Gold Forecast 2017: A Round-Up of 2016 And The Year Ahead

 

Well I think it is probably safe to start this article by saying, thank goodness 2016 is over! That was quite the year. We had the tumultuous events of Brexit, the rise of soon-to-be President Donald Trump, another Star Wars was released (I’m making no parallels between the Rise of Darth Vader and aforementioned Mr President) and a whole host of celebrity deaths. It left us all quite tuckered out by the end of the year. It seemed to be a never-ending feast of news with everyday bringing something else. Thank god that is over. So what has happened to the gold price and what is the gold forecast for what’s happening in 2017.

What did we learn from 2016
The first Gold Fix of 2016 was on the 4th January at £725.019, $1072.70, €982.299 respectively, with the final fix of the year published at £942.580, $1159.10, €1098.360. The Gold Price across the year moved £217.561 (+30%), $86.4 (+8.05%), €116.061 (+11.81%). The gold range in sterling was £335.06, in dollars it was $297.30 and in euros €257.414. The dollar and euro price is fairly consistent with a difference of 27% and 26% of fluctuation, whilst in sterling it is a whopping 46% movement – which is a tremendous amount of swing.

Without being Milton Friedman, it is fairly easy to point towards currency as being one of the destabilising factors for the gold price in 2016. For Sterling of course this is down to Brexit, I don’t think we need to look much further than that. But for the sake of all of you wanting more stats: the sterling price against the dollar started the year at 1.46 and ended at 1.23 – a loss of 18.69% which was well documented as a 31 year low. The combination of Brexit and FED rates rises put a lot of downward pressure on Sterling. The gold price benefited and performed very well throughout the year with it being listed as the best performing asset class after the first quarter. The gold price continued riding the uplift until just after the presidential election and has since had a moderate retraction.

Gold Forecast 2017: The Year Ahead
In the past I’ve written a huge block of my predictions for the year ahead. After reviewing my last years auguries; I must confess I was reasonably pleased with it – I’m going to write it slightly differently this year. Stay with it.

America
Before we look any further, we have to be looking at America. Trump’s election victory has so far been taken as fairly positive in the markets, with the indices posting strong results. Trump’s business background and promises of de-regulation in the banking industry and the repatriation of offshore cash, seemingly are buoying investor confidence. Ford have already taken heed and scrapped their plan for a $1.6 billion dollar manufacturing plant to be built outside the US (across the border in Mexico). The markets at least have so far been in favour of his appointment.

The other aspect of the US we have to look out for is the Federal Bank raising interest rates. The FED have expressed a desire to continue to raise rates in 2017 with three rates rises being touted. Janet Yellen stated the rates rise were a “reflection of the confidence we have in the progress the economy has made and our judgment that that progress will continue”. Naturally as we have the incremental interest rates rise, we will see a retraction in the equities markets as investors begin to shift monies back to high interest cash accounts. In all, a lot of this economic year is going to sit on how the Trump Presidency is going to pan out. Optimism may well give way to a year of underwhelming events, but if one thing is for sure, Trump at the very least talks first and thinks later – a recipe for unpredictability. president-trump

China
Over the last year, I almost began to forget that China existed. With all the headlines being dominated by Brexit and then subsequently Trump, I can’t actually remember anything about China from the last year. The bubble associated with China, although thought to be about to burst last year, didn’t. China grew approximately between 6-6.5% depending on what statistics you read. That was primarily due to the commodity drive last year. An economy strongly reliant on commodities saw Chinese manufacturing recovering from a four year deflation helped by a slight fall in the Yuan. The constant strengthening of the dollar comes with its benefits but also with its negatives.

This year I think we need to focus attention a bit more on China and watch out for that bubble. With China seeking to obtain another year of 6.5% growth, at some point they will come unstuck. They have a huge increase in the middle class and over the last couple of years a shift towards a more service based economy to help head off any seismic problems with manufacturing. These factors combined with any slow-down in commodities, China’s ever growing debt, it will come to a head – the question is when. With the Chinese, it is likely they’ll more likely hit stagnation than a complete collapse. It is a machine well-oiled and the leadership know how to control it sufficiently. It will be the BRIC countries such as Brazil and India who will be more greatly effected.

UK and Brexit
Sadly for you the reader and me the writer, Brexit is going to dominate our headlines for a while (I pretty much refused to write anymore about Brexit last year). As of writing this we are allegedly set to be triggering article 50 in March this year with us potentially leaving in 2019. Let me put this supposition to you: – with the resignation of Sir Ivan Rogers, deemed one of the UK’s most experienced EU ambassadors, with Rogers himself calling the line of argument put forward to him as “muddled”, it doesn’t bode well. The government have now appointed Sir Tim Barrow, a well-seasoned negotiator, it only makes me feel things are going to get entrenched. I happen to echo Sir Ivan Rogers’ belief that our exit is going to be a long drawn out affair. I think this will have an effect on sterling. A failure to trigger article 50 will send the wrong messages to the markets and will probably delay an interest rates rise in the UK. If they do trigger it, it will likely settle currency down but it won’t last if negotiations stall in the mid to long term. Any hesitation will cause a currency wobble and we will hear the same sort of fear-mongering about companies relocating – which may well happen if we flounder.

Gold Forecast 2017
So as you can probably tell, there are a hell of a lot of variables that will play on the gold price in 2017. Last year it was fairly easy to predict that the dollar would strengthen. This year it isn’t at all clear cut. On the face of it, the dollar looks to have another strong year, this will put downward pressure on the price. Sterling will be dependent on negotiations with the EU and whether the Bank of England will raise interest rates, which they will likely have to do at least once in 2017. This may mean a resistant gold price in sterling. Ultimately, I think the gold price will have some significant pressure but it isn’t going to take much for an uplift in the price. Given the lack of belief in the financial institutions, the Brexit Saga and the new President, I think 2017 is going to be a tinderbox – let’s hope Mr President doesn’t bring that torch.

Thanks for reading this year’s gold forecast! Remember this article is to be used as an article and should not be used as investment advice. Please seek professional investment advice before investing.