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.
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.
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