Gold price at 7-year high as hedge funds, ETF investors pile in

Six straight sessions of gains pushed the gold price to a 7-year high on Thursday as retail investors and hedge funds continue to pile into the metal, as a safe haven asset.

The gold price touched a new intra-day high of $1,626.50 on the Comex market in New York in another heavily traded session of more than 37m ounces by mid-afternoon. 

Gold is up more than $100 since the start of 2020 and should the metal close above $1,620 an ounce it will be the highest level since mid-February 2013.

Gold price at 7-year high as hedge funds, ETF investors pile in

The gold price usually moves in the opposite direction of the US dollar, but gold’s rise this year has come about despite the strength in the greenback, which is at multi-year highs against major currencies. 

Rising stock prices also act as a brake on gold price gains as investors move money into equities, but in 2020 gold’s rise is happening at the same time that Wall Street is testing all-time highs. 

“With the metal moving higher, despite the mentioned headwinds from other markets, it is difficult to see what at this stage can halt or pause the rally” 

Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy, Saxo Bank

Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank, says in a research note that during January total holdings in physically-backed gold exchange-traded funds, already at record highs, rose by an average of 1.3 tonnes per day. 

So far this February holdings have – despite dollar strength and recovering markets – been rising by 1.9 tonnes per day according to Hansen:

With the metal moving higher, despite the mentioned headwinds from other markets, it is difficult to see what at this stage can halt or pause the rally. 

Large-scale investors like hedge funds or so-called ‘managed money’ speculating in gold futures have also gone long gold.

Hansen points out hedge funds have maintained a net-long position (bets that gold prices will rise) of between 20 million to 30 million ounces since last October. 

The latest breakout is likely to attract fresh momentum buying, which will be added to the 229,369 lots (22.9 million ounces) they held during the latest reporting week to February 11. 

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