Russian Bear and Inflationary Hydra Sent Gold to $1,840

Gold: Technical Analysis, Fundamental Analysis, Macro Influences - The Latest "As Good As Gold" Is Here!

 

Gold soared as investors got scared by reports of an allegedly impending military conflict. Was it worth reacting sharply to geopolitical factors?

Gold has been performing quite nicely in January. As the chart below shows, its price increased from $1,806 at the end of December to around $1,820 this week, strengthening its position above $1,800.

Russian Bear and Inflationary Hydra Sent Gold to $1,840 - 1

Yesterday (January 19, 2022), gold prices went sharply higher, jumping above $1,840, as one can see in the chart below.

Russian Bear and Inflationary Hydra Sent Gold to $1,840 - 2

What happened? Investors got scared of the Russian bear and inflationary hydra. President Biden predicted that Russia would move into Ukraine. The threat of invasion and renewal of a conflict weakened risk appetite among investors. To complete the geopolitical picture, this week, North Korea fired missiles again (on Monday, the country conducted its fourth missile test of the year), while terrorists attacked the United Arab Emirates with drones. The heightened risk aversion could spur some demand for safe-haven assets such as gold. The yellow metal tends to benefit from greater uncertainty. However, investors should remember that geopolitical risks usually cause only a short-lived reaction.

Investors also recalled the ongoing global inflationary crisis. Some news helped them wake up. In the U.K., inflation surged 5.4% in December, the highest since March 1992. Meanwhile, in Canada, inflation jumped 4.8%, also the fastest pace in 30 years.

Additionally, crude oil prices have jumped to around $86.5 per barrel, the highest value since 2014, as the chart below shows. The timing couldn’t be worse, as inflation is already elevated, while higher oil implies higher CPI in the future. Gold should, therefore, welcome the rise in oil prices. On the other hand, it could prompt the Fed to react more forcefully and aggressively to tighten its monetary policy.

Russian Bear and Inflationary Hydra Sent Gold to $1,840 - 3

 

Implications for Gold

What does the recent mini-rally imply for the gold market? Well, it’s never a good idea to draw far-reaching conclusions from short-term moves, especially those caused by geopolitical factors. Risk-offs and risk-on sentiments come and go.

However, let’s do justice to gold. It hit a two-months high, more and more boldly settling in above $1,800. All this happened despite rising bond yields. As the chart below shows, the long-term real interest rates have increased from about -1.0% at the end of 2021 to about -0.6%. Gold’s resilience in the face of rising interest rates is praiseworthy.

Russian Bear and Inflationary Hydra Sent Gold to $1,840 - 4

Having said that, investors shouldn’t forget that 2022 will be a year of the Fed’s tightening cycle, rising interest rates, and also a certain moderation in inflation. All these factors could be important headwinds for gold this year.

However, investors may underestimate how the Fed’s monetary policy will impact market conditions. After all, the Fed’s hawkish stance also entails some risks for the financial markets and the overall economy. Practically, each tightening cycle in the past has led to an economic crisis. As a reminder, after four hikes in 2018, the Fed had to reverse its stance and cut them in 2019. The Fed signaled not only a few hikes this year, but also a reduction of its balance sheet. Given the enormous indebtedness of the economy and Wall Street’s addiction to easy money, it might be too much to swallow.

Importantly, when the Fed is focused on fighting inflation, its ability to help the markets will be limited. I thought that such worries would arise later this year, supporting gold, but maybe the gold market has already started to price in the possibility of economic turbulence triggered by the Fed’s tightening cycle. Anyway, next week, the FOMC will gather for the first time in 2022, and it could be an important, insightful event for the gold market. Stay tuned!

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Arkadiusz Sieron, PhD
Sunshine Profits: Effective Investment through Diligence & Care

Gold: Technical Analysis, Fundamental Analysis, Macro Influences - The Latest "As Good As Gold" Is Here!

Arkadiusz Sieron

Hi, my name is Arkadiusz Sieroń. Call me a liar, but I am writing about the precious metals thanks to Arthur Laffer, Alan Greenspan, John Keynes and Fredrich Hayek. Really! Would you like to know how these economists, some of whom have been dead for a long time, triggered my adventure with gold? When I was in high school, I took part in the Entrepreneurship Olympic, one of the biggest thematic competitions for pupils from secondary schools. During my preparations, I studied an academic textbook, in which I came across a Laffer curve. Eureka! If the tax revenues are the same at low and high tax rates, the government should lower them! I did not win the competition, but I achieved much more. I decided to become an economist! And I loved the idea of small government and economic freedom since that very moment. After graduating from high school, I moved to the capital. I was very excited, as I started to study economics at the best economics university in the country. However, the professors disappointed me very quickly. Why? They all were statists, supporting extensive government intervention and fiat currencies. Gold? It is a barbarous relic! Have you not read Lord Keynes? I was very depressed. I even considered giving up my studies in economics and enrolling in the Philosophy Faculty! You can see now that I was really desperate. When I was contemplating nothingness and vanity of vanities, a few of my classmates lent me a handful of fascinating books, such as Capitalism and Freedom by Milton Friedman. I also discovered the publications of the Austrian economists who supported the idea of the gold standard. It sounded crazy in the 21th century, but it was inspiring. I rediscovered the sense of studying economics. I continued my studies and one day I read these words: “Gold and economic freedom are inseparable”. Try guess who wrote them. Don’t give up, try once again. Don’t know? Alan Greenspan. Shocking, right? This is a quote from his “Gold and Economic Freedom”, an article published in 1966. Several years before he became the Fed Chair, and several more before the real estate bubble, that he helped to pump, up burst. Quite ironic, don’t you think? Both his essay and the Great Recession (and the accompanying bull market) motivated me to study investment portfolio management and the precious metals. I became a certified Investment Adviser very soon and I started to work for the biggest pension fund in the country. My corporate career seemed to be very promising. However, I quickly discovered that the company invested most of the participants’ funds into Treasuries or shares of the big state companies. And they didn’t even want to hear about investing in precious metals. I quit. I found a shelter at the university, as a Ph.D. candidate and – after a defense of my thesis about certain negative consequences of inflation (i.e. the Cantillon effect) – as an Assistant Professor. I was finally free to study economics, freedom, and gold. The more I read about gold, the more I was terrified. Most of the so-called experts who write about the precious metals, don’t have any idea about the subject they discuss. They treat gold as a mere commodity. Or they claim that gold is either worthless as it does not bring any yield or that its price should always rise. I was really let down by the state of understanding of the gold market among the analysts and investors. But I could not do too much. Until the sun shined down on me. I got a job offer at Sunshine Profits. I didn’t hesitate a second and accepted it, although many professors discouraged me: “You are a scholar, focus on science and do not write silly newsletters about bullion" -they advised me. But I did not listen to them, as they clearly didn’t understand the nature of gold. It is not a barbarous relic, it is the longest used money in history, and a clinking witness of human civilization. Gold is the asset, which used to serve as the safe- haven and portfolio diversifier for investors from the entire world for years. I wanted to study its properties and to share with my knowledge with people who do not have time for that. I wanted to help investors to better understand fundamentals of the gold market and improve their investment decisions. I’m happy that I can do that at Sunshine Profits. I’m really proud to be a member of our team and provide investors with high quality investment analyses about the gold market.