Will Biden Inaugurate Gold’s Rally?

The price of gold increased on Inauguration Day, arousing investors’ hopes for a new bullish phase.

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s official now – Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have been sworn in as the President and Vice-President of the United States, respectively. What does this imply for America?

Well, before we move on to Biden, let’s say goodbye to Trump. You can love him or hate him, but there is no denying that the 45th presidency was excellent for the price of gold . As the chart below shows, the price of the yellow metal rose more than 50 percent since January 2017 (although gold initially declined after the election results).

But Trump is now out of the White House, while Biden is in. What are the economic implications of this change? Well, I used to claim that people generally overestimate the impact that politics and the power of Presidents have over economic developments. However, this time may be different for two reasons.

First, Biden is going to quickly reverse many of Trump’s decisions . For instance, he is going to reverse the construction of the border wall, the travel ban targeting mainly Muslim countries, and the withdrawal from the Paris climate accord as well as from the World Health Organization. Biden will also impose a mask mandate on federal property, reversing Trump’s ambiguous stance on the epidemic in the U.S.

Second, the 46th presidency could be remembered in the future as having been fiscally lavish – and Biden seems to be determined to overshadow Trump in that matter. He has already proposed to spend $1.9 trillion to stimulate the economy – on top of previous aid packages worth more than $3 trillion. Importantly, Biden calls his mammoth plan just “the first step” and he is going to soon announce a plan for spending on infrastructure and clean energy which could be worth more than $2 trillion. Additionally, Janet Yellen , likely the next U.S. Treasury Secretary, has recently confirmed the stance of the new administration, saying that the government should act “big” to jump-start the economy, as “the benefits will far outweigh the costs” of being bold.

Implications for Gold

What does Biden’s presidency imply for the gold market? Well, we have already covered this theme in the two latest editions of the Gold Market Overview (and we will continue this topic in the next issue), but let us repeat that, from the fundamental point of view, Biden’s presidency looks promising for the price of gold . Although larger government expenditures can boost the GDP in the short run (the long-term economic impact could actually be negative), they will also expand the fiscal deficits and the federal debt .

Higher debts not only makes the economy more fragile and prone to debt crises , but they also make the normalization of monetary policy more difficult. The truth is that the U.S. simply cannot afford higher interest rates. You see, the higher the debts, the lower the interest rates must be to handle the debt servicing costs. Welcome to the debt trap . So, the Fed will have to maintain the federal funds rate at practically a zero level for a long time. The lower the real interest rates , the better it is for gold.

Oh, and did I mention inflation already? With the massive amount of stimulus injected into the U.S. economy, there is an overriding risk of overheating and increase in inflation, which would be positive for the gold prices.

So, as long as there is a strong risk appetite, hope for better politics (“this time will be different and this president will be different than everyone else and everything will change for the better”) and faster economic growth, gold may struggle.

However, when the honeymoon ends and investors acknowledge risks related to the higher fiscal stimulus, or when some economic crisis arrives and the risk appetite vanishes, gold will shine. Indeed, gold investors didn’t appear to be afraid of President Biden, as the price of gold increased on Inauguration Day.

If you enjoyed today’s free gold report , we invite you to check out our premium services. We provide much more detailed fundamental analyses of the gold market in our monthly Gold Market Overview reports and we provide daily Gold & Silver Trading Alerts with clear buy and sell signals. In order to enjoy our gold analyses in their full scope, we invite you to subscribe today . If you’re not ready to subscribe yet though and are not on our gold mailing list yet, we urge you to sign up. It’s free and if you don’t like it, you can easily unsubscribe. Sign up today!

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

 

Gold Weekly Analysis: Price Drops Amid Stimulus and Poor Data

The price of gold has declined further amid incoming U.S. President Joe Biden’s fiscal stimulus and poor economic data, which is a bearish sign.

The weakness in the gold market continued last week. As the chart below shows, the London P.M. Fix declined below $1,840 last Friday (the price of the yellow metal later declined even further, i.e., below $1,830).

The downward trend is a bit disturbing given the poor economic data reported last week. First, the jobless claims increased from 784,000 on January 2 to 965,000 on January 9, 2021 , as one can see in the chart below. This increase surpassed market expectations and indicates that there is a long way ahead for a full recovery in the U.S. labor market.

Second, U.S. retail sales declined 0.7 percent in December from the previous month . Importantly, the decrease was larger than the expected 0.1 percent drop. Third, the Empire State Index increased 3.5 percent in January. Although the index grew, it rose at a slower pace than in December and below expectations.

All these economic reports show that the U.S. economy has slowed down, and that we could see more stimulus coming in an effort to stimulate economic growth. Indeed, on Thursday, Jerome Powell excluded any tapering of the quantitative easing in the near future , saying that he “expect[s] that the current pace of purchases will remain appropriate for quite some time”. The recent weak economic data that show slack remaining in the labor market can only reassure the Fed that it should continue providing accommodation and not think about raising interest rates .

Moreover, on Thursday (Jan. 14), Biden unveiled a massive stimulus plan worth $1.9 trillion to support the economy amid the COVID-19 epidemic . The aid package, that would be on top of the $900 billion stimulus adopted by Congress in December, includes $1 trillion in direct checks to Americans, about $440 billion for small businesses particularly strongly hit by the epidemic, and about $415 billion to fight the coronavirus and speed up the distribution of vaccinations.

The continuation of the dovish monetary policy and expansion of the easy fiscal policy should theoretically send the price of gold higher.

Implications for Gold

They should, but gold has gone south instead. Therefore, the drop in the price of gold amid poor economic data, Powell’s remarks, and Biden’s announcement is a bearish signal .

However, it might be also the case that we will see a replay of March, when the first wave of the pandemic initially hit the precious metals market. Investors were stocking up cash then, selling both equities and gold. We observed a similar pattern on Friday, so we could see a reversal after some time.

Moreover, Biden’s fiscal aid, if adopted, would increase U.S. government spending, budget deficit and public debt even further. As a reminder, the federal government spent a record $6.5 trillion in fiscal 2020, while the national debt has already risen by almost $7.8 trillion during Trump’s presidency. According to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget’s projection from early January, the U.S. fiscal deficit would total $2.3 trillion for fiscal 2021. However, with Biden’s new stimulus, it would be much larger and could even surpass the record deficit of $3.1 trillion for the last fiscal year.

So, the ballooning fiscal deficits and debts, together with a recession caused by the pandemic and the Great Lockdown , should be sufficient reasons to be cautious and hold part of one’s investment portfolio in safe-haven assets such as gold . Yet many investors are still turning a blind eye to the negative effects of a fiscal stimulus. But just because they cover their eyes, the elephant will not disappear from the room. Indeed, the gold elephant – and gold bull , his cousin – will not disappear, although they may hide for a while .

If you enjoyed today’s free gold report , we invite you to check out our premium services. We provide much more detailed fundamental analyses of the gold market in our monthly Gold Market Overview reports and we provide daily Gold & Silver Trading Alerts with clear buy and sell signals. In order to enjoy our gold analyses in their full scope, we invite you to subscribe today . If you’re not ready to subscribe yet though and are not on our gold mailing list yet, we urge you to sign up. It’s free and if you don’t like it, you can easily unsubscribe. Sign up today!

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

 

Yearly Analysis: Will 2021 Be Better for Gold?

After a disastrous year of 2020, which brought about the COVID-19 pandemic , the Great Lockdown , and the economic crisis the question is what will 2021 be like – both for the U.S. economy and the gold market.

To provide an answer, below I analyze the most important economic trends for the year and their implications for the yellow metal.

  1. Society gains herd immunity by vaccination and the health crisis is overcome.
  2. With herd immunity approaching, the social fabric returns to normality, and the economy recovers.
  3. The vaccine rollout increases the risk appetite, reducing the safe-haven demand for both gold and the greenback .
  4. The return to normality and realization of the pent-up demand (comeback of spending that was put on hold during the U.S. epidemic ) accelerates the CPI inflation rate .
  5. The Fed stays accommodative, but the recovery in the GDP growth and the labor market makes the U.S. monetary policy less aggressively dovish than in 2020.
  6. However, the Fed continues to use all of its tools to support the economy in 2021 and, in particular, it does not hike the federal funds rate , even if inflation rises.
  7. As a result, the real interest rates stay at ultra-low levels. However, the potential for further declines, similar in scale to 2020, is limited, unless inflation jumps.
  8. The American fiscal policy also remains easy, although relative to 2020, government spending declines, while the budget deficit narrows as a share of the GDP.
  9. However, the public debt burdens continue to rise. Although the ratio of debt to GDP decreased in Q3 2020 amid the rebound in the GDP, it’s likely to increase further in the future, especially if Congress approves the new fiscal stimulus.
  10. Given the dovish Fed conducting a zero-interest rate policy , increasing debt burden, and strengthened risk appetite amid the vaccine rollout, the U.S. dollar weakens further. The American currency has already lost more than 11 percent against a broad basket of other currencies since its March peak.

What does this macroeconomic outlook imply for the gold prices? This is a great question, as some of the trends will be supportive for the yellow metal, while others might constitute headwinds, and some factors could theoretically be both positive and negative for the price of gold. For instance, the end of the recession seems to be bad for the yellow metal, but gold often shines during the very early phase of an economic recovery, especially if it is accompanied by reflation , i.e., a return of inflation.

The tailwinds include the continuation of easy monetary and fiscal policies . The federal debt will remain high, while the interest rates will stay low, supporting the gold prices, as was the case in the past (see the chart below).

There is also an upward risk of higher inflation. In such a macroeconomic environment, the U.S. dollar should weaken against other currencies, thus supporting gold prices . As a reminder, the relative strength of the greenback in recent years (see the chart below) limited the gains in the precious metals market.

