Commodities & Metals

Price of Gold Surges to Record

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The price of gold has outrun stocks in the past year. Gold is up 30%, while the S&P 500 is 20% higher. Gold just reached the highest level in its history, nearing $2,100 an ounce, and the run has not ended.

Some analysts believe it could rise another 50% in the medium term. According to a recent survey by the World Gold Council, 24% of all central banks intend to increase their gold reserves in the next 12 months, according to CNBC. Such demand alone will almost certainly push the price up. (These countries are buying up the world’s gold.)

Gold has been a hedge against runaway inflation and high interest rates for two years. That hedge value is nearly gone as inflation has waned. However, gold is also a hedge against global military and political instability. The current conflict in the Middle East has made gold, at least temporarily, more attractive.

Why Gold Prices Are Headed Higher

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Several things could boost the price of gold in 2024. Some economists believe that the drop in inflation is only temporary. Others say inflation continues to linger for consumers. The prices of mortgages are high. This is also true for many foods. Inflation has not gone away; it is just hidden because government-issued inflation rates are not a good yardstick for the cost of living.

Some see gold as a hedge against a decline in the stock market. As the markets hit all-time highs, it will only take a modest slowing of earnings to trigger a correction. Gold price advocates point out the huge market reset downward in 2020. Market corrections run in a cycle. Even if the current bull market continues, the market could drop 10% to 15% before another march upward.

Finally, the unsettled situations in Ukraine and the Middle East could worsen. This could cause damage to several asset classes. Gold is a safe haven and always has been. “Periodically, geopolitical risks and a flight to safety drive up the demand for gold. Recently, the Israel-Hamas conflict has driven up the geopolitical premium in gold,” Nitesh Shah, head of commodities and macroeconomic research at WisdomTree, told CBS News.

Gold is still on its way up. No one should be surprised if the price surges toward $3,000.

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