Weekly The Generation, Year 1, Issue 14
December 05, 2023
Gold hit a record high on Monday as growing optimism that the Federal Reserve will cut US interest rates in the new year has dented the dollar in recent weeks.
The precious metal, seen as a safe haven investment, reached an all-time pinnacle at $2,135.39 an ounce before pulling back somewhat amid profit taking.
The dollar was also firmer on Monday.
Gold is benefiting from the Israel-Hamas war, according to analysts.
“Concerns about the shaky global economic backdrop and the Israel-Hamas conflict have fueled investor demand for safe haven assets like gold,” said Victoria Scholar, head of investment at Interactive Investor. “Plus, expectations for Fed rate cuts next year have put downward pressure on the US dollar, which is trading around three-month lows, adding to gold’s attractiveness,” she said.
Elsewhere, bitcoin traded above $40,000 for the first time since May last year, boosted by hopes that the United States would soon allow broader trading of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency.
Major stock markets mostly fell, with all three main US indices sliding.
Traders are shrugging off Fed boss Jerome Powell’s attempts to temper expectations of US rate cuts in the first quarter of 2024.
Bets on an easing of monetary policy were ramped up when Powell said on Friday that it was “well into restrictive territory” after more than a year of hikes that have put borrowing costs at a two-decade high.
Central banks around the globe have sent interest rates soaring, helping to bring down surging inflation.
But markets enjoyed a banner November, in part on expectations that the Fed is done hiking rates and could soon start cutting. Futures markets show traders currently expect a US rate cut in March.
Bitcoin reached a 19-month high on hopes that firms including BlackRock would be given US approval to sell the first spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds.
“We still don’t quite know when it will (happen) but there’s a strong belief it will and soon,” said Craig Erlam at the trading platform OANDA.
In equities trading, troubled Chinese developer Evergrande briefly surged more than 13 percent in Hong Kong after a court in the city allowed extra time to form a restructuring plan aimed at avoiding liquidation.