However, there are also headwinds . You see, levels are significantly different concepts than changes. The latter often matter more for the markets. What do I mean? Well, although both monetary and fiscal policies will remain accommodative, they will be less accommodative than in 2020. Although the real interest rates should stay very low, they will not decline as much as last year (if at all).

In other words, the economy will normalize this year after suffering a deep downturn in 2020, so the economic policy will be less aggressive. Hence, the level of bond yields and the ratio of federal debt to GDP should stabilize somewhat – actually, thanks to the rebound in the GDP in the third quarter of 2020, the share of public indebtedness in the U.S. economy has decreased, as the chart below shows.

Hence, although the price of gold could be supported by the continuation of easy monetary and fiscal policies, low real interest rates, and weak dollar, it’s potential to rally could be limited. The accommodative stance of central banks and unwillingness to normalize the monetary policy for the coming years should prevent a significant bear market in gold , but without any fresh triggers of further declines in the bond yields or without the spark of inflation, the great bull market is also not very likely. So, unless we either see a serious solvency crisis or sovereign debt crisis , or an substantial acceleration in inflation, gold may enter a sideways trend . Or it can actually go south, if it smells the normalization of monetary policy or increases in the interest rates.

Thank you for reading today’s free analysis. We hope you enjoyed it. If so, we would like to invite you to sign up for our free gold newsletter . Once you sign up, you’ll also get 7-day no-obligation trial of all our premium gold services, including our Gold & Silver Trading Alerts. Sign up today!

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

 

Higher Yields Hit Gold, But for How Long?

Last week, the yellow metal tanked below $1,900 again, and it hasn’t rebounded since the plunge – instead, the price of gold has stayed at around $1,850.

What happened? The main driver of the recent weakness in the precious metals market has been the Democratic victory in the Georgia Senate elections. Thanks to this trifecta, the Democrats have taken control of the White House, the House of Representatives, and the Senate. Consequently, there are lower chances of a political gridlock in Washington and higher chances of smooth cooperation between Congress and the incoming administration of Joe Biden. So, the expectations of additional economic support have risen, thereby strengthening hopes for a quicker economic recovery.

Hence, investors went euphoric and increased their risk appetite. They sold safe havens such as gold and disposed of treasuries, pushing the bond yields higher (see the chart below), which in turn hurt the yellow metal .

However, the interest rates are still historically low, and the real interest rates remain deeply in negative territory. Although some measure of normalization is standard, the return to pre-pandemic levels is unlikely . The unprecedented increase in worldwide debt implies that we are stuck in a high debt and low interest rate trap. After all, all these debts have been sustainable only because the yields have been low, so I doubt whether we will see an important rebound in them.

But the recent episode shows how sensitive gold is to the changes in the real interest rates and that gold investors  shouldn’t forget about the possibility of an increase in the real interest rates, which is a serious downward risk for gold.

Implications for Gold

Is gold doomed now, given that the Democrats swept both the White House and Congress? Not necessarily. The macroeconomic outlook for 2021 might be worse than for 2020, as the economy should recover and monetary policy should be less dovish – but it’s still positive for gold. After all, historically, gold has shined during the early phases of various economic recoveries. Some analysts even claim that we have not reached the phase of an economic recovery yet – as the liquidity crisis has transformed into a solvency crisis.

In other words, it’s always important to distinguish the short-term outlook from the longer-term potential. Gold currently suffers because of the higher yields, but the long-term picture seems to be more positive. The real interest rates, which are more important for the precious metals market, have increased to a lesser extent – and they have stayed well below zero (as the chart above shows).

At some point, investors will start factoring in that a large fiscal stimulus projected by the Democrats could increase the public debt to uncomfortable levels, thereby increasing the risk of a sovereign debt crisis . They could also begin pricing in the risk of higher inflation and a larger Fed’s balance sheet , as the U.S. central bank and the Treasury wouldn’t welcome much higher interest rates . As a reminder, gold benefited from the easy fiscal policy in the aftermath of the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic , so it shouldn’t go out of favor now. Indeed, the huge fiscal deficit combined with the current account deficit will take the so-called twin deficit to a record 25 percent of the GDP , which shouldn’t be without an impact on the price of gold.

Instead, gold still has a material upside in the upcoming months, although it could shine less brightly than it did last year , at least until inflation rebounds, or until the Fed expands its accommodative monetary stance. Yes, the U.S. central bank remains dovish, but it’s not eager right now to shoot from its bazooka again. So, the monetary policy will be relatively more hawkish than it was in 2020, which could limit potential gains in the gold market.

If you enjoyed today’s free gold report , we invite you to check out our premium services. We provide much more detailed fundamental analyses of the gold market in our monthly Gold Market Overview reports and we provide daily Gold & Silver Trading Alerts with clear buy and sell signals. In order to enjoy our gold analyses in their full scope, we invite you to subscribe today . If you’re not ready to subscribe yet though and are not on our gold mailing list yet, we urge you to sign up. It’s free and if you don’t like it, you can easily unsubscribe. Sign up today!

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

 

The Gold Market in 2020 and Beyond

Nobody expected the Spanish Inquisition! And nobody expected a pandemic in 2020! Oh boy, what a year… How good that 2020 has already passed! It was an extraordinary year, unlike any other in many decades. Unfortunately, 2020 was a disastrous time for many people all over the world who suffered from COVID-19 or whose relatives and friends died because of the coronavirus or the collapse of the healthcare system… Our thoughts are with them. Many others lost their jobs or income, and all of us suffered from loneliness and limited freedom during the Great Lockdown . Indeed, it’s good that 2020 is over – and we hope that 2021 will be much better!

And what did 2020 mean for gold? Well, it turned out that last year was gracious to the yellow metal. As the chart below shows, gold entered 2020 with a price of $1,515 per ounce, and finished the year at $1,888 (London P.M. Fix as of December 30). It means that the shiny metal rose over 24 percent – that’s not bad considering other assets were hit really hard during the economic crisis !

Actually, 2020 was definitely better for gold prices than 2019 , when the yellow metal gained “only” over 18 percent. As I didn’t predict the global pandemic (who did?), I didn’t forecast such strong gains in my base scenario. However, given the inversion of the yield curve in 2019, I expected a kind of economic downturn that would positively impact gold prices. One year ago, in a January 2020 edition of the Gold Market Overview , I wrote:

“unless anything ugly happens, the macroeconomic environment could be less supportive for gold than in 2019. However, bad things do happen, and, according to Murphy’s law, anything that can go wrong will go wrong. Hence, the gold fundamentals may turn out to be more positive for gold over the year. After all, the yield curve has inverted last year and we are already observing some recessionary trends, especially in the manufacturing sector and among the small-sized companies (…) given the amount of black swans flying just above the market surface, gold might provide us with some bullish surprises as well.”

And indeed, the black swan (or perhaps a white or gray swan) landed in 2020, pleasing the gold bulls. However, despite gold’s impressive performance, some people complain that gold didn’t rally more during the coronavirus turmoil. I completely understand this disappointment – after all, the world suffered its deepest economic downturn since the Great Depression , larger even than the Great Recession , and gold gained only 24.6 percent?

However, the crisis was deep but very short, as we quickly learnt how to live with the virus, while our brilliant scientists swiftly developed vaccines. Moreover, this time banks were resilient and there was no financial crisis . Another factor is that gold actually rallied more than 36 percent until its peak in August (or more than 40 percent counting from the bottom), but it later corrected somewhat.

Indeed, we can distinguish a few phases in the gold market in 2020:

  • A pre-pandemic bullish phase caused by easy monetary policy and worries about the coronavirus, that lasted until mid-February, with the price of gold increasing from $1,515 to $1,604 (5.9 percent) on February 19, just before the stock market crash.
  • The bullish period (with a short bearish correction) more closely related to the unfolding pandemic, the stock market crash and central banks’ panic and bold responses. It started on February 20 and ended on March 6, when the price of gold reached $1,684 (gaining 5 percent).
  • The bearish phase caused by investors’ panic selloff of all assets in order to raise cash. It lasted until March 19, when the price of gold reached its 2020 bottom of $1,474 (a decline of 12.5 percent).
  • A super bullish phase that lasted until August 6, when the price of gold reached its all-time peak of $2,067, soaring 40.2 percent in just four and half months. This period can be split into: the bullish phase, caused by the coronavirus shock, that lasted until mid-April; the consolidation period, that came when the financial markets calmed down as the initial doomsday scenarios didn’t materialize, and lasted from mid-April to mid-June; and another bullish phase, caused by disastrous economic data for the first half of 2020, and massive stimulus programs delivered by the central banks and governments.
  • The bearish period , during which the yellow metal declined to $1,763 on the last day of November, or 14.7 percent, due to positive vaccine-related news and reduced geopolitical uncertainty after the U.S. presidential elections.
  • The bullish remainder of the year, during which gold rose to $1,888, or 7 percent, caused by the dark COVID-19 winter, poor economic data, strengthened prospects of another government financial stimulus, and related worries about the rising U.S. debt.

So, it’s pretty obvious that the course of the pandemic was one of the most important tailwinds for the gold prices in 2020. Thus, the correction caused by the vaccine breakthroughs is not surprising, given the scale of the previous rally . However, please note that gold reacted not to the pandemic itself, but rather to the investors, governments, and central banks’ reaction to it. The yellow metal gained the most when investors were fearful, and when the Fed and Treasury injected liquidity into the markets.

This all bodes well for gold in 2021. After all, the U.S. central bank won’t cease conducting its very easy monetary policy , while a Biden-Yellen duo will continue the dovish fiscal policy inherited from the Trump administration. Such a policy mix should support gold prices. Of course, the scale of accommodation would be lower than in 2020, so gold’s performance in 2021 could be worse than last year. But unless we see a normalization in the monetary policy and an increase in the real interest rates , the bull market in gold shouldn’t end.

