Throughout April, gold remained among the best performing assets in 2022 up 5% in US dollar terms – yet it ended the month 1.6% lower at US$1,911/oz.
Gold market sees solid start to 2022
Q1 gold demand was 34% above Q1 2021, driven by strong ETF inflows. In a quarter that saw the US dollar gold price rise by 8%, gold demand (excluding OTC) increased 34% y-o-y to 1,234t – the highest since Q4 2018 and 19% above the five-year average of 1,039t.
Geopolitical crisis takes centre stage in February
In 2021, the 56% y-o-y rise in China’s gold consumption marked a strong comeback from 2020.
Strong Q4 lifts full year demand 10%
Annual demand recovered across virtually all sectors – the notable exception being ETFs, which saw net annual outflows
Gold benefits from diverse sources of demand: as an investment, a reserve asset, jewellery, and a technology component. It is highly liquid, no one’s liability, carries no credit risk, and is scarce, historically preserving its value over time.
Gold may face similar dynamics in 2022 than those from last year as competing forces support and curtail its performance.
The shift to risker and less liquid assets strengthens the case for an allocation to gold, given its unique combination as a highly liquid, low-volatility asset.
Gold rose 2% in November based on the LBMA reference price, rallying early in the month before giving up most of those gains in the following weeks.
Together with our partners at OMFIF, we have written a report on the development of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) and the implications for the gold market. CBDCs can potentially enable a wide range of new features. Money can become programmable, allowing policymakers to incentivise certain spending behaviours that can optimise economic impact or address social concerns. The trackable nature of CBDCs can also help to deter financial crimes. The ability to easily deploy “helicopter money” may also spark concerns about inflation.