Hedge Funds, Central Banks Seeking Protection with Gold

With gold prices dipping in the past few months, here’s why some of the most prominent of these institutions took advantage of the buying opportunity.

gold prices

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In an interview with Kitco News, Phil Streible, senior market strategist of RJO Futures, shared his views on why some of the largest buyers of gold seem to be stockpiling the yellow metal despite a lack of overt volatility. Even though the latest batch of economic data that revolves around lower interest rates has held up, actions from big investors and central banks alike suggest that both could be preparing for a coming crisis.

This notion is supported by gold’s recent price pullback, which may have offered big buyers an opportunity to stock up after a major price spike this summer. As Streible noted, gold has a little more room to trend lower with major support at $1,425, meaning that these big investors could continue to take advantage of lower prices before gold bounces back to its major resistance at $1,550.

Speaking about the buyers themselves, Streible noted that Ray Dalio has been perhaps the most prominent figure in the gold market in recent weeks, having added roughly $1 billion of put options on the S&P Index. Dalio, the billionaire investor who manages Bridgewater Associates, the world’s best-performing fund, has long been an advocate of buying and holding gold, and has based much of the fund’s strategy around the yellow metal. A move like this could potentially indicate that Dalio and his team are seeing something that other investors aren’t and are making the most of an opportunity before a coming storm.

Another source of heavy gold demand has been central banks around the world, with various nations who were previously absent from the gold market raising eyebrows with their sudden multi-ton purchases of gold bullion. Last year set an all-time high record of gold purchases from the official sector, with the total year-end figure clocking in at 651 tons while most forecasters had previously expected a number closer to 300 tons. This year, many are expecting central banks to outdo themselves again, with early predictions placing the total gold purchases by central banks in 2019 above 750 or even 800 tons.

Streible thinks that there is little question that central banks are seeking protection and safety through these gold purchases. The analyst named the various trade wars currently taking place as perhaps the key reason why central banks are rebalancing their portfolios in favor of gold.

Streible also noted that, despite the U.S. dollar’s inverse correlation of gold, the greenback has pulled back alongside the yellow metal. Streible sees this as a result of lower interest rates that are pushing investors to take their money out of banks and move it elsewhere, adding that this is comparable to other fiat sell-offs during times of perceived currency weakness. Although the Federal Reserve appears to be holding a neutral view on the U.S. economy, Streible said that investors should look out for potentially disappointing trade data, scheduled for release next week.

Goldman Sachs: Gold Prices to Hit $1,600 in Six Months

Following the Fed’s third interest rate cut in two quarters, Goldman Sachs is increasingly bullish on gold. Here’s why they say prices can hit $1,600 by April.

gold rising

The Federal Reserve met most market expectations this Wednesday by cutting interest rates for the third time this year after rigidly sticking to a tightening cycle that started in 2015. In a report published ahead of the Fed’s decision, Goldman Sachs predicted that the Fed’s latest cut would be accompanied by a more hawkish tone than those of previous months in order to ease concerns over the domestic economic trajectory.

The cuts started mid-summer, following an abrupt policy shift meant to offset the effects of the U.S.-China trade war. With a third cut in the books within two quarters, Goldman’s analysts believe that the Fed is growing wary of investors pulling back over a palpable domestic and global growth slowdown.

The three cuts have already given gold plenty of support, as the metal has enjoyed its best run since 2013 and remains firmly above the $1,500 resistance level. Yet Goldman’s analysts believe that there are plenty of other factors supporting the gold market that will push gold to $1,600 over the next six months.

These include conspicuous de-dollarization by central banks around the world, which bought a record 651 tons of bullion in 2018. Forecasters expect the official sector to exceed this figure handily this year, with most predicting a combined 750 to 800 tons of bullion bought by the end of 2019.

Goldman also lists the many risks that have kept investors on their toes this year, including the aforementioned trade conflict, tensions with the Middle East, the likelihood of a no-deal Brexit that could disrupt the eurozone and political turmoil in the U.S. To top things off, the global growth contraction has resulted in diminished factory production as well as business investment.

Goldman’s team also took note of an increased affinity towards defensive portfolio rotations, noting that the economic climate has created a precautionary savings glut with an increased demand for cash that has boosted the price of gold and bonds, despite the latter’s dismal showings. This risk-averse investment and uncertainty regarding policies is unlikely to be resolved anytime soon, said Goldman.

Standard Chartered’s precious metals analyst Suki Cooper voiced similar thoughts in a report released last week, stating that three rate cuts would be highly supportive of gold, especially given the number of risks on the horizon. Cooper also noted that the Fed might move on to cut rates for a fourth time in December. Adding on to Goldman’s prediction that gold will hit $1,600 by Q2 2020, Cooper said that the metal is so well positioned that any pullback in prices would be restrained to the $1,450 level.

