Negative rates spark new gold rush
Peter Walden, News Editor
16 May 2016, 9:35 a.m.
Investors are returning to the yellow metal as fears grow central banks may slash interest rates further. Uncertainty surrounding the outcome of the UK’s EU referendum is also weighing heavy on the global markets.
Gold demand rose 21% in the first quarter of 2016 to 1,290 tonnes, the largest quarterly increase since records began. Exchange Traded Funds have experienced considerable inflows as investors seek safety from a slowing and fragile economy.
Exchange traded funds are an easy way to gain exposure to the gold price, however, many are backed by derivatives and many speculate there is no gold backing them.
Gold is rising because investors are starting to question central bank policies and their ability to steer the world economy. In January the Bank of Japan surprised the market by slashing rates into negative territory. In February Sweden followed suit and the ECB ramped up the printing presses.
Negative rates and quantitative easing has never been tried on a global scale and to borrow an old Chinese proverb, may you live interesting times.