Gold passes US$1,400 per ounce
The rally in gold is picking up fresh fuel from investors.
Two key data points on Friday suggest speculators are adding plenty of cash to the rally, which could drive prices even higher. Gold has now stormed past US$1,400 an ounce, hitting the highest close since August 2013.
SPDR Gold Shares, the largest bullion-backed exchange-traded fund, attracted almost US$1.6 billion on Friday, the most since its inception in 2004
Hedge funds and other large speculators boosted their net long positions in U.S. gold futures and options to the highest since February 2018
“Gold bulls are back in control,” Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda Corp., said in a note, adding the metal remains supported by rising expectations of a 50 basis point cut at the Fed’s July meeting. “The question is no longer will the Fed ease, but by how much? The Fed historically likes to kick on an easing cycle with a bang and a 50 basis point cut should become the base case.”
The rally has been driven by signs that the U.S. Federal Reserve and other central banks are turning more dovish on monetary policy. Planned U.S. sanctions against Iran, as well as the coming meeting between the American and Chinese presidents, are also creating a raft of bullish factors for the precious metal.
Since gold has adapted to being a hedge for those factors, “there is still scope for investors to increase exposure,” Nicky Shiels, commodity strategist at Bank of Nova Scotia, said in a note Monday. A de-escalation of U.S. and global political events would cause some, not all, of gold’s premium to be erased as the market increasingly accepts the shifting global monetary policy stance and the pressure U.S. policy is placing on the value of the dollar, she said.
All told, bullion could end the year even higher, according to Russ Koesterich, a portfolio manager at the US$27 billion BlackRock Global Allocation Fund. Speculative money moving into bullion is another reason gold could have more upside than downside, Martin Lakos, division director at Macquarie Wealth Management, said in a Bloomberg TV interview. The bank forecasts gold at US$1,450 an ounce by the first or second quarter of next year, he said.
Gold futures for August delivery climbed 1.3 per cent to US$1,418.20 at 1:32 p.m. on the Comex in New York. Prices soared 4.1 per cent last week, the biggest gain since April 2016. A gauge of the U.S. dollar hit a three-month low.
In other precious metals, silver gained on the Comex, while palladium and platinum rose on the New York Mercantile Exchange.