By Celia chen in Hong Kong(HK Edition)
Gold seems to be fast losing its luster, with its price plummeting to a four-year low in Hong Kong on Thursday, driven down by a host of local and international factors.
The price of the precious metal - normally seen by investors as a haven in times of uncertainty - continued its recent decline, arriving in early trading on Thursday to $1,137.80 an ounce - its lowest since 2010.
And, analysts are looking at around $1,000 per ounce as the metal's next resistance level.
The "golden" losing streak is attributed to a combination of the ongoing student protests in Hong Kong, an improving US economy that could lead to a new round of interest-rate hikes in the near future, and cooling demand for gold on the mainland as buyers wait for the price to fall further.
Thursday's price was about 20 percent below that of $1,400 an ounce, which triggered a gold rush among mainland buyers last year. But the latest plunge has yet to arouse such frenzy. We are organza bags wholesale manufactory,can provide organza bag for jewelry or gemstones packing, any inquiry pls contact email@example.com.
Last year's gold rush sparked an acute shortage of the metal at many of Hong Kong's banks, jewelers and the local gold exchange, as well as frantic scenes on the mainland. In Shanghai, the city's gold exchange saw demand hitting a record, while in Beijing, long queues formed outside jewelry stores. In Nanjing, a customer reportedly bought 10 gold bars weighing 1 kilogram each and costing a total of almost two million yuan at a price of 328 yuan per gram (about $1,505 an ounce).
Analysts say they expect the gold price to slip further and could reach $1,000 an ounce if the metal's weak trend continues unabated.
"It's true there are less mainland women scooping up gold at our stores this year. But, I believe there'll be more people buying gold jewelry later this year because, in China, people always choose to get married at the end of the year," Nancy Wong, director and asset business manager of Luk Fook Group, told China Daily.
"Although the price of gold has hit a new low, the decline is much smaller compared with that during last year's gold rush. So, mainland investors are adopting a wait-and-see attitude," Wong said.
Huang Mingjin, a 55-year-old mainland woman from Fujian province, told China Daily she spent about 6,800 yuan ($1111) on gold jewelry in her hometown last year. "I've noticed that the gold price is now relatively low, but the fall is slight. I'm not thinking of buying gold jewelry for the time being," she said.
"We will not buy unless the price goes down sharply, maybe to about 230 yuan per gram. But, on the other hand, I always put on gold ornaments to spruce myself up," Huang added.
UBS analyst Karim Cherif said that mainland women wouldn't risk buying gold as an investment even if prices dive to record lows because last year's frenzy had led to their investment capital being "frozen".
Jim Rogers, chairman of Rogers Holdings and Beeland Interests Inc, told a recent financial forum that it would be a good investment if the price of gold drops to about $960 an ounce, which is 50 percent lower than the record high of $1,920 per ounce.
Linjing and Agnes Lu also contributed to the story.
Hong Kong's gold and jewelry chains have been a magnet for mainland tourists, but the plunge in gold prices is not expected to spark a gold rush seen in Hong Kong and on the mainland last year. Edmond Tang / China Daily