Gold struggled on Tuesday losing nearly 1% to a low of $1,313 in lunchtime trade in New York, a more than two-month low. Gold is coming off two-year highs hit early this month and year to date the metal is still up nearly 24% or over $250 an ounce.
Tuesday’s leg down was sparked by indications that the US Federal Reserve may be moving sooner on tighter monetary policy than the market had expected. Talk of a rate hike before December lifted government bond yields which have a strong inverse relationship to the gold price and also strengthened the US dollar which usually moves in the opposite direction of gold.
Gold has been drifting lower since the beginning of August as some of the biggest drivers of 2016’s surge have begun to lose steam. Large scale gold futures and options speculators or “managed money” investors such as hedge funds have been scaling back bullish bets recently and the frenzied buying of physically-backed gold ETFs have also moderated.
Worries about a significant correction for the gold price saw investors pull money out of the sector on Tuesday with gold mining stocks coming in for particular punishment.
The world’s most valuable gold mining company, Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM) shed 5.2% in afternoon trade bringing the Denver-based company’s decline for August to double digits. Newmont, the only gold company that forms part of the S&P500 index, recently surpassed Toronto’s Barrick Gold as the gold mining company with the top market capitalization in New York at $21.1 billion.
Barrick (NYSE:ABX, TSE:ABX) was down 4% pushing the shares to its lowest level since the beginning of June. Investors have been taking profits in Barrick, the world’s number one gold producer in terms of output in August with the counter losing nearly 20% of its market value since the end of July to $20.8 billion.
Goldcorp (TSE:G, NYSE:GG) shares declined 4.4% for market capitalization of $13.6 billion in New York. The Vancouver-based miner is expected to produce between 2.8 million and 3.1 million ounces in 2016, placing it fourth behind AngloGold Ashanti in terms of output. American Depository Receipts of AngloGold Ashanti (NYSE:AU) dropped 4.2% for a market value of $6.8 billion on the NYSE, but the counter is showing 16% declines for the month.
ADRs of Australia’s Newcrest Mining (OTCMKTS:NCMGY) trading in New York also lost ground. The world’s sixth largest gold producer is worth $13.1 billion after losing 13% of its market value in August. Africa-focused Randgold Resources (NASDAQ:GOLD), dipped 4.3% and is now worth $9 billion.
Canada’s Agnico Eagle Mines (TSE:AEM, NYSE:AEM) market capitalization fell 3.9% to $11.7 billion in New York bringing losses for the month to just under 13%. Another fall in value on Wednesday turned Toronto’s Kinross Gold (TSE:K, NYSE:KGC) into the worst performer for the month of August with 20.7% drop its market value to $6.8 billion.