Gold prices topped US$1,900 per oz. for the first time since 2011, heading for its biggest weekly gain in more than three months, as momentum builds from flaring geopolitical tensions and worries over global growth drive demand for safe-haven assets.
Spot gold was up 0.6% at US$1,900.32 per oz. by noon. Earlier in the day, it reached an intraday high of US$1,906.40 per oz. — its highest level in nine years and about US$10 shy of the all-time high.
Gold futures for December delivery, which overtook August as the contract with the highest open interest, gained 0.4% to US$1,917.40 per oz. after touching a record US$1,927.10 during the previous session.
Increasing signs that the Covid-19 pandemic will continue to stall economic recovery, and the recent spat between China and the U.S. are underpinning the metal’s appeal. Bullion is also getting support from a confluence of low or negative real rates, a weaker U.S. dollar, and expectations of rising inflation amid massive liquidity injections from governments and central banks around the world.
The spot price has risen by more than 4% so far this week, putting gold on course for its longest winning streak since late 2011. According to a trader at RJO Futures in Chicago, the precious metal may even reach an all-time high by early next week.
“The pace of this thing is unbelievable,” Bob Haberkorn, senior market strategist at RJO, told Bloomberg in a phone interview. “People just want to buy, buy, buy, they just want to be in — they don’t want to miss it. People are preparing for more money printing, lower dollar in the future and hedging. And there’s no yield on treasuries right now, so gold is a safe spot given the circumstances of the central banks and the coronavirus.”
Safe-haven assets such as gold tend to benefit from widespread stimulus measures from central banks, as it is perceived as a hedge against inflation and currency debasement.
“When interest rates are zero or near zero, then gold is an attractive medium to have because you don’t have to worry about not getting interest on your gold and you see the gold price will rise as uncertainty in the markets are rising,” Mark Mobius, co-founder at Mobius Capital Partners and a long-time gold bull, told Bloomberg. “I would be buying now and continue to buy.”
Gold’s rally may extend into 2021 “on dollar wobbles amid rising geopolitical risks in a lower-for-longer interest-rate environment,” Eily Ong, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, wrote in a note.
UBS Group AG recently raised its near-term forecast for bullion to $2,000 by the end of September.
Precious metals funds saw investment inflows of US$3.8 billion in the week to July 22, the second-largest weekly amount ever, Bank of America Corp. strategists said, citing EPFR Global data.
According to data compiled by the World Gold Council, inflows into gold-backed ETFs for the first six months of 2020 have already surpassed any other annual year by a significant amount, reaching a total of US$39.5 billion.
— This article, which contains files from Bloomberg, first appeared in MINING.com.