Gold gains on its immunity to the coronavirus
Head of Commodity Strategy
Summary: Gold stays bid as renewed stock market weakness and further spreading of the coronavirus continue to negatively impact markets and the economic outlook
Precious metals stay bid in response to a continued collapse in global bond yields and worries that the stock market rout is not over yet. This as the real economic impact of disrupted global supply lines have only just started to be felt. Another worry is the risk that the U.S., the world’s biggest economy, due to what looks like a broken healthcare system and an unhealthy working culture could be on the cusp of a major outbreak of the new coronavirus.
The debasement currently being undertaken by central banks, led by the US Federal Reserve, has pushed U.S. 10-year real yields to a -0.50%, a seven-year low. A very importantly development for gold which does not offer a yield.
The emergency rate cut from the U.S. Federal Reserve on Monday to 1.25% is, according to market expectations, likely to be followed by another 50 bp cut at the regular FOMC meeting on March 18. So far the low point stands at 0.35% which could be reached before the November U.S. elections.
The elevated speculative position held by funds has raised some concerns about a sharp correction should volatility spike again like it did last week. When volatility spikes funds targeting a certain level of volatility in their portfolio are forced to reduce exposure across the board. This development hit gold last week when the Cboe VIX jumped to 40% (currently 37%).
Spiking volatility aside some concerns has also been raised about the sustainability of a near record long. It reached 285,000 lots in the week to February 25, before the mentioned VIX spike undoubtedly took some length out of the market. However, looking at the length relatively to the size of the cake, i.e. the open interest, we find the position not yet elevated compared with levels reached during the past 12 years.
Spot gold is currently heading for the highest daily close in seven years above $1660/oz. With another 50bp rate cut already priced in the prospect for additional gains depend on continued safe-haven demand. With this in mind the U.S. stock market performance hold the key to further gains.
Latest Market Insights
Q4 Outlook 2022: Winter is coming
- Winter is coming to the financial markets as central banks are tightening their grip. How spring will look is still a question.
European energy crisis: it will get worse before it gets betterThe winter in Europe will be tough, but whether the result is political chaos or sustainable, innovative solutions is still undecided.
A difficult and volatile quarter awaitsAs the year draws to an end, commodities continue to be at centre stage of the world with growth pockets political uncertainty.
The bright side: crises drive innovationThe positive spin on crises is that they come with solutions. It is worrisome that deglobalisation may be a response to this crisis.
Green transformation in China: renewable energy and beyondGoing green, China needs to span numerous energy sources to ensure stability, as every source comes with a challenge.
Asia: Intermittent solutions, but a faster renewable adoption curveAsian energy supply is being squeezed. This and the adoption of renewables may change the investment sentiment in the region.
FX: A Fed thaw needed to deliver a sustained USD turn lowerThe US Dollar can keep momentum when the Federal Reserve continues to tighten, leaving the rest to play to their drum.
Autumn can become ugly for equities and bond holders. Comfort for Dollar longsTechnical analysis suggests that equities could face a tough Q4 as could fixed income. US Dollar positions could provide some upside.
The next stock market sector to watch, with stocks going nuclearAs the world scrambles to find affordable, sustainable energy, nuclear is getting attention from politicians and investors alike.
The crypto space is getting cold when the hype disappearsCryptocurrencies face a winter of their own as retail investors and governments are asking tough questions.