If you’ve ever wondered why gold prices fluctuate so much, you’re not alone. Gold and other precious metals are commodities that are affected by a variety of factors. From the strength of the dollar to global demand, many things can influence their overall value.
Overall, the market for precious metals has steadily increased specifically because of the interest rates that are being raised by the US Federal Reserve, central banks, and high inflation. The price had closed at $1823 on December 31, 2022, when it hit a high of $1833.
Investors are now worried that the reopening of other countries, such as China, will add pressure to inflation. This can result in more pressure on risk assets and equities and the global bond yields getting lifted.
The commodity of gold bullion has gained about 3% while the year-to-date prices are at an 0.8% figure. Current prices are always close to the $ 2000 mark as well.
What Affects the Spot Price?
The spot prices of bullion and other precious metals are affected by various factors, including economic conditions, politics, and global events. Gold, silver, palladium, and platinum are considered commodities.
These are goods that are produced in large quantities and used to make other products or traded on an exchange. You can learn more about this company, where the platform offers reasonable prices, and there are a wide variety of metals to choose from. Precious metals are often used as investments because they are seen as a hedge against inflation and financial instability.
When the demand for gold is high and there is a limited supply, prices will increase. The opposite is also true since when there are more metals available on the market than investors want to buy, the value will decrease. A variety of factors can affect demand for bullion, including wars, recession, inflation, and more.
The supply can also be affected by mining production levels, central bank activity, and scrap recycling. When mining production decreases or central banks sell large amounts of their precious metal reserves, the figures will usually rise. On the other hand, if new mines are developed, or scrap recycling increases the supply of jewelry, there will also be a significant decrease in rates.
Gold vs. Fiat Currency
The markets opened on July 4, 2022, when the price of gold dipped below the $1800 figure. This was at an all-time high in February because of the war in Ukraine and other factors. The trading of precious metals has an inverse relationship with fiat currencies like the USD. Most buyers find this to be expensive, especially if they would use other currencies to purchase bullion. What’s more, the bars and coins are just kept in a safe, and they don’t yield interest rates.
In the middle of July, the commodity further dipped in price, and this has been getting into a losing streak in November. However, the Fed increased the interest rates because inflation is at an all-time high, which has negatively affected the value.
On September 2022, proponents of precious metals fought back when the prices inched down to $1700 from the previous $1900 mark. The Federal Reserve has indicated a significant slowing of the cycle in the interest rate hikes, and this is where the gains appeared of over 10%.
Nevertheless, the outlook of many entities has been hawkish. The metals have continued to gain popularity, and the central bank raised a moderate 50 basis points on interest rates in December, but it can be higher for the next few years.
The Role of Central Banks
Central banks around the world play a significant role in gold prices. For example, the US Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing program drove up gold prices in the late 2000s. When central banks purchase gold, it drives up demand and prices. These larger entities also influence precious metal prices indirectly by setting interest rates. Low rates make gold more attractive to investors because it provides a better return than other investments like bonds.
There’s also the US dollar index that was taken into consideration. The impact of the Russia-Ukraine war, the slow growth of China, and the recession on the horizon have provided the dollar with a macroeconomic scope with positive growth. Many investors have sold their other assets in favor of holding a dollar.
It’s always best to check the DXY for the performance of the dollar against other investments. However, everything is not set in stone, and there are still monetary policies and contractions that the hiking cycle has peaked.
The Consumer Price Index can be an excellent indicator of inflation, and there are government measures to prevent too much price increase of consumer goods and services, so this can also affect gold in the long run. It’s best to see what the market says and research further before investing in precious metals to be on the safe side.
Why Invest in Gold?
It’s A Safe Haven Asset
Many investors see gold as a safe haven asset due to its historical ability to hold its value in times of economic or political turmoil. Unlike other investments, such as stocks or real estate, bullion is not subject to the same risks of devaluation or seizure. This makes it an attractive option for those looking to protect their wealth during times of uncertainty.
As mentioned, the prices are also driven by demand from central banks and other institutions. These entities tend to purchase bars and coins when there is geopolitical unrest or economic downfall, as it is seen as a safe investment. The increased demand from these buyers often leads to higher prices for the precious metal.
Geopolitical Factors affecting Value
Gold is a global commodity with prices affected by a number of factors, including geopolitics. Recent geopolitical turmoil, such as the Brexit vote and the president’s election, has led to increased demand for bullion as a safe haven asset. Tensions between the US and North Korea have also contributed to higher prices as investors seek refuge in the precious metal amid fears of nuclear war.
Other geopolitical factors affecting precious metal prices include economic instability in developing countries, which can lead to increased demand for gold as a hedge against inflation. There are also military conflicts or political unrest in major gold-producing nations, which can disrupt supply and impact prices, so you need to watch out carefully for them.