Gold closed up yesterday, May 24, by 0.27% to $1884.00 an ounce for August delivery on the COMEX. That took the metal to its highest price since its January 5 high for 2021 at $1954.
The rally in gold from a March 8 low at $1678 an ounce, has not only brought gold near breakeven for 2021, but is pressing against resistance near $1900 an ounce. Gold has posted three straight weekly gains.
No secret what’s been driving gold higher: fears of rising inflation.
Hedge funds and other large speculators betting on climbing inflation raised their net-long position in U.S. gold futures and options to the highest since January, government data showed Friday. Holdings in exchange-traded funds backed by bullion climbed in May, following three months of outflows.
Falling yields on Treasuries haven’t hurt gold either. Today the yield on the 10-year Treasury came in a just 1.60%. (And neither has the sell off in cryptocurrencies.)
It would be unusual for gold (or any asset) to bust through resistance on the first try–but it could happen if Friday’s PCE inflation index for April comes in at or near the 3.5% year over year rate expected by economists. That would be a huge jump from the 2.3% annual rate in March. And markets, already skeptical of the Federal Reserve’s argument that inflation pressures are just a temporary artifact of the pandemic recession, would be likely to put even more money to work hedging against future inflation.
Copper remains my preferred inflation hedge play, especially after repeated warnings from the China’s National Development and Reform Commission against commodity speculation has led to a slight pull back in early May that looks to have put in a new base for copp.er The metal gained 1.19% today to $453.45 a pound for July delivery on the COMEX today.
I’me fully loaded on copper in my portfolios with shares of Southern Copper (SCCO), First Quantum Minerals (FQVLF), U.S. Copper Index ETF (CPER) and the GlobeX Copper Miners ETF (COPX). And I do have a decent exposure to gold through holdings of the VanEck Vector Gold Miners (ETF), Barrick Gold (GOLD) and SPDR Gold Shares (GLD)
The easiest way to add a leveraged position in gold to your inflation portfolio would be through buying the VanEck Gold Miners ETF (GDX). Shares of gold mining companies are leveraged to the price of gold. The ETF is up 9.35% in the last month, 17.7% in the last three months, and 9.47% for 2021 to date as of the close n May 24.
My preference, though, would be to wait for a little pullback and some base-building before I started to build a major inflation hedge in gold.