Sprott Precious Metals Watch
Given increased electricity demand and the risks posed by climate change, the U.S. power grid desperately needs modernization. There is an immediate need to expand the grid’s capacity, increase its resilience and support its most vulnerable components – the transmission and distribution lines. This is driving the development of energy storage systems and V2G (vehicle-to-grid) technology and is a major copper demand driver.
Paul Wong, CFA, Market Strategist: In the first half of 2023, the gold bullion price rose by 5.23% despite competition from a euphoric equity market. Even with contrasting approaches, central banks and investment funds became the main players shaping the gold market in the first half of the year. Central bank buying drove demand, and gold is reverting to its historical role as a significant reserve asset as central banks seek to diversify amid geopolitical uncertainties.
Gold mining stocks are inextricably connected to the price behavior of gold bullion. Yet their recent response to the gold bull market has been disappointing. If gold should rise above the psychological $2,000 threshold, this will likely provide a strong catalyst for stocks, which are severely undervalued on a relative and absolute basis and provide attractive investment opportunities.
John Ciampaglia, CEO of Sprott Asset Management, sits down with James Connor of Bloor Street Capital to discuss the current state of the gold market, the resilience of uranium compared to other commodities, the growth of the battery metals sector and Sprott’s focus on providing investors with access to energy transition investments.
The In Gold We Trust 2023 Report is out and it’s our great pleasure to welcome back its publisher, Ronnie Stöferle. This year’s report is titled Showdown, a term, as Ronnie explains, well suited to this moment in time.
Paul Wong, CFA, Market Strategist: Gold attempted to breakout above $2,050 in early May before drifting lower as the U.S. debt-ceiling drama deepened and the U.S. dollar strengthened. At the same time, global central banks have been accumulating gold at a record pace. This highlights gold's role as a neutral reserve asset that has the potential to mitigate increasing counterparty risks amid escalating geopolitical tensions.
It can’t just be a coincidence that global central banks are buying this much gold, at a time when they’re making significant losses.
"In our opinion, the term showdown is an apt description of the current situation, in which economic, political and social developments are on the brink of a fundamental change of course. The current situation is also unique because we are not dealing with a singular showdown. Multiple escalations are occurring simultaneously and have the potential to further inflame each other."
Replay our webcast featuring John Hathaway and Doug Groh, discussing the current outlook for gold and gold mining equities. Gold has proven to be an effective safe haven asset during this challenging period, which began with the early 2022 Russia-Ukraine invasion and was followed by rising interest rates, stubborn inflation and the 2023 banking crisis. We believe near-term support for gold will remain at ~$2,000 and that markets are likely to test new highs.
Paul Wong, CFA, Market Strategist: Globally, we are entering a more challenging period featuring subpar economic growth, increasing risks to systematic financial stability, stubbornly high inflation and rising geopolitical risks. Against this backdrop, we believe gold should perform well, even if the U.S. debt ceiling disaster is averted.
Global demand for silver rose by 18 per cent last year to a record high of 1.24 billion ounces, creating a huge supply deficit, the Silver Institute said on Wednesday, predicting more shortages in the years to come.
All major silver demand categories achieved record highs in 2022, pushing total silver demand to a new high of 1.242 billion ounces (Boz) last year. Silver industrial demand rose by 5 percent, physical investment increased by 22 percent, and jewelry and silverware rose by 29 and 80 percent, respectively, leading to the total global silver demand milestone. Since 2020, the global total has increased by 38 percent as world economies recover from the pandemic.
Shree Kargutkar, Sprott Portfolio Manager: In Q1 2023, precious metals bullion and equities showed strong YTD momentum, with gold closing above the psychologically important $2,000 per ounce mark and silver reaching $25. Gold/silver mining equities also posted notable gains. We believe that investments in precious metals bullion, especially, have the potential to provide a safe haven "moat" to investment portfolios.
Paul Wong, CFA, Market Strategist: In March, gold posted its highest monthly close since July 2020 and rounded out a solid Q1 2023 gain of 7.96%. Gold is now up 21.38% from last autumn's low (9/26/22) following the most aggressive central bank purchases in decades and gold investment flows catalyzed by the U.S. banking crisis. We are very optimistic given that many significant long-term bullish macro factors for gold have become stronger, while some shorter-term cyclical gold bearish factors have faded.
