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Expand chart
Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Gold prices closed at a record high, above $2,000 an ounce, on Tuesday and investors are getting even more bullish.

What happened: Bank of America released the summary of a call between its chief investment strategist and heads of its commodities, rates and technical strategy teams Tuesday that concluded gold was very well supported and could rise as high as $3,000 per ounce in the next 18 months.

The big picture: Globally, central banks and governments have announced $20 trillion of monetary and fiscal stimulus — $8 trillion of monetary and $12 trillion of fiscal, a number that represents around 20% of global GDP, they note.

  • "It's just astonishing and breathtaking and you have to sort of pinch yourself sometimes to sort of realize that it's actually happening," Michael Hartnett, BofA's chief investment strategist, said.
  • Central banks also are likely to continue to buy gold, helping underpin the price going forward, said metals strategist Michael Widmer.

The intrigue: The path for gold is also likely intertwined with the value of the dollar and U.S. real interest rates.

  • For gold to reach $2,500 an ounce Widmer predicts the dollar index would need to fall to near its 2018 low with real rates at -2% (nominal rates minus the rate of inflation).
  • But he could also see a scenario in which the dollar falls to its lowest since 2014 with real rates at -1.5%.

Between the lines: Escalating geopolitical tensions around the globe are also boosting safe-haven appetite for gold.

  • Two large explosions that rocked Beirut, killing dozens and leaving thousands wounded, “probably (added) to the shine of Gold above $2020,” strategists at Mizuho Bank said a note.

The bottom line: "The global pandemic is providing a sustained boost to gold due to increased savings, growing inequality, vast capital destruction, declining productivity, rising public debt levels, and, most importantly, falling equilibrium real interest rates," BofA analysts concluded.

  • "In addition, we believe that a clouded geopolitical chessboard further supports the case for our $3,000/oz forecast over the next 18 months."

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Nov 9, 2020 - Economy & Business

Emerging market assets are back in the spotlight

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The expected gridlock in Washington and more monetary easing across the globe combined with a less antagonistic approach to countries like Mexico and China from President-elect Biden is getting asset managers excited about emerging markets again.

State of play: Fund managers at JPMorgan Asset Management say EM assets are in a “sweet spot” in the months ahead, especially bonds denominated in local currency.

USAID chief tests positive for coronavirus

An Air Force cargo jet delivers USAID supplies to Russia earlier this year. Photo: Mikhail Metzel/TASS via Getty Images

The acting administrator of the United States Agency for International Development informed senior staff Wednesday he has tested positive for coronavirus, two sources familiar with the call tell Axios.

Why it matters: John Barsa, who staffers say rarely wears a mask in their office, is the latest in a series of senior administration officials to contract the virus. His positive diagnosis comes amid broader turmoil at the agency following the election.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
2 hours ago - Health

COVID-19 shows a bright future for vaccines

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Promising results from COVID-19 vaccine trials offer hope not just that the pandemic could be ended sooner than expected, but that medicine itself may have a powerful new weapon.

Why it matters: Vaccines are, in the words of one expert, "the single most life-saving innovation ever," but progress had slowed in recent years. New gene-based technology that sped the arrival of the COVID vaccine will boost the overall field, and could even extend to mass killers like cancer.

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