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Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Top Stories This Week: Gold Price Breaks US$2,000 Twice, Fed Hikes Again

The gold price broke the US$2,000 per ounce mark twice this week as investors looking for a safe haven gravitated toward the yellow metal. Gold has only passed this key level a couple of times in the past — first in July 2020 amid global COVID-19 pressures, and next in February 2022 on the back of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

This week’s rise came as market turmoil continued after the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank. Credit Suisse (NYSE:CS) was also in the headlines after news hit that it will be bought by rival UBS (NYSE:UBS) in a deal worth US$3.25 billion.

Meanwhile, back in the US, First Republic Bank (NYSE:FRC) appears to have narrowly avoided a similar fate after a group of Wall Street banks banded together to contribute US$30 billion in deposits. First Republic is down close to 90 percent year-to-date.

Many of the experts we speak with at the Investing News Network have been saying for months that the US Federal Reserve’s aggressive rate hikes may “break something,” and I asked Will Rhind of GraniteShares if we’ve reached that moment. His answer was, “Yes, absolutely” — and he thinks it’s perfectly natural that gold has responded in the way it has.

“The short answer is yes, absolutely. Bank runs are something that you really don’t see often, and clearly when you have a situation where you have not just bank runs, but bank failures, that tells you that something is broken” — Will Rhind, GraniteShares

“There’s nothing that influences (gold) more than fear, and what we’ve seen this week is fear,” he explained during the interview, adding that gold “is not going to do a Silicon Valley Bank on you.”

​Fed hikes rates by 25 basis points

The other key event investors were watching this week was the Fed’s meeting. Prior to the recent banking problems, a hike of 25 basis points was widely expected, with some market participants even looking for a 50 basis point increase. A 25 basis point boost still looked possible after those issues came to the fore, but some experts were calling for a pause or even a cut.

Ultimately the Fed opted for a 25 basis point rate hike, saying that it remains committed to its 2 percent target for inflation. The central bank also indicated that it sees the US banking system as “sound and resilient,” echoing recent comments from Treasury Secretary and former Fed Chair Janet Yellen, who said the US banking system is stabilizing.

“We’ll be looking to see how serious is this and does it look like it’s going to be sustained. And if it is, it could easily have a significant macroeconomic effect, and we would factor that into our policy decisions” — Jerome Powell, US Federal Reserve

This story is still developing, so stay tuned as we speak with experts about what the Fed’s actions mean for the general markets and of course for gold. We’ll be posting interviews on our YouTube channel, so stay tuned.

Want more YouTube content? Check out our expert market commentary playlist, which features interviews with key figures in the resource space. If there’s someone you’d like to see us interview, please send an email to cmcleod@investingnews.com.

And don’t forget to follow us @INN_Resource for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Charlotte McLeod, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

Editorial Disclosure: The Investing News Network does not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the information reported in the interviews it conducts. The opinions expressed in these interviews do not reflect the opinions of the Investing News Network and do not constitute investment advice. All readers are encouraged to perform their own due diligence.

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