The price of gold flirted with record highs this week as US banking concerns increased, causing a flight to the safe-haven asset that was already being boosted by bets for a pause in US rate hikes.
The spot price of gold was up 0.3% at $2,045.79 per ounce in Thursday’s trading after climbing earlier to $2,072.19, just short of a record high of $2,072.49. US gold futures, meanwhile, settled 0.9% higher at $2,055.70.
The increase in the gold price was due to stresses in the banking sector. Trend-following commodity- trading investors were already pouring funds into the gold market, with speculatory gold investors set to join the fray soon.
Wall Street's main indexes weakened immediately after regional bank Pacific West signaled it was in serious trouble by announcing its decision to explore strategic options, causing widespread panic about the true health of regional banks. This was in stark opposition to the positive message the US Federal Reserve had been preaching about the state of the banking system.
What does this mean for me?
Safe-haven panic buying and capital flight pushed the price of gold over $2,000, with analysts saying the appetite to flock to gold was still lingering in the market.
The Fed Funds target rate stands in the 5%-5.25% range, with markets expecting rate cuts in the second half of the year. However, some economists believe that inflation will remain stubbornly sticky for some time.