With a massive new record for an increase in jobless data this morning, both gold and silver prices are trading higher Thursday.
The two precious metals rallied higher after the Department of Labor reported an unprecedented increase of 6.6 million in jobless claims in the latest reporting week. June gold futures climbed as high as $1639 an ounce, up 2.85% after trading below $1600 on the open. Meanwhile, May Comex silver prices were last up $0.626 at $14.61 an ounce, an increase of more than 4.5%.
Despite the pop higher, some experts are skeptical of how fast gold’s ascension will continue.
While gold has made some big gains and big losses in 2020, the market’s struggles in China may create a struggle for prices, according to an analyst, as gold last month topped $1,700 an ounce for the first time in seven years before dropping back to $1450. The conventional safe haven asset also could face problems due to sluggish retail consumption in India, Europe and the U.S., as well as Russia’s surprise decision to halt purchases by its central bank. Last year, Chinese consumers made up roughly 20% of the total gold demand of 4,356 tons, according to the World Gold Council.
“Domestic demand for gold will recover very slowly,” said Zhang Yongtao, chief executive officer of the China Gold Association. “Even after processors resume production, one major issue is that there are no orders,” he said.
Nevertheless, prices could continue to climb higher due to a variety of economic factors, and the continuing spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Production cutbacks at gold refiners will help elevate prices, while the economic backdrop remains supportive of bullion.
“Even if the virus situation improves, we will continue to see lower interest rates, weaker capital markets, and global monetary easing, which will support gold prices,” Haywood Cheung, president of the Chinese Gold & Silver Exchange Society said.
For ETF investors looking to trade gold using ETFs, the SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) which is up 1.56% Thursday, and the SPDR Gold MiniShares (GLDM) are solid choices. Precious metals like gold offer investors an alternative to diversify their holdings, and like other commodities, gold will march to the beat of its own drum compared to the broader market.
Traders looking for leverage can use funds like the Direxion Daily Gold Miners Bull 3X ETF (NYSEArca: NUGT), VanEck Vectors Gold Miners (NYSEArca: GDX) and the Direxion Daily Jr Gold Miners Bull 3X ETF (NYSEArca: JNUG).
Although silver has suffered a downturn recently, for silver investors, the iShares Silver Trust (SLV) and the Aberdeen Standard Physical Silver Shares ETF (SIVR) are two funds offering access to the market.
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