Time to own gold: Sharps Pixley

Even though it sees only minor gains for gold in 2018, with average prices rounding $1358 an ounce, bullion trader Sharps Pixley says it is important to add the yellow metal to one’s assets.

“Why so?,” the company’s CEO Ross Norman writes in a press release. “2016 and 2017 saw gold higher on strong spec buying in Q1, taking the market above the level of most physical buyers, before retracing in Q4 as the stale specs bailed out… but still ending up about 10% on the year. 2018 is starting much the same, but at a higher price level and with a larger spec position. If gold follows form then this should suggest another impasse between the paper and physical markets as prices range trade once again,” he explains.

According to Norman, even if volatility falls, it makes sense to own physical gold because risks are higher in the stocks market as the US Federal Reserve tightens. “Gold has become price elastic just as it was in the 1990s. And then there was 2000… the best is yet to come, but not just yet. Patience,” he says.

Sharps Pixley released today its precious metals forecast for 2018. When it comes to the yellow metal, the firm predicts highs of $1400 and lows of $1260 per ounce. For silver, on the other hand, it foresees an average price of $18.08 per ounce, with possible highs of $19.10 and lows of $15.60.

“Silver surprises every now and then,” the media brief states. “If we expect gold to notch up an 8% gain then silver should score 12%. That would give it an average price of $18.08 in 2018.” According to the expert, silver is his favourite performer for 2018 because, different from gold, the speculative overhang in silver is not burdensome.

For platinum, the company sees an average price of $884 per ounce. High prices could reach $1045 per ounce, while low prices could sink to $815 per ounce.

“Jewellery demand has fallen 4 years in a row and the outlook in the auto sector from diesel engines is not promising. With total demand in decline and the market set to move to a supply surplus in 2018, we see ongoing downside pressure on prices. Once the shiniest of all precious metals, platinum is struggling to find friends,” Sharps’ CEO states.

Platinum's loss, however, has been palladium’s gain in Norman's view. “Total demand is topping 10 mio and auto demand is growing; in fact, palladium saw good demand from most sectors except, surprisingly, from investors. The last three years have seen selling into price strength perhaps believing the rally cannot be justified. But after six years of supply deficits, stocks are thin and pipeline metal scarce. Happily for industrial users, there was also weakness in the price-sensitive jewellery sector.”

The bullion trader sees palladium averaging $1355 per ounce. It could go up to $1500 or down to $800. However, its bets are on an upward trend. “An eye on palladium lease rates will warn you of extreme tightness and this market has the potential to earn the name the Ford Motor Company once gave it – ‘un-obtainium’."