As gold shot higher in early August, investment strategists around the globe jumped on the precious metal bandwagon, recommending investors seek shelter from the stock market storm.
Swiss-based investment bank UBS predicted gold could rise to $1,600 a troy ounce if the trade war between the United States and China continued to escalate. “Gold is serving its traditional role as a safe-haven asset,” said Wayne Gordon, executive director for commodities and foreign exchange at UBS’s wealth management unit.
Germany’s Commerzbank said gold offered portfolio protection amid volatile stock market swings. “We see the ongoing steep rise in the gold price as an expression of the high risk aversion among market participants,” said Daniel Briesemann, an analyst at Commerzbank. “Gold is quite clearly still in demand as a safe haven in the current market environment.”
Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation pointed to a perfect storm of events driving gold to six-year highs—a major trade war; geopolitical conflict in the Persian Gulf, where Iran was blockading foreign shipping vessels; falling interest rates; and a declining U.S. dollar. “The world right now is in a precarious state and gold is due to benefit from this situation,” said Howie Lee, economist at Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation. “Gold still stands up among all the precious metals because of its pure usage as a safety hedge.” Lee told CNBC.
One of the most celebrated global investors joined in the chorus. Mark Mobius, who spent decades as an international fund manager with Franklin-Templeton Investments, pointed to declining interest rates as a reason for him to declare, “I love gold.”