Russians go on a gold buying spree
Welcome to Kitco News' 2022 outlook series. The new year will be filled with uncertainty as the Federal Reserve looks to pivot and tighten its monetary policies. At the same time, the inflation threat continues to grow, which means real rates will remain in low to negative territory. Stay tuned to Kitco News to learn from the experts on how to navigate turbulent financial markets in 2022.
(Kitco News) - Russian nationals have bought a record amount of gold since 2014, the Russian media has reported (Sputnik). They bought four tonnes of gold bullion and coins in the past nine months, which is around 8% more when compared to the previous year, the reports specified.
Traditional gold investments have become very popular in other countries as well, with Americans having purchased 91.3 tonnes of the yellow metal in the past nine months (+79%), while in China and India gold buying has surged by 54% and 24% respectively.
The large difference between the amount of purchased gold can be put down to a 20% value-added tax (VAT) rate on gold bullion in Russia, which is the highest in the world. The Russian authorities have been considering a bill to cancel VAT on gold investments recently as part of a broader program to support domestic gold demand. According to the latest reports, they will go ahead with this plan starting 2022. Yet, some experts and officials have been sounding alarms regarding potential budget losses for Russia once this bill is approved, and about the risks of the country running out of gold.
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Gold is currently stuck in a very heavy consolidation pattern. The price is 0.30% higher on the session but has been hovering around $1787/oz for around 14 sessions. There are some key central bank events that could get the markets moving this week. The market is looking to gather information about how the new omicron COVID-19 variant could hinder plans. The Fed has been aggressive in comparison to the ECB, some Fed members are looking for a further reduction in QE, and even interest rate rises by the summer of next year (2022). This week could give us some more information about the trajectory of this plan. The next FOMC meeting will be on Wednesday 15th.