On Dec. 5, the brokerage issued a list of its top trades for 2006, one of them being the purchase of gold futures for delivery in December 2006, priced then at $534.50 (U.S.).
December gold futures settled Tuesday at $568.30 on the Comex division of New York Mercantile Exchange, which would have given an investor who followed Goldman's advice a return of 6.3 per cent over two months.
Goldman said it recommended locking in gains because of fears that the price of bullion will slide.
“We have given back quite a bit of the profit since we entered the trade in early December, but are worried about the potential for the price to slide all the way down and have decided to exit,” Goldman said.
Gold for April delivery — the most active contract — rose to $548.90 Tuesday. The yellow metal touched a 25-year-high on Feb. 2, then suffered its biggest drop in two years on Feb. 7. Monday's closing price of $542.10 for the current contract was the lowest since Jan. 5.
“Technically, yesterday's break of earlier February lows suggest further potential trouble as does the inability to hold the gains made after the bounce from that large decline,” Goldman said. “The move below $545 is potentially troublesome.”
The Goldman team noted that the seven remaining recommended trades for 2006 are all positive, led by an 8.9 per cent return from selling the New Zealand dollar short while buying the Brazilian real. Other Goldman-suggested trades include buying the Swedish krona verses the Norwegian krone, Japanese stocks over European issues, and the euro against a basket of the U.S. dollar and the British pound.
“At some stage, it is quite possible that we will recommend fresh tactical trades,” the brokerage said.