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Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Wealthy clients are increasingly being told by financial advisers to buy gold, betting the Fed's binge of bond buying and an overbought stock market will soon push the precious metal's price up — potentially to its highest ever.

What's happening: A new report from Reuters surveying nine private banks that collectively handle around $6 trillion in assets for the world’s ultra-rich, found they had advised clients to increase their allocation to gold.

  • All of them said they expected gold prices to end the year higher than they are now.

What they're saying: UBS predicts gold will hit $1,800 by year-end in its base-case scenario and could even touch a record high of $2,000 in the event of a second wave of novel coronavirus infections, Reuters' Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi and Simon Jessop report.

  • “With the recent equity rally, people have become more nervous. People are actively seeking out portfolio hedges that might perform well in a range of scenarios,” Kiran Ganesh from UBS’ chief investment office said in the article.
  • Morgan Stanley added a 5% position to commodities including gold in all its models at the end of March.

Between the lines: Gold has been trading in a tight range since April, despite a breakout in the stock market. That could change if wealthy investors begin to make significant moves into gold.

  • "The boost in demand could be a self-fulfilling prophecy for the metal’s price, as any shift in allocation from bond and equity markets, estimated at up to a combined $200 trillion, has a much larger impact on the smaller gold market, estimated at less than $5 trillion," the article notes.

Go deeper

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
Sep 24, 2020 - Economy & Business

Equity outflows speed up

Data: Investment Company Institute; Chart: Axios Visuals

One paradox of the recent bull-market run is that it has taken place in the face of consistent selling by investors in ETFs and mutual funds.

The big picture: Monthly flows from actively-managed stock-market funds have been negative for years, and while flows into passively-managed funds have been positive, they have generally been smaller.

17 mins ago - Health

First cases of COVID-19 Omicron variant discovered in United Kingdom

People wearing masks walk in London on Nov. 25. Photo: Li Ying/Xinhua via Getty Images

Two cases of the new COVID-19 Omicron variant were detected in the United Kingdom over night, the U.K. Health Security Agency announced Saturday.

Why it matters: The discovery comes as the world scrambles to respond to concerns over the new variant, discovered in South Africa earlier this week.

Updated 1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Americans are super-sizing their holiday travel

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Americans are rushing back into holiday travel, and many are taking even longer trips now than they did before the pandemic began.

The big picture: After skipping Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings last year, many people are eager to maximize this year's celebrations with friends and family. And flexible remote working arrangements make that easier than ever.