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Fed unlikely to reverse rates hike policy, but gold stays strong

Thursday, February 11, 2016

The gold price remained stable this week, as it enjoys a prolonged rally amid concerns about the global economy and specifically slowing growth in China.

Analysts were waiting for the US Federal Reserve’s chair to speak to Congress yesterday (Wednesday) to see what her remarks on the future direction of US interest rates might do to the value of the precious metal.

Janet Yellen told Congress that although there were more risks apparent in the international economy than when the Fed acted to increase the cost of borrowing in December last year – the first US rate hike in almost a decade – she saw no reason to reverse the current policy.

She said: "I think we want to be careful not to jump to a premature conclusion about what is in store for the US economy. I don't think it is going to be necessary to cut rates."

Although gold is seen as a safe investment in troubled economic times, her calming words did little to affect the demand for the precious metal. At 17:00 yesterday (10 February), gold was valued at £825.25 per troy ounce and this morning at 09:00, it had added another £20 to be valued at £845.19.

The gold price has remained strong despite the Chinese markets being closed for the Chinese New Year holiday.

How high will the gold price rise?

The value of gold has climbed by almost 10 per cent since the start of this year, and analysts are expecting further increases in the value of the precious metal.

Michael Widmer from BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research told CNBC that he expects the gold to reach a value of $1,250 per troy ounce – around £862 at current exchange rates – by December this year.

The rosy outlook has been echoed by numerous analysts, many of whom had previously taken a less than positive view that the gold price would continue to climb.

Carsten Menke, a commodities research analyst at Julius Baer, said in a note: "Due to prevailing risk aversion in financial markets and mounting global growth risks, a bearish outlook on gold is not warranted anymore.

"We have turned neutral and believe that investors should use gold as insurance in their portfolios."

New limited edition coins launched

Both the US Mint and the Royal Canadian Mint have launched some limited edition gold bullion and silver coins for collectors this month.

The US Mint and the Ronald Reagan Foundation are marking the 105th anniversary of the birth of the former Hollywood star and 40th US President by issuing the Ronald Reagan Presidential $1 Coin and Nancy Reagan First Spouse Coin. The Mint has been producing coins featuring past presidents since 2007.

In Canada, the coins are wilder in nature. The 99.999 per cent purity, one troy ounce 2016 Roaring Grizzly Gold Coin is the latest addition to the Call of the Wild series.

The Royal Canadian Mint is also issuing four silver coins in the Predator series, which will each feature a different Canadian animal of prey. The first, which has a limited one million coin run, is decorated with the image of a leaping cougar.