Q4 2011 was a losing quarter for gold …

Gold monthly with quarterly return analysis, 1990 to 2011

A lot of has been said about gold’s Q4 2011 loss. George Soro sees a bear market developing for gold, while The Chinese are trying to dampen down speculation, moving gold trading to “authorised” exchanges.

Conflicting signals to be sure, so how significant was gold’s Q4 loss really? To answer this question I’ve analysed gold’s quarterly returns for the period Q1 1990 to Q4 2011. The chart above shows gold’s monthly performance with my analysis incorporated in tabular form.

While Gold’s Q4 2011 performance was highly disappointing, the -9.21% loss observed was hardly a record; gold in Q1 2003 was returned -9.30% while Q3 1993 returned -12.23% so this was by no means an unusual event. In fact gold closed down roughly 41% of the time for Q1, Q2 and Q4, while closing down roughly 36% of the time for Q3.

So what for 2012? With Quantitative Easing 3 apparently only a matter of time, continued Eurozone problems all pointing to looser money and the Swiss Franc now for all intents and purposes pegged to the Euro, the only bond fide safe haven appears to be gold.



Analysis of Gold's Quarterly returns from the period 1990 to 2011. Data source: COMEX, London Bullion Market Association
YEARQ1Q2Q3Q4
20118.10%-1.97%-0.23%-9.21%
20103.37%5.35%11.16%4.61%
2009-0.33%5.64%5.87%5.97%
20081.10%6.58%-3.72%16.87%
20071.71%-3.99%11.02%5.78%
20062.30%-4.85%-5.40%5.16%
20051.26%0.32%9.82%8.59%
20045.82%1.86%6.01%2.33%
2003-9.30%2.71%8.96%7.72%
20026.55%3.29%5.69%7.84%
2001-2.60%2.79%9.74%-0.81%
2000-2.34%4.65%-1.13%3.03%
1999-2.11%-9.36%15.68%-3.00%
1998-1.27%-4.75%1.72%-1.95%
19970.76%-1.66%1.75%-7.40%
1996-2.29%-2.41%-1.65%-2.74%
19954.46%-0.70%0.17%1.17%
19942.95%3.09%2.79%-0.35%
19932.20%6.59%-12.23%5.50%
1992-3.56%2.07%-2.50%-2.07%
1991-2.87%2.92%-2.22%-1.14%
1990-4.32%9.25%1.75%

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