COMEX gold futures finished firmly in negative territory on Thursday, with the February contract closing down by $16.80, or 1.0%, at $1,699.90 per ounce. In doing so, the yellow metal fell to its lowest level in eight trading sessions and erased its gain thus far this week.
Gold stocks followed the price of gold lower, as the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX) slid by $1.33, or 3.0%, to $43.23 per share in afternoon trading.
Despite the sell-off, one notable investor who remains bullish on gold bullion and mining stocks is Evy Hambro, the manager of the BlackRock Gold & General fund. Hambro’s employer, BlackRock, is the world’s largest asset management company with over $3.7 trillion in assets under management as of the end of 2012.
In an interview with Emma Wall of The Telegraph, Hambro stated that “The investment case for gold looks robust, with recent action by governments indicating that real interest rates are likely to remain negative in 2013, and the risk of inflation has increased. In addition, the behaviour of central banks suggests gold purchases look set to continue as diversification of currency exposure remains a key focus.”
When asked about the poor performance of most gold stocks in recent years, the BlackRock fund manager contended that “Not all gold company assets and management teams are equal, and the market has taken an increasingly discerning view of those companies that deliver financially and operationally and those that fall short.”
According to The Telegraph, “Mr Hambro has expanded the global reach of the fund in recent months, adding exposure to the Philippines as well as an emerging Australian gold producer and a Guatemalan silver miner.”
The report also noted that Hambro’s fund is up by 1.9% thus far in 2013 (for comparison purposes, the GDX was down by 3.9% heading into today).