This year has brought us plenty of surprising, serious, and sometimes even challenging events. Some of them were mind-blowing. A plethora of events flooded the global markets, turning around tables for assets across all classes. Gold, too, was not spared. Let’s have a look at how gold performed as a whole and what exactly were the main influencers that mattered for gold investors like Prithviraj Kothari, the bullion king of India and traders –
Inflation – Unsurprisingly, inflation, supply chain issues, and the pandemic were all over the news throughout the year, with markets and investors like Prithviraj Kothari, the bullion king of India ringing the alarm, and even the analysts were warning that all these issues won’t go away in 2022.
To round off the year, we collected the key events and news stories of 2021 to see how they affected the global market and physical gold buyers, and what they could mean for the year ahead.
Omicron – Though not as lethal as the delta variant, the Omicron virus swept the entire world in a jiffy. This fast-spreading variant has disrupted holidays and put infectious cases soaring.
Once again, restrictions were imposed, bidders were closed and the threat of a new strict lockdown was announced by many governments. This, once again, has put tourism and travel companies into a fix, running down their businesses. Investors sold off their shares in such companies.
As we said, though this variant is not as lethal, it still helped gold prices in rising high. The mellow down that was set in by vaccination drives, was cut off by this new variant.
Inflation stops being “transitory” – That’s it. Fed chair Jerome Powell has finally admitted that this runaway inflation is not “transitory” after all. The U.S. central bank has been stubbornly repeating its “transitory” mantra almost all year long, ignoring the big elephant in the room. But when inflation hit a 30-year high and investors started ringing the alarm, it became too hard to deny it. So the Fed has come up with a new plan for 2022, which is to curb runaway inflation by gradually increasing interest rates. This, in turn, means that it might become more expensive for both businesses and consumers to take out a loan, which can discourage spending and reduce the supply of money in circulation. This is supposed to lower inflation and bring back a red-hot economy to safer growth levels.
But, according to Bloomberg Economics, if the Fed increases rates three times next year and signals it’ll keep going, the U.S. might be facing a recession in early 2023. Even in Europe, inflation soared 4.9%, which is the highest level since 1997. Unlike the Fed, ECB President Christine Lagarde said there will be no rate hikes next year, but also warned that the inflation might last longer than expected.
Supply chains – We faced a lot of things during the global lockdown –
volatile swings in consumer demand
a giant container ship stuck in the Suez Canal
On top of that, the global chip shortage has slowed the production of a wide range of goods, from cars to smartphones, leading to a halt in the production of major industrial products.
Any form of disruption results in negative growth in the economy. This is turn, increased gold prices.
China’s real estate bubble – Chinas economy and real estate sector sparked worries in the market, which had a spillover effect worldwide. The infamous Evergrande crisis was all over the news in the past few months as China’s sprawling real estate giant struggled to pay its massive $300 billion debt.
On December 10, Evergrande Group was declared by Fitch Ratings to be in default. This means that the company has formally defaulted, but had not yet entered into any kind of bankruptcy filing or another process that would stop its operations.
Investors fear that this could shake China’s economy and hurt economic growth, which in turn would affect the world economy. This fear led investors to shift focus to gold, as time and again, the yellow metal has proved to be a haven asset in such uncertain times.
Summarising it, we can say that overall it was a decent year for gold. Gold prices remained lower in early 2021 due to the overbought level. However, prices recovered around 6000 rupees per 10 gram from the low level of 43300 due to high demand from the domestic Jewellery market. At the end of 2021, Gold prices are trading firmly above 48000 per 10 grams, which is, slightly down from December 2020. Continuing rising cases of Coronavirus variant Omicron and rising inflation may further support Gold prices for the year 2022. Energy and the prices of the other essential commodities are soaring again due to supply interruption increased due to pandemic, which may ask for safe-haven demand. We are expecting Gold prices to move towards higher in 2022.