Gold prices since 2013. Source:MetalMiner analysis of @stockcharts.com data.
Gold is the only commodity wherein physical annual demand is only a tiny fraction of total supply available and shortages of gold caused by physical demand never happen.
Therefore, China’s demand growth for metals or the potential boost in U.S. infrastructure spending are factors that aren’t really helping push gold prices higher unlike industrial commodities.
What’s causing gold prices fall dramatically? The U.S. dollar.
Gold (in dark) vs the dollar index (in green). Source: MetalMiner analysis of @stockcharts.com.
Since mid-August the dollar started a bull run that is still in play. Three main factors are propelling the dollar’s bull run:
Markets expected the Federal Reserve to raise rates by the end of the year. In December the Fed raised interest rates by a quarter point, as expected, but policymakers signaled a likelihood of three increases in 2017, up from prior expectations for two moves. While interest rates outside the U.S. stay near zero or even in negative territory, it’s no wonder yield-seeking investors are going after the greenback.
The ongoing political tensions in Europe are causing the dollar to appreciate against the euro. The ongoing refugee crisis in Europe, Brexit, terrorist attacks and political instability are some of the events causing investors to lose their appetite for the European currency this year.
Finally, the victory of Donald Trump has added fuel to the dollar’s bull market. The new president-elect has proposed new tax policies that will potentially make multinational companies bring their foreign profits back to U.S., increasing the demand for dollars. In addition, the dollar is perceived as a stronger currency since investors expect growth in US to get a boost.
As long as the dollar continues to rise, there is little hope for gold investors to make returns. Gold buyers should wait closely for weakness in the dollar before buying gold. For now, sentiment on the dollar continues to be quite bullish.