Gold remains well supported as potential credit risk events drive safe-haven demand - MarketVector's Joy Yang
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(Kitco News) - The gold market is trading near a five-week low as the U.S. dollar and 10-year bond yields consolidate at elevated levels; however, according to one market strategist, gold still remains an essential safe-haven asset.
In a recent interview with Kitco News, Joy Yang, global head of index product management at MarketVector Indexes, said that despite gold's lackluster performance, she doesn't see any significant shift from where gold started the year.
The comments come as gold prices look to test support at its August lows, just above $1,900 an ounce. December gold futures last traded at $1,919.40 an ounce, down nearly 1% on the day.
Although a resilient economy and persistently high inflation are forcing the Federal Reserve to maintain a "higher-for-longer" monetary policy, Yang said that uncertainty remains elevated and should keep safe-haven assets like gold well supported.
"Despite what the Federal Reserve has said, it's still not clear to me that we're headed for a soft landing," she said. "Investors are in a ‘wait-and-see' mode and that is why we have not seen any major momentum in gold."
In this market complacency, Yang said that investors are underpricing event risks. She pointed out that higher interest rates could make it difficult for consumers to weather any financial turmoil. She added that inflation risks are not going away as gasoline prices rise again and food prices remain elevated.
"Cash isn't as widely available as it used to be, and we are starting to see some cooling in the labor market," she said. "A lot of consumers will soon face some economic challenges, so I'm not optimistic that we will see a soft landing."
Yang said that while the U.S. economy has been resilient, it might not be able to withstand the global slowing trend. She noted that both China and Europe are seeing weaker economic activity.
She said that this uncertainty is helping gold prices hold long-term support above $1,900 an ounce, and added that although prices can go lower in the near term, it would not take a significant risk-off event to shift the momentum in the precious metal.
"I think gold is holding support at these elevated levels because it is positioning itself for some global macro risk event that may materialize despite the current strength of the U.S. economy," she said.
Yang said that one problem starting to creep back into the marketplace is the potential for another credit risk event as the Federal Reserve's aggressive monetary policies drive bond yields higher. Yang's comments come as U.S. 10-year bond yields push solidly above 4.5% to a fresh 16-year high.
While the current bond market selloff has been reasonably orderly, according to some economists there are growing risks that the bond market will become unanchored as U.S. debt continues to grow.
|Gold to hit $2k by end of 2023, reach $2,200 an ounce in 2024 as dollar weakens - SocGen|
Late Monday, rating agency Moody's said that a government shutdown, as Congress has been unable to pass any funding bills, could threaten the nation's sovereign debt rating.
"A shutdown would be credit negative for the US sovereign," Moody's said in its report.
"In particular, it would demonstrate the significant constraints that intensifying political polarization put on fiscal policymaking at a time of declining fiscal strength, driven by widening fiscal deficits and deteriorating debt affordability."
Moody's is the last of the 'big three' credit rating agencies that still gives the US a AAA rating with a stable outlook.
"There are still significant risks for the economy that investors just aren't pricing in," she said. "Gold is an attractive asset because we are not in a state where we can relax. There is still a real need for safe-haven assets."