Displaying items by tag: gold
Pimco has just gone on the record warning that indicators of a recession are flashing worrying signs. Based on trends in the economy and markets, including inflation, Pimco says it is time for investors to adjust their portfolios. In order to play the looming recession, Pimco suggested five trades. These include: short-term corporate bonds, a basket of EM currencies (Finsum comment: ??), gold, large cap stocks over small, and alternative investments.
FINSUM: Wow, most of these are deeply contrarian (i.e. EM currencies, gold, and large caps). All three of those picks have major headwinds against them. The case against EM currencies is clear but why pick gold when rates are rising, the Dollar is strengthening, and investors have shown zero appetite despite all the volatility?
For those paying attention, the metals market is sending some very worrying signs. Copper and other metals have been going through a rough patch, but yesterday seemed to really spell doom. Copper plunged into a bear market, zinc plummeted, and even gold took a big hit despite the panic across markets. Industrial commodities are a good bellwether for economic activity, and while the markets are partly plunging on worries over the Chinese economy, the big drops signal that the whole world could be in for a recession.
FINSUM: We are growing increasingly concerned about the message that metals markets are sending. The big drop across the board in industrial commodities is quite worrying. Hopefully it is a short-term overreaction to the trouble in emerging markets.
If you are a gold bull, this has been a really rough period. While gold has been weakening for years (relative to the market), the last several weeks has been particularly concerning. Despite all the turmoil in global markets that has come alongside Turkey’s financial crisis, gold just hit its weakest level since March 2017. Further, despite many panics in markets this year, gold has fallen 9% and has not gained from its reputation as a safe haven. The rising strength of the US Dollar has not helped gold’s prospects.
FINSUM: Gold is down to around $1,200 an ounce despite all that has happened this year. If the bear market had not been going on so long, it would almost seem like a buying opportunity, but rising rates and a rising Dollar are strong headwinds even if fundamentals changed.
Those hoping the current turmoil in the technology sector may turn around the fate of gold will be upset by new data. Gold has suffered its worst start to a year in almost a decade despite the fact that the US equity market was in a correction for much of it. Now, economic data shows that demand for the shiny metal is at its lowest since 2009. The big drop in drop demand did not stem from industry, but instead from investment markets, with ETFs buying ~60% less gold in the last year than the year prior.
FINSUM: Gold is in a tough and interesting spot. On the one hand, it is easy to see why rising rates have depressed gold prices. But on the other, it seems gold have should have benefitted from all the geopolitical and market instability of this year.
The idea of bitcoin being a 21st century version of gold, a digital value store for the next generation, has become prevalent. However, Barron’s argues, and we second, the idea that Bitcoin can never be gold. The idea comes from a new paper out of the University of Chicago. The core reason why?: It is simply not as secure. If you pay close attention to the headlines, Bitcoin is being hacked and stolen left and right. Even worse, the more valuable Bitcoin becomes, the more it is stolen. The same cannot be said for gold.
FINSUM: The paper argues that bitcoin will never play more than a “bit role” in the global financial system because of its fundamental vulnerability to theft. It sounds like the cryptocurrency needs a digital Fort Knox.