Denis Balibouse | Reuters
Spot gold peaked just below $1,850 per troy ounce in the early hours, before easing off to trade around $1,834 per ounce by late-morning in Europe. US gold futures were up 0.8% at $1,840.50.
Gold prices have been on a general incline since the beginning of November as market turbulence, rising recession expectations, and more gold purchases from central banks underpinned demand.
“In general, we are looking for a price friendly 2023 supported by recession and stock market valuation risks — an eventual peak in central bank rates combined with the prospect of a weaker dollar and inflation not returning to the expected sub-3% level by year -end — all adding support,” said Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank.
“In addition, the de-dollarization seen by several central banks last year when a record amount of gold was bought looks set to continue, thereby providing a soft floor under the market.”
Looking ahead, Hansen suggested the key events for gold prices would be Wednesday’s minutes from the latest US Federal Reserve meeting and Friday’s US jobs report.
Above $1842, the 50% [mark] of the 2022 correction, gold will be looking for resistance at $1850 and $1878 next,” Hansen added.
New all-time high in 2023?
Much of the 2023 outlook for global markets hinges on the trajectory of monetary policy as central banks ease off the aggressive interest rate hikes of the past year amid slowing economic growth and possible recessions.
Economists are divided as to whether this will culminate in rate cuts by the end of the year, however, as inflation is expected to remain well above the target range in most major economies.
A full dovish pivot by central banks this year would likely have major implications for gold prices, according to strategists.
Eric Strand, manager of the AuAg ESG Gold Mining ETF, said last month that 2023 would yield a new all-time high for gold and the start of a “new secular bull market,” with the price exceeding $2,100 per ounce.
“Central banks as a group have continued, since the great financial crisis, to add more and more gold to their reserves, with a new record set for [the third quarter of] 2022,” Strand said.
“It is our opinion that central banks will pivot on their rate hikes and become dovish during 2023, which will ignite an explosive move for gold for years to come. We therefore believe gold will end 2023 at least 20% higher, and we also see miners outperforming gold with a factor of two.”
The bullion bullishness was echoed toward the end of last year by Juerg Kiener, managing director and chief investment officer at Swiss Asia Capital, who told CNBC last month that the current market conditions mirror those of 2001 and 2008.
“In 2001, the market didn’t just move 20 or 30%, it moved a lot, the same in 2008 when we actually had a smaller sell-off in the market and the stimulus coming back in, and gold went from $600 to $1,800 in no time, so I think we have a very good chance that we’ll see a major move,” Kiener told CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia” in late December.
“It’s not going to be just 10 or 20%, I think I’m looking at a move which will really make new highs.”
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