Gold Responds To The Trade And Currency War

August 12, 2019

At all-time highs in six of the world’s top currencies…

The charts posted immediately below tell one of the quiet, but perhaps most important stories unfolding in the world of high international finance. Gold has appreciated sharply in the currencies of all of the world’s top economies.  In five of the top eight economies – the United Kingdom, Japan, Canada, Australia, and India – it is priced at all-time highs. In short, as currencies race for the bottom, gold is racing to the top. Investors everywhere are moving to insulate their portfolios against the combined threats of recession, plummeting yields, currency depreciation, and stock market instability. An over-arching nemesis not likely to relinquish its place any time soon has unleashed those four horsemen – the burgeoning trade and currency war. 

Gold is up 25% in sterling; 22% in the yuan; 21.5% in euros; 19.7% in Australian dollars; 18% in rupee; 13% in Canadian dollars and 12% in Japanese yen.  It is up sharply against a long list of emerging country currencies as well. By way of perspective, gold is up 16% in U.S. dollars thus far in 2019. “A host of global factors mean gold’s price is set to maintain its strength at least for the next six to 12 months,” said Howie Lee, an economist at Singapore’s Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation, in a recent CNBC interview. “The world right now is in a precarious state and gold is due to benefit from this situation,” With the world – from Asia to Europe, the United States and a long list of emerging countries – now acutely attuned to gold ownership, it might not be long until we begin to see strains on the limited physical supplies. 









Charts courtesy of TradingView.com

Should I buy a gold ETF?

Are you looking for a price bet or the real thing?

For safe-haven, asset-preservation purposes, the best alternative is not futures, options, mining stocks or even ETFs, but delivery of the metal itself in the form of gold coins or bullion. Some think that owning an ETF is akin to owning real gold, but it is not. It is essentially a price bet simply because only owners of 10,000 ounces or more (with most trusts) can take delivery of the metal represented by the shares. Then there is the problem of counterparty risk. “Unlike physical gold bullion – which is a tangible asset,” says Mauldin Economics’ Olivier Garret, “ETFs are a financial product that have counterparty risk. Counterparty risk is present when there’s a possibility the other party in an agreement will default or fail to live up to their obligations. . .[O]ne of gold’s primary benefits is being the only financial asset that is not simultaneously somebody else’s liability. Therefore, these ETFs are a poor substitute.” In short, by owning an ETF instead of the real thing, investors expose themselves to one of the primary risks they hope to avoid through gold ownership.

The USAGOLD storage option – strong competition for the ETF
One of the advantages of a gold or silver ETF is that the trustee stores the metal for you and makes it easy to buy and sell. We can open a fully-allocated storage account for you that offers the same advantages. In fact, the annual cost of storage and insurance is actually lower than most ETF fees. You can buy and sell with a phone call. Most importantly, because specific coins and/or bullion are stored in your account, you can still take delivery in part or full whenever you so wish – something, as mentioned above, that the ETFs offer only to their largest institutional clients.

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Michael J. Kosares has over 40 years’ experience in the gold business. He is the founder and executive director of USAGOLD (both the website and gold brokerage service), the author of three books on the gold market, and the editor of "News, Commentary & Analysis," the firm's client letter. He has written numerous magazine and internet essays and is well-known for his ongoing commentary on the gold market and its economic, political and financial underpinnings. Visit his website at www.usagold.com.

With gold stolen by Conquistador Francisco Pizarro from the Inca Empire in 1532, Spain financed its conquest of Europe.

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