Thank you for reading today’s free analysis. We hope you enjoyed it. If so, we would like to invite you to sign up for our free gold newsletter . Once you sign up, you’ll also get 7-day no-obligation trial of all our premium gold services, including our Gold & Silver Trading Alerts. Sign up today!

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

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

 

Will the Fed Support Gold Prices in 2021?

Gold ended 2020 at $1,891, partially thanks to monetary policy easing. In 2021, the Fed may not trigger a comparable rally in gold, but it should offer gold prices some support.

Welcome to 2021! I hope that it will be a wonderful year for all of you; a much healthier, calmer and normal year than 2020 was. And even more profitable of course! Indeed, at least gold bulls could be satisfied with the last year, in which the price of gold jumped from $1,523 to $1,891 ( London A.M. Fix )! It means that the yellow metal gained more than 24 percent, as the chart below shows.

I know that 24 percent does not look impressive compared to Bitcoin , which gained more than 260 percent in 2020, but it’s still a great achievement relative to other assets or gold in the past. Not to mention the fact that gold’s price level looks more sustainable, while the recent parabolic rises in cryptocurrencies suggest a price bubble .

One of the reasons behind gold’s rally was the easy monetary policy adopted by the Fed (and other central banks) in a response to the pandemic and related economic crisis . In a way, the Fed reintroduced the quantitative easing first implemented in the aftermath of the Great Recession . So, gold’s bullish move shouldn’t be surprising.

However, there are also some important differences in the monetary policy that followed the global financial crisis and the coronavirus epidemic . First, when Lehman Brothers went bankrupt, the Fed went big. But when COVID-19 infections spread widely through America, the Fed went not only big, but also fast!

Just look at the chart below. As you can see, it took just about two months for the U.S. central bank to slash the federal funds rate to zero in the spring of 2020, while it took over a year during the Great Recession.

Moreover, from February to November, i.e., in just nine months, the Fed expanded its balance sheet by about $3 trillion, while a decade ago, such an increase took over six years!

Implications for Gold in 2021

What does the difference in the Fed’s stance imply for the price of gold in 2021? Well, on one hand, because the Fed acted aggressively, there is less room for further monetary policy easing . In the aftermath of the Great Recession, the Fed gradually fired from increasingly powerful weaponry, announcing new rounds of asset purchases from 2007 to 2013, while in a response to the coronavirus, the Fed has fired a bazooka at the outset. This decreases the odds for further monetary policy easing, pushing market expectations towards normalization. You see, when you are at the bottom, the only possible move is up.

This is my biggest worry for the gold market in 2021: that monetary policy has already become so dovish, that now it can be only hawkish – at least on a relative basis. The real interest rates are so low that – given the prospects of economic recovery on a horizon – they can only go up, especially if inflation does not increase.

On the other hand, inflation could really rise in 2021. Additionally, the fact that the Fed went both big and fast means that the U.S. central bank became more dovish than in the past , which should be positive for the yellow metal. Moreover, a decade ago the central banks at least pretended that they would like to tighten their stance and normalize monetary policy. They even said that quantitative easing would be reversed, and the Fed’s balance sheet would return to its pre-recession level.

Now, the illusions have dissipated. The central banks will buy assets for years to come, if not indefinitely, and there will be no taper tantrum . The eventual exit from the current easy monetary stance will be ultra-slow and gentle. The Fed has a clear dovish bias, so the interest rates may go down further – after all, given the debt trap , the central banks could be forced to cap the bond yields , which should support gold prices.

Therefore, in 2020, the Fed no longer only intervened on a large scale as it did a decade ago, but it also acted quickly. The change of strategy from go big to go big and fast can be positive for gold prices, but only when the market participants do not believe that the Fed is out of ammunition and only when they expect the normalization of interest rates. Although some investors expect an interest rate hike this year, I believe that the Fed will remain dovish and successfully manage market expectations in order to suppress market interest rates. So, although without the next crisis (such as a debt crisis ) or inflation, the price of gold may not rally substantively, it should be supported by the Fed in 2021 .

If you enjoyed today’s free gold report , we invite you to check out our premium services. We provide much more detailed fundamental analyses of the gold market in our monthly Gold Market Overview reports and we provide daily Gold & Silver Trading Alerts with clear buy and sell signals. In order to enjoy our gold analyses in their full scope, we invite you to subscribe today . If you’re not ready to subscribe yet though and are not on our gold mailing list yet, we urge you to sign up. It’s free and if you don’t like it, you can easily unsubscribe. Sign up today!

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

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

 

What Are Gold’s New Year’s Resolutions?

Finally, 2020 has drawn to a close! It was a strange year all right, bringing with it disaster for many people all over the world, so it’s a good thing that it’s passing. Few will miss 2020… but gold bulls should count themselves among this small group of people. After all, as the chart below shows, the yellow metal jumped from $1,515 to $1,874, gaining more than $350, or almost 24 percent!

Gold prices have been rising since May 2019, amid the Fed’s interest rate cuts. The pandemic was the catalyst for the rally in 2020, and increased the safe-haven demand for the yellow metal . The epidemic in the U.S. also triggered an expansion in monetary policy easing that led to abundant liquidity and negative real interest rates , which pushed the gold prices higher. Last but not least, the loose fiscal policy expanded the fiscal deficits , which ballooned the public debt and increased fears about the debt crisis and inflation . So, gold shined in 2020 , although the aggressive March asset selloff and shift into cash plunged the gold prices for a while.

Implications for Gold in 2021

We know what happened in 2020, but the key question is what will 2021 bring for the gold market? Given that the price of gold peaked in August and has been unable to return above $1,900, there are justified worries that the best of times are already behind the yellow metal. However, others claim that we are just witnessing an interlude within gold’s bull market ? Who is right?

Well, both sides are right. How is that possible? In my view, 2021 should be positive for the yellow metal, but to a lesser extent than the previous year . This claim is based on a careful comparative analysis. Long story short, 2021 should be economically better compared to 2020 (unless we see a solvency crisis). Armed with vaccines, we will eventually win the battle with the coronavirus and the era of economic lockdowns will end.

In consequence, although the monetary policy will remain accommodative, room for further easing is limited. Actually, there is a downward risk for gold that the interest rates will normalize somewhat during the economic recovery in 2021. The same applies to fiscal policy: although it will stay loose, the ratio of public debt to GDP should stabilize, especially if Republicans maintain control over the Senate and will block the most extravagant Democrats’ spending proposals. In other words, the economic normalization and strengthened risk appetite could create downward pressure on the yellow metal .

However, there are also some upward risks for gold in 2021 . One tailwind is a weakening of the U.S. dollar amid a zero interest rate policy , large fiscal deficits, and capital outflows into foreign markets. Another positive macroeconomic trend for gold is reflation , i.e., the possibility that inflation will increase next year due to the disruptions in the global supply chains, a surge in the money supply , and economic recovery with the realization of pent-up demand.

Hence, the greenback’s depreciation and the continuation of easy monetary and fiscal policies should support the price of the yellow metal. History also shows that gold shines during the early phase of economic recovery, so gold bulls don’t have to be worried that the effects of the pandemic are over. At least not immediately, as January is historically positive for gold prices. And inflation may increase finally, creating downward pressure on the real interest rates, although there might be a significant lag between the surge in the broad money supply and increase in the consumer price index .

However, with the federal funds rate already at zero and no indications that the Fed wants negative interest rates , investors could start anticipating higher interest rates later in 2021, which should prove negative for the price of gold.

If you are interested in a more detailed outlook for gold in 2021, I will provide a thorough analysis in the upcoming January edition of the Gold Market Overview . Here’s a toast to gold in 2021!

If you enjoyed today’s free gold report , we invite you to check out our premium services. We provide much more detailed fundamental analyses of the gold market in our monthly Gold Market Overview reports and we provide daily Gold & Silver Trading Alerts with clear buy and sell signals. In order to enjoy our gold analyses in their full scope, we invite you to subscribe today . If you’re not ready to subscribe yet though and are not on our gold mailing list yet, we urge you to sign up. It’s free and if you don’t like it, you can easily unsubscribe. Sign up today!

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Arkadiusz Sieron, PhD
Sunshine Profits: Analysis. Care. Profits.

 

With Dovish Powell, Can Gold Shine Again?

Fed Chair Jerome Powell sounded dovish during his press conference on December 16, where he gave a market update after the Fed’s monetary policy meeting. The Fed will remain accommodative for a long time, which should support gold prices.

Last week was full of important events. First, both the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines received emergency-use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration . In consequence, the first COVID-19 vaccination in the United States has already taken place, which is great news for America, as it marks the beginning of the end of the pandemic .

It’s high time for that! As the chart below shows, the U.S. has already lost about 314,000 people to the coronavirus.

And what is disturbing, the current wave of infections doesn’t look like it’s going to end quickly. As one can see in the chart below, the number of new daily official cases is still above 200,000 – actually, it has recently jumped to about 250,000.

So, the beginning of vaccine distribution is the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel that brings hope for a return to normalcy in 2021. It’s important to note that, contrary to the groundbreaking November news about the efficacy of the vaccines, the approval of vaccines and first injections didn’t plunge gold prices. This suggests that the bridge to normalcy built by the vaccines has already been priced in. That’s good news for the gold bulls .

Second, there was renewed optimism about the fresh fiscal support . Indeed, there are higher odds now than at least about $750 billion in aid will be passed and implemented by the end of 2020. Theoretically, the fiscal stimulus is considered to be helpful for the economy, so it should be negative for gold, however, the price of the yellow metal may actually go up amid concerns about rising fiscal deficits , public debt , and inflation .

Powell’s Press Conference and Gold

Third, the last FOMC meeting took place this year. I’ve already analyzed it in last Thursday’s (Dec. 17) edition of the Fundamental Gold Report , but then I focused on the monetary policy statement and the fresh dot-plot . As a reminder, the Fed tied tapering in its quantitative easing to the progress toward reaching full employment and inflation at two percent, while the economic projections were more optimistic, but they nevertheless didn’t see any interest rate hikes until the end of 2023.

