Gold has been 2020's star asset
U.S. equities have been both resilient and rangebound following the killing of Iran Gen. Qasem Soleimani, but gold has seen a major boost, jumping to its highest level in close to seven years and continuing to climb.
The big picture: Even in the face of better-than-expected U.S. data released Tuesday morning, gold edged higher.
- It then took another leg up after Iran retaliated against the U.S. by striking U.S.-Iraqi bases Tuesday night.
Details: Gold prices have gained nearly 4% in the nascent year and the commodity has been one of the best performing assets in the world.
- Gold trails only returns for orange juice (yes, really), a gauge of energy infrastructure Master Limited Partnerships (MLPs), and the rebounding Chilean benchmark stock index, per FactSet data.
- It has delivered about triple the return of the Nasdaq and more than quadruple the S&P 500.
- Even crude oil (up 2.7% YTD), which also has gotten a price bump from the growing unease in the Middle East, has fallen well short of gold's gains so far in 2020.