Spooked traders just sent gold to a 6-year high after yet another warning on a slowdown in global trade
Worried investors have been ploughing into gold as political uncertainty plagues markets, sending the haven asset to the highest since 2013.
Analysts say that this is a worrying sign of the effect of the trade war, as spooked investors run out of safe havens.
“Investors have piled into gold because, fundamentally, they are worried about the state of the global economy,” said Neil Wilson, chief market analyst at Markets.com to Markets Insider in an email.
CPB’s world trade monitor also showed that world trade had fallen for a third consecutive quarter, dropping by 0.7%, as June fell by 1.4% month on month.
“They have also piled into bonds for the same reason – yields have come right down and this depression of yields is really what matters for gold,” Wilson added.
US bond yields have been a major talking point for investors recently. The yields for the 2-month Treasury and the 10-year Treasury have inverted, a big red flag for a looming recession.
As Markets Insider’s Carmen Reineke reported last week: Investors are “struggling to find solid returns in an environment where yields are low all around.” The yield curve’s inversion – which has come before every recession since 1950 – “has increased investor panic,” she wrote. “That, in turn, has driven the bond rally further and dragged yields lower.”
Added Wilson: “Real yields in the US have fallen to about zero which has made gold especially appealing given that the opportunity cost to holding gold as a hedge is about zero.”
“So while sometimes you see gold as a safe haven play, it doesn’t really work or last when yields are higher – the drop in yields has really been the key.”
Investors have also been putting their money into bitcoin for similar reasons, according to analysts at eToro. The e-trading platform said it saw a 284% surge in bitcoin trades in the last three months, compared to the three months before that.