If you have not yet jumped on the wagon, it is about time. The next stop we are looking for is around $1,400 an ounce. At present the gold trades around $1,322 up, nearly 5% in a single day.
Gold futures were poised to finish at their highest level in nearly two years as investors rushed to buy the metal in the wake of the U.K.’s decision to exit from the European Union.
Gold tends to rally in times of economic, market or political uncertainty because precious metals are considered a haven asset. The bad news is that uncertainty could persist for as much as three years or more. As might be expected, riskier assets, including U.S. stocks tumbled, while European markets plunged today.
Global growth is unstable right now and the U.K. leaving the EU only adds to the instability. Investors now more than ever see gold as safe haven.
Gold futures traded as high as $1,362.60 today. That’s nearly $100 an ounce above Thursday’s settlement, which marked a fifth-straight session decline. For the week, gold was up 1.6% after settling last Friday at $1,294.80.
July silver rallied by 41.7 cents, or 2.4%, to $17.77 an ounce, with prices set for the highest settlement since late April. The metal is set for a 2% weekly gain.
The U.K.’s surprising decision to leave the EU has introduced a lot of uncertainty and volatility in the global financial markets. We are in a risk-off environment. The possibility of a U.S. Federal Reserve rate hike is zero to December. While we will not know the full implications of this Brexit decision for months or even years, it is highly positive for gold and silver.
“Gold ETF holdings have increased sharply and it’s a trend we expect to see accelerate as both retail an institutional investors reallocate funds to gold,” the World Gold Council said in a statement Friday.
Gold had pulled back during recent trading sessions in the wake of pre-vote polling that signaled a slight edge for the “remain” camp. The referendum results sent the pound to 1980s levels and roiled most global markets.
The U.S. Dollar Index DXY, the measure of the buck against a basket of currencies, was up 2%. The dollar and gold often move inversely, but as other vote-sensitive currencies moved lower against the dollar, the greenback logged short-term gains that unhooked the currency from its typically inverse relationship with gold.
This is just the kind of crisis that gold helps savers and investors insure against. Gold offers certainty and security as stock markets and currencies sink, just as it did during the 2008 meltdown. The difference is that this shock was clearly signposted and many private investors didn’t wait for today’s result to get prepared.
Other analysts expected the gold-supportive reaction to ease off, although most expect the metal to remain underpinned until the interest-rate debate heats up again.
However, the vote for Brexit is not the global shock that many fear, U.S. interest-rate hikes could soon be back on the agenda. Still, gold should do well in this scenario, buoyed by growing appetite for inflation hedges and robust demand from emerging economies, but clearly not as well as if the world were indeed heading for disaster.