Wedneday's market sell-off has led to investors seeking refuge in gold, boosting prices. Recent inflation data may also be influencing the price action.
The price of gold has climbed above yesterday’s sub $1,200 value and is now trading at a 9-week high of over $1,223/oz, a 2.85% gain.
Most likely the main factor behind the sudden change is Wednesday’s stock market sell-off which saw the S&P 500 go through its worst one-day drop since February. The sell-off itself was largely triggered by rising bond yields, and the subsequent market panic has led to investors turning to gold as a safe haven, bolstering prices.
While a market sell-off typically results in Treasury bonds increasing, this has not featured as strongly as usual in today’s trading activity as the selloff is already a reaction to the rise in Treasury prices which tend to have an inverse value relationship with the stock markets, meaning that gold could continue to be an attractive alternative for investors looking to move out of stocks.
ING analyst Warren Patterson said:
"Gold is finding a bit of support from the global sell-off seen in equities. If this (sell-off) persists, we will start seeing more of a move to gold as a safe-haven asset.
Rising U.S. yields and general strength in the dollar have meant that investors have largely ignored gold. But people are seeing fairly good value at current levels on the back of some macro concerns.”
The tame inflation report is another factor - other than in energy and food, core consumer price rose a mere 0.1% in September, or about 50% of the expected rise, with the CPI inflation rate holding steady at 2.2%.The tame inflation begs the question as to whether the Federal Reserve’s recently-proposed quarter point interest rate hike is even necessary.
US President Donald Trump referred to the hike as a mistake, saying the Fed had “gone crazy.” Despite that, many analysts believe that the Fed will introduce another rate hike as planned before the end of 2018, although it’s also possible that the sell-off and criticism from the President may cause them to dial down their interest rate policy. The dollar has also fallen to a two-week low which strengthens the case for gold investment, while December gold futures are trading at a 2.9% increase at $ 1,228/oz.
The impact of the US market sell-off had an impact in global markets with China’s stock market dropping 5%, hitting a four-week low. US stock indexes are now forecast to have low openings with three-month lows by the opening of the New York day session. The price action of the last two days suggests that near-term tops have been reached, something that could have another positive impact on the price of gold.
Director of research at GoldCore Mark O’Byrne said:
"Gold and silver, the traditional havens in times of volatility, are again displaying their lack of correlation and frequent inverse correlation with risk assets.
The precious metals' hedging benefits to investors' portfolios are being seen as they again benefit from a safe haven bid exactly when investors need it.”