Gold investment prices at multi-week lows against all major currencies except the Japanese Yen on Tuesday in London, erasing the last of September's earlier 4.0% jump versus the Dollar as global stock markets edged up to set yet another new record high.
Starting 2017 at fresh all-time highs just above the spring 2015 peak, the MSCI World index gained another 12.2% in Dollar terms by Monday's close, as New York's stock markets set new historic highs of their own.
"The most eye-catching sign" in the US stock market's near 9-year bull market, says a new third-quarter chart outlook from the technical analysis team at French bank Societe Generale, "is the lack of market breadth in the US small caps and their exacerbated relative underperformance.
"Usually a prelude to stock market corrections, small and mid caps' relative underperformance suggest great caution ahead of early/mid-2018 when we still expect a major peak for the S&P500."
Having dropped 45% from its 2011 high to end-2015 low, in contrast, gold now shows "formation of a multi-year bullish reversal," SocGen's analysts go on, adding that the metal could "foretell a risk-off environment" for other investment markets in 2018.
"After 8 months of inactivity, Japanese retail investment for gold suddenly roared back to life in September," says a note from specialist analysts GFMS's director Cameron Alexander, highlighting the repeated missile and nuclear tests by neighboring North Korea.
GFMS data put Japan's gold bar and coin investment demand negative for the first quarter of 2017 – the first time since early-2015 finally marked the end of more than a decade of net gold selling by Japanese investors – with only a small positive inflow during Q2.
"Safe haven purchases [are] driving demand higher," Alexander now says of the world's third-largest economy. "Meanwhile, jewelry consumption remains subdued and looks set for a decline."
Japanese investors wanting to buy gold today saw prices slip to 1-week lows against the Yen beneath ¥4,700 per gram.
US Dollar prices struggled to bounce per ounce from yesterday's new 3-week low at 05, while Euro-priced gold dipped towards August's average monthly price of €1086.
UK gold investing prices in Pounds per ounce meantime sank to £964, the lowest in 5 weeks – and a near-7% discount to early September's 10-month high – after Bank of England chief Mark Carney said yesterday that Brexit "on balance" risks higher inflation and so a need for higher interest rates from the current all-time low of 0.25%.
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"[US] President Trump's deal with the Dems has persuaded some traders that fiscal stimulus may be on the way," says a commodities note from Canadian brokerage TD Securities.
"[That's] had the market turn away from caring about North Korea's provocations and shifted attention toward Fed hikes."
"Gold continues to trend lower into Wednesday's FOMC meeting," agrees Tuesday's trading note from Swiss refiners and finance group MKS Pamp, "[but] we are seeing interest toward 00 restrict further down-side moves [because there is] still an underlying geopolitical bid."
A drop in the Chinese Yuan, back to its lowest US Dollar exchange rate so far in September, saw gold stem its drop in Shanghai to the equivalent of $1315 per ounce.
That buoyed the Shanghai premium, over and above comparable London quotes, up to $6.60 per ounce – still only two-thirds of the typical incentive offered for new bullion imports into the world's No.1 mining, importing and consumer nation.