One market analyst says markets are expecting any news that more tariffs will be imposed, boosting gold prices.
Ever since trade talks between the U.S. and China got heated, the conflict has frequently been cited as a very bullish development for gold. Given both countries’ presence on the global market, signs that either will radically alter their import and export policies could plunge the world economy into turmoil. An article on Kitco writes that, despite this, most analysts agree that gold hasn’t truly reaped the benefit from higher tensions in the form of haven inflows thus far.
Yet the aftermath of Friday’s no-deal trade talk session between U.S. and China representatives in Washington saw gold climb while equities came under selling pressure. News that the two economic superpowers would try to reach an agreement were met with optimism that has, for the most part, waned. According to Kitco’s senior technical analyst Jim Wyckoff, consensus opinion has moved to expectations that the U.S. and China won’t be able to reach agreeable terms.
This has already resulted in taxation of some $200 billion worth of Chinese goods in a move that drew threats of retaliation from Beijing. On Friday, President Trump seemed content to impose additional tariffs on the remaining $325 billion of Chinese exports still unaffected by new levies.
Wyckoff thinks there is little question in regards to whether the trade standoff is escalating. The analyst noted that neither country has shown any intention of backing down, with leaders on both sides continuing to threaten with sanctions.
As positive as a trade war could be for gold, Kitco reports that Capital Economics markets economist Simona Gambarini said the real focus should stay on stagnating economic conditions in the U.S. Gambarini and her firm predict a plunge in stocks and other risk-on assets throughout 2019, stating that investors will soon lose their appetite for equities due to a global growth pullback. With Treasuries rapidly losing their appeal, Gambarini added that gold and the Japanese yen will emerge as the only viable haven options.
A back-and-forth with China will certainly complicate the domestic economy and possibly expedite the slowdown, which plays into Gambarini’s warnings. FXTM market analyst Han Tan said that gold has plenty of potential to breach $1,290 soon as a continuation of the U.S.-China trade conflict seems all but assured. Tan noted that the markets are cautiously expecting any news that more tariffs will be imposed on China, and that these would translate to an immediate boost to gold prices.
Meanwhile, Kitco reports that Gambarini’s year-end forecast has gold reaching $1,400 on the back of numerous favorable factors.