The Perfect Storm: Interest Rate Hike, Inflation and Banking Crisis Send Gold Prices Above $2,000

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Gold is a popular safe-haven asset and hedge against market uncertainty, so it wasn’t much of a surprise when gold prices started to rise following each of this month’s major economic crises. The extent of this push was surprising to some investors who dismissed gold’s use as a store of value and hedge — but not to renowned investor Willem Middelkoop. 

Middelkoop, the founder and chief investment officer)of Commodity Discovery Fund, told Kitco News that “three years from now, we are going to look back at these gold prices as a bargain.” He said this while gold soared above $2,000 to the highest levels it has seen since August 2020 (or March 2022, depending on the exchange).

The rise in gold prices is likely an indicator of the market's perception of global financial instability. The recent string of bank failures and liquidity crises specifically make gold an attractive investment right now because gold can be stored in your home safely with no counterparty risk. 

Investors are moving towards investments and safe-haven assets that they can custody themselves to completely avoid bank failure risk, and it’s being reflected in the prices of precious metals. The price of Bitcoin and Ethereum, the two most popular cryptocurrencies, shot up along with gold. Bitcoin was born out of the 2008 crash to circumvent the traditional banking system and the risks that come with it. 

Banks weren’t the only driver of uncertainty in the economy helping to drive gold prices higher. Gold spiked immediately following Wednesday’s Federal Open Meeting Committee (FOMC). Many investors and analysts clearly didn’t like what Jerome Powell, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, had to say in the meeting.

Powell announced a 25 basis point interest rate hike, which the market was largely expecting, but he also gave comments on the potential future actions of the Fed. Some investors were expecting a much faster pivot, even suggesting rate cuts later this year. Powell warned that “our first task is to see if this is sustained tightening or not; rate cuts are not in our base case.”

Stocks started to tumble after the meeting and the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Nasdaq exchange and S&P 500 closed the day down 1.6%. Investors turned to gold, and it broke $2,000, a major resistance level, within 24 hours. Middelkoop expects that $2,000 could be an important support level going forward, saying that “once the $2,000 level breaks, it's off to the races.”

Investors are turning to gold and silver in droves to protect their portfolios as uncertainty rises in the economy. Check out Benzinga’s Precious Metals Hub to master the sector and discover the best precious metals trading platforms.

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