Am I chastened by the gold crash? Yes. Have I changed my views? No.

Gold bounces back from "flash crash".

A few weeks ago I wrote in this blog words to the effect that I was surprised that gold had not reacted more positively to the Bank of Japan’s massive programme of Quantitative easing. As can be the case, failure on the part of the markets to react in the expected fashion to a piece of news, such as the BOJ’s QE, was THE most valuable of market indicators, giving the clearest possible indication of market positioning, and hence we saw gold’s "flash crash" on 15th April.

Am I chastened? Yes. Have I changed my medium-term view that gold is a must-have holding for any portfolio? No.

Since that day, when gold futures hit a low of $1361.10 per Troy ounce, gold has bounced back to $1470 as I write - a rise of 8 per cent and a pretty good "dead-cat" bounce.

Among the many theories propounded to explain the "flash crash" was that which suggested that investors took fright as, such was the size of the BOJ’s money-printing operation, the US Federal Reserve may feel the pressure had been taken off to perpetuate its own QE programme. Any such fears have subsequently been put to rest , first by a concerted barrage of dovish comment from the Federal Reserve’s ruling elite, and then by anaemic  1st quarter US GDP figures, which went to underline the need for continued monetary accommodation in the US.

It seems likely that the BOJ’s QE may have inspired locals to become bullish on the prospects for domestic investments, such as equities, leading them to liquidate holdings in other assets, such as gold, to bring money home.

Now the dust has settled, investors are once again focussing on the almost ubiquitous use of quantitative easing to combat economic stagnation and also the stealthy way in which central banks’ mandates have quietly been tweaked to focus less on inflation and more on employment.

I believe we will look back on the gold "flash crash" of April 15th 2013 and see it in the same light as the US stock market "flash crash" of May 6th 2010, which may well have shared some of the same causes, and which in retrospect represented a great buying opportunity.

Chairman of  Saxo Capital Markets Board

An Honours Graduate from Oxford University, Nick Beecroft has over 30 years of international trading experience within the financial industry, including senior Global Markets roles at Standard Chartered Bank, Deutsche Bank and Citibank. Nick was a member of the Bank of England's Foreign Exchange Joint Standing Committee.

More of his work can be found here.

Photo: Getty
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Cabinet audit: what does the appointment of Liam Fox as International Trade Secretary mean for policy?

The political and policy-based implications of the new Secretary of State for International Trade.

Only Nixon, it is said, could have gone to China. Only a politician with the impeccable Commie-bashing credentials of the 37th President had the political capital necessary to strike a deal with the People’s Republic of China.

Theresa May’s great hope is that only Liam Fox, the newly-installed Secretary of State for International Trade, has the Euro-bashing credentials to break the news to the Brexiteers that a deal between a post-Leave United Kingdom and China might be somewhat harder to negotiate than Vote Leave suggested.

The biggest item on the agenda: striking a deal that allows Britain to stay in the single market. Elsewhere, Fox should use his political capital with the Conservative right to wait longer to sign deals than a Remainer would have to, to avoid the United Kingdom being caught in a series of bad deals. 

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. He usually writes about politics.