Virus fears expected to keep fueling gold rally
(Kitco News) - Voters in the weekly Kitco News gold survey remain bullish on the yellow metal for next week, with traders and analysts citing ongoing worries about the economic fallout from the coronavirus that hit China, with a small number of cases now making their way to other countries.
“I think we are going to see continued concern about the coronavirus,” said Phil Flynn, senior market analyst with at Price Futures Group, sharing a widely held view. “Because of economic concerns coming out of China, because of the shutdown of major cities and factories and it’s impact on the Chinese economy, you’ll see some worries about capital flows going out of the [financial] markets.”
Against such as backdrop, demand for gold tends to pick up, several survey respondents said.
“I think there is definitely a bid to this market right now because the numbers [of people infected and dying] keep getting worse every day,” said Kevin Grady, president of Phoenix Futures and Options LLC.
Seventeen market professionals took part in the Wall Street survey. Fourteen, or 82%, called for gold to rise. There were three votes, or 18%, saying gold would fall, and no voters calling for a sideways market.
Meanwhile, 995 votes were cast in an online Main Street poll. A total of 687 voters, or 69%, looked for gold to rise in the next week. Another 163, or 16%, said lower, while 145, or 15%, were neutral.
In last week’s survey for the trading week now winding down, 59% of Wall Street voters and 67% of Main Street voters were bullish. As of 11:20 a.m. EST, Comex April gold was up by 0.9% for the week so far to $1,592 an ounce.
“I think coronavirus risks are going to remain front and center for a while and because of this, gold could creep up to retest the $1,600-$1,610 area, where it peaked earlier this month during the Middle East crisis, sometime in the coming days,” said Colin Cieszynski, chief market strategist at SIA Wealth Management. “Gold remains supported above $1,500.”
John Weyer, co-director of commercial hedging with Walsh Trading, is also among those who looks for gold to draw support from the contagion.
“That is still a big cloud over the markets,” Weyer said. “Any time fear is hitting the [stock] market hard, it’s a good reason for gold to be up.”
Richard Baker, editor of the Eureka Miner’s Report, figures Comex gold could “easily close above $1,600 next week” and silver regain $18 territory.
“It's all about the Wuhan coronavirus -- gold up, everything else down,” Baker said. “The now-announced global health emergency has had a chilling effect on [financial] markets this week, with the yellow metal gaining value on equities, key commodities and major currencies.”
George Gero, managing director with RBC Wealth Management, looks for gold to rise not only because of the virus outbreak, but also due to the Brexit and U.S. impeachment sagas, as well as headlines about the economy that may worry financial investors.
“I like what I am seeing in the gold market and I think prices can continue to push higher,” said Jasper Lawler, head of research at the London Capital Group.
Afshin Nabavi, head of trading with MKS, noted that Chinese market participants may be back next week after the Lunar New Year holiday.
“I would like to buy on dip and am looking for a move higher,” he said. Nabavi put the range at $1,545 to $1,595. “A break above $1,600 should send us to the previous high of $1,611, which we saw after the Iranians launched a missile earlier this year in January.”
Meanwhile, Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank, said he is “reluctantly bearish” on gold for the short term. He said that he is disappointed with gold’s performance during a week of “horrendous uncertainty,” adding that the market appears to be running out of momentum.
“If there was a week where gold should have excelled, this was it, but it didn’t,” Hansen said. “It’s not an environment to short gold, but you also have to acknowledge that gold’s not performing as well as it should.”