Gold prices continued to rally on Monday, heading toward the highest since October 2012, after massive inflows into gold-backed ETFs in the US.
Gold for delivery in August, the most active contract on the Comex market in New York, touched a high of $1,779 an ounce, a near 8-year high.
The World Gold Council reported that Friday saw a massive 27.3 tonnes (974,000 ounces worth more than $1.7 billion at today’s prices) inflow into gold-backed exchange traded funds (ETFs).
The world’s largest gold ETF – SPDR Gold Shares or GLD – received the lion’s share with Friday inflows of 23.1 tonnes or 742,492 ounces, coinciding with the expiry of June GLD options.
According to a note from BMO Capital Markets, Friday’s haul takes month to date inflows to 55.6 tonnes (1.96m ounces), with the vast majority of this coming from North America.
Gold prices have rallied over 16% so far this year, supported by the rolling out of massive monetary stimulus from central banks around the world in response to the economic fallout of the covid-19 pandemic.
Gold is often seen as a safe haven asset for global investors during times of economic turmoil, and with the number of coronavirus cases exploding in some parts after governments began to loosen their lockdown protocols, overall economic uncertainty remains high.
On Sunday, the World Health Organization reported a record jump in global infections, with the biggest increases seen in North and South America.
Additional monetary stimulus to combat the pandemic, including the Bank of England’s bond buying program announced last week, could lend further support to bullion as a hedge against inflation.
“Gold appears poised for breakout,” Fawad Razaqzada, market analyst at ThinkMarkets in London, said in an emailed note to Bloomberg.
“While gold is undoubtedly boosted by haven flows due to the economic damage caused by the pandemic as well as concerns over a second wave, there is little doubt that the metal is also finding good support from central bank money flooding the financial markets.”
Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank A/S, shares a similar sentiment:
“Covid-19 worries together with the eventual inflationary impact of central bank stimulus are providing the support for gold.”