September 30, 2023

Gold and Silver Recap: Record Breaking Prices

Another Precious Week in the Market

Gold is breaking records ($1298) and silver has set a thirty year high ($21.35), in dollar terms at least, and we’re all on tenterhooks – or perhaps we shouldn’t be.  Precious metals will be around long after their latest price spike, and it’s all about storing value.

The main thing that’s been driving the gold and silver price recently has been the weak dollar.  You may not think that, but all the currencies are currently in a competitive printing championship.  The Federal Reserve, the Bank of Japan, and the Bank of England are all talking about more money printing to stave off (more) recession while the European Central Bank is making similar noises if you could hear them over the screeching of Portugal and Ireland, although the Euro has done quite well, in comparison.

There’s no new gold selling action from governments, yet.  The governments shot their bolt somewhat in the early part of the decade, but they still do have some gold that could seriously depress the market.  However at the moment a gold sale looks like it’s not on the cards. Governments are desperately trying not to increase the value of their currencies.

The action is in the buying.  Not so much governments.  Recent buyers like Russia, China and India are keeping quiet at the moment, but in Asia the wedding season is coming.  And that means retail buying of gold.  There’s usually an uptick in the gold price around now.  Despite what we’ve all seen with the floods in Pakistan the monsoon’s actually been good for most of the Indian sub-continent and the Chinese economy is still powering ahead, so there will still be sales.  Even George Soros is talking about buying gold, as is John Paulson.

There’s something more sinister.  Congress is talking about legislation to “protect” precious metals investors.  Like in 1933 when all the gold, apart from some collectible coins, was taken out of the hands of private investors?  We’ll have to keep an eye on that.

As for silver, this is a far straighter inflation hedge than gold – which also thrives on political instability.  At this price it’s likely that less than the often quoted 50% is used in industrial production.  It pays to remember that silver has gone up 27% since the start of the year, so it may be the Cinderella metal, but we all know what happened to her.

Platinum ($1645) and Palladium ($562) are, like silver, also climbing up due to the combination of industrial demand and inflation worries.

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