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Gold Soars to Record High on COVID-19 Fears, Plunging US Dollar

July 27, 2020 at 14:37 by Andrew Moran

Gold futures are soaring to a record high to start the trading week, driven by COVID-19 fears and renewed US-China tensions. Its sister commodity, silver, is also rallying to levels not seen in several years. Is the precious metals market due for a correction, or does it still have room for growth?

September gold futures surged $34.90, or 1.86%, to $1,937.50 at 14:18 GMT on Monday on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. This is the highest level gold has touched on record, bringing its year-to-date gain to more than 27%.

Silver prices are having an even bigger rally to kick off the trading week. September silver futures advanced $1.50, or 6.56%, to $24.35 per ounce. The last time silver touched this amount was in early 2012. The white metal has enjoyed an incredible few months, exploding 60% since April, which lifted its YTD spike to 36%.

Several factors are contributing to gold’s ascent.

In addition to climbing coronavirus outbreaks across the US, several other regions are witnessing a resurgence in confirmed COVID-19 cases. Spain is the most notable, forcing the United Kingdom to put the country back on a list of places deemed unsafe for travelers. The British government has also ordered travelers to isolate for 14 days after their return from the popular destination.

The US-China have renewed their tensions as both nations closed their respective consulates last week. Both sides have also engaged in a war of words.

Another huge boon for the metals market is a slumping greenback. The US Dollar Index plunged 0.83% to 93.65, from an opening of 94.35. Despite rallying as much as 4% earlier this year, the index has contracted nearly 3% year-to-date. The index measures the greenback against a basket of currencies. A weaker buck is good for dollar-denominated commodities because it makes it cheaper for foreign investors to purchase.

Gold and silver could spark another rally later this week when the Federal Reserve completes its two-day July Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) policy meeting. It is expected to keep interest rates near zero, and Fed Chair Jerome Powell might give another bearish briefing to the press. A low-rate environment is good for gold because the opportunity cost of holding metal commodities is virtually zero.

So, have investors missed out on the gold boom? Wall Street is expecting prices to hit $2,000, and analysts think that traders might not be able to take advantage of any dips because now it is on a rocket ship as long as governments and central banks expand their fiscal and monetary stimulus and relief efforts.

In other metal markets, September copper futures edged up $0.0025, or 0.09%, to $2.895 per ounce. September platinum futures tacked on $12.80, or 1.34%, to $968.80 per ounce. September palladium futures spiked $99.70, or 4.35%, to $2,393.80.

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