Price Of Gold (XAUUSD) Will Be Supported, But Probable Massive Sale Of Russian Gold Can Hinder The Rise

Price Of Gold (XAUUSD) Will Be Supported, But Probable Massive Sale Of Russian Gold Can Hinder The Rise


Russia underestimated Ukraine’s fierce defense. Instead of quick conquest, the war is still going on. The same applies to pulling the rope between gold bulls and bears.

It was supposed to be a blitzkrieg. The plan was simple: within 72 hours Russian troops were to take control of Kyiv, stage a coup, overthrow the democratically elected Ukrainian authorities, and install a pro-Russian puppet government. Well, the blitzkrieg clearly failed. The war has been going on for five days already, and Kyiv (and other major cities) remains in Ukrainian hands, while the Russians suffer great losses.

Indeed, the Ukrainians are fighting valiantly. The Kremlin apparently did not expect such high morale among the troops and civilians, as well as such excellent organization and preparation. Meanwhile, the morale among Russian soldiers is reported to be pathetically low, as they have no motivation to fight with culturally close Ukrainians (many of whom speak perfect Russian). The invaders are also poorly equipped, and the whole operation was logistically unprepared (as the assumption was a quick capitulation by Ukrainian forces and a speedy collapse of the government in Kyiv). Well, pride comes before a fall.

What’s more, the West is united as never before (Germany did a historic U-turn in its foreign and energy policies) and has already imposed relatively heavy economic sanctions on Russia (including cutting off some of the country’s banks from SWIFT), and donated weapons to Ukraine.

However – and unfortunately – the war is far from being ended. Military analysts expect a second wave of Russian troops that can break the resistance of the Ukrainians, who have fewer forces and cannot relieve the soldiers just like the other side. Indeed, satellite pictures show a large convoy of Russian forces near Kyiv. Russia is also gathering troops in Belarus and – sadly – started shelling residential quarters in Ukrainian cities. According to US intelligence, Belarusian soldiers could join Russian forces. The coming days will be crucial for the fate of the conflict.


Implications for Gold

What does the war between Russia and Ukraine imply for the gold market? Well, initially, the conflict was supportive of gold prices. As the chart below shows, the price of gold (London Fix) soared to $1,936 on Thursday.

Ukraine Resists Russia. Will Gold Withstand the Bear Invasion? - 1

However, the rally was very short-lived, as the very next day, gold prices fell to $1,885. Thus, gold’s performance looked like “buy the rumor, sell the news.” However, yesterday, the price of the yellow metal returned above $1,900, so some geopolitical risk premium may still be present in the gold market. Anyway, it seems that I was right in urging investors to focus on fundamentals and to not make long-term investments merely based on geopolitical risks, the impact of which is often only temporary.

Having said that, gold may continue its bullish trend, at least for a while. After all, the war not only increases risk aversion, but it also improves gold’s fundamental outlook. First of all, the Fed is now less likely to raise the federal funds rate in March. It will probably still tighten its monetary policy, but in a less aggressive way. For example, the market odds of a 50-basis point hike decreased from 41.4% one week ago to 12.4% now.

What’s more, we are observing increasing energy prices, which could increase inflation further. The combination of higher inflation and a less hawkish Fed should be fundamentally positive for gold prices, as it implies low real interest rates.

On the other hand, gold may find itself under downward pressure from selling reserves to raise liquidity. I'm referring to the fact that the West has cut Russia off from the SWIFT system in part. In such a situation, Russia would have to sell part of its massive gold reserves, which could exert downward pressure on prices. Hence, the upcoming days may be quite volatile for the gold market.

At the end of my article, I would like to point out that although the war in Ukraine entails implications for the precious metals market, it is mostly a humanitarian tragedy. My thoughts and prayers are with all the casualties of the conflict and their families. I hope that Ukraine will withstand the invasion and peace will return soon!

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

Arkadiusz Sieron

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.