As of this writing, gold for August 2015 delivery is up nearly 0.6%. This is after gold closed the month of May with a 0.4% gain. The media are throwing around different theories about where it is heading next. Many catalysts are tugging on each other and could move gold in either direction over the next month.
The strengthening of the dollar certainly has served as a headwind against gold prices. A stronger dollar means it has become more expensive for foreign investors to consume and invest in dollar-denominated items, including gold. A most notable example is China and India, which accounts for 54% of global gold demand, according to data in World Gold Council records cited by Market Realist. The high dollar relative to their currencies has dampened their enthusiasm for gold investments.
Monday’s spike in gold prices could be attributable to good old-fashioned fear, which can be a powerful motivator. Gold has traditionally been a “run for the hills” kind of investment. The gross domestic product (GDP) showed a 0.7% decline in the first quarter of 2015. If fear begins to run rampant about a new recession, people will bid the price of gold upward.
Speculation in the financial media about a possible rise in interest rates also served as a friction against further gold price increases. Investors tend to leave gold and other commodities in favor of high-yielding assets in times of higher interest rates. However, the speculation about higher interest rates is dying down due to the negative GDP reading.
Gold also has been used as an inflation hedge. The strong dollar served as a partial catalyst for the increase in crude oil prices as well. Increasing crude oil prices can drive up the costs of merchandise for the everyday consumer as companies pass along the cost of raw materials for production. This could encourage investors to buy gold.
Fears surrounding these catalysts could fuel a speculative bubble in the month of June that could trump demand fundamentals.