UBS Predicts Big Gains for Gold in the Next Year

Looking forward to 2020, the Swiss bank details a number of factors that are joining to push the price of the yellow metal higher. Find out what they are here.

ubs gols forecast

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After already predicting in August that the price of gold will reach $1,680 by 2020, Swiss bank UBS has raised its forecast for the metal for the second time this year. Now, the bank known for its conservative predictions sees the metal soaring to $1,730 by the end of next year, a roughly 15% increase from current valuations.

In their report, the bank’s strategists outlined various factors that should send the metal’s prices flying over the coming year. One will be a persistent environment of negative real rates that will create a dearth of haven options during a time when investors are rushing to safety. Central banks around the world have sliced their rates as of late, with many top economies now issuing bonds with a negative yield, forcing bond holders to pay the government. Despite this, the appetite for bonds has hardly subsided, showing that investors are turning towards risk-averse assets after a lengthy period of profit-chasing.

The global growth slowdown will also play a prominent role in gold’s continued leaps, as disappointing reports from top manufacturers continue to pour in. The slowdown ties directly into the U.S.-China trade war, which has already taken its toll on both economies as well as the global market. Other uncertainties include the rising likelihood of a U.S. recession, the risk of which currently sits at its highest point since 2008, according to a Federal Reserve gauge.

Despite some losses in September, UBS noted that the metal’s price hasn’t been jumping in both directions but rather appears to be on a steady climb. Although gold has fallen off since its recent high of $1,553, it has continually bounced off from the important $1,500 level, suggesting a potential long-term upwards trajectory.

The bank took note of current buyers, stating that individual investors have yet to truly make waves in the gold market. Instead, the gains so far have been powered in good part by large funds, which have steadily increased their gold allocation in recent months. Besides institutions, the jump to six-year highs was also driven by heightened interest by central banks around the world. In 2018, the official sector ramped up its purchases to more than 650 tons by year’s end, and early forecasts say that the number could be even higher this year. While many nations have made multi-ton acquisitions over the past months, China’s case has been especially prominent, with the People’s Bank of China now rivaling Russia in terms of bullion purchases.

According to the bank, the relative absence of individual investors thus far is a bullish development, as their entry into the market will play a vital role in what UBS sees as an exciting year for gold.

The Most Compelling Reasons For Owning Physical Gold

For thousands of years, precious metals have occupied a prestigious place in trade. In fact, the acquisition of these metals gave rise to the concept of market and currency. This is why precious metals such as gold have consistently retained their high value despite changes in economic climates. Precious metals will always have integral value because of their tangibility and rarity. Thus, a lot of people nowadays are becoming open to the idea of buying precious metals because of benefits, such as the following:

Image source: bizjournals.com

Image source: bizjournals.com

Hedge against inflation

For the past few years, gold’s value has remained strong despite fluctuating economic conditions. Analysts say these values are not showing signs of decline, at least not any time soon. As observed in the past, when prices of major commodities rise, the value of this precious metal also tends to rise. Gold could be one of the many ways to preserve wealth while beating inflation at the same time.

Balancing asset mix

Smart financial decisions involve diversifying asset ownership. With uncertain economic conditions, placing all assets in one basket (such as in stocks or real estate) may prove dangerous. Buying precious metals as an addition to paper assets can enhance portfolio stability and balance the overall asset mix. When all other asset classes decline, physical gold can be a reliable fallback.

Image source: ask.com

Image source: ask.com

Marketability and storage

High demand for precious metals means higher marketability. Gold may not be as liquid as equities but in its physical form—such as coins, bars, jewelry, and equipment—this metal is very easy to sell. In addition, because they are tangible assets, they can be taken into possession and be stored for a period of time. While in storage, their value can continue to rise.

Start building and preserving your wealth around gold now. Contact Birch Gold Group through this website.

Here’s Why You Should View Gold as Being “On Sale” Right Now

With the price of gold down in the past few years, one market watcher argues that current conditions present a perfect opportunity to buy some of the metal. Find out why here.

While many are rushing for the exit as the price of gold declines, some folk are making a different play: They’re buying. Why’s that? Writing for Forbes, Frank Holmes argues that they know gold is a safe bet in the long run – perhaps the safest – and see gold’s current status as ‘on sale’.

Recent sales of physical gold fully support with this, having already reached multiyear records and still on the rise. In contrast to the gold futures derivatives market, American Gold Eagle sales reached 161,500 ounces in July – the highest since April of 2013. Individual Americans aren’t the only ones still having faith in gold – the Fed maintains its 8,133 ton reserve, European countries are repatriating gold and Texas is in the process of creating its own bullion depository.

