Gold & Silver

Gold rallies as Federal Reserve moves to protect US economy

Bloomberg March 24 | Updated on March 24, 2020

Goldman Sachs Group says that it is time to buy gold

Gold extended a surge toward $1,600 an ounce, after the Federal Reserve took unprecedented measures to protect the US economy from the coronavirus shock, with Goldman Sachs Group Inc saying that bullions are probably at an inflection point and it is time to buy.

The precious metal jumped, rallying with risk assets, after the US central bank said on Monday it would buy unlimited amounts of Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities to keep borrowing costs low. The Fed also set up programmes to ensure credit flows to corporations and State governments.

The traditional haven is seeing a resurgence after declining over the last two weeks, when investors had favoured the dollar and sold the precious metal to raise cash. Goldman said the Fed’s move would help alleviate the funding stress that has driven gold lower, and investors would now pivot to focus on the expansion of its balance sheet, just as they did in 2008.

“We believe this will likely lead to debasement concerns similar to the post-GFC period,” analysts including Jeffrey Currie and Mikhail Sprogis wrote in the March 23 note, referring to the global financial crisis. “Accordingly, we are likely at an infection point where fear-driven purchases will begin to dominate liquidity-driven selling pressure, as it did in November 2008.”

Vote of confidence

Spot gold climbed as much as 2 per cent to $1,584.51 an ounce, and was at $1,581.77 at 10:44 AM in Singapore, following a 3.6 per cent jump on Monday. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index dropped after hitting a record a day earlier.

Goldman reaffirmed its 12-month target for bullion to advance to $1,800 an ounce, saying that both near-term and long-term outlooks for bullion were looking far more constructive. The lift from the Feds move would also offset the negative impact of weaker emerging-market demand for bullion, it said.

There was also a vote of confidence in bullion from veteran investor Mark Mobius. The havens recent sell-off alongside risk assets such as stocks and oil was a sign of pure panic, with investors selling everything as the pandemic spread, Mobius told Bloomberg TV in an interview.

“I think its a mistake,” he said. “People should have gold and this may be a good time to increase holdings in gold — in fact Im thinking that myself.”

Among the other main precious metals, silver and palladium surged more than 6 per cent and platinum advanced 3 per cent.

The two platinum group metals are extending gains amid the broader rise in precious metals, and after a report that South Africa will close its mines for 21 days as part of a lock down. The country accounts for 75 per cent of the world’s platinum and 38 per cent of palladium supply.

Published on March 24, 2020

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