Anxious traders watching oil’s collapse have been piling into gold in a bid for safety, but the dollar’s rally is simultaneously pushing down prices.
State Street’s SPDR Gold Shares ETF, ticker GLD, is on pace for its best month of inflows since 2016, with $4.3 billion collected so far, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Meantime, BlackRock’s iShares Gold Trust, or IAU, has taken in almost $1.3 billion in April, already its best month on record.
Investors lacking confidence in the stock rally of recent weeks are increasing gold purchases as a hedge until there’s more clarity on how the coronavirus will impact economic growth. Oil’s unprecedented plunge Monday further ramped up demand for risk-off positions in exchange-traded funds.
“In the environment of heightened uncertainty and the corresponding volatility that comes with it, that’s obviously been a major support for gold prices throughout this period,” said Candice Bangsund, portfolio manager of global asset allocation at Fiera Capital Corp. “At the same time, you’ve got central banks expanding their balance sheets, interest rates are at rock bottom levels, yields are negative -- this is all buoying the allure of gold.”
Total gold held by ETFs has risen 14% this year to 94.5 million ounces, the highest level since at least April 2019. Tuesday marked the 21st consecutive day of growth.
Bank of America Corp. also raised its 18-month gold-price target to $3,000 an ounce, more than 50% above the existing price record, as policy makers unveil record fiscal and monetary stimulus. The precious metal has climbed 11% this year to $1,681 an ounce and reached a seven-year high last week before paring gains.
A strong dollar, reduced financial market volatility and lower jewelry demand in India and China could cause headwinds for gold prices, BofA analysts cautioned, even as they forecast gains. The dollar climbed against most major currencies Tuesday.
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