World's top buyers
Not even renewed physical gold demand from India and China, the world's top buyers, appears to be enough to spark the precious metal's rally.
It should be abundantly clear to the gold bulls by now that the three main factors that drove the metal to its all-time high of $1920.30 in September 2011 were an unusual combination, rather than the harbinger of further gains.
At that time gold was rallying because Asian physical demand was strong due to rising wealth and higher-than-normal inflation in China and India, Western investor flows into exchange-traded funds (ETFs) amid fears over excessive monetary easing and recession in developed economies, and unprecedented central bank buying.
Since then, all three factors haven't been present at the same time, causing gold to trend modestly lower to around the $1600 an ounce mark, before it plunged 17 percent in the first two weeks of April to hit a two-year low of $1321.35.
On June 27, gold sank further as month-end book squaring and relentless liquidation by institutional investors sent bullion prices below $1200 per ounce for the first time in nearly three years.
Gold has slid nearly $200 an ounce in 10 days. It is down more than 28 percent for the year and is headed for a 25 percent loss for the second quarter, its biggest quarterly decline since at least 1968.
Text: Clyde Russell, Reuters
Reuters and Associated Press Images