April 6

Gold Rush 2023: Central Banks Lead Historic Buying Spree


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Gold's resurgence as a symbol of stability amid economic uncertainty and geopolitical tensions has recaptured the attention of investors and observers worldwide. 

Amid rapid de-dollarization and the collapse of financial institutions such as Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank, gold has experienced a significant rise. Given that these bank collapses rank as the second and third-largest in U.S. history, it's unsurprising to see gold nearing its all-time high, a level not witnessed since August 2020. On April 6, 2023, gold peaked at roughly $2,038 per ounce, just 1.8% shy of its record $2,075 per ounce. 

Interestingly, though, it's not just investors flocking back to gold; central banks worldwide are acquiring the precious metal at levels not seen in over 70 years. Why now? 

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Explaining the Central Bank Buying Spree

The gold market is abuzz with the extraordinary buying spree of central banks. Reuters data shows that these institutions accumulated an impressive 1,136 tons of gold in 2022, marking the 13th consecutive year of net gold purchases, the largest net acquisition since 1950, and the highest amount of gold purchased on record. Moreover, according to the World Gold Council, this appetite for gold will likely continue well into 2023.

To comprehend this gold-buying frenzy, we must examine a significant driving force called "de-dollarization." 

De-dollarization refers to the shift by emerging economies from relying on the U.S. dollar to backing their currencies with gold. This process is gaining momentum and involves countries like Russia, India, and China actively seeking to reduce their dependence on the U.S. dollar as the global reserve currency. China is particularly notable for its aggressive approach toward this shift.

PBOC China's Central Bank buying gold

The People's Bank of China

The People's Bank of China added a staggering 24.9 tons to its gold reserves in February 2023 alone, marking four months of consistent gold purchases. China's strategic moves extend beyond increasing gold holdings. They also cut down on U.S. treasury holdings to levels unseen since the global financial crisis. As the world's second-largest economy, China's actions will undoubtedly create ripple effects in the global economy and significantly impact gold prices.

Related: A Year After Russia-Ukraine - Looming War with China?

Gold Shines as a Store of Value for Central Banks

Declining global yields and the de-dollarization movement have fueled the increasing prominence of gold as a store of value for central banks. With bonds and treasuries faltering, central banks have viewed gold as an attractive option for diversification. According to MarketWatch, central banks and governments now hold approximately 20% of all gold ever mined, reflecting the precious metal's importance in global finance.

As financial stability is a key goal for central banks, diversification plays a vital role in maintaining it. By incorporating gold into their reserves, central banks can strengthen their ability to support national economies during turbulent times.

Gold's appeal as a safe-haven asset has been strengthened by the deceleration of the U.S. economy and possible shifts in the Federal Reserve's monetary policy, resulting in a weaker dollar and declining 10-year treasury yields. The correlation between gold prices and treasury yields is evident, as seen in February's drop in gold prices caused by rising yields and March's surge in gold prices of over 7% when yields fell.

gold prices and treasury yields

These factors contribute to a stronger bull case for gold's near-term price movements, particularly with central banks continuing their gold-buying spree. As gold's prominence in global finance grows, it may become an even more crucial asset for central banks seeking financial stability.

Related: How to Buy Gold & Silver with Your IRA or 401(k)

The Key Takeaway

As gold inches towards record highs, it's apparent that both central banks and individual investors are gravitating towards this precious metal as a safe haven amid market volatility and the rising trend of de-dollarization. Moreover, many expert forecasts indicate that even more significant gains may lie ahead, suggesting that gold's 2023 uptrend could be the beginning of a more extensive long-term bull run.

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For instance, Rebecca Patterson, former chief investment strategist at Bridgewater Associates, says the surge in gold prices will continue due to investor demand and global central bank purchases. "We're close to an all-time high in gold. I would expect this year It's going to hit a new all-time high."

Gareth Soloway, the chief market strategist at Inthemoneystocks.com and verifiedinvesting.com, shared his projections with Yahoo Finance. He set a 2023 gold target of $2,100, with more dramatic increases anticipated in the following years. He envisions an impressive rise: "By 2024, I would say we'll get well above $3,000, maybe $3,500. That's going to be the monster up year."

Central banks may know a thing or two about the direction of the worldwide economy. With IMF head Kristalina Georgieva warning of the weakest near-term growth since 1990, the potential of gold as a solid investment option amidst economic turbulence is an opportunity that warrants serious consideration. Gold breaking its record price no longer seems to be a question of if but when. 

To learn more about how to protect your savings with physical gold and silver, request your free gold IRA guide from Goldco today. 

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About the author 

Robert Samuels

Robert Samuels is a financial copywriter and business advisor. After teaching himself stock market basics and financial fundamentals, he leveraged this newfound passion into a Master’s Degree from Harvard University’s ALM Finance extension program, where he received a 3.87 GPA and Dean’s List distinction.

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