John Hathaway, Managing Director, Senior Portfolio Manager: "Let it be said here that the financial media at best pays only lip service to the thought: there is likely no safer asset than physical gold. The yellow metal has no counterparty risk (unlike all other financial instruments including bank deposits and government bonds), is highly liquid and has an unbroken record of retaining value in absolute terms and relative to financial assets."
The Sprott Physical Uranium Trust has exceeded the company's "wildest expectations," said John Ciampaglia, CEO of Sprott Asset Management.
Edward C. Coyne, Senior Managing Partner, Global Sales, joins Asset TV and a panel of experts to discuss the constantly evolving discourse surrounding ESG, challenges faced in standardizing ESG ratings and ESG-based investing. The panel digs into how ESG can be integrated into investments and what the “energy transition” means in terms of commodity demand.
What gold’s brief rise above $2,000 an ounce means as fears of banking crisis rattle investor nerves
Gold futures topped $2,000 an ounce on Monday to mark their highest intraday price in more than a year, as fears of a crisis in the banking sector led to a rise in demand for gold as a safe-haven investment.
Globally, central banks bought a record 1,136 tonnes of gold in 2022. How has central bank gold demand changed over the last three decades?
Paul Wong, CFA, Market Strategist: Gold fell in February, closing the month at $1,827 in a correction characterized by a stall in buying, but not selling. Since gold's autumn 2022 low of $1,622, global central banks have been buying gold at record rates; more than three times their long-term averages.
Maria Smirnova, Portfolio Manager and Chief Investment Officer at Sprott, said that the Federal Reserve will not likely be able to engineer a soft landing — and that should be positive for gold. Smirnova also spoke about silver, saying that its fundamentals are strong. She reminded investors that demand for the white metal is split fairly evenly between industrial and investment end uses, and she sees investment demand from the west as particularly important in 2023.
Ed Coyne talks with Sprott’s John Hathaway about gold, the Fed’s next moves, the U.S. dollar, the debt ceiling and a flock of black swans. John Hathaway: "To me, that's where I think the rubber could hit the road in terms of a Fed pivot and then basically throwing in the towel on the anti-inflation war path that the Fed has been on. Basically, I think we're off to the races with gold."
Paul Wong, CFA, Market Strategist: January was another positive month for gold bullion. We saw strong gold buying from China, with estimated tonnes purchased at the highest level since 2017. Price action and trading desk anecdotes indicate significant buying from China's "official sector", including the People’s Bank of China. This was in stark contrast to China's accelerated selling of U.S. Treasuries.
Paul Wong, CFA, Market Strategist: This year’s top 10 list offers Sprott’s thoughts on what will likely drive markets in the coming year and decade, from a macro perspective and the vantage of our asset classes: Precious Metals and Energy Transition Materials. We believe the global clean energy transition will grow more urgent as energy markets continue re-ordering and energy security becomes synonymous with national security. The signposts point to a commodity-intensive, inflationary and capital-intensive decade where energy transition materials and precious metals will become far more valued than in the prior market regime.
John Hathaway, Managing Director, Senior Portfolio Manager: "Gold was an effective hedge in 2022, returning -0.28% for the bear market year. The yellow metal outperformed the S&P 500 Index, which declined 18.11%. Gold mining equities also outpaced the S&P 500. Looking ahead, we believe investors willing to seize the opportunity presented by inexpensive, unloved gold mining equities, will have the potential to reap substantial benefits from breaking the ranks of groupthink."
Gold prices have been on a general incline since the beginning of November as market turbulence, rising recession expectations and more gold purchases from central banks underpinned demand.
In tackling environmental, social and governance (ESG) concerns, the "S" stakes are high for mining companies. Standards for corporate behavior have become more stringent over time and local communities where mines exist expect significant benefits from mining operators. Gold miners must earn their “social license” to operate, maintaining positive partnerships with host-country governments and with local communities.
Paul Wong, CFA, Market Strategist: Gold and gold mining equities posted strong results in November, up 8.26% and 16.79%, respectively. Silver gained 15.81%. Risk assets were catalyzed higher by the Fed's signal that it would slow the pace of rate hikes, a better-than-expected October inflation report and speculation that China may phase out its zero-COVID policy.
2022 has been a difficult year for many asset classes. Markets were historically volatile, with higher-than-expected inflation, quickly rising interest rates, the Russia-Ukraine war and the threat of a global economic recession. While metals and mining investments shared in 2022’s volatility, we look ahead to brighter opportunities in 2023.
