Gold extended its record-breaking rally, with futures touching $2,000 an ounce for the first time ever, and silver surged as a plunge in the dollar and the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic boost demand for havens.
Futures rose more than 2% to a record and silver jumped to the highest in more than seven years as a gauge of the dollar extended its slump to the lowest in almost two years. With no end in sight to the economic turmoil unleashed by the virus, and expectations more stimulus will be needed to boost growth, there may be further gains ahead.
Unrelenting investor demand has helped fuel gains for the precious metals, with inflows into gold-backed exchange traded funds this year already topping the record set in 2009 and silver holdings near an all-time high.
While the latest surge in prices comes as the dollar weakens, there’s a long line of bullish factors buoying gold and silver markets: geopolitical tensions are rising, real rates have tumbled, and governments and central banks worldwide have unleashed vast stimulus measures to try and boost economies.
“There seems to be enough momentum in the U.S. money supply to actually push gold higher,” said David Lennox, an analyst at Fat Prophets. “As Covid-19 continues to ravage the economy, there’s probably more stimulatory action to come. As the U.S. dollar weakens, obviously gold will improve, but it’s more a matter of the acceleration of U.S. money supply, and that’s caused by governments obviously throwing money into the economy.”
Gold futures rose 2.3% to $2,000 an ounce and traded at $1,997 by 9:27 a.m. in Singapore. Spot gold was at $1,973.44. Spot silver climbed more than 6% to $26.1236 an ounce, the highest since April 2013, and futures surged 7%.
For silver, there’s an added boost from concerns about supply, with the Silver Institute earlier this month forecasting a 7% decline in mine production in 2020. Signs of nascent economic recovery in some countries may also aid demand for the metal used in solar panels and electronics.
Silver tends to perform very strongly when the desire for wealth protection, or fears of inflation-induced wealth destruction, are high and when global economic activity is improving, according to Citigroup Inc. Both these factors are expected to boost prices over the next six-to-12 months, driving prices up to $30 by mid-2021 if the bullish momentum continues, said analysts including Aakash Doshi.