Is gold ready to rip?

Ole Hansen
Head of Commodity Strategy

Summary:  Will 2024 be the year of the metals? Gold has just reached a fresh record high driven by strong retail demand and record central bank buying. With the prospect for rate cuts in the US later this year, further strength could lie ahead.

How to invest/trade gold:

Physical gold: Purchasing physical gold in the form of jewellery, coins, or bars provides direct exposure to the metal but involves considerations such as secure storage, insurance, and higher trading costs.

Gold ETFs/ETCs: Exchange-traded funds or commodities offer a convenient way to invest in gold without holding physical metal. These products track gold prices closely and can be traded easily on exchanges.

Gold mining stocks/ETFs: Investing in gold mining companies or ETFs that hold a basket of mining stocks provides exposure to gold prices. However, these investments carry operational risks and may exhibit higher volatility compared to gold itself. Since 2022, when the US Federal Reserve began hiking rates to curb soaring inflation, gold miners have struggled relative to the price of gold amid rising costs towards financing, labour, and materials. The weakness seen during the past few months has left the sector increasingly undervalued relative to the gold prices hitting fresh record closing highs.

Gold futures, CFDs, and options: 
Trading gold futures, contracts for difference (CFDs), or options involves higher risk due to leverage. While these products offer opportunities for speculation, they also require careful risk management to mitigate potential losses.

The COMEX gold futures has a contract size of 100 troy ounces, and with a current price around USD 2,100 per ounce, a contract value of USD 210,000. Being a leveraged product, the buyer or seller of a futures contract has to provide less than USD 10,000 as collateral, leaving the owner of the position highly exposed to losses without proper risk management. CFDs track the futures price with the main difference being the ability to trade smaller quantities than the 100-ounce futures contract.

Spot gold trading: another leveraged product that may suit traders using risk management tools while long-term investors may find ETFs being the better option. At Saxo you can use leverage to trade on the price of gold against 12 different currencies – including US dollar, euro, yuan and Swiss Franc – and silver.

Which factors drive gold?

Monetary policy: The policies of the US Federal Reserve, including interest rates and inflation targets, significantly influence gold prices. As gold does not yield interest, rising interest rates increase the opportunity cost of holding gold, often leading asset managers to reduce their exposure to real assets.

Currency fluctuations: Gold prices typically exhibit an inverse relationship with the value of the US dollar. A weaker dollar tends to drive gold prices higher, and conversely, a stronger dollar can suppress gold prices.

Real bond yields: Gold prices often move inversely to interest rates, as rising rates increase the opportunity cost of holding non-interest-bearing assets like gold. Long-term investors monitor developments in US real yields, which represent the yield on a bond investment adjusted for expected inflation.

Central bank demand: Several central banks have been acquiring gold in recent years to diversify their reserves away from heavy reliance on the dollar. Additionally, gold's lack of credit or counterpart risk makes it a trusted reserve asset globally.

Geopolitical tensions: Gold is considered a safe-haven asset, sought by investors during times of geopolitical uncertainty or crisis due to its intrinsic value and perceived stability.

Speculative activity: Hedge funds and speculators often anticipate and amplify price movements in gold markets based on fundamental and momentum-driven factors.

Disclaimer

The Saxo Group entities each provide execution-only service, and access to analysis permitting a person to view and/or use content available on or via the website is not intended to and does not change or expand on this. Such access and use are at all times subject to (i) The Terms of Use; (ii) Full Disclaimer; (iii) The Risk Warning; (iv) the Inspiration Disclaimer and (v) Notices applying to Trade Inspiration, Saxo News & Research and/or its content in addition (where relevant) to the terms governing the use of hyperlinks on the website of a member of the Saxo Group by which access to Saxo News & Research is gained. Such content is therefore provided as no more than information. In particular, no advice is intended to be provided or to be relied on as provided nor endorsed by any Saxo Group entity; nor is it to be construed as solicitation or an incentive provided to subscribe for or sell or purchase any financial instrument. All trading or investments you make must be pursuant to your own unprompted and informed self-directed decision. As such no Saxo Group entity will have or be liable for any losses that you may sustain as a result of any investment decision made in reliance on information which is available on Saxo News & Research or as a result of the use of the Saxo News & Research. Orders given and trades effected are deemed intended to be given or effected for the account of the customer with the Saxo Group entity operating in the jurisdiction in which the customer resides and/or with whom the customer opened and maintains his/her trading account. Saxo News & Research does not contain (and should not be construed as containing) financial, investment, tax or trading advice or advice of any sort offered, recommended or endorsed by Saxo Group and should not be construed as a record of our trading prices, or as an offer, incentive or solicitation for the subscription, sale or purchase in any financial instrument. To the extent that any content is construed as investment research, you must note and accept that the content was not intended to and has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such, would be considered as a marketing communication under relevant laws.

Trading in financial instruments carries risk, and may not be suitable for you. Past performance is not indicative of future performance. Please read our disclaimers:
Notification on Non-Independent Investment Research (https://www.home.saxo/legal/niird/notification)
Full disclaimer (https://www.home.saxo/en-sg/legal/disclaimer/saxo-disclaimer)

None of the information contained here constitutes an offer to purchase or sell a financial instrument, or to make any investments. Saxo Markets does not take into account your personal investment objectives or financial situation and makes no representation and assumes no liability as to the accuracy or completeness of the information nor for any loss arising from any investment made in reliance of this presentation. Any opinions made are subject to change and may be personal to the author. These may not necessarily reflect the opinion of Saxo Markets or its affiliates.

Saxo Markets
88 Market Street
CapitaSpring #31-01
Singapore 048948

Contact Saxo

Select region

Singapore
Singapore

Saxo Capital Markets Pte Ltd ('Saxo Markets') is a company authorised and regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) [Co. Reg. No.: 200601141M ] and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Saxo Bank A/S, headquartered in Denmark. Please refer to our General Business Terms & Risk Warning to consider whether acquiring or continuing to hold financial products is suitable for you, prior to opening an account and investing in a financial product.

Trading in financial instruments carries various risks, and is not suitable for all investors. Please seek expert advice, and always ensure that you fully understand these risks before trading. Trading in leveraged products such as Margin FX products may result in your losses exceeding your initial deposits. Saxo Markets does not provide financial advice, any information available on this website is ‘general’ in nature and for informational purposes only. Saxo Markets does not take into account an individual’s needs, objectives or financial situation.

The Saxo trading platform has received numerous awards and recognition. For details of these awards and information on awards visit www.home.saxo/en-sg/about-us/awards.

The information or the products and services referred to on this website may be accessed worldwide, however is only intended for distribution to and use by recipients located in countries where such use does not constitute a violation of applicable legislation or regulations. Products and Services offered on this website are not intended for residents of the United States, Malaysia and Japan. Please click here to view our full disclaimer.

This advertisement has not been reviewed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

Apple and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc, registered in the US and other countries and regions. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc. Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google LLC.