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Gold hits year-to-date high on fiscal, monetary policy, coronavirus fears


Potential for $3,000/oz - Edison

US/China trade spat resurfaces, fuels concerns

Bond yields falling

  • Author
  • Ben Kilbey    Filip Warwick
  • Editor
  • Jonathan Dart
  • Commodity
  • Metals

New York — Gold was well bid June 23 as the market continued to digest mounting government debt levels, shrinking bond yield rates and increased cases of coronavirus across the globe.

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Spot gold was trading around $1,770/oz during the afternoon of June 23, hitting a year today high of $1,769/oz during intraday trade. Gold is up over 25% from the same point a year ago.

"Gold prices remain well supported, as a perfect storm of weaker dollar, elevated central bank balance sheets, the threat of a second wave, and tensions last night between China and the US took hold," Geordie Wilkes, head of research at Sucden Financial told S&P Global Platts.

According to Panjiva, part of the S&P Global family of businesses, one of the biggest areas of uncertainty for global supply chains, aside from the coronavirus, is the status of US-China relations.

"These may worsen shortly depending on US actions regarding China's new Hong Kong security laws, while China's adherence to its Phase 1 trade deal purchasing commitments may be in doubt. President Trump has also once again threatened 'a complete decoupling from China'," Panjiva said June 23.

On the matter of bond yields, TD Securities said that they are "printing new lows" and this is stimulating money-flows into gold, as a safe-haven.

"[We] expect that a continued suppression of real rates will continue to drive capital to seek shelter in gold's warm embrace. And, while the unprecedented scale of central bank and government stimulus is not new information by any means, their implications have yet to be priced," Bart Melek, TD's head of commodity strategy said.

Bullish signals multiply

Adding to gold's appeal INTL FCStone head of EMEA and Asia analysis, Rhona O'Connell said noted that, "the resurgence of the virus is the primary driver here, but also the re-emergence of geopolitical risk is playing a part. Tensions persist between North and South Korea, with South Korea conducting military drills near the North Korean border -- while virus cases are on the rise in the region again."

HSBC's James Steel, chief metals analyst, was also bullish the outlook for bullion.

"Gold can gain from pandemic concerns, and the monetary and fiscal response, allowing it to weather changes in risk," Steel said.

Analysts at precious metal refiner Heraeus pointed out that, "despite the apparent optimism in the stock markets, safe havens have also been bought. Bond yields have fallen. If yields push lower then gold could make new highs for the year."

Fellow refiner MKS PAMP raised its forecast with an average of $1,770/oz in third quarter 2020 and $1,830/oz in Q4.

Potential for $3,000/oz

Latest Swiss trade data showed gold exports to the US hit another record high in May taking year-to-date gold exports to the US to 285.9 mt, according to Standard Chartered precious metals analyst Suki Cooper.

"[That's] more than the total gold exported from Switzerland to the US over the past 10 years (210 mt) and more than triple the previous record in 2016 (85.6 mt). Some of this has been driven by strong Exchange Traded Fund demand, but the bulk on the back of record Comex stocks," Cooper said.

Analysts at investment research and advisory company Edison said June 23: "In summary, with markets spooked, uncertainty locked in, interest rates effectively zero and the US Fed keeping the US economy afloat by whatever means necessary, there is much to support a buoyant gold price for the foreseeable future. Based on the current US monetary base, Edison analysis suggests the gold price should be near $1,900/oz, and with the potential for this to rise to in excess of $3,000/oz."