However, it was Powell’s press conference that was really crucial, so let’s take a closer look at it. The Fed Chair sounded dovish, as he emphasized the U.S. central bank’s commitment to maintaining its very accommodative stance. In particular, Powell reiterated that the Fed will not hike interest rates or reduce its asset purchase program anytime soon. Actually, Powell said that the bank will normalize its monetary policy only after reaching the maximum employment and price stability:

“our guidance for both interest rates and asset purchases will keep monetary policy accommodative until our maximum employment and price stability goals are achieved. And that’s a powerful message. So substantial further progress means what it says. It means we’ll be looking for employment to be substantially closer to assessments of its maximum level, and inflation to be substantially closer to our 2 percent longer run goal, before we start making adjustments to our purchases.”

In other words, Powell clearly stated that he will keep his foot on the gas until at least 2023, and that he won’t pull the brakes even if inflation increases. This is because Powell believes that although inflation may rebound in 2021, it will be a temporary increase, and the Fed now has a flexible average inflation targeting framework, so it wants inflation to overshoot the target:

“What we’re saying is we’re going to keep policy highly accommodative until the expansion is well down the tracks. And we’re not going to preemptively raise rates until we see inflation actually reaching 2 percent and being on track to exceed 2 percent. That’s a very strong commitment. And we think that’s the right place to be”

This means that in 2021 the Fed is likely to be behind the curve. Higher inflation with the nominal interest rates unchanged imply lower real interest rates – further declines in these rates should push the gold prices up . Moreover, Powell will announce in advance when he wants to take his foot off the gas pedal and start reducing the amount of monetary accommodation. The Fed clearly doesn’t want the replay of the 2013 taper tantrum :

“And when we see ourselves on a path to achieve that goal, then we will say so undoubtedly well in advance of any time when we would actually consider gradually tapering the pace of purchases.”

Implications for Gold

What does it all mean for gold prices? Well, although the Fed did not expand its monetary accommodation in December, Powell was really dovish and he pointed out that the U.S. central bank would continue its current easy stance “as long as it takes until the job is well and truly done.” Gold welcomed Powell’s remarks and gained nearly $40 on Thursday, as the chart below shows.

It makes sense – after all, the Fed promised that its monetary policy would remain highly accommodative for a long time. So, although the potential for further accommodation and, thus, a great rally in gold prices is limited (at least until we see a further weakening in the US dollar or an increases in inflation and decrease in the real interest rates), the risk of a sudden tightening in the Fed’s monetary policy , that could plunge the gold prices, has diminished. Therefore, gold could shine again – at least until the markets start to worry about the normalization of monetary policy and start to forecast increases in the interest rates.

If you enjoyed today’s free gold report , we invite you to check out our premium services. We provide much more detailed fundamental analyses of the gold market in our monthly Gold Market Overview reports and we provide daily Gold & Silver Trading Alerts with clear buy and sell signals. In order to enjoy our gold analyses in their full scope, we invite you to subscribe today . If you’re not ready to subscribe yet though and are not on our gold mailing list yet, we urge you to sign up. It’s free and if you don’t like it, you can easily unsubscribe. Sign up today!

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Arkadiusz Sieron, PhD
Sunshine Profits: Analysis. Care. Profits.

 

Will Biden Trigger Inflation for Gold?

President-elect Joe Biden is expected to increase further government spending. For this and also other reasons, there is a risk that inflation under Biden’s presidency could be higher than under Trump’s. That would be great news for gold.

Let’s face it, Biden won’t have an easy presidency. And I’m not referring to the fact that he will be sworn in as the oldest president in U.S. history or that he will have to deal with the coronavirus pandemic and the process of vaccine distribution across the country. I’m referring to Biden inheriting an economy with slow growth and too much public debt . Given the debt burden, it should be clear that under Biden’s presidency, real interest rates will remain at ultra-low levels. This is how a debt trap works – the more the debt grows, the less the economy (Treasury) can afford higher interest rates .

Moreover, Biden will have to face the risk of inflation . Actually, some analysts say that the new POTUS could contribute to the rise of prices. Is it true? Will we finally see an acceleration in the inflation rate?

So far, consumer inflation has been subdued. As the chart below shows, the CPI overall annual rate has declined from 2.3 percent before the epidemic to 1.2 percent in October.

For some people, this is all really surprising given all the money pumped by the Fed into the economy. However, the disinflation is perfectly in line with our predictions from the May edition of the Gold Market Overview : “In the short run, we expect disinflation , but we think that the risk of inflation later in the future is higher than a decade ago.”

Indeed, in the short-run, the negative demand shock outweighed other factors, and people simply increased their demand for money because of the enormous uncertainty and limited opportunities to spend money in the offline economy.

But didn’t the Fed significantly increase the money supply ? It did, but the central banks create only a monetary base , while the majority (more than 90 percent) of the broad money supply is created by the commercial banks. So, for inflationary trends, what really matters is not the Fed’s balance sheet , but rather the commercial banks’ credit expansion, since whenever the banks grant loans, they also create deposits, i.e., money supply.

Hey, wait a moment, but didn’t the pace of expansion of the banks’ credit and broad money supply also rise? They did! Just look at the chart below. And this is the reason why I believe that the risk of inflation in the aftermath of the coronavirus crisis is higher than after the Great Recession , when banks were strongly hit and didn’t want to expand credit.

Now the situation is different. However, banks expanded loans not to the consumers but to the entrepreneurs, probably because they needed credit to stay afloat during the Great Lockdown . So, the acceleration in the bank credit could be temporary – indeed, the pace of its expansion has been slowing down recently. But when the pandemic is over, consumers may again tap credit cards and real estate loans.

Indeed, this is an important upward risk for inflation . Some economists point out here the pent-up demand, i.e., the strong increase in demand for a service or product, usually following a period of subdued spending. The idea is that consumers tend to hold off their demand during a recession, only to unleash it during recovery. It makes sense; during a crisis, the uncertainty rises, so people try to cut expenses and accumulate cash. When confidence returns to the marketplace, people spend money more freely.

The same could happen during the current pandemic – not only did uncertainty rise, but people also had to practice social distancing and obey sanitary restrictions, which forced them to reduce their expenditures. Hence, when the pandemic is over, the demand for cash may fall, while spending could increase, thereby accelerating inflation . Of course, some demand will simply stay unrealized forever (it would be impossible to make up for all these missed opportunities to drink beers with friends), but when the storm is over and vaccines boost people’s confidence, they will spend a substantial part of their extra savings accumulated during the pandemic.

Just take a look the chart below – as you can see, the U.S. personal savings rate has increased from about 8 percent before the epidemic to almost 34 percent in April. Now it is staying above 14 percent, so there is still potential to increase consumer spending in the future.

In other words, people and businesses have not yet used all the stimulus they got from the Fed or the government. Because of this uncertainty, they spent as little as they could, and saved as much they could. Why this is so important? Because when people decide to spend their mountain of money, inflation could accelerate, boosting the demand for gold as an inflation hedge .

Hence, when the pandemic storm is over, the demand for money should decrease, or the velocity of money should increase. Actually, this is what we have observed in the third quarter of this year – the velocity of M2 money supply has rebounded somewhat , as the chart below shows. So, although the second wave of COVID-19 infections would hamper this process, it’s possible that in 2021 we will see a rise in inflation. Higher inflation also means lower real interest rates, which is another piece of good news for the yellow metal.

Last but not least, Biden is a supporter of major economic relief, including a second round of stimulus checks, so consumers’ spending power should increase further next year, thus contributing to higher consumer prices. So, although it’s not determined, there is a risk that inflation under Biden’s presidency could be higher than under Trump’s presidency. It would be great news for gold , especially that the Fed’s new regime means that it will not strongly react to rising inflation.

Thank you for reading today’s free analysis. We hope you enjoyed it. If so, we would like to invite you to sign up for our free gold newsletter . Once you sign up, you’ll also get 7-day no-obligation trial of all our premium gold services, including our Gold & Silver Trading Alerts. Sign up today!

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Arkadiusz Sieron, PhD
Sunshine Profits: Analysis. Care. Profits.

 

Will Fed Follow ECB, Supporting Gold?

The Governing Council of the ECB met last week, announcing significant, dovish changes to its monetary policy . First of all, the ECB decided to increase the envelope of the pandemic emergency purchase program (PEPP) by €500 billion to a total of €1,850 billion. It also extended the horizon for net purchases under the PEPP to at least the end of March 2022.

Second, the ECB decided to extend the reinvestment of principal payments from maturing securities purchased under the PEPP until at least the end of 2023. Third, the ECB eased the conditions of the third series of targeted longer-term refinancing operations (e.g., through extension of the period over which considerably more favorable terms will apply by twelve months, to June 2022, and through granting more subsidized loans to banks to stimulate lending). Fourth, the ECB extended the duration of the set of collateral easing measures adopted in April.

Fifth, the central bank decided to offer four additional pandemic emergency longer-term refinancing operations (PELTROs) in 2021. Sixth, the Eurosystem repo facility for central banks (EUREP) and all temporary swap and repo lines with non-euro area central banks will be extended until March 2022. Seventh, net purchases under the asset purchase program (APP) will continue at a monthly pace of €20 billion, while the interest rates will remain unchanged.

Whoa, what an impressive list of “recalibrations” of the ECB monetary policy instruments! Why did the central bank implement them? Well, the reason is the second wave of the pandemic . As I pointed out in several previous reports, although the prospects of the rollout of the vaccines are encouraging, the pandemic continues to pose serious risks to the public health, negatively affecting the economy. The ECB seems to agree with me:

The resurgence in COVID-19 cases and the associated containment measures are significantly restricting euro area economic activity, which is expected to have contracted in the fourth quarter of 2020. While activity in the manufacturing sector continues to hold up well, services activity is being severely curbed by the increase in infection rates and the new restrictions on social interaction and mobility. Inflation remains very low in the context of weak demand and significant slack in labour and product markets. Overall, the incoming data and our staff projections suggest a more pronounced near-term impact of the pandemic on the economy and a more protracted weakness in inflation than previously envisaged.

