Inflation, falling yields and the US dollar pushed gold higher
Marking a turnaround from the first three months of the year, gold rebounded 4.5% in April to finish the month at US$1,768/oz - its highest monthly closing level since January and its first positive monthly return since December 2020.
Inflation fears and momentum ignite gold
Gold registered healthy positive returns for the second consecutive month, erasing the losses accumulated during Q1. Gold ended May at US$1,899.95/oz – its highest level since January and back above its 200-day moving average – representing a 7.5% m-o-m increase.
As the global economy emerges from an unprecedented shutdown, both policymakers and investors are operating in uncharted territory. To better understand investor strategies during this important transitional period, we interviewed approximately 500 institutional investors around the world about their portfolios, allocations and views on markets, gold and other individual asset classes.
Q2 gold demand flat, H1 down 10%
Strong consumer demand recovery and Q2 gold ETF inflows were not enough to offset heavy Q1 outflows.
Equity yields support gold as investors position for historical September strength
Transitory or not, inflation is already impacting consumers
Gold fell slightly during August, down 0.6% in US dollars, on modestly firmer interest rates following strong US jobs data.
This year marks 50 years since the end of gold’s formal link to currency. In the half-century that has passed since this milestone, the world has evolved in ways that were probably unimaginable to the political and economic leaders of that time. As the world has changed, so too has the role of gold. Whereas central banks steadily sold down their gold reserves for several decades after the end of the Bretton Woods system, they have since re-emerged as net buyers of gold for the past eleven years, with emerging market countries leading the way.
Gold fell in September by 4% to around US$1,743/oz. This was the second consecutive month of declines, with gold now over 8% lower y-t-d. Gold wasn’t alone. Treasuries, Corporates, US- and non-US equities all fell in September possibly as a result of deleveraging. The Q2 level of margin debt for equities was at a record high. It would be understandable if some leverage has been removed as we head into the historically volatile month of October. And it’s quite possible that this de-leveraging has affected most assets (energy and industrial metals excepted).
Over the past two months, economic growth has disappointed even as inflation has exceeded expectations. A real risk of stagflation, with rising costs amid lower growth, appears to be on the cards.
Q3 gold demand down 7% to 831t
ETF outflows outweighed continued recovery in other sectors