So what is beating the price of gold down? Holmes notes that conspiracy theories often abound when gold plummets. Price manipulation might not be such a stretch this time around, given some odd recent events. Last week’s five-ton sale on the Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE) caused gold to experience a mini ‘flash crash’ for the first time in 18 months. The so-called bear raid was thought to have been caused in China, but later information pointed towards New York as the culprit.

Yet another conspiracy theory focuses on the relatively mild interest in gold as a safe-haven asset during the Greek crisis. This has led some to speculate that European central banks possibly sold gold down, likely making the crisis seem less severe in order to dissuade people from turning to the yellow metal for protection.

Regardless of the veracity of these claims, Holmes says that gold’s long-term status remains untouched thanks to two key demand drivers: What he calls the “Love Trade” and the “Fear Trade”. The Love Trade refers to gold purchases for weddings, anniversaries and cultural events; these intensify in the wake of upcoming holidays, especially ones in Asia, such as Diwali and the Chinese New Year. The Fear Trade stems from available money supply and real interest rates turning negative, a scenario seen beneficial for the metal – current positive real interest rates have been acting as a headwind for gold.

But can gold benefit with a looming interest rates hike? Regarding the hike, Holmes says: “With a struggling global economy and commodity deflation odds favor rates will not rise soon in America, and gold will revert back to the mean.”

For all the latest on physical precious metals and financial news, be sure to check out our blog.

U.S. Economic Anxiety Rises As Big Name Retail Chains Continue to Close Massive Quantities of Stores

All over the U.S., retailers big and small are closing dozens – or even hundreds – of their stores. Why is this happening and, more importantly, what does it mean for the future of the country’s economy?

Michael Snyder, the man behind the Economic Collapse Blog, is not the only one who thinks this is a sign of sinister things to come. Middle class families have long been the main driving force behind the economy, thanks to the ‘spending money’ they could put aside from their incomes. But now, as the middle class is being “systematically destroyed”, as Snyder puts it, consumer spending just isn’t there anymore.

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Large and well-known retailers like Abercrombie & Fitch and Barnes & Noble will have closed hundreds of stores by the end of 2015. Sure, part of that could be attributed to the rise of online retailing, but that’s far from the real culprit behind struggling sales: lack of money to spend.

A troubling statistic sheds light on why people suddenly have less – if any – money to spare. An analysis performed by Enterprise Community Partners revealed that one out of four American citizens now spends half of his or her income on rent. With the rest being spent on things like groceries and gas, it’s not hard to see why little is left for discretionary spending.

This situation sounds bad enough, but Snyder believes the worst is yet to come. He quotes Thad Beversdorf’s belief that consumer spending is showing “the initial signs of a severe pull back” to strike an unpleasant point: the current trajectory of our economy is eerily reminiscent of the build-up to the collapse of 2007/2008.

Snyder concludes by wondering: if thousands of stores are being closed already, what will things look like when an economic crisis truly hits the U.S.? “Once it does, the business environment in this country is going to change dramatically, and a few years from now America is going to look far different than it does right now,” he warns.

Why Birch Gold Group?

The Birch Gold Group Difference

Birch Gold Group is a leading dealer in precious metals, serving all of the United States with our unrivaled knowledge, customer service and personal attention. For an easy and comfortable way to purchase gold, silver, platinum and palladium, and to discover how to plan for your future with precious metals investment, Birch Gold Group is your only choice.

Birch Gold Group was founded in 2003, and since this time, the company has helped countless clients safeguard their financial futures with a thorough education in precious metals investments. Birch Gold Group prides itself not just in providing a wide selection of precious, but also in the education, individual attention and overall satisfaction that they offer to their clients. This is the Birch Gold Group Difference, and this is why they are the leader in precious metals dealing.

Motivated By Your Success

Birch Gold Group works every day to set itself apart from the countless other precious metals dealers by providing a superior level of attention to its clients. Their elite team of IRA specialists and investment professionals listen attentively and work tirelessly to suggest a tailored investment solution for each client. Where other dealers are motivated by sales transactions,Birch Gold Group is motivated by client satisfaction and success stories.

Serving Beginners to Expert Investors

Due to its philosophy of not using sales gimmicks or high pressure tactics, Birch Gold Group is able to give every client the same high level of service and personalized attention. Whether you are a beginner precious metals buyer, a skilled investor, or you’re just looking to safeguard your financial future; you will receive the same level of superior service, respect and attention. It is thanks to these principles that Birch Gold Group has operated under for the past 10+ years that they have achieved their success in the industry.

Visit their official webpage at www.birchgold.com