Gold Bullion Market Update – August 2017

The gold spot price crept up steadily throughout August, opening on the 1st at £957.76 per troy ounce and peaking at £1,022.67 on the 31st.

Prior to that late-August peak, however, we saw a 9-month high of £1,005.93 on Friday 18th following an Islamist attack in and around the Spanish city of Barcelona.

Sixteen people were killed and more than 100 injured in a series of attacks thought to have been coordinated by a group of 12 jihadists.

The attack caused market uncertainty which saw the gold price rise as investors sought to protect their wealth in the precious metal, which has long been regarded as a safe-haven.

When other markets become volatile following geopolitical uncertainty, it is common for investors to flock to gold, as a comparatively ‘safe’ commodity.

This pattern was indeed evident on the 29th, a day that saw a near 10-month high for gold prices following North Korea’s launch of a ballistic missile that flew over Japan.

After the Japanese government issued a warning to residents urging them to take cover, the missile landed off the shore of Japan’s second largest island, Hokkaido, at around 6 am.

Gold prices soared following the missile launch. The continued political instability surrounding US President Donal Trump adds to the pressures facing other markets, which were shaken by the disbandment of two well-known business advisory councils following Trump’s comments on violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

“The ongoing discord coming out of Washington could prove supportive for gold as well, as this could pressure the dollar further just as the Fed is casting fresh doubts about its rate timetable,” INTL FCStone analyst Edward Meir told Reuters.

Mark To, head of research at Jong Kong’s Wing Fung Financial Group, said he expects gold to continue trading in the $1,200 to $1,300 (£930 – £1,007) range over the medium-term.

“The risk factors, including the Trump administration, geopolitical tensions and diplomatic crises, all are now in an evolving state,” he told Reuters.

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