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.
Gold miners have climbed steadily, following the positive path we predicted back in November 2019. As of April 30, 2020, gold mining stocks were up 11.01% YTD and 57.87% YOY, compared to -12.36% YTD and -7.91% YOY for the S&P 500 Index. In our view, gold mining equities still have a great deal of upside to offer, given that historically gold stocks tend to outperform the metal during gold bull markets (2-3x).
Gold equities broke out of a multi-year resistance level on massive buying flows in April. Gold miners may be experiencing disruptions due to COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns, but they stand to benefit from a rising gold price. Gold bullion is up +11% YTD and +31% year-over-year (through April 30, 2020).
Jason Mayer, Senior Portfolio Manager, recaps the past two weeks: "We were not surprised by the recent selloff in gold bullion and precious metal equities. During violent broader market corrections, liquidity is priority number one....the unprecedented monetary and fiscal stimulus in response to COVID-19 should debase fiat currencies while providing a tremendous tailwind for gold bullion and gold equities."
The Fed made a surprise interest rate cut of 50 basis points on Tuesday, March 3, and gold bullion closed the week higher, above $1,670. This follows gold's February breakout from the critical $1,585/$1,600 overhead resistance range that we have highlighted for several months.
Gold bullion rallied 4.7% in January, on the heels of 2019's 18.31% rise. Our 2020 Top 10 Watch List outlines what gold investors should pay attention to given our long-term bullish outlook for the precious metals complex.
2019 marked the best performance for the precious metals complex in nearly a decade. Gold bullion closed the year at $1,517 (gaining 18.31% for the 12 months). Silver bullion ended the year at $17.85 (up 15.23% in 2019). Platinum climbed 21.56% in 2019, and palladium soared 54.24%. Gold mining equities showed notable strength, finishing 2019 up 46.97% as measured by Sprott Gold Miners ETF (SGDM).
We caution our clients that 2019’s uniquely favorable market conditions are unlikely to be sustainable.... Gold performed extremely well in the face of this year’s market jubilee, which transpired amid supportive conditions including a stable U.S. dollar and benign inflation. For twilight surfers, however, we believe gold’s role as a lifeguard has never been more important.
November marked the third month of consolidation for gold bullion and gold equities. We see this as a pause in a long-term bullish trend: YTD gold bullion has gained 12.69% and gold equities are up 33.35% as of 11/30.
Gold mining stocks have soared almost 30% so far in 2019, as of November 15. Over the last 12 months, the sector is up 40%. Some investors may assume that gold stocks have run their course. On the contrary, we think that the gold mining equities still have a great deal of upside to offer.
Gold bullion consolidated in October, closing the month at $1,513, a 2.75% gain; YTD gold is up 17.97% as of 10/31/19. Silver bullion rose 6.55% for the month and has gained 16.86% YTD. As gold companies report Q3 earnings in the coming weeks, we expect robust earnings results to lift gold equity prices. The timing may be favorable as we are also heading into the best consecutive four-month seasonality pattern for gold mining equities.
Gold has been on a tear in 2019. The gold price recently breached $1,500, a remarkable performance since June, when it smashed through the ceiling of its long-term range under the $1,370 level. This is especially impressive when considered in the context of a reasonable economy, a strong U.S. dollar and resilient equity markets throughout 2019. So, what gives?
Given gold’s sharp rise since May, September’s correction was not unexpected. We believe it is reflective of a new consolidation phase, and likely to be short term in nature. All factors that we consider to be significantly correlating to gold bullion indicate that we are still in the early stages of a major long-term advance.
Gold added $110 in August to close the month at $1,524, gaining 7.8% for the month. YTD gold is up 18.6%, ahead of the S&P 500 Index's rise of 15.34%. Gold equities impressed even more, climbing 46.4% YTD as measured by Sprott Gold Miners ETF (SGDM).
July was positive for both gold and silver, which were propelled by the Fed’s interest rate cut on July 31, its first cut in 11 years. Any hope that this is a "one and done" rate hike has quickly been dashed with the latest U.S.-China trade war salvo. The long-term picture remains firmly intact. Gold and silver continue to rise as the market adjusts to a new central bank easing cycle.
Gold has moved above the critical $1,400 mark for the first time in nearly six years. We believe that gold may be decisively breaking out of a six-year cycle and that this may be the beginning of a powerful multi-year rally. It's an opportune moment for CEO Peter Grosskopf to share his guidance on gold investing.
"Most investors do not realize that gold is one of the world’s most liquid currencies and assets, trading with volumes equivalent to those of the euro or U.S. Treasury bond benchmarks. Although similar in philosophy, gold blows Bitcoin away on any measure by which the two can be compared....Perhaps now is finally the time for investors to benefit from a 'life preserver' while others enjoy the card game on the decks of the central bank-piloted Titanic."
We believe a new gold mining mergers and acquisitions (M&A) cycle has been ignited, and we expect this merger boom to accelerate over the next several years. Exploration is down, and new gold discoveries are scarce. Miners are strategically combining in order to increase production, reduce costs and improve operations.
We believe that gold equities are poised for a span of significant nominal and relative performance. A new wave of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) is likely to provide a strong catalyst for gold miners in 2019.
Given the seminal nature of catalysts now in play for precious metals, we felt the timing appropriate for a comprehensive review of factors driving the gold price. In this report, we have compiled our Top 10 List of fundamentals supporting a portfolio allocation to gold in 2019.
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