So, the second wave of the epidemic dragged down economic activity, prompting the EBC to further ease its monetary policy stance . Although the ECB is officially concerned about weak GDP growth and low inflation , its main goal is to keep bond yields exceptionally low. Or as ECB President, Christine Lagarde , told a press conference : to preserve favorable financing conditions over the epidemic, to “build that bridge across the pandemic until we have reached herd immunity so that the economic recovery is well-advanced, self-sustained and inflation is back at its pre-pandemic path.”

What does the ECB’s easing of its monetary policy imply for gold? Well, so far, gold prices were little changed in the immediate aftermath of the ECB meeting on Thursday (December 10), as one can see in the chart below.

Chart, line chartDescription automatically generated

When it comes to the more distant future, the ECB’s actions will put downward pressure on the bond yields, supporting gold prices. Many yields on European Treasuries are already near their lowest levels on record. The central bank promised to keep financing costs low, de facto using the yield curve control, only without the formal target.

On the other hand, the easing of the ECB’s monetary policy and lower European interest rates should weaken the euro against the US dollar, exerting downward pressure on gold prices.

However, investors shouldn’t forget that the FOMC will announce its own decision on the stance of the American monetary policy. Given the U.S. resurgence in COVID-19 cases and a weakening economy in the fourth quarter, the Fed is likely to become even more dovish, providing the needed support for the yellow metal .

If you enjoyed today’s free gold report , we invite you to check out our premium services. We provide much more detailed fundamental analyses of the gold market in our monthly Gold Market Overview reports and we provide daily Gold & Silver Trading Alerts with clear buy and sell signals. In order to enjoy our gold analyses in their full scope, we invite you to subscribe today . If you’re not ready to subscribe yet though and are not on our gold mailing list yet, we urge you to sign up. It’s free and if you don’t like it, you can easily unsubscribe. Sign up today!

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Arkadiusz Sieron, PhD
Sunshine Profits: Analysis. Care. Profits.

 

Is the Vaccine a Game-Changer for Gold?

In November, Pfizer and BioNTech announced that their mRNA-based vaccine candidate, BNT162b2, had demonstrated evidence of an efficacy rate above 90% against COVID-19, in the first interim efficacy analysis. As Dr. Albert Bourla, Pfizer Chairman and CEO, said:

Today is a great day for science and humanity. The first set of results from our Phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine trial provides the initial evidence of our vaccine’s ability to prevent COVID-19.

Indeed, the announcement is great news! After all, the vaccine is the ultimate weapon against the virus. There’s no doubt that we will get the vaccine one day. Thank God for scientists – they are really clever people who work hard to develop a safe vaccine! Why can’t we have more of them instead of so many economists? As well, the pandemic triggered unprecedented global cooperation to develop a vaccine as quickly as possible. The funds are enormous, while the bureaucrats eventually decided to behave like decent human beings for once and eased their stance in order to speed up the whole process. Great!

But… there is always a “but”. You see, there are some problems related to Pfizer’s vaccine . First, all we know comes from the press release, but the company didn’t provide any data for a review. Second, the efficacy rate announced by the company pertains only to the seven days after the second dose is taken – we still don’t know how effective the vaccine is in the longer term, and how long immunity lasts. Third, we still don’t know the efficacy of the vaccine among the elderly and people with underlying conditions – or, the most affected people by COVID-19. Fourth, the vaccine is based on mRNA technology, and such a vaccine was never approved for human use. There is always a first time, but new technologies always give birth to some concerns, which could ultimately reduce the public’s preference to get vaccinated.

Another problem is that this vaccine requires two doses that are taken 21 days apart. It delays the moment of immunization and again reduces the motivation to take the vaccine – yes, some people are so lazy, and/or they don’t like injections so much (for whatever reason; we’re not debating whether it’s justified or not) that they can refuse to be vaccinated.

Moreover, Pfizer’s vaccine must be stored at a temperature of about -70°C (-94°F), which is quite low indeed, and can be quite chilly in shorts (unless you are Wim Hof ). The problem is transportation and distribution – you see, many hospitals – to say nothing of rural physicians and pharmacies, and healthcare systems in developing countries – do not have adequate freezers to store the vaccine. Last but not least, even if scientists develop the best possible vaccine, it remains useless unless people accept to take it – and this is far from being certain, given the pandemic denial movement and fear of vaccines.

Sure, one could say that all these points are not very problematic. After all, Pfizer is not the only company working on the vaccine. There are actually more than 150 coronavirus vaccines in development across the world. For example, Moderna’s vaccine can be stored at a much higher temperature – a more comfortable -20°C (-4°F), So even if Pfizer’s vaccine turns out to not be the best, other, even better vaccines will arrive on the market – and a lack of any vaccine can transform into a crisis of abundance.

That’s true, but the sad truth is that it’s unlikely that any vaccine will be widely available until mid-2021 . Pfizer, for example, announced that it hoped to produce 50 million doses by the end of 2020. As the vaccine needs two doses, only 25 million people could be vaccinated this year. So don’t count on being among this group – countries will prioritize healthcare workers, social workers and uniformed services first, and the elderly next. It means that we will not return to a state of normalcy very soon, and most of us will still need to wear masks, practice social distancing and… wash hands!

In the meantime, the U.S. is about to enter Covid hell , as Michael Osterholm, one of Biden’s advisers on the epidemic , said . Indeed, the country is nearing 11 million reported COVID-19 cases, and the coronavirus has already killed more than 240,000 Americans. But the worst can still lie ahead for the U.S. As one can see in the chart below, the epidemiological curve is clearly exponential and the daily number of new cases has touched 200,000! Yup, you read it correctly, about two hundred thousand people are infected each day. You don’t have to be a mathematician to figure out that at such a rate of infections, the healthcare system will collapse soon.

What does it all imply for the gold market?

Well, although the arriving vaccines are great for humanity, they are bad for the price of the yellow metal. The pandemic greatly supported gold prices. So, the expected end of the epidemic in the U.S. should be negative for the shiny metal.

However, there are two important caveats to this statement. First, there is still a long way to go before widespread vaccination and a true end to the pandemic. In the interim, we still need to face the COVID-19 challenge, so gold shouldn’t suddenly fall out of favor.

Second, gold reacted not only to the pandemic itself, but also – or even more – to the world response of governments and central banks to the health and economic crisis . The easy monetary policy and accommodative fiscal policy will not disappear only because of the vaccine’s arrival. Actually, the harsh winter or “Covid hell” that awaits America will force the Fed and Treasury to continue or even to expand their stimuli, which is good news for gold prices from the fundamental perspective .

Thank you for reading today’s free analysis. We hope you enjoyed it. If so, we would like to invite you to sign up for our free gold newsletter . Once you sign up, you’ll also get 7-day no-obligation trial of all our premium gold services, including our Gold & Silver Trading Alerts. Sign up today!

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Arkadiusz Sieron, PhD
Sunshine Profits: Analysis. Care. Profits.

 

How Will Gold Perform This Winter?

Some of you may have seen snow this year already, but the astronomical winter is still ahead of us. Unfortunately, it could be a really dark winter. Instead of joyful snowball battles and making snowmen, we will have to contend with the coronavirus . The vaccines will definitely help (the first doses of Pfizer’s vaccine were administered this week), but their widespread distribution will begin only next year. So, we still have to deal with the pandemic taking its toll here and now – as the chart below shows, the number of daily COVID-19 cases is still above 200,000 in the U.S.

The increasing cases are one thing, but the soaring numbers of COVID-19-related hospitalizations is another, even more terrifying, issue. As one can see in the chart below, the number of patients in U.S. hospitals has reached a record of 100,000, due to a surge in the aftermath of Thanksgiving.

Importantly, the situation may get even worse , as people spend more time indoors in winter, and large family gatherings during Christmas and Hanukkah are still ahead us…

I know that you are fed up with the date about the epidemic . And I don’t write about the pandemic because I’ve become an epidemiologist or want to scary you; for that all you need to do is read the press headlines or watch TV for a while. I cover the pandemic because it still impacts the global economy, and in particular, it explains why the U.S. economic growth is slowing down.

You see, in the summer and autumn of 2020, America’s economy roared back. But that might be a song of the past. As I wrote in Tuesday’s (Dec 8) edition of the Fundamental Gold Report , November’s employment situation report was disappointingly weak, and the high frequency data also point to a slowdown. For example, the number of diners and restaurants, as well as hotel and airline bookings, have declined in recent weeks.

So, the increased spread of the coronavirus slows the economy down. A growing share of Americans, even those who were previously skeptical about the epidemiological dangers, worry about catching the virus, thereby reducing their social activity.

However, there are also other factors behind the most recent economic slowdown. First, the previous recovery was caused by a low base and the end of the Great Lockdown . The deep economic crisis seen in the spring, with accompanying coronavirus restrictions, will not happen again. Therefore, the initial recovery was fast, but the pace of economic growth had to slow down. Second, the easy fiscal policy helped to increase the GDP , but Congress has so far failed to agree on another stimulus package.

Implications for Gold

What does it all mean for the yellow metal? Well, the economy could rise again when the vaccines become widely available. However, we will face a harsh winter first. It means that the coming weeks might be positive for gold – especially considering that in recent years, the shiny metal rallied in January (or sometimes even in the second half of December).

But what’s next for gold prices? Will they plunge in 2021 after the rollout of the vaccines? Well, the vaccines are in a sense, a real game changer for the world next year. As they revived the risk appetite, they hit the safe-haven demand for gold. So, yes, there is a downward risk, although it could already be priced in.

