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Gold bars are displayed at a gold jewellery shop in the northern Indian city of Chandigarh May 8, 2012. Despite the fresh mess in the euro zone, gold dropped to a four-month low, below $1,600 (U.S.) an ounce. Scared investors are moving into dollars, Treasuries and bonds. But not gold. (Ajay Verma/Reuters/Ajay Verma/Reuters)
Gold bars are displayed at a gold jewellery shop in the northern Indian city of Chandigarh May 8, 2012. Despite the fresh mess in the euro zone, gold dropped to a four-month low, below $1,600 (U.S.) an ounce. Scared investors are moving into dollars, Treasuries and bonds. But not gold. (Ajay Verma/Reuters/Ajay Verma/Reuters)

Shouldn’t gold be spiking right now? Add to ...

Here’s a simple question for the gold bugs: if their precious metal is such a safe haven, why hasn’t it shot up as the European debt crisis unravels?

Over the past few years, investors have been pitched the same old story: with global financial markets in turmoil, there was no safer place to park your money than gold. Equity markets could plummet, but gold would be safe. Anyone who questioned this theory was apparently some sort of apostate.

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But now the dissenters are smirking. As practically every commodity and global stock market plunges, gold is falling too. Since its 2012 peak in February, the metal is down 12 per cent. Quite strange, wouldn’t you say?

If there was any time for gold to shoot up, it would be now. Fear is spreading like a global virus, for good reason. A major currency has the potential to go under.

Last time there was such widespread panic -- during the U.S. debt ceiling drama -- gold popped, and that made sense. This time? It’s doing the opposite.

The key point: no matter what anyone tells you, gold is at the whim of speculators. Just like the stock market, buying and holding doesn’t always make sense.

Follow on Twitter: @timkiladze

 

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