Global demand for silver is expected to rise 16% this year to 1.21 billion ounces, creating the biggest deficit in decades, according to the Silver Institute on Thursday night.
Holdings of physical silver held in vaults across London dropped to a record low in October, according to the data provided by the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA).
Paul Wong, CFA, Market Strategist: The tough year continued in October for many asset classes, including gold and other precious metals. Gold demand, however, was strong in Q3 2022 as long-term investors took advantage of lower prices to build positions. With financial system stress cracks showing up, central banks are now trying to balance aggressively fighting the highest inflation levels in 40 years while maintaining financial stability in over-leveraged governments and markets.
Central banks bought a record amount of gold last quarter as they diversified foreign-currency reserves, with a large chunk of the purchases coming from as-yet unknown buyers.
John Hathaway, Managing Director, Senior Portfolio Manager: "The parabolic rise in the dollar contains the seeds of its own demise. The kiss of death, as for all overcrowded trades, is that it has become front page news. Dollar strength is a mirage, the reverse image of the flaw inherent in all paper currencies. The fatal flaw is that they are the ever increasing issuance of fiscal decay. The façade of dollar strength foretells a comeuppance for all currencies in the form of a steep devaluation in terms of gold."
Paul Wong, CFA, Market Strategist: Gold held above $1,700 since Q2 2020, but in mid-September, a significant risk-off wave occurred, breaking nearly every risk asset lower. The primary causes are higher than expected inflation data forcing yields (especially real yields) and the USD higher, two important gold drivers.
Sprott ESG Gold ETF (SESG) is the world’s first ETF to exclusively source and refine gold from recognized ESG mining leaders (based on Morningstar’s universe of listed commodity funds as of 8/31/2022). SESG seeks to address the growing global demand for sustainable, green investment strategies, in an ETF that provides trust, transparency and traceability.
Doug Groh, Senior Portfolio Manager: It’s been a summer of doldrums for many asset classes. In our universe, however, uranium and other energy transition metals were a welcome exception to the market carnage — the spot uranium oxide composite was up 8.73% in August and 25.45% YTD. Precious metals, by contrast, lost ground as a liquidity crunch took hold in response to market declines and volatility. Gold lost 3.11% and silver fell 11.62% in August, while gold mining equities magnified gold bullion's loss by declining 10.00%.
China’s gold imports from the major refining hub of Switzerland jumped to the highest in more than five years, signaling demand improved as the Asian nation relaxed strict Covid measures.
Paul Wong, CFA, Market Strategist: July was another difficult month for most asset categories and was characterized by selling capitulation into exhaustion. Much more aggressive Fed rate hike expectations relative to other global central banks were a significant cause of U.S. dollar (USD) strength and rising real yields, which adversely affected gold. Although gold bullion lost ground, it remains relatively better off than many other assets for the year at -3.46% YTD through July 31, 2022.
SESG is the first gold ETF that invests in gold bullion that meets the environmental, social, and governance (“ESG”) and provenance standards specially developed by Sprott. Sprott has partnered with the Royal Canadian Mint (“RCM”) to provide investors with an ETF that only sources gold from companies and mines that meet Sprott’s ESG screening criteria. Initially, Sprott ESG Approved Gold will be sourced from several Canadian mines operated by Agnico Eagle Mines Limited (NYSE: AEM) (TSX: AEM) and Yamana Gold Inc. (TSX: YRI; NYSE: AUY; LSE: AUY).
John Hathaway, Senior Portfolio Manager: If the Fed is to abandon the practice of inflating financial assets, which would represent a secular shift in direction, substantial deflation lies ahead from which the purchasing power of gold will surely rise in real terms. If there is a return to business as usual, i.e., papering over policy mistakes, we believe that the gold price has the potential to rise to all-time highs in nominal terms.
Paul Wong, CFA, Market Strategist: Gold continued to perform as a safe haven store of value in what has been one of the most challenging six-month periods for markets in decades. Gold has managed to stay above the $1,800 support level despite the broader market carnage. By contrast, equities (as measured by the S&P 500 Index) recorded their worst first-half start to a year since 1970 and bonds (U.S. Treasury Index) registered their worst first six months since 1973 (based on available data).