However, the vaccines are a game changer only in a sense . You see, the vaccines might protect us from the virus, but they will not solve all our economic problems , therefore, caution is still required. On Monday (Dec 7), the Bank of International Settlements warned the public that “we are moving from the liquidity to the solvency phase of the crisis”.

Actually, the post-winter, post-pandemic environment might be beneficial for gold. You see, gold is a portfolio-diversifier which serves as a safe haven asset during a period of turmoil, but it performs the best during the very early phase of an economic recovery – especially as the central banks will continue the policy of zero interest rates . Thus, the new stimulus package, low real interest rates , worries about the U.S. dollar strength and debt sustainability, and fears of inflation , which will accompany the economic revival in 2021, should support gold prices.

If you enjoyed today’s free gold report , we invite you to check out our premium services. We provide much more detailed fundamental analyses of the gold market in our monthly Gold Market Overview reports and we provide daily Gold & Silver Trading Alerts with clear buy and sell signals. In order to enjoy our gold analyses in their full scope, we invite you to subscribe today . If you’re not ready to subscribe yet though and are not on our gold mailing list yet, we urge you to sign up. It’s free and if you don’t like it, you can easily unsubscribe. Sign up today!

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Arkadiusz Sieron, PhD
Sunshine Profits: Analysis. Care. Profits.

 

Will Weak November Payrolls Support Gold?

First, let’s examine the facts. As the chart below shows, total nonfarm payrolls in November 2020, rose by just 245,000, following much larger gains of 711,000 in October. What is important here is that the US economy added significantly fewer jobs than expected – economists surveyed by Bloomberg forecasted 466,000 additions. Moreover, the civilian labor force participation rate decreased from 61.7 in October to 61.5 in November.

On the positive side, the unemployment rate edged down from 6.9 to 6.7 percent, as the chart above shows. Although the rate is down by 8.0 percentage points from April’s high of 14.7 percent, it’s still 3.2 percentage points higher than it was before the pandemic started. And the nonfarm employment in November was below its February level by 9.8 million, or 6.5 percent, so there is still a long way ahead to a full recovery in the labor market. Actually, the weakening rate of improvement is a signal that the labor market will struggle during the winter wave of the epidemic . As the chart below shows, the daily new cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. are still above 200,000.

You see, at such high levels of infection, the labor market’s rebound will slow down further in December. Many people are not looking for a job because of the coronavirus , and strengthened lockdown measures have limited the ability to find a job for those who don’t fear the pathogen.

Although there might not be a double-dip recession, a lot of time will pass before the economy will fully recover. As the chart below shows, the initial claims have stayed at an elevated level of 700,000-800,000 (more than three times higher than just before the pandemic) since October.

Implications for Gold

What does it all mean for the yellow metal? Well, gold’s initial reaction to a weak employment situation report was rather modest. As the chart below shows, the price of the shiny metal increased from $1,832 to $1,843 on Friday (December 4). However, the weak economy should support gold prices .

Moreover, the slowdown in the labor market increases the odds for the fiscal stimulus deal. Indeed, Congress should feel more pressure to act in providing the new package, especially considering that at the end of the year, a few unemployment benefit programs will expire, thereby aggravating the income situation of many Americans. The fresh fiscal aid can be agreed upon by the current White House and Congress, but even if not – don’t worry, dovish Janet Yellen , nominated as Treasury Secretary, is ready to act generously and to promote a strong fiscal response.

The disappointing nonfarm payrolls can also prompt the Fed to further strengthen its accommodative stance in the coming months to sail the US economy through the pandemic storm until the vaccines will come to the rescue.

The increased chances of more cheap money from the US central bank and Treasury should support the price of the yellow metal. They boosted the equities on Friday, that’s for sure. It seems that we are observing the return of “the worse, the better” in the financial markets. According to this logic, bad news is positive for Wall Street, as it increases the odds of more liquidity coming into the markets. Therefore, there is a risk that the improved risk sentiment will create downward pressure on the price of gold.

However, gold could also benefit from additional aid in the long run , as monetary and fiscal stimuli would add to both the Fed’s balance sheet and the fiscal deficits . Increased money supply and the public debt should benefit the shiny metal, as a more dovish central bank and Treasury imply lower real interest rates for longer, with a higher risk of inflation and debt crisis .

If you enjoyed today’s free gold report , we invite you to check out our premium services. We provide much more detailed fundamental analyses of the gold market in our monthly Gold Market Overview reports and we provide daily Gold & Silver Trading Alerts with clear buy and sell signals. In order to enjoy our gold analyses in their full scope, we invite you to subscribe today . If you’re not ready to subscribe yet though and are not on our gold mailing list yet, we urge you to sign up. It’s free and if you don’t like it, you can easily unsubscribe. Sign up today!

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Arkadiusz Sieron, PhD
Sunshine Profits: Analysis. Care. Profits.

 

What Does Biden Imply for Gold?

America has elected a new President. It was a close race, but Joe Biden eventually won and he will be inaugurated and take office in the White House on January 20. The price of gold rose initially in the aftermath of the elections, only to plunge on the news regarding Pfizer’s vaccine breakthrough, as the chart below shows. This is what we know.

But what’s next for the price of gold? What does a Biden presidency mean for the yellow metal? To answer these vital questions, we will analyze the agenda of the President-elect. On the official Biden-Harris Presidential Transition website , we found that the new administration has four priorities: COVID-19, economic recovery, racial equity, and climate change .

The first issue obviously concerns the pandemic . While Trump remained relatively indecisive as to whether to fight aggressively with the coronavirus or to downplay the threat – which I believe cost him the votes of the elderly and ultimately a second term – Biden seems to be determined to beat the epidemic . He has acknowledged the challenge and promised to listen to science and health professionals, although it remains to be seen whether he will actually do so. Regardless, Biden has a seven-point plan to combat the virus, of which the two most important points are: 1) to ensure all Americans have access to regular, reliable, and free testing; 2) to implement mask mandates nationwide by working with governors and mayors and by asking the American people to do what they do best: step up in a time of crisis.

Boosting testing rates is a great idea. Quick and widespread testing, combined with contact tracing, is believed by many epidemiologists to be the best idea in combatting the virus. The mask mandates, although controversial from the libertarian point of view, could also importantly reduce transmission of COVID-19. Also important is what the plan does not mention. By this I mean the lack of any references to a lockdown. Therefore, Biden’s determination to beat the virus without resorting to a lockdown, is rather negative for gold prices.

The second priority is economic recovery. The most important points of Biden’s agenda concern building more modern infrastructure, which implies higher government spending. Importantly, Biden plans to partially fund these expenditures by reversing some of Trump’s tax cuts for corporations. Moreover, Biden plans to reform the labor market. He proposes more than doubling the minimum wage, raising it from $7.25 to $15 an hour. He also wants to make it easier for workers to organize unions, and to implement universal paid sick days and 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave. Widening access to affordable health care is also a stated goal.

From the economic point of view, such bold reforms in the labor market that would increase labor costs are not the best idea during an economic recovery, when many small and medium entrepreneurs are still struggling to survive in the market. Reversal of tax cuts would also not be welcomed by Wall Street and corporate America. So, Biden’s economic agenda could benefit gold somewhat , especially if higher infrastructure spending is financed by large fiscal deficits and if it further increases public debt.

However, a lot depends on the narrative adopted by market participants . If investors focus not on the rising public debt, but on the revival of infrastructure and economic recovery, then gold may struggle. However, I believe that in the current macroeconomic environment of low real interest rates , rising public debt and risk of higher inflation in the future, gold should perform satisfactorily.

The third priority of racial equity is described in a somewhat vague manner, which takes the form of postulates rather than specific points. The agenda definitely includes police reform legislation to reduce racial disparities within the criminal justice system. The push for greater racial equity shouldn’t impact gold prices significantly.

And finally, Biden also wants to deal with climate change by investing in green infrastructure, and hoping to achieve a carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035 and net-zero emissions, economy-wide, by no later than 2050. This plan is bold and if the new administration focuses too much on the environment, it could easily burden the private sector with regulations and hamper economic growth. So, this can be positive for gold prices, especially when combined with fresh fiscal stimulus, higher government spending, and ballooning federal debt .

To sum up, Biden’s presidency could be somewhat positive for gold prices due to higher government spending and anti-corporate points like the reversal of Trump’s tax cuts and increasing labor costs (raising the minimum wage, etc.). However, Biden’s impact on the gold market is likely to be smaller than previously thought by many analysts. This is because Republicans may remain in control of the Senate (if they win at least one of two seats in Georgia’s runoff in January), with power to block the most radical ideas of the new administration.

Moreover, the Republicans performed above expectations in the elections, gaining seats in the House and almost retaining the White House. It clearly shows that voters do not support the most progressive elements of the Democrats’ agenda. Biden is, therefore, likely to govern more as a centrist rather than a radical leftist, which is positive for the economy, but bad news for gold prices . Nevertheless, investors shouldn’t overestimate the power of the President over the economy. It means that gold’s bull market can continue under Biden’s presidency, unless the macroeconomic outlook changes abruptly and the real interest rates start to rise.

Thank you for reading today’s analysis. We hope you enjoyed it. If so, we would like to invite you to sign up for our free gold newsletter . Once you sign up, you’ll also get 7-day no-obligation trial of all our premium gold services, including our Gold & Silver Trading Alerts. Sign up today!

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Arkadiusz Sieron, PhD
Sunshine Profits: Analysis. Care. Profits.

 

Gold Returns Above $1,800. Has It Bottomed Out?

As the chart below shows, the price of gold rebounded, jumping from $1,763 to $1,811 on Tuesday (December 1) and increased further on Wednesday. As a reminder, the price of gold corrected more than 6 percent in November and almost 15 percent from its peak in August. Now, the key question is whether the worst is behind the gold bulls.

Well, it’s too early to declare it with certainty, but it’s possible. Or we are very close to the bottom – at least, if history is any guide. After all, in the past few years, gold used to reach the local bottom either in November or December. So, recently, there has been seasonal weakness between September and December in the gold market, with November being a tough period for the yellow metal.

Hence, the hopes about revival in the gold market could be justified. After all, the price of gold has been in a correction for about four months now. And the recent news about the vaccines – I refer here to the fact that yesterday (December 2), the UK approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for use as the first country in the world and said that it will be rolled beginning next week – have not sent gold prices down. So, it could be the case that the endgame for the pandemic has already been priced into the price of gold .

Of course, gold can decline even further in the short-term. Wild fluctuations are possible on a daily basis. However, the fundamental outlook remains positive for the precious metal, no matter what the case is with gold’s technical performance. You see, regardless of when the vaccines against the coronavirus are distributed around the world and when the pandemic comes to an ultimate end, the global economy will not recover anytime soon. Actually, we are likely to stay under the “new normal”.

Implications for Gold Under a New Normal

What do I mean by the “new normal”? First of all, interest rates will stay low for longer. We will fall into the debt trap , so the Fed’s ultra-easy monetary policy is not likely to be normalized anytime soon. Indeed, as Powell has recently said in his testimony to Congress ,

The rise in new COVID-19 cases, both here and abroad, is concerning and could prove challenging for the next few months. A full economic recovery is unlikely until people are confident that it is safe to reengage in a broad range of activities. Recent news on the vaccine front is very positive for the medium term. For now, significant challenges and uncertainties remain, including timing, production and distribution, and efficacy across different groups. It remains difficult to assess the timing and scope of the economic implications of these developments with any degree of confidence.

In consequence, the real interest rates should stay near zero for years. Actually, if inflation accelerates – and this risk has increased after the pandemic – the real rates can decline even further. The ultra-low bond yields will decrease the opportunity costs of holding the precious metals, thus increasing the demand for gold .

Oh, by the way, the public debt is going to expand. The fiscal packages should be finally delivered by US policymakers, which will add to the ballooning indebtedness, exerting downward pressure both on the interest rates and the US dollar. You see, the greenback may still be the prettiest amongt the ugly fiat currency sisters, but its charm has recently been diminished because of the Fed’s interest rate cuts and spikes in America’s fiscal deficits . It seems to be positive news for gold, the ultimate safe haven asset , in the long-run.

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Arkadiusz Sieron, PhD
Sunshine Profits: Analysis. Care. Profits.

 

Biden and Yellen Pushed Gold to $1,800

Whoa! Tuesday, November 24 wasn’t too good for gold. The price of the yellow metal plunged then from $1,840 to $1,800. Actually, November was an awful month for gold prices, which dropped from a local peak of $1,941, or more than 7 percent.

So, what happened? Well, it seems that the positive news of the vaccines eliminated the negative tail-risk related to the pandemic. In consequence, the safe-haven demand for gold declined . On the other hand, the price of Bitcoin has jumped recently as investors increased their risk appetites. Moreover, the elections results also reduced the uncertainty in the marketplace. In other words, the economic outlook is improving as the uncertainty clouds begin to part.

Indeed, this week President-elect Joe Biden announced the beginning of a formal transition of power from Trump’s administration to his. Biden also started to announce nominations for top positions, which served to reduce the risk that a contested election had for uncertainty among investors.

In particular, there are rumors that Biden is likely to tap former Fed Chief Janet Yellen to become the next Treasury secretary. Investors know her and trust her, so they welcomed the possibility of her nomination for a key position in the new administration. Indeed, Yellen is well-known and well-respected, while having the knowledge and skills necessary for the position (although she has more experience in monetary policy than fiscal policy ).

Moreover, Yellen, who is seen as a dovish person , is believed to be supportive of bigger government economic aid in order to stimulate the economy and recover quickly from the coronavirus crisis . Actually, she has for some time been calling for increased government spending to help combat the recession and has always been concerned about the labor markets, low participation rates and high unemployment. As well, as the former Fed Chief, Yellen will closely cooperate with the US central bank and will listen to the Fed’s calls for a fiscal package. She will, therefore, help sustain high government expenditure to assure that the labor market is recovering.

Implications for Gold

What does it all mean for the gold market? Well, the recent plunge in the gold market is disturbing. Some declines are perfectly understandable as the uncertainty related both to the pandemic and elections diminished. However, the divergence between equities and gold in their reaction to higher odds of more economic stimulus is bad news for the precious metals market. The return of normalcy in the marketplace and resulting strengthened risk appetite could make gold struggle for a while , especially if the real interest rates increase.

You see, the coronavirus crisis was very deep but short-lived and the return to normalcy has to arrive earlier than it did after the Great Recession . However, I don’t think that we will experience a replay of 2013 yet. The risk appetite increased, but the monetary and fiscal policies are still far from normalization. There is, of course, the risk of an increase in the interest rates, but the Fed will actively try to suppress the interest rates as long as it will not see inflation above two percent.

However, the long-term fundamentals haven’t significantly changed. The real interest rates actually remain deep below zero while the U.S. dollar remains weak. These factors should support gold prices and the expanding public debt should also help the yellow metal. Investors also shouldn’t forget about the possibility of a debt crisis or the risk of accelerating inflation when the epidemic ends and people increase their spending.

In other words, the ongoing fiscal and monetary stimulus should support or even push gold prices higher in the medium to long-run. It’s possible that, when confronted with the lack of a fiscal package, the Fed will introduce some changes at its upcoming meeting in December to keep the real interest rates at ultra low levels and to stimulate the economy.

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Arkadiusz Sieron, PhD
Sunshine Profits: Analysis. Care. Profits.

 

Herd Immunity or Herd Insolvency: Which Will Affect Gold More?

COVID-19 cases are still rising at an alarming rate in the United States. As the chart below shows, the rolling 7-day average of new daily infections stays above 160,000.

It means that the immediate economic outlook is rather dark. The short-term economic slowdown is good information for the gold market.

But there is also bad news for the yellow metal, and by that I mean the recent positive news on vaccine efficacy. It’s become clear that we will probably have the first doses of a vaccine – or even a few vaccines – by December 2020 or in early 2021, the tail-risk of no vaccines in the near future has been practically eliminated. This is why the stock market has increased despite rising Covid-19 cases. Simply put, some companies – like airlines – become investable again thanks to the breakthroughs in vaccine developments.

Does this mean that gold is doomed in the medium-term, or that the vaccines’ arrival will sink gold? Well, not necessarily. Although it’s true that the elimination of the tail risk weakens the safe-haven demand for gold , one mustn’t forget that gold was actually in a bullish trend before the pandemic started thanks to the accommodative Fed’s monetary policy .

So the question is: do you think that herd immunity will force the Fed to drop its dovish stance? Or will the eradication of the coronavirus make the whole new debt disappear? I don’t think so. In other words, the vaccines will solve the health crisis, but they will not solve all our economic woes. And the debt problem is poised to be one of the greatest global threats right now.

Indeed, just last week, the Institute of International Finance said that global debt is expected to surge from $257 trillion in 2019 to a record $277 trillion by the end of 2020. On a relative basis, the global debt is expected to soar from 320 percent to 365 percent of global GDP. This means that the global economy will struggle to get out from indebtedness without triggering an economic crisis .

And if you have any doubts that the wave of debt insolvencies is coming; in the previous week, Chinese state-owned company Yongcheng Coal & Electricity Holding Group defaulted. What is important is that it wasn’t an isolated event but a part of a series of defaults by top-rated state-owned enterprises. This bankruptcy highlights the risk of defaults in the corporate bond market. Importantly, the pile of corporate debt is massive not only in China, but also in the U.S., as the chart below shows. As well, the Fed will not help if the debt crisis occurs. The central banks can deal with the liquidity crisis, but not the solvency crisis. Oh boy, 2021 is setting itself up to be an interesting year!

Implications for Gold

What does it all mean for the gold market? With or without the coronavirus, the U.S. economy is becoming increasingly debt-dependent. The only problem being is that debt-driven economic growth is not sustainable in the long-run. Even a small increase in interest rates could lead not only to higher borrowing costs, but also to a wave of debt defaults. What does this imply? One possible outcome is that the interest rates will have to be kept at ultra low levels for years. It goes without saying that gold thrives in an environment of low real interest rates .

Moreover, some economists point out that the end of the pandemic could accelerate inflation, and that the Fed and the state governments would not oppose too much. Actually, the U.S. central bank has already announced its new monetary regime in which it wouldn’t react to an increase in inflation rates above its target. After all, higher inflation would help Uncle Sam to reduce the real value of debt and gold should benefit in such a macroeconomic environment.

In order to enjoy our gold analyses in their full scope, we invite you to subscribe today . If you’re not ready to subscribe yet though and are not on our gold mailing list yet, we urge you to sign up. It’s free and if you don’t like it, you can easily unsubscribe. Sign up today!

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Arkadiusz Sieron, PhD
Sunshine Profits: Analysis. Care. Profits.

 

Will the Second Wave of Corona Boost Gold?

Brace yourselves, winter is coming! This is what Ned Stark in the Game of Thrones told his people to prepare them for the leaner times he saw coming. While one of the biggest threats in GOT were the White Walkers, in our reality, the pandemic is again the greatest danger. As the chart below shows, the second wave of the coronavirus infections is no longer a mere possibility – it’s happening all over the Europe and in the United States (although in the latter country, we could also say about one big wave or three waves). In particular, in France, Italy, Spain, the UK, and in the US, the number of daily new confirmed Covid-19 case per million people has soared much higher than the levels recorded in the spring. And we’ve just entered autumn, with winter yet to arrive…

Naturally, the question arises – Will governments lock the economies down again? Not likely . And why is that, you might wonder. Well, the cynical answer would be that governments are simply broke and they have no funds for supporting the economy during the next lockdown. The pundits call for fresh stimulus in a response to the spring’s Great Lockdown , so just think how much the government spending and the public debt would have to rise to sustain the economy during the Second Lockdown. It would simply be too much of a cost. After all, when you stop the economy, then the economy is, well, stopped. Without a functionable economy, the social fabric gets destroyed and, after some time, the civilization collapses.

However, there are also less cynical reasons why the lockdown is less likely now, despite the fact that the number of daily infections is higher than in the spring. Half a year ago, the governments and healthcare systems were awfully unprepared to handle the epidemic. From the very beginning, the lockdown was stupid and sub-optimal response – but it could be the only viable solution for the Western governments which neither had implemented procedures for social tracing (like in Asian countries), nor managed to conduct efficient and quick testing, nor secured the sufficient number of masks, respirators, disinfectants, hospital beds, etc.

Currently, the situation is better and the sanitary and healthcare systems are better prepared to handle the epidemic. Indeed, as you can see, despite soaring number of cases, the case fatality rates and the number of deaths due to Covid-19 are significantly lower than in the spring.

However, if the risk of a healthcare system collapse increases significantly, under the public’s pressure, the governments could be forced to reintroduce a lockdown (although it may not be as strict as the first one).

This is what the Israeli’s government did in September when the pandemic spiralled out of control. As you can see in the chart below, the daily number of Covid-19 cases (rolling 7-day average) reached 700 per million people, more than three times the number in the US. But France is unfortunately approaching this level…

However, Israel’s case shows that the second lockdown wouldn’t be as bad as the first one . So far, we don’t have any hard data about the Israeli economy, but the data from Apple’s devices indicates that people’s mobility fell by around 30 percent after the lockdown was introduced, compared to the 80-percent decline in the spring. Similarly, the major Israeli stock market index (TA-125) plunged about one third half year ago and only (or “only”) ten percent in September. The currency also weakened against the euro, but not above 10 percent as in the spring, but by about 5 percent.

The softer reaction makes sense. In spring, the coronavirus was completely new, and we didn’t know how dangerous it was. As a matter of fact, we still don’t know many things about the new virus, however, we are now more certain about its fatality rate and how to effectively cure the patients and handle the epidemic.

As I wrote in the June edition of the Gold Market Overview:

The second wave does not have to bring similar effects as the first wave. As people have become accustomed to the epidemic, its impact may be weaker (…) generally people react the most to new, unknown threats, so they should react less vividly in the future to coronavirus-related risks, especially that the authorities should be better prepared.

And this is indeed what we see now: people fear less than in the spring . The virus is no longer a new and unknown threat, it has now become a familiar danger. In other words, the economy has been adjusted to epidemic conditions and subsequent shocks, although still painful, won’t be as shocking as the first one. It means that we will see a slowdown in the pace of economic growth, or even a decline in economic activity in the fourth quarter of 2020 compared to summer, but it should be moderate compared to the spring’s collapse .

What does all of the above imply for the gold market? Well, the replay of the Great Lockdown would be the best scenario for the yellow metal. The moderate economy’s reaction to the second wave would be the worse outcome for gold (although the rush towards cash, which make gold to plunge initially in the spring, will be also limited). However, even a moderate decline in economic activity would be a good excuse to maintain accommodative stance by the Treasury and the Fed . In such an environment, gold should remain in the bull market , although precious metals investors should be prepared for the declining impact of the coronavirus-related threats on the safe-haven demand for gold .

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For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Arkadiusz Sieron, PhD
Sunshine Profits: Analysis. Care. Profits.

 

Is Gold the Only Winner?

Ladies and Gentlemen, the new President of the United States is… still unknown! The election results are not available, as some states are still counting the votes. The race is very balanced, with few states remaining too close to call. At the moment of writing this report, Joe Biden leads the White House race with 253 electoral votes, while Donald Trump has 213 electoral votes. So, Biden is more likely to become the new POTUS . However, with those few states officially still undecided, Trump could still win. Hopefully, we will get some of the results later today, but it might even take several days to count the ballots in some locations.

One thing is sure: Trump over-performed polls and expectations in the presidential election, again. What a shame, pollsters! We warned our Readers several times against trusting polls:

“although mainstream pollsters have corrected some of the mistakes they made in 2016, it’s safe to assume that Trump has better chances of reelection than it is widely believed and reflected in the mainstream polls”.

Moreover, Republicans also performed much better than expected in elections to Congress . We don’t know all the results yet, but as for the moment, both Democrats and Republicans have 48 seats in the Senate. So, yes, Republicans could still lose the Senate, but that is less likely now than before the elections. They are also on track to pick up a few seats in the House of Representatives. So, while all the focus is on presidential election results, investors shouldn’t underestimate the surprising strength of the Republicans in Congress.

Implications for Gold

What does it all imply for the gold market? Well, it’s not easy to determine since we still don’t know the results. However, the most likely scenario is Biden to enter the White House, Democrats ruling in the House, and Republicans maintaining a majority in the Senate, which is actually relatively bad news for gold.

I mean, the Blue Wave was considered to be the best scenario for the yellow metal. If controlling both the White House and Congress, Democrats could do whatever they want. So, they could boost government spending and public debt and raise taxes, supporting the gold prices. However, if Republicans keep control over the Senate, they will block the worst ideas of Democrats. Thus, the divided power would be better for the economy but worse for the shiny metal.

However, the probable lack of a blue wave shouldn’t plunge the price of gold. Yes, there will still be gridlock and higher uncertainty, and gold prices may be under brief pressure in the short-term, but the fiscal stimulus will eventually arrive. Therefore, no matter who ultimately wins, gold’s long-term fundamental outlook remains bullish . The coronavirus pandemic will continue to affect the US economy negatively, so both the White House and the Fed will provide more stimulus. The monetary policy will stay ultra-dovish, and the real interest rates will remain in the negative territory.

Moreover, when the dust settles after the elections, and the uncertainty will become lower, gold may continue its rally . As the chart below shows, the gold price has already increased (after an initial drop). So, maybe the actual winner of the elections is gold?

Of course, it’s too early to assess with certainty the medium-term impact of elections on the gold market. The volatility could stay with us for quite some time, and the dashed prospects of significant fiscal stimulus could negatively affect the gold market in the short-term.

However, one thing remains interesting. In contrast to the 2016 presidential election, the gold market swings were much smaller this time . It seems to be bullish news, but, hey, don’t count your chickens before they hatch. So, stay tuned. Hopefully, we will know the more complete election results soon and the new FOMC statement, which will enable us to describe the gold’s outlook with more certainty!

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For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Arkadiusz Sieron, PhD
Sunshine Profits: Analysis. Care. Profits.

 

Gold Investors Should Look at Past Elections

So, today is the day! It’s Election Day. For quite some time, national polls indicate that Biden has a significant advantage . He is also polling scarcely close ahead of Donald Trump in key battleground states, but, in some states, the lead has recently narrowed. So, in many places, the race is still too close to call, making them toss-up states. Hence, although according to political pundits, polls, and bets Biden will become the next POTUS, anything could happen .

And we mean – anything. Everyone knows that back in 2016, Hillary Clinton also led in the polls. However, Trump won the election, to everyone’s surprise. Of course, the polling methodology has been improved since. But now, Biden has a much wider advantage than Hillary did in 2016, and he is much more conservative and more moderate in his approach than Clinton (historically, more moderate presidential candidates generally do better in presidential elections).

Additionally, the election results might not be known right away, and there are indications that they might be contested. Who knows what could happen if that’s the case? According to some analysts, contested elections should increase the geopolitical uncertainty and boost the safe-haven demand for gold. On the other hand, some analysts also believe that the contested elections would put downward pressure on the stock market, dragging gold down in the process. The fact of the matter is that contested elections would undoubtedly delay the fiscal stimulus package, which should be negative for gold prices.

So, who is right? It is true that recently, gold has been moving in tandem with the stock prices, responding to the stimulus expectations. But, in times of stress and reduced faith in the American institutional system, gold could decouple from equities and behave more like a safe haven asset.

In any case, tomorrow, the elections will already be behind us. Hopefully, we will get the results quickly. No matter who wins, the new administration and the new Congress will have to deal with the second wave of the coronavirus and fragile economic recovery.

Oh, by the way, as the chart below shows, the US reported 101,273 new Covid-19 cases on Saturday, the daily record not only for America, but for any country! And according to some epidemiologists, the worst is yet to come –that is, if the upward trend in cases continues, which could overwhelm the health system.

No matter whether red or blue, the new government is likely to pump more liquidity into the economy. So, gold could thrive under either Trump or Biden, although we could see increased volatility in the short-term precious metals market.

Implications for Gold

What does all the above mean for the gold market? Well, investors should look past the elections already. They matter less than many people believe. The 2016 presidential election is the best example of that. The price of gold indeed declined in the aftermath of Trump’s victory, but the downward trend was eventually reversed.

So, yes, you should be prepared for elevated volatility this week. After all, we are about to witness not only the elections, but also the FOMC meeting and equally important economic reports, including the nonfarm payrolls .

However, as I have repeated many times before, gold’s responses to geopolitical events are relatively short-lived . In the long run, what drives gold prices are the fundamental factors. And the fundamental outlook remains positive for the yellow metal . Both the monetary policy and the fiscal policy are extremely dovish. The public debt is ballooning, while the US dollar is weakening. The real yields remain negative.

Yes, as the chart below shows, the real interest rates have stabilized or even increased slightly since August, which explains gold’s struggle in recent months.

Nevertheless, the Fed will maintain its policy of ultra-low nominal interest rates for years, while inflation will accelerate at some point, possibly when the economic recovery sets in for sure. This means that the real interest rates should remain very low or even decrease further, supporting the gold prices in the process.

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For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Arkadiusz Sieron, PhD
Sunshine Profits: Analysis. Care. Profits.