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Gold eyes $1620 in 2020 on global de-dollarization theme, geopolitical risks – ANZ – Kitco NEWS

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Editor’s Note: 2020 is expected to be another year of significant uncertainty and turmoil. But the question is what asset will emerge the victor when the dust settles from the global trade war, Brexit, recession threats, negative bond yields. It’s a showdown of global proportions, so don’t miss all our exclusive coverage on how these factors could impact your 2020 investment decisions.

(Kitco News) The precious metals sector is likely to outperform other commodities for the second year in a row in 2020, according to the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ), which is projecting for gold to rise above $1,600 next year.

“Precious metals look well positioned to outperform other sectors for the second consecutive year in 2020,” ANZ senior commodity strategist Daniel Hynes and commodity strategist Soni Kumari said in the bank’s 2020 outlook.

ANZ sees gold rising steadily throughout next year and peaking at $1,620 in December.

“Our gold model points to USD1,600/oz in 2020. Our model – based on real interest rates, USD and inflation expectations – shows gold’s value at USD1,470/oz. With a slightly weaker USD and only a tepid increase in bond yields, it forecasts gold will hit USD1,600/oz in 2020,” the strategists wrote.

Global themes of de-dollarization and geopolitical uncertainty are a few of the main drivers that will keep gold prices supported, ANZ’s outlook stated.

“Although the uncertainties related to US-China trade and Brexit peaked in 2019, we believe geopolitical and macroeconomic risks will remain elevated next year,” Hynes and Kumari said. “The ongoing theme of de-dollarization should see investor appetite for gold remain strong.”

The U.S. presidential election will be one of the risks to keep a close eye on as it directly impacts the financial markets. “With several possible outcomes, we see room for market volatility. This should set the stage for safe-haven assets to perform through 2020,” the strategists explained.

Also, the rise of populism around the world increases the case for holding gold in your portfolio, the outlook added. “The geopolitical trend toward division and populism will keep generating uncertainty, enhancing the safe-haven appeal of the sector.”

Lower interest rates environmental on a global scale also works in favor of the yellow metal next year. “A pause in Fed interest rate hikes should not diminish investor appetite … [as] steady-to-higher inflation keep[s] interest rate lower in 2020,” the strategists said.

Another part of the equation that leads to gold breaching the $1,600 an ounce level in 2020 is the weaker U.S. dollar, added ANZ.

“USD appreciation is likely to abate, with downside risks rising through 2020 … With a more stable policy setting, the USD is likely to stabilize and trade in a tight range. We expect the EUR to outperform the USD,” Hynes and Kumari wrote.

Asian gold demand will need to be closely watched as well after Indian gold imports fell 53% between July and October of this year amid record-high local prices.

“In 2020, higher investment demand will be required to clear the supply overhang left by weaker gold jewelry demand and leveling-off central bank purchases,” the strategists said.

One of the major risks to higher gold prices remains crowded investor positions, which could trigger a sell-off in 2020. “Elevated speculative positions leave risk of a price set-back,” the outlook highlighted.

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World Bank sees ‘significant’ inflation risk from high energy prices

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 Energy Prices are expected to inch up in 2022 after surging more than 80% in 2021, fueling significant near-term risks to global inflation in many developing countries, the World Bank said in its latest Commodity Markets Outlook on Thursday.

The multilateral development bank said energy prices should start to decline in the second half of 2022 as supply constraints ease, with non-energy prices such as agriculture and metals also expected to ease after strong gains in 2021.

“The surge in energy prices poses significant near-term risks to global inflation and, if sustained, could also weigh on growth in energy-importing countries,” said Ayhan Kose, chief economist and director of the World Bank’s Prospects Group, which produces the Outlook report.

“The sharp rebound in commodity prices is turning out to be more pronounced than previously projected. Recent volatility in prices may complicate policy choices as countries recover from last year’s global recession.”

The International Monetary Fund, in a separate blog https://blogs.imf.org/2021/10/21/surging-energy-prices-may-not-ease-until-next-year, said it expected energy prices to revert to “more normal levels” early next year when heating demand ebbs and supplies adjust. But it warned that uncertainty remained high and small demand shocks could trigger fresh price spikes.

The World Bank noted that some commodity prices rose to or exceeded levels in 2021 not seen since a spike a decade earlier.

Natural gas and coal prices, for instance, reached record highs amid supply constraints and rebounding demand for electricity, although they are expected to decline in 2022 as demand eases and supply improves, the bank said.

It warned that further price spikes could occur in the near-term given current low inventories and persistent supply bottlenecks. Other risk factors included extreme weather events, the uneven COVID-19 recovery and the threat of more outbreaks, along with supply-chain disruptions and environmental policies.

Higher food prices were also driving up food-price inflation and raising questions about food security in several developing countries, it said.

The bank projected crude oil prices would reach $74/bbl in 2022, buoyed by strengthening demand from a projected $70/bbl in 2021, before easing to $65/bbl in 2023.

The use of crude oil as a substitute for natural gas presented a major upside risk to the demand outlook, although higher energy prices may start to weigh on global growth.

The bank forecast a 5% drop in metals prices in 2022 after a 48% increase in 2021. It said agricultural prices were expected to decline modestly next year after jumping 22% this year.

