EDITOR NOTE: As with any long-term investment, it seems too obvious a statement to say “focus on the long term.” Although this makes plenty of sense, the near-term volatility can shake any weak investor out of the market. So, gold has pulled back. It can actually pull back more without threatening the long-term uptrend. That’s a “technical” assessment. But if you look at the longer fundamental trend, inflation is about to go sky high. If you don’t already see it affecting consumer goods, just wait, and you’ll wish you hedged whatever assets and wealth you currently have.
The gold market has been stuck in a fairly narrow range for nearly two months, and time is quickly running out if the precious metal is going to see a new high above $2,000 an ounce by year-end.
However, one market analyst says that gold's destination is less important than the journey that it is currently on. In a recent interview with Kitco News, John LaForge, head of real asset strategy at Wells Fargo, said that he is maintaining his updated year-end target at $2,100 an ounce; however, he added that time is running out to achieve that goal. Rather than looking at year-end targets, he said that investors should pay attention to the long-term uptrend.
LaForge noted that since hitting an all-time high above $2,000 an ounce, gold has managed to hold critical support around $1,850 an ounce. He added that this is an indication of underlying strength in the marketplace.
"The fact that we pull back to $1,900 and then don't really get below that for long, I think we're on a new technical chart now," he said. "Direction really does matter more than price targets because when it breaks out when you get a new chart like this, you just don't know how high."
LaForge's outlook comes as gold prices managed to hold support around $1,850 an ounce after prices fell by $100 on Monday. The gold market saw its worst one-day selloff in seven years after Pfizer and BioNTech released positive news about a potential vaccine for the COVID-19 virus.
Although LaForge said he is skeptical that gold prices can push back above $2,000 an ounce before the end of the year, he is a lot more confident that prices will hit his 2021 target of $2,300.
LaForge said that he remains bullish on gold as nations continue to print money and devalue their currencies. He added that the U.S. hadn't felt the major effects of devaluation because it continues to hold the coveted reserve currency status. However, he added that it's only a matter of time before the U.S. joins in the race to the bottom.
"If we're looking at massive currency devaluation, you got to go into alternative assets, and gold continues to look good," he said. "You need to be in something that is going to holds its value."
Another factor that will continue to support gold prices, LaForge said, is the potential for rising inflation due to improving economic growth. He added that Wells Fargo economists aren't expecting to see major growth in 2021. However, a low growth environment will lead to continued government support, he said. He added that as money supply growth increases, so do inflation pressures.
Although consumer prices have so far seen muted inflation so far this year, LaForge said that it's only a matter of time before the massive money supply shows up in the general economy. One of the reasons why inflation hasn't picked up, LaForge said, is because consumers are deleveraging. He explained that all the extra money consumers had received this summer from the government has probably gone to pay down debt.
"Inflation hasn't shown up yet because we just had too much debt, and that has dragged on everything. We won't necessarily see inflation next year, but you can kind of see the writing on the wall because there's going to be so much money in the system," he said.
LaForge added that when inflation does show up in consumer markets, it will be too late, and that is when gold prices will start to surge.
Originally posted on Kitco