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CLICK TO ENLARGEDESPITE rising inflation stemming from pandemic-related disruptions, gold has not gotten a shot in the arm this year, with investors eyeing moves into other asset classes.
Prices of the yellow metal have been volatile this year.
Two key factors driving the volatility of gold prices is the recovery of the global economy from the fallout of Covid-19, as well as a surge in treasury yields.
It is important to note that investors have traditionally seen gold as an excellent hedge against inflation and other uncertainties over the last five decades. The price of gold tends to rise with an increase in the cost of living.
And gold has been touted to deliver higher-than-inflation returns over the longer term compared with other asset classes. But the bullion appears to be less in favour due to an increased risk appetite fuelled by fiscal stimulus programmes worldwide.
Interestingly, stocks and even cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin are now better positioned to hedge against long-term inflation for investors, notes Anthony Dass, (pic below)who is the chief economist of AmBank Group.AmBank Anthonydassn
With the tide turning with many younger investors opting for digital assets over metals, Dass says circumstantial evidence reveals that some money has flowed directly from gold into bitcoin.
“Even institutional investors appear to be making a decision to allocate some money to bitcoin as a hedge against a fiat collapse. Bitcoin’s performance over the last year is directly aligned to the movement in bond yields. When yields rise, so does bitcoin.
“This implies that the digital currency benefits directly from the ‘reflation trade’ – or the belief that inflation is coming,” he tells StarBizWeek.
However, Dass stresses that the drawback of investing in bitcoin is that its decline tends to be three-times bigger and the risk can be equalised by holding three times as much gold as bitcoin.
“Official action might easily limit the use of the digital asset if it grows big enough,” he cautions.
Apart from cryptocurrencies, carefully selected stocks can also help investors protect themselves against long-term inflation.
“Stocks have produced the highest inflation-adjusted return of any major asset class over the long term,” points out Dass.
That said, gold is still pursued by some as a hedging asset.
With inflation surging to its highest annual pace in three decades last month, gold prices climbed near their highest level in five months early this week.
On Nov 18, gold futures eased 0.37% to US$1,863.40 (RM7,783.42) per ounce.