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Gold’s run ‘hasn’t quite finished yet,’ says Standard Chartered strategist

The gold rally still has some ways to go despite its recent stumble, says Standard Chartered Private Bank’s Manpreet Gill.

“We think gold’s run … hasn’t quite finished yet,” said Gill, head of fixed income, currencies and commodities investment strategy at the firm.

“It comes back to interest rates,” he told CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia” on Monday. “One of the best explanations of why gold has surged the way it has through this year have been bond yields.”

“Net of inflation or what we call real bond yields, those have been sort of on (a) one-way tear and that’s sort of lined up very nicely with move in gold,” the strategist said.

Gold prices have had a stellar run so far in 2020, soaring to levels beyond $2,000 in early August. That hit a pause last week as prices of the precious metal fell below $2,000, with spot gold trading at $1,942.1405 per ounce Monday afternoon Singapore time.

Gill said the recent pullback in gold prices was explained by an uptick in bond yields. U.S. Treasury yields spiked early last week, as positive developments on the coronavirus vaccine front boosted risk sentiment. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note was last at 0.691%. A rise in yields puts pressure on non-yielding assets such as gold given the opportunity cost of holding the latter.

“We have quite a bit of one-sided positioning in gold and I think, you know, that’s actually unwound quite quickly. A lot of our proprietary indicators are telling us exactly that,” he said.

Commenting on the recent uptick in Treasury yields, the strategist said: “As long as yields stay below 1%, that doesn’t really alter our longer-theme that … central banks have really liked to do whatever they can to keep bond yields capped.”

Still, Gill added that it’s “ultimately a great environment” for gold, assuming factors such as central banks doing their best to keep bond yields capped and the economic recovery staying the course.

Over at Fitch Solutions, analysts wrote in a Friday note: “We expect gold prices to remain supported in the coming months with rising geopolitical tensions and an uneven and slow global economic recovery.”

For its part, Fitch Solutions has a 2020 gold price forecast of $1,850 per ounce, with expectations for the precious metal to “edge higher in the coming months, back to the peak reached in August 2020 and beyond.”

“From a technical perspective, we believe gold prices remain positioned to the upside, respecting the underlying long-term uptrend as concerns over the global economy remain over the coming months, supporting safe haven assets including gold,” the Fitch analysts said, though they acknowledged that “bouts of volatility and pullbacks in gold prices will occur during periods of strong risk appetite.”

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