Ted Oakley of Oxbow Advisors interviews Sprott's John Hathaway on the gold bullion and gold equities markets. Oakley and Hathaway discuss why investors should consider adding gold to their investment portfolios and explore how gold affects portfolio diversification.
Gold may be heading for another rally, with warnings over a global economic slowdown paving the way for a fresh push toward $2,000 an ounce.
Paul Wong, CFA, Market Strategist: May saw selling across most asset classes and scant appetite for safe haven assets such as gold. However, gold bullion has outperformed many other asset classes YTD and continues to do its job. Gold held its value with low correlation to the S&P 500 and lower volatility than other assets.
Just as we predicted the current wave of inflation in 2020 without going far out on a limb, we are also not going out on a limb with our announcement of persistent stagflation. We will certainly not have to endure a repeat of the stagflation of the1970s; rather, we’ll see stagflation 2.0, with its numerous peculiarities.
Maria Smirnova, Senior Portfolio Manager: Silver, from a pricing standpoint, is historically undervalued relative to gold and offers an attractive investment opportunity. Silver market fundamentals are strong, given that declining supply trends cannot keep up with rising, longer-term demand. Post-COVID, silver demand is rebounding, led by industrial, jewelry and physical coin and bar investment. We are excited about silver's importance to green technology and de-carbonization trends like EVs.
Douglas Yones, NYSE Head of Exchange Traded Products, interviews John Ciampaglia, Chief Executive Officer, Sprott Asset Management, on the recent launch of Sprott Uranium Miners ETF (URNM).
Paul Wong, CFA, Market Strategist: Gold lost 2.09% in April, a month marked by across-the-board outflows in many asset classes as volatility surged. By contrast, gold held in ETFs has increased sharply this year as the safe-haven flight continues. April was tough on many investment sectors, with the S&P 500 Index down 8.80%, the Nasdaq Composite Index declining 13.37% and U.S. Treasury bonds falling 3.10%. The U.S. dollar was one of the few beneficiaries as it neared multi-year highs.
Gold has pulled back from the highs seen earlier this year, but according to Maria Smirnova, senior portfolio manager at Sprott Asset Management, the yellow metal is on a positive path.
The price of gold has been treading water for 10 years while the investment fundamentals have improved dramatically. That is why, in our opinion, significant upside lies ahead for gold and related equities. Putin’s war introduces yet an additional reason to stoke investment demand for the yellow metal. It is not only war in the kinetic sense, but the reserve currency and cyber aspects that have far-reaching implications for gold.
Paul Wong, CFA, Sprott Market Strategist: Gold posted its all-time highest quarterly close on March 31, 2022, ending a volatile month that helped gold climb above $2,070 on March 8. By contrast, the U.S. Treasury Index suffered its worst quarter since 1973 and the S&P 500 Index posted its first negative quarter since Q1 2020. While gold may have climbed back to its highs on safe-haven flows, other positive gold supports are definitely in play.
Sprott Market Strategist Paul Wong joins Asset TV's Jenna Dagenhart to discuss Sprott's outlook for gold.
Paul Wong: "The Russian-Ukraine conflict is probably one of the biggest macro drivers in the marketplace. Many commodity users, transportation providers and financial facilities are heading toward self-sanction. There is almost a semi-defacto oil embargo going on right now....Before Russia-Ukraine, the gold market had started shaking off the hawkish Fed rhetoric. Russia-Ukraine has just amplified gold's value as a safe haven asset."
Throughout history, gold has played a prominent role in the advancement of human civilization. Seen as a representation of the sun, of the gods and of true value, gold is a form of real money without counterparty risks. Symbol Au, atomic number 79, gold has been used to adorn the tombs of the great pharaohs and to help power spacecrafts that extend the horizons of humanity’s domain. Learn more about gold’s importance in Sprott’s latest video – Gold: A True Store of Value.
Paul Wong, CFA, Sprott Market Strategist: The precious metals complex rebounded strongly in February as other assets faltered. Gold bullion is up 4.36% YTD through February 28, 2022, and silver bullion has increased 4.90%. Gold mining equities rallied and have gained 10.17% YTD. Investors sought safe-haven assets given the heightened concerns over the economic/market risks from rising interest rates and the escalation of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
Stephanie Pomboy and Grant Williams, hosts of the popular podcast Super Terrific Happy Hour, interview a true legend of the