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Gold, silver look cheap as Fed rate hikes create threat of a recession - Degussa

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(Kitco News) - The gold market continues to struggle to make material gains above $1,800 an ounce. Still, the precious metal remains cheap as investors continue to miss-price risk in the marketplace, according to one market analyst.

In his latest market commentary, Thorsten Polleit, chief economist of Degussa, said that both gold and silver are relatively cheap as investors ignore the growing risk that the Federal Reserve will push the U.S. economy into a recession as it raises interest rates.

According to the CME FedWatch Tool, markets expect interest rates to be at least 3% by the end of the year. Markets expect the U.S. central bank to raise interest rates by 50-basis points at the next three monetary policy meetings.

"That doesn't sound much. But the expectation that the Fed would end its extremely expansive policy has already triggered something of a landslide on the financial markets," he said in the report.

One of the reasons why gold and silver have seen significant selling pressure in the last four weeks is because investors have faith that central banks can engineer a "soft landing" that will weaken the economy enough to slow-growing inflation pressures but not enough to push it into a recession.

"As long as financial markets are reasonably confident that central banks can strike an acceptable balance between raising interest rates to curb inflation and preventing the financial and economic system from falling off the cliff, gold and silver prices may be prevented from rising sharply for now," he said. "however, the risk that central banks will not succeed in their plans and cause a major crisis is real, and it is non-negligible."

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However, he added that the U.S. central bank is walking a very narrow path, which has been made difficult because of massive government debt worldwide. Polleit noted that global debt levels represented 351% of global GDP.

"The risk that something could go wrong is enormous, especially given record levels of global debt," he said.

Even if the Federal Reserve can avoid pushing the economy into a recession, Polleit said there is still potential for gold and silver once investors realize that inflation will remain elevated longer than expected.

"A likely scenario is that central banks will hike interest rates a bit more, but not to the point of "crashing the system to lower inflation." This suggests that goods price inflation will remain elevated for longer but may not spiral out of control," he said. "Real interest rates, i.e., nominal interest rates net of inflation, will most likely remain in negative territory for years to come."

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Kitco Metals Inc. The author has made every effort to ensure accuracy of information provided; however, neither Kitco Metals Inc. nor the author can guarantee such accuracy. This article is strictly for informational purposes only. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in commodities, securities or other financial instruments. Kitco Metals Inc. and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.