- Possible Brexit has investors looking for haven assets
- Sterling price of bullion is near highest level in three years
In the run-up to the Brexit vote, investors are continuing to add money to precious-metal funds, even as the rally shows signs of slowing.
Assets in exchange-traded funds backed by gold have increased every day this month and silver holdings are near an all-time high. Investors are seeking havens as concern mounts that U.K. voters will choose to quit the European Union, which may roil global financial markets. Gold traded near a five-week high on Wednesday.
Gold ETF holdings have risen 29 percent in 2016, the biggest increase in seven years. In the first quarter, about 1,000 fund managers, including billionaire George Soros, bought shares of Barrick Gold Corp., the world’s biggest producer. At least five polls put the ‘Leave’ campaign ahead, and the Sun, Britain’s best-selling newspaper, backed a Brexit on its front page.
“If there is a Brexit, people want to be long on some haven,” George Gero, a managing director at RBC Wealth Management in New York, said in a telephone interview. “And what the gain in precious-metals ETFs is telling me is that clients or share owners of the funds are now starting to ask ‘Is my fund in the game or not?’ In other words, when they saw cowbells like Soros buying gold, other fund managers decided to climb on board as well.”
Gold futures for August delivery gained less than 0.1 percent to settle at $1,288.30 an ounce at 1:40 p.m. on the Comex in New York, the sixth straight gain. Prices touched the highest for a most-active contract since May 6 on Tuesday.
Investors are watching as central-bank meetings conclude in the U.S. on Wednesday and in Japan a day later. Traders have ruled out any chance of a U.S. rate increase this month, according to Fed fund futures. The odds of a December increase stand at about 50 percent.
In other metals:
- Silver futures for July delivery climbed 0.5 percent to $17.503 an ounce on the Comex.
- On the New York Mercantile Exchange, platinum advanced while palladium dropped.