Gold's strong performance in May made up for the Q1 correction. Rising U.S. CPI data spooked markets, but helped boost gold and silver prices. As we head into summer (a seasonally strong period for the precious metals complex), we see several macro tailwinds working in our favor.
April provided precious metals markets redemption from a challenging first quarter, with gold finishing the month up 3.60% and silver climbing 6.14%. Silver continues to benefit from expansionary monetary and fiscal policies worldwide and its key industrial role in the new technologies of the "green revolution."
Gold prices finished March at $1,708, closing off a difficult quarter on the heels of gold's positive, record year. COVID-19 vaccine rollouts in the U.S. encouraged market optimism which was reflected in rising U.S. Treasury yields and a strong U.S. dollar. Despite the cheerier economic outlook, the long-term risks associated with trillions of dollars of economic stimulus, and mounting debt, provide ample support for our bullish metals outlook.
February was a tough month for gold. Bond selling spiked into near panic mode and triggered a multi-asset sell-off into month-end. It was an uncomfortable replay of the 2013 Taper Tantrum in condensed form. Gold was not spared, but long-term trends remain in place for our bullish gold view.
Gold started the year strongly, reaching almost $1,960 before dropping quickly back to support above the $1,800 range. We have been long-term bullish on silver, which has surged to an 8-year high. The Reddit crowd may accelerate this silver rally to extreme levels, but we can continue to make a strong fundamental case for silver that does not require any short squeeze schemes (real or imagined).
2020 was a tremendous year for precious metals. Gold bullion gained 25.12%. Silver bullion rose 47.89%. Palladium climbed 25.86% and platinum increased 10.92%. Gold mining equities were up 21.96% and gold junior mining stocks rose 48.53%. We expect the precious metals rally to continue in 2021 and offer our Top 10 list for investors.
Precious metals took a post-election pause in November. Gold bullion lost 5.42% but is up 17.11% YTD and 21.38% YOY through November 30, 2020. Silver bullion lost 4.28% in November but has risen 26.84% YTD and 32.99% YOY. The macroeconomic fundamentals remain intact to support a continuation of this year’s precious metals rally. We see this correction as an attractive yearend, seasonal buying opportunity.
With building anxiety over the U.S. presidential election, investors stepped away from markets in October, including gold bullion and mining equities. The uncertainties of the election and COVID-19's surging second wave have created a "risk mitigation" type market. The gold bull market remains intact and both gold bullion and mining equities are well-positioned under most plausible election scenarios.
Markets experienced the first post-COVID meaningful correction in September as investment fund exposures were reduced, resulting in a contraction in market depth and liquidity. Despite September's profit taking, gold bullion posted its eighth straight quarterly gain. We see this as a buying opportunity for precious metals investors.
After touching a record high of $2,075 on August 7, gold bullion closed August at $1,968. Despite this pullback, we see gold well supported above the prior cycle high of $1,900 as it settles into a sustainable $2,000-$2,200 trading level. Both silver bullion and gold mining equities reached multi-year highs in August.
The precious metals complex set off fireworks in July as gold bullion reached all-time highs. Silver bullion and gold mining equities broke through significant long-term resistance levels to further improve their bullish standing. Year to date, precious metals continue to outperform as gold has attained “escape velocity”, i.e., it has gravitationally moved away from other asset classes.
Gold bullion continued to deliver strong performance and was up 17.38% YTD through June 30, 2020, and 26.36% YOY. At the same time, gold mining equities (SGDM) have gained 25.88% YTD, and 44.00% YOY as of June 30. This compares to -3.08% YTD and 7.51% YOY returns for the S&P 500 TR Index. Silver posted strong gains in June and is on the move again; silver is up 1.99% YTD and 18.88% YOY as of June 30.
After a tumultuous past few months, every asset class appears to be normalizing, including gold bullion. Gold posted steady gains in May with a 2.6% increase. Gold is up 14.04% YTD through May 31, 2020, and 32.54% YOY. At the same time, gold mining equities (SGDM) have gained 18.26% YTD, and 61.70% YOY as of May 31. This compares to -4.97% YTD and 12.84% YOY returns for the S&P 500 TR Index. Silver also posted strong gains in May and is on the move again.
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