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Tuesday, March 27, 2018

International Bullion Firm Claims Gold a Good Insurance Policy

Analysts say prospects of higher rates does little to take away from the metal's appeal.

Last week the Federal Reserve met expectations by hiking interest rates for the first time in 2018. While gold's price trended lower in the aftermath of the hike, Kitco reports that one international bullion firm believes the prospect of higher rates does little to take away from the metal's appeal.

In their latest report, analysts at Degussa said that investors should view price dips as an entry point given the various factors that make gold investment a prudent strategy. Besides general protection against fiat currency manipulation, the firm pointed to the possibility of rate hikes leading to a recession as a particularly poignant reason to consider gold in one's portfolio.

Using the same analogy that multiple other analysts have turned to, Degussa explained how the Fed's hikes could ultimately have a major adverse effect.

"The Fed's tightening policy is like taking away the 'punch bowl,' and if it raises interest rates too much, the party would definitely come to an end. It is against this backdrop that gold, even in times of slightly higher real interest rates, is increasingly attracting investors, which has ultimately led to a price increase," said the report.

Although gold is mostly seen as an asset, the analysts noted that the view of the precious metal as global currency is gaining traction, namely because of inflationary pressures that erode faith in fiat money. Gold is frequently pitted against the dollar and soars in times of a weaker greenback, but Degussa's team noted that the metal continues to outperform a basket of global currencies.

"The price of gold should, over the long run, compensate its owner for the loss in the purchasing power of fiat currencies," the firm said.

The markets were near-unanimous regarding the likelihood of the latest hike, but there is plenty of doubt in regards to the Fed's future course of action. The Kitco article writes that while some believe the Fed could hike rates up to four times this year, especially given the hawkish tone of new chair Jerome Powell, others cast doubt on their ability to raise borrowing costs further.

According to Kitco, another factor that could play in gold's favor is a potential shift in the Fed's rhetoric. The central bank bases its current strategy on forecasts of a stronger economy and a lower unemployment rate, with hopes that inflation will reverse its backwards trend and meet the targeted rate. Despite their optimism, some market participants believe that the Fed will alter its prognosis in one or more areas, which would give rise to higher gold prices and serve as an additional deterrent from successive rate hikes.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Managing Director at Crossborder Capital Calls Gold Best Safe Asset

A wealth management firm says short-term dips in gold prices are a buying opportunity as gold is bound to go higher over the longer term.

crossborder capital considers gold safe asset

According to one wealth management firm in a recent Kitco article, short-term dips in gold prices represent a buying opportunity as the metal is bound to go higher over the longer term.

Talking to Kitco, Michael Howell, managing director at Crossborder Capital, said that the prices of safe assets are wrong, especially Treasuries. Although his firm expects bond yields to rise to 3.5% by year's end, higher Treasuries could uncharacteristically support gold prices because of the mechanism driving yields up.

He notes the optimistic tone of Fed Chair Jerome Powell in his recent speech suggested further tightening of the monetary policy and potentially four rate hikes this year. While this is generally seen as negative for gold, Howell says the metal will instead benefit from exaggerated bond valuations.

Howell explained that, with the supply of Treasuries increasingly outstripping demand, their gains have to be inflated to attract investors. This has brought on overpriced bonds, a situation that will worsen should the Fed roll in another year of successive rate hikes.

"The appetite for government debt is dropping off pretty fast, so you have to have higher yields to make it more attractive," said Howell regarding the worrying fundamental picture of Treasuries. "We see a repricing of safe assets and gold remains the best, cheapest asset."

The article also reports on the dollar, which, despite its prolonged plunge, one that recently saw the currency test multi-year lows, Howell believes that the greenback remains overvalued. Because of this, Howell's firm sees further losses in the dollar as a certainty. This prediction is especially bullish for gold, as the metal has a strong inverse correlation with the reserve currency and soars in times of a weaker dollar.

Howell believes the source of the dollar's weakness comes from a loss of influence in the global market. Examples of this include the Chinese yuan, which is already competing with the U.S. dollar for a prominent spot as a transaction currency in Asia. The growth of the euro as a funding currency acts as yet another threat to the dollar's status with foreign investors reports the article.

With expectations of a reversal in bond yields and more bearishness in the dollar, Crossborder Capital says that the entire financial background is positive for gold. The firm has been advising investors to stock up on the metal during weaker periods because it will go higher in 18 months.

"Strategically, we think we are at a tipping point. It's just a question of how quickly things shift," said Howell.