Gold and silver rise as stocks fall sharply after Barcelona attack
Gold, silver 0.6% higher in week after last weeks 2%, 5% rise
Palladium +36% ytd, breaks out & reaches 16 year high (chart)
Gold to silver ratio falls to mid 75s after silvergains last week
Perfect storm of financial and geopolitical tensions is driving safe haven demand and should see higher prices
Weekly closeover $1,300 could see gold quickly test $1,400
Palladium at 16 year highs today; gold, silver in coming months?
Editor Mark O’Byrne
This morning readers woke to the news that a second attack in 24 hours had taken place in Barcelona. So-called Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks in Spain.
Global stocks have fallen and precious metals have eked out gains this morning as investors seek out safe haven assets. Gold has risento trade at its highest level since the beginning of June.
Gold’s reaction to the Barcelona events is likely to last and may continue today. The combination of heightened riskin the global geopolitical sphere is likely to support both gold and silver, pushing themthrough recent resistance. A weekly close above $1,300 per ounce will be very positive for gold and should see a rapid move to test the $1,400 level.
Gold and silver outperforming stocks
After losses earlier in the week, gold and silver have come right back andare now up 0.55% and 0.64% respectively. This is very positive as profit taking was to be expected after last weeks strong gains.
Gold and silver have consistently remained in the top-performing assets throughout the year and are beginning to outperform stocks.
In the year to date, gold is up nearly 13% whilst silver has climbed over 7.5%. The benchmark S&P500 is up 8.6% afterweakness last week and this.
Both precious metals have performed well thanks to safe haven demand, much of which has been driven by very strong demand in India, China and Asia and ETF-demand in Europe.
Palladium at 16 year highs today; gold and silver in coming months
Palladium is up over 36% in the year-to-date and isthe best performing commodity and market this year.
Palladium in USD 30 Years (Macrotrends.net)
Consumption of the rare industrial precious metal is expected to hit 10.8 million ounces this year, an all-time high. Demand from the automotive industry, the biggest buyer of the metal, is up 4% this year.
Due to the high demand and limited availability of palladium there is market deficit of over 1 million ounces. The apparent five-year-long market deficit has begun to impact the availability of above-ground stocks.
This has prompted leasing rates to dramatically increase, taking the palladium market into backwardation of around 5-10%/year.
Much of palladium’s increased demand is thanks to increased demand for SUV vehicles which have to abide by tightening emission legislation from the EU. The latest announcement in the UK regarding a ban on diesel engines will also help to boost demand as consumers shift from diesel to petrol engines.
This suggests that there is little let-up for the tight supply conditions the palladium market is currently experiencing.
Safe haven demand to last
Safehaven demand is coming back and is again one of the firm drivers of precious metal prices. We have seen strong demand in August in what is frequently a quieter month as investors switch off and go on holidays.
We are operating in a very nervous financial and geopolitical environment globally. Geopolitical events can lead to price gains andsafe haven demand. But the real risk is that a massive terrorist event or a cluster of many such events could impact consumer confidence, markets andthe wider global economy.
And geopolitical risk is also seen in the complete mess that is U.S. politics and the Trump Presidency.
For instance, the latest drama from the Trump camp regarding the collapse of his business councils, is not in itself a reason to rush to precious metals. However, it is another sign of the cracks emerging in Trump’s administration and their complete inability to deliver on campaign promises.
The same can be said for the President’s reaction to the Charlottesville tragedy at the weekend. Both events (added to all issues since January) suggest that the current White House administration are perhaps losing sight of what it means to run the world’s declining super power.
Leading from struggles in the White House, the combative approaches of President Trump and North Korea ruler Kim Jong Un throughout the year has also helped to provide safe haven support for gold and silver.
These aren’t the only issues that are creating nervousness and uncertainty in the marketplace:
Vladimir Putin’s geo-politicalambitions combined with Russia’s growing closeness with China.
The deteriorating relationship between Iran and theUS, Israel, Saudi Arabia and significant players in the Middle East
The near impossible problems in the Middle East-including but not limited to ISIS and al Qaeda, Syria, the worsening situation between Israel and Palestine
Increasing divisionsbetween Turkey and Europe Turkey having previously been seen as an ally for the West, in the Middle East
Signs of growing differences between many Western allies, significantly President Trump and European leaders in regard to how to deal with the above.
Will gold break $1,300?
In recent months gold has attempted to break through the $1,300 barrier a few times. This level is being touted as a psychological barrier which, when broken, could see gold perform in a way not seen since its 2011 run when the inflows of speculative money drove prices up $500 in just nine months.
However, it might not be political events that push it past this barrier. Interestingly if one looks at gold’s behaviour in the last seven or eight years, it has not reacted to political tensions (see graph below).
Instead, it has been mainly affected by monetary policy, QE, the hunt for yield and shifting inflationary / deflationary concerns. An interesting point to consider as it is, arguably, counterintuitive.
Therefore, we may see gold break through the $1,300 barrier on account of the US Federal Reserve whose last minutes surprised the markets. Whilst they gave no indication as to how the FOMC might move ahead, they did show a lack of consens