It warned that changing weather patterns due to climate change also posed a growing risk to energy markets, potentially affecting both demand and supply.

It said countries could benefit by accelerating installation of renewable energy sources and by cutting their dependency on fossil fuels.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; editing by Diane Craft)

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U.S. FAA seeks new minimum rest periods for flight attendants between shifts

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The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is proposing to require flight attendants receive at least 10 hours of rest time between shifts after Congress had directed the action in 2018, according to a document released on Thursday.

Airlines for America, a trade group representing major carriers including American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and others, had previously estimated the rule would cost its members $786 million over 10 years for the 66% of U.S. flight attendants its members employ, resulting from things like unpaid idle time away from home and schedule disruptions.

Aviation unions told the FAA the majority of U.S. flight attendants typically do receive 10 hours of rest from airlines but urged the rule’s quick adoption for safety and security reasons.

Under existing rules, flight attendants get at least 9 hours of rest time but it can be as little as 8 hours in certain circumstances.

“Flight attendants serve hundreds of millions of passengers on close to 10 million flights annually in the United States,” the FAA said, adding that they “perform safety and security functions while on duty in addition to serving customers.”

It cited reports about the “potential for fatigue to be associated with poor performance of safety and security related tasks,” including in 2017, when a flight attendant reported almost causing the gate agent to deploy an emergency exit slide, which was attributed to fatigue and other issues.

The FAA estimated the regulation could prompt the industry to hire another 1,042 flight attendants and cost $118 million annually. If hiring assumptions were cut in half, it said, that would cut estimated costs by over 30%.

After the FAA published an advance notice of the planned rules in 2019, Delta announce it would mandate the 10-hour rest requirement by February 2020.

FAA Administrator Steve Dickson is testifying at a U.S. House Transportation subcommittee hearing on Thursday.

House Transportation Committee chairman Peter DeFazio said on Wednesday that it was “unacceptable” to delay the FAA adopting the flight attendant rest rule and mandating secondary flight deck barriers to better protect the cockpits on all newly manufactured airliners.

Attorneys at the FAA “need a little poke” to move faster on rules when ordered by Congress, DeFazio said on Thursday at the hearing. “Do not screw around with it for three years… you just do it.”

Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants representing 50,000 workers at 17 airlines, said the rule was critical.

“Flight attendant fatigue is real. COVID has only exacerbated the safety gap with long duty days, short night, and combative conditions on planes,” she said. “Congress mandated 10 hours irreducible rest in October 2018, but the prior administration put the rule on a process to kill it.”

During the pandemic, flight attendants have dealt with records numbers of disruptive, occasionally violent passenger incidents, with the FAA citing 4,837 unruly passenger reports, including 3,511 for refusing to wear a mask since Jan. 1.

The FAA proposes to make the new flight attendant rest rules final 30 days after it publishes its final rules.

(Reporting by David Shepardson; editing by Jason Neely and Bill Berkrot)

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Bitcoin price hits all-time high, one day after U.S. ETF debut – Global News

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Bitcoin surpassed its all-time record high on Wednesday, one day after the first U.S. bitcoin futures-based exchange-traded fund (ETF) made its debut on the New York Stock Exchange.

The world’s leading cryptocurrency was up 3.30 per cent, trading at US$66,364.72, after reaching a record of US$67,016.50, topping the US$64,895.22 hit on April 14 this year.

Read more:
Bitcoin price nears all-time high as U.S. ETF makes trading debut

Tuesday was the first day of trading for the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF — a development market participants say is likely to drive investment into the digital asset.

The ETF closed up 2.59 per cent at US$41.94 from its opening price of US$40.88 on Tuesday and continued its ascent on Wednesday, last up 3.76 per cent at US$43.52.

The Valkyrie Bitcoin Strategy ETF, expected to debut on the Nasdaq Wednesday, appeared to be delayed after its prospectus was amended in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. A person familiar with the matter said the Nasdaq expects the ETF to launch on Thursday, but that has not been confirmed yet.


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Trading appeared to be dominated by smaller investors and high-frequency trading firms, analysts said, noting the absence of large block trades indicated that institutions were likely staying on the sidelines.

James Quinn, managing partner at Q9 Capital, a Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency private wealth manager, said the launch of the new product was “meaningful” for bitcoin.

Theoretically, any licensed brokerage firm in the United States which wants to take on this ETF can do so as easily as any other ETF, which “should make it available to a lot of folks,” said Quinn.

Read more:
Environmentalists see Bitcoin mining power plant as climate threat

While the ETF is based on bitcoin futures, Quinn said the trades and hedges underpinning the ETF means activity will flow into the spot market and the bitcoin price.

Crypto ETFs have launched this year in Canada and Europe amid surging interest in digital assets. VanEck is also among fund managers pursuing U.S.-listed ETF products, although Invesco on Monday dropped its plans for a futures-based ETF.

Ether, the world’s No. 2 cryptocurrency, was up 3.63 per cent on the day at US$4,018.75, after hitting a high of US$4,080, nearing its record high of US$4,380 reached on May 12.

© 2021 Reuters

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