By Barani Krishnan
Investing.com – Gold is on track to its best weekly showing since December as U.S. inflation risks and a reintroduction of political risk hedging helps set the yellow metal on a potential return path to $1,800 pricing.
on New York’s Comex as well as the of bullion were up almost 2% each on the week in Friday’s afternoon trade. It was the strongest relative performance in four months, since the week ended Dec. 11, when futures rose 2.5% and bullion 2.2%.
Gold’s resurgence this week came as U.S. bond yields plunged amid a hike in consumer prices that reasserted the yellow metal’s diminished role as a hedge against inflation.
Sweeping sanctions imposed on Russia by the United States on Thursday also brought gold back — in the eyes of some, at least — as a protection against political risk.
U.S. bond yields, measured by the , hovered at 1.58% on Friday, markedly lower from a 14-month high of 1.77% on March 30.
“It would appear that the bond market is finally buying into the Fed’s low-for longer verse which would be supportive of non-yielding gold,” said Sophie Griffiths, research head for the U.K. and EMEA at online broker OANDA.
Since the start of this year, gold has had more headwinds as the dollar and bond yields often surged on the argument that U.S. economic recovery from the pandemic could exceed expectations, leading to fears of spiraling inflation as the Federal Reserve kept interest rates at near zero.
Griffiths noted geopolitics were also “back with a bang” amid the heightening showdown between world powers America and Russia that drove investors toward safe haven properties such as gold.
Adding to gold’s strength was a weaker dollar, which typically boosted the yellow meta. The , which pits the greenback against the and five other major currencies, weakened to 91.56 versus Wednesday’s settlement of 91.62.
Gold had a scorching run in mid-2020 when it rose from March lows of under $1,500 to reach record highs of nearly $2,100 by August, responding to inflationary concerns sparked by the first U.S. fiscal relief of $3 trillion approved for the coronavirus pandemic.
Breakthroughs in vaccine development since November, along with optimism of economic recovery, however, forced gold to close 2020 trading at just below $1,900.
This year, the rut worsened as gold fell first to $1,800 levels in January, then collapsed to below $1,660 at one point in March.
Such weakness in gold is remarkable if considered from the perspective of the Covid-19 stimulus of $1.9 trillion passed by Congress in March, and the Biden administration’s plans for an additional infrastructure spending of $2.2 trillion.
Typically, stimulus measures lead to dollar debasement and inflation that sends gold rallying as an inflation hedge. But logic-suspending selloffs instead took place in gold over the past six months, with some Wall Street banks lending inane commentary to support these.