Brexit Vote Sees Stampede by Banks Into Higher Gold Targets

Gold Holds Near Two-Year Highs in Post-Brexit Market
  • Goldman, Morgan Stanley among banks increasing price outlooks
  • ‘There are still many questions’ after U.K. vote, ANZ says

Gold may emerge as one of the Brexit vote’s biggest commodity winners should revised forecasts from a growing number of banks prove correct as the poll’s outcome sets the stage for greater global economic uncertainty and retards the likelihood of rate rises from the Federal Reserve.

Bullion may rally to as much as $1,400 an ounce over the next 12 months, Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. said in a report on Thursday, raising its outlook for the metal even as prices dipped amid signs of revived investor appetite for risk. Earlier Thursday, Singapore-based Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. also flagged the potential for bullion at $1,400, following increased outlooks from banks including Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

“With the initial shock now wearing off, markets appear to be functioning relatively well,” ANZ said. However, “there are still many questions regarding the U.K.’s exit from the EU. The ensuing political crisis in the U.K. and concern about the very future of the EU should keep investors on edge.”

Gold has advanced after the U.K.’s vote last week as investors sought a haven from financial turmoil and contemplated the implications, including additional easing from the world’s major central banks including the Fed. The investment case for bullion has been strengthened by the U.K. result as the fallout may spur more stimulus, hurting currencies and favoring bullion, according to Marc Faber, publisher of the Gloom, Boom & Doom Report.

‘Risk-Off Sentiment’

“With U.K.’s exit from the European Union, we expect the risk-off sentiment to persist into the months ahead,” OCBC economist Barnabas Gan wrote in a note, saying chances of a rise from the Fed in 2016 had receded. The bank put gold at $1,350 an ounce with a single U.S. hike and $1,400 without.

The odds of the Fed raising by year-end are now only 12 percent from 50 percent before the poll, according to futures data. Some traders have even started to price in a cut. ANZ expects the Fed to normalize rates later in the year, most likely after the U.S. presidential election.

Goldman raised its three-, six- and 12-month targets by $100, seeing prices at $1,300, $1,280, $1,250 over those periods, according to a report received on Monday. Morgan Stanley also increased its forecasts, citing risks from Brexit, the Fed’s languishing rate hike cycle as well as a benign inflation environment.

Rogers’ View

Still, not everyone is optimistic. Veteran investor Jim Rogers said this week that he’d rather seek haven in the dollar than gold, given that bullion had already rallied in 2016 before the vote. Credit Suisse Group AG has said it’s neutral on gold over the next three to six months.

Bullion for immediate delivery traded at $1,316.29 an ounce at 8:32 a.m. in London, 24 percent higher this year, according to Bloomberg generic pricing. The metal jumped to $1,358.54 last Friday, the highest in more than two years, and is set for a second quarterly gain.

In the aftermath of the Brexit vote, holdings in bullion-backed exchange-traded funds have swelled to the highest level since September 2013. The assets rose 7.6 tons to 1,947.9 tons as of Wednesday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Investors have added 185.6 tons this quarter.

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