Gold price and fear

Via @theEconomist, I understood that there might be connections between the price of Gold (which is said to be extremely high nowadays) and the VIX SP500 index (the option volatility index, i.e. the so-called “fear index“, as discussed – in French- a few months ago). This has been discussed also on several blogs, e.g. http://etfdailynews.com/ or http://blogs.marketwatch.com/. Via Yahoo quotes, it is possible to get also easily the

SP500 VIX index.

> library(tseries)
> X=get.hist.quote("^VIX")
> T=time(VIX)
> Y=as.POSIXlt(T)$year+1900
> X2011=X[Y==2011,]
> VIX=X2011[,4]
> VIX100=as.numeric(VIX)/VIX[1]*100
> T2011=T[Y==2011]
> plot(T2011,VIX100,lwd=2,col="red",type="l",
+ xlab="",ylab="",ylim=c(60,290))

And a huge xls file can give us the price of gold (on a daily basis). But we can extract only one series (with the price in USD, which is the series of interest here)

> goldprice=read.table(
+ "http://freakonometrics.blog.free.fr/
  public/data/goldpriceUSD.csv",
+ header=TRUE,sep=";",dec=",")
> T=as.Date(goldprice$Name,"%d/%m/%y")
> GP=goldprice$USdollar
> Y=as.POSIXlt(T)$year+1896
> GP2011=GP[Y==2011]
> GP100=GP2011/GP2011[1]*100
> T2011=T[Y==2011]
> lines(T2011-4*365.25,GP100,lwd=2,col="blue")

We can see that scales are quite different on those two series (starting at 100 at the beginning of January 2011),

An alternative might be not to consider the price of gold, but something more psychological, like Internet researches. It is possible to download the csv file for queries on gold price on Google, via google insight.

 
> google=read.table(
+ "http://freakonometrics.blog.free.fr/public/data/google.csv",
+ skip=4,header=TRUE,sep=",",nrows=51)
> W=as.Date(substr(as.character(google$Semaine),1,10))
> G=google$gold.price
> G100=G/G[1]*100
> lines(W,G100,lwd=2,col="blue")

which gives the following graph (again, starting at 100 at the beginning of January 2011),

Here, we can clearly observe that the two series are related, maybe cointegrated. Nice isn’t it ?


One thought on “Gold price and fear”

  1. Is it the price of gold that is high or the money that has lost some of its value? Having that in mind, it is interesting to look at the price of gold in USD and in CHF 🙂

    The correlation is interesting. Is it because fear is not always followed by action or because the price of gold is influenced by a lot of other factors? Or both?

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