4 Financial Predictions for 2018 That Could Impact Gold
Last year we saw some important trends in the economy: a decline in thedollar index, the market breaking records, and an increase in the price of oil. Not to mention, the Fed finally began its quantitative tightening plans.
As we look forward into the New Year of 2018, it’s important to look back at these financial trends to see how they might affect us during the next 12 months.
If the last year was anything to go by, investors may be asking themselves some important questions.
Here are a few predictions based on what we saw and what we know right now.
Prediction #1: The Dollar Will Decline in Value
In 2017 the dollar dropped by 9.9%, its worst performance in 14 years. Despite the Fed hiking interest rates three times, and record highs in the stock market, the dollar had a tough time competing on the global stage. With the world economy growing, other currencies have started to leave it behind, such as the euro which soared more than 14% last year.
And while there are three more hikes from the Fed on the horizon for 2018, and new tax cuts meant to stimulate the economy, analysts aren’t feeling optimistic.
Eshe Nelson, writing for Quartz, says:
A weaker dollar ultimately means higher prices, especially for gold and imported goods.
Prediction #2: Oil Prices Will Go Higher
As reported back in November, Aramco, Saudi Arabia’s state-owned petroleum and natural gas company, has still yet to decide which stock market they want to enter. This means they’ll likely continue their restrictions on production in order to increase the price of oil and ultimately enhance their IPO value.
Oil prices started the year off at $60 a barrel, the highest since 2014. And with the major producers halting production to brace themselves for Aramco’s arrival on the stock market, the price of crude looks set to soar even higher in 2018.
Robert Rapier agrees oil prices are headed higher this year:
If oil prices continue to rise, it could very well trigger the next recession. A recent article of ours stated:
Prediction #3: The Stock Market Cools Off
Fueled by economic growth both at home and abroad, corporate tax cuts, and strong corporate profits, 2017 witnessed the continuation of the second-longest bull market since World War II. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite all ended the year with their best performances since 2013.
Though this bull market is set to continue short-term, its momentum is expected to gradually lose steam. Writing for Time, John Waggoner writes:
Above-average gains, by definition, are not sustainable long-term, which is why many experts are predicting a regression to the mean. In other words, the stock market could soon cool off and even decline for a period of time.
Prediction #4: The Yield Curve Inverts
Since it began its quantitative easing back in 2008, the Fed’s large scale purchases of U.S. treasuries and government-supported mortgage-backed securities has swollen its balance sheet to $4.5 trillion.
It’s remained at this figure since Fed Chair Janet Yellen announced the end of the bond-buying program in 2014. However, the unwinding process will have consequences. This is summed up by the inverted yield curve, which is a clear sign that a recession is on the way.
As the following graph shows, an inverted yield curve preceded the last 7 recessions.
Will Any of These Predictions Affect Gold?
If these predictions come true, they are all expected to positively impact the price of gold.
As discussed earlier this week, the falling dollar means gold is on its way to its best year since 2010. This, together with Aramco going public, investors set to hoard their profits when the bull market slows down, and a recession around the corner mean gold prices in 2018 can only go one way: up.
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