Investors ask: what will happen to the price of gold?
Investors attending our recent webinars have put scores of questions to our investment team. Here, in the first of a series in which we provide more detailed answers, we look at gold. What's next for the precious metal – and how best to own it?
We're holding regular webinars where clients and others can listen in to expert investor presentations – and put their own questions. To be included in future invitations, click "Subscribe to updates" above, right. Where we can't answer questions fully on the day, we'll deal with them at greater length here.
Investors ask: What's your view on what will happen to the price of gold over the next 12 months?
For the first time in close to a decade – and for only the second time since the early 1980s – gold has registered six consecutive quarters of positive returns. Gold returned 11.2% (in dollar terms, to end of April) and has made new highs in every currency except for the US dollar.
Despite these strong returns, there remain a number of structural and technical supports for the gold price which we believe suggest further potential gains in the second half of the year.
"Safe haven" characteristics to the fore as COVID anxiety persists
Gold has, on average, delivered positive returns during previous equity market drawdowns. It is regarded by investors as a "safe-haven" asset in times of uncertainty, with a physical value and no counterparty or default risk.
Equity markets have recovered from their March lows. However, in the absence of a vaccine, there remains the risk of a second wave of infections, leading to additional economic disruption and further stock market falls. In this environment, we think demand for gold will remain high.
Long-term inflation fears add to gold's appeal
In the past, gold has proven to be a good inflation hedge, with the price rising significantly when the rate of inflation has increased by 2% or more.
In the near term, we do not see significant inflationary pressure. However, given the scale of monetary and fiscal stimulus and disruption of supply chains, an inflation overshoot remains a notable risk. The gold price should perform relatively well in this environment.
Demand is strong
It is unsurprising that in the short term we have seen significant demand for gold. According to the World Gold Council, gold-backed exchange-traded funds (ETFs) added 298 tonnes, or net inflows of $23 billion in the first quarter of 2020. This was the highest quarterly amount ever in US dollar terms – and the largest tonnage addition since 2016.
Investors ask: do you favour physical gold over shares in gold miners, or is there a case for owning both?
The outlook for gold equities is arguably stronger today than at any point in the last 20 years. Gold producers are generating margins roughly 200% higher than at the peak of the last bull market in 2011, but valuations are reflecting gold prices that are significantly below current prices.
The macro environment that is driving current gold price strength is particularly favourable to gold producer profitability. Revenue is going up, while costs are firmly anchored.
We are however mindful that gold equities have tended to exhibit higher correlation to broader equity markets and therefore do not offer quite the same defensive benefits during equity market corrections. In the construct of a multi-asset portfolio, our preference remains to hold physical gold within our alternatives allocation.
Issued in the Channel Islands by Cazenove Capital which is part of the Schroders Group and is a trading name of Schroders (C.I.) Limited, licensed and regulated by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission for banking and investment business; and regulated by the Jersey Financial Services Commission. Nothing in this document should be deemed to constitute the provision of financial, investment or other professional advice in any way. Past performance is not a guide to future performance. The value of an investment and the income from it may go down as well as up and investors may not get back the amount originally invested. This document may include forward-looking statements that are based upon our current opinions, expectations and projections. We undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements. Actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements. All data contained within this document is sourced from Cazenove Capital unless otherwise stated.