Gold is on the cusp of challenging the hard-to-crack $1,800 an ounce mark, potentially opening the way for a move toward its record price, as a resurgence in virus cases risks impeding the global economic recovery.
Futures rallied to just shy of the level last seen at the end of 2011, the year bullion notched its all-time high, as cases of Covid-19 climb from Tokyo to Germany. City and state officials in hotspots across the U.S. are considering slowing or reversing reopening plans, while the European Union is weighing whether to keep a ban on Americans entering the bloc when external borders reopen.
Bullion has jumped this year as the Federal Reserve and other central banks lowered interest rates, while governments worldwide pumped in trillions in stimulus to rescue economies hurt by the pandemic. Aided by concerns of currency debasement and a potential jump in inflation, investors are turning to gold. Holdings in bullion-backed exchange-traded funds have soared to a record, increasing almost 600 tons in 2020.
“Gold has been boosted by a weaker U.S. dollar in recent days and further increases in the number of new corona cases,” Carsten Fritsch, an analyst at Commerzbank AG, said in a note. “It is no surprise then that investors are seeking refuge in a store of value such as gold.”
Gold for August delivery rose as much as 0.8% to $1,796.10 an ounce on the Comex, the highest level since 2012. Futures peaked at $1,923.70 in September 2011. Premiums to spot prices in London widened again.
With real U.S. interest rates negative, banks such as Goldman Sachs Group Inc. now forecast gold will hit a record $2,000 in 12 months.
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