Even Gold Bull Jim Rogers Is Turning Cautious
Assistant Producer, CNBC
With gold prices being hammered in recent weeks, and trading near four-month lows on Wednesday, longtime gold bull Jim Rogers is sounding a word of caution, saying it's possible the correction in bullion may continue into the new year.
"Just be careful, there're too many bulls, including me, but I'm very cautious," Rogers told CNBC. "Gold is having a correction— it's been correcting for 15-16 months now— which is normal in my view, and it's possible that [the] correction is going to continue for a while longer."
Gold prices have been gaining for over 12 straight years now, Rogers noted, adding that the safe haven asset has only seen a major correction once in that time period, during the global financial crisis back in 2008 when bullion fell 32 percent.
"Most things correct 30 percent every year or two, even in big bull markets – 30 percent corrections are normal and yet gold has only done that once in the past 12 years," Rogers said. "Gold on any kind of historic market basis is overdue for a nice correction."
Gold regained some strength on Wednesday after falling to its lowest level since August in the previous session of $1,661.01. Analysts said the progress in U.S. "fiscal cliff" talks has dented gold's safe haven appeal, as investors turn to equities.
Still, the precious metal, which is up around 0.3 percent so far this year, is nowhere the near the $2,000 mark many bulls had predicted it will hit by the end of this year. There were hopes the flood of cheap money unleashed by the Federal Reserve's quantitative easing would drive gold prices higher.
(Read more: Gold to Hit $2,000 by Year-End: Merrill)
Rogers said that despite many governments around the world embarking on monetary easing and "debasing currencies" which would typically drive investors to real assets like gold, India – the largest consumer of gold globally – could pose a threat to the price if it pulls back on demand.
Earlier this year, India's finance minister singled out gold and precious metals imports as primary drivers of the country's current account deficit, prompting the government to respond by doubling import duty on gold.
"India's got a big balance of trade deficit – some Indian politicians are starting to blame it on gold," Rogers said. "[If they] figure out a way to cut or crimp imports of gold – if something like that happens, that will be a big shock to all those bulls on gold and who knows how low it can go."
Rogers, who is not buying gold right now and has even hedged some of his gold, said he's still bullish on the commodity in the long term, and expects its value to be much higher in the next decade.
"If gold goes down – I hope I'm smart enough to buy more. If it goes down a lot, I hope I'm smart enough to buy a lot more," he said.
- By CNBC's Rajeshni Naidu-Ghelani.