Home / Business / With turmoil rampant, gold targets $1,300 as gloomy and uncertain 2019 beckons

With turmoil rampant, gold targets $1,300 as gloomy and uncertain 2019 beckons

Gold is closing out 2018 with a flourish. Prices are poised for the biggest monthly gain in almost two years as concerns about the outlook for next year, volatility in global equities, and a prolonged government shutdown in the U.S. spur demand for the traditional haven.

Spot bullion hit a six-month high on Friday, topping US$1,280 an ounce, as investors favoured defensive assets, adding to holdings in exchange-traded funds over the month. Silver gained to the highest since August, and the metal is headed for the biggest monthly increase since January 2017.

Gold is powering into the year-end after global equities sank in the fourth quarter. Banks including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. have flagged the potential for gains over 12 months as the Federal Reserve steps back on the pace of U.S. rate increases. As the final week of the year closes, there was a slew of downbeat economic data and outlooks from the U.S., China, Japan and Europe.

A bar of gold

Gold prices are poised for the biggest monthly gain in almost two years.

Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg

“We are very optimistic on gold,” said Benjamin Lu, an analyst at Phillip Futures Ltd. “There’s still a lot of uncertainty and gloom toward 2019.” Macro concerns, the U.K’s Brexit process, and high levels of borrowing are among risks that will aid bullion in the first quarter, according to Lu.

The metal will probably stay volatile in 2019, according to Richard Fu, head of Asia & Pacific at Amalgamated Metal Trading Ltd. in London. The metal may trade in a US$1,150 to US$1,375 an ounce range as bullish and bearish drivers compete, he said.

Spot gold advanced as much as 0.5 per cent to US$1,282.23 an ounce, the highest price since June, and traded at US$1,276.43 at 9:23 a.m. in London, according to Bloomberg generic pricing. It’s up 4.6 per cent in December, and has come close to erasing this year’s loss as investors take stock of the risks ahead.

–With assistance from Yuliya Fedorinova.

Bloomberg.com

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