The chase is on. The chase for gold, that is—and it’s not too late to buy some now.
Gold had been relatively boring for quite a while. After surging in 2020, its price has essentially traded sideways for the past 18 months, falling just 0.5% from $2,013.10 to $1,900.80 an ounce. Now it’s on the move.
That makes complete sense. Gold is often thought of as protection against inflation, but it’s really protection against chaos—and the situation in Ukraine certainly counts as chaos. That has helped push the price of gold up 5.8% in February, putting it on pace for its best month since May 2021.
We never like to be late to the trade, but this might be one of those times when it makes sense to chase it. The precious metal, despite the move, is still trading below its spring 2021 high of $1,909.90 and could be ready to break out. At the same time, there are also few technical signs that the gold rush is getting exhausted. In fact, it’s just the opposite, says 22V Research’s John Roque. The 40-week moving average is only now starting to turn up, while other momentum indicators are just beginning to turn higher.
“There [is] no way investors are late to this move,” Roque writes.
Of course, gold has benefited from the tensions between Russia and Ukraine, as investors seek havens from the possibility of war. Even those who have taken less of a shine to the precious metal see potential upside ahead. “Risk-off tones, market fluctuations, and acute geopolitical risks are all occurring against an inflationary backdrop,” writes RBC strategist Christopher Louney. “While by year end we still think gold will be lower, in the near term we are not writing off the possibility of high prices and further volatility.”
But it’s not just fear that is supporting gold. Central banks in emerging markets have been buying gold as a way to diversify away from the dollar, notes BofA Securities commodity strategist Michael Widmer. El Salvador’s failed dalliance with Bitcoin is likely to encourage that trend.
At the same time, the U.S. trade deficit might be peaking, and gold was a beneficiary the last time that happened, in the early 2000s. Even more impressive: Gold has been strong even as the Fed gets set to increase interest rates.
Investors can buy a gold exchange-traded fund like
SPDR Gold Shares
iShares Gold Trust
(IAU), which own the precious metal. Another option is the
VanEck Gold Miners
ETF (GDX), which owns shares of miners, including
Write to Ben Levisohn at [email protected]