All eyes on the US as gold rises

Trumps promised the world to Americans with his spiel on getting tough with China, North Korea and others.

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Published: Wed 30 Aug 2017, 9:00 PM

Last updated: Wed 30 Aug 2017, 11:57 PM

Since 1971, when the US president Richard Nixon took the dollar off the gold standard, the yellow metal has largely been a barometer of the quantum of political and economic risks across the world. Basically, it is the unpredictability of the global political and economic environments that have historically propped up the price of gold. Lower the risk and uncertainties, the price remains stable.
Higher the risks, higher the volatility in the yellow metal. For most of the last six to seven years, geopolitical risks outside the US dictated the price of gold, but arguably the epicentre has now shifted to the US. As the yellow metal flirts with the $1,300 an ounce mark, its popularity can largely be linked to febrile market sentiment as global tensions intensify over North Korea. Notably, the yellow metal has been rising since November last year - since Donald Trump was elected US president.
Trumps promised the world to Americans with his spiel on getting tough with China, North Korea and others. He promised initiating tax reforms in the US, investing more in infrastructure, pulling American troops from Afghanistan, but these have largely remained only promises as Trump is yet  to got his house in order. Moreover, problems are getting complex as the debt ceiling looms, and Hurricane Harvey causes havoc in Texas.
Such uncertainties have allowed gold to test $1,300 an ounce mark three times since April. At this pace, bullion experts believe gold might close just above its 12-month moving average for the second straight month. The key to gold's future prices depends on Washington's next move. Trump's threats to scrap trade pacts such as Nafta, and a low-yield environment are simply aiding the rise and support for gold prices. Even though one would like to believe that everything in the market is about fundamentals, it is not the case. On the contrary, sentiments influence the price of gold. It has been considered a relatively secure investment or a form of portfolio insurance, but the world would be a better place if its prices remain low or stable for long.

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