As most of you know, I have been a long-time believer in physical gold. In my opinion, 5 percent physical gold should have its eternal place in every portfolio as a form of insurance against the always-present unexpected event that could seriously disturb the real value of what we have.
In my opinion, non-tangible gold in accounts, which includes ETFs, should be flexible in function of the cycles. Having said that, my positive view toward gold has not changed at all.
Now, quantitative easing by major global central banks along with equally extraordinarily fiscal spending programs — with now even talks again on a second fiscal stimulus in the United States — have helped gold move from its $680 per ounce in late October 2008, to the actual price zone of more than $900 per ounce, but, without pushing it through the $1,000 per ounce barrier.
Even non-technical guided people can see there is a growing probability that gold could revisit its mid-April lows around $875 per ounce very easily and even, as I still expect, move a good part lower. Of course, an unexpected geopolitical event could completely change my expectations.
Related to this, recently, we also have seen longer- term U.S. securities yields moving sharply lower. Since June 10, the 10-year Treasury yield has gone to 3.53 percent from 3.95 percent while the 5-year yield has dropped to 2.4 percent from 2.92 percent.
The 2-year yield also has tumbled to 0.94 percent from 1.36 percent.
To put this into context, the last time yields were falling this quickly was in November and December 2008.
The same period also has seen an equally rapid retreat in the oil price. Despite last week’s spike, NYMEX crude is off 11 percent from its peak while S&P futures appear to be making a full-scale attempt to reverse the uptrend that dominated much of the second quarter of 2008.
I’m not saying this synchronicity between the gold price and Treasury yields is a confirmation of the “sell in May and go away” concept, but it nevertheless points to a growing probability that perception of a rather bleaker view of the world economies may now be taking hold again. Whether this perception is justified or not remains to be seen.
What could be more important is the fact that these moves seem to be telling us that it becomes more and more reasonable to assume that the knee-jerk reaction of investors to heightened uncertainty could easily result in seeking out the security and return of price appreciation and yields (even if it is small) of the U.S. Treasuries as already appears to be happening.
In this context, the notion can’t be excluded that the dollar could regain some of its safe-haven status as well while performing some short-term healthy gains from here while gold moves lower.
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