A meltdown in stocks a week before the U.S. election and amid alarming new Covid-19 cases sent investors scurrying to safe havens on Monday, solidifying gold’s hold at just above $1,900 an ounce.
The 50-cent gain on the day that left gold futures at above $1,905 was, of course, nothing to shout about. But it was remarkable for one reason: it came despite a rally in the dollar, which typically would have sent the yellow metal the other way.
It was the second time over the past two weeks that gold and the dollar moved the same way, the last being on Oct. 16, when both were down about 0.2% on the day. While it’s too early to suggest that the inverse correlation trade between the two is over, the breakdown was certainly something to muse about.
“Gold prices are hanging in there despite a strong dollar as investors flee to safe-havens over anxiety over the coronavirus crisis (and) growing expectations for a ‘blue wave’,” said Ed Moya at OANDA in New York, referring to the win expected for “blue” or Democratic party candidate Joe Biden versus red or Republican party president Donald Trump.
Spot gold, which reflects real-time trades in bullion, was up $1.99, or 0.1%, at $1,903.55 by 3:00 PM ET (19:00 GMT).
The Dollar Index, which pits the greenback against six major currencies, was up 0.3% at 93.04.
Back in March, when risk aversion for the year was at its heights right after the global outbreak of the coronavirus, gold and the dollar surged at the same time.
The dollar then sank and gold continued its climb almost relentlessly, gaining more than $500 or 30% to hit record highs of almost $2,090 on Comex in early August.
At that point, gold tumbled as investors turned back to the dollar, which became the haven of choice due to its standing as a reserve currency. Gold hit 11-week lows of around $1,851 by late September before digging its heels into the low $1,900 support last week.
“From what we know, people are being drawn to gold now for different reasons now,” said Phillip Streible, chief market strategist at Blueline Futures in Chicago.
“The possibility of additional stimulus is certainly one; we all know another relief plan is happening, it’s just a matter of when. Another is that people are still reliving the after the election in 2016 when the Dow swung up 1,500 points overnight. So there’s this theory that gold could continue to dive with all the uncertainty we have over the present election before snapping back. Gold could benefit over this week and it has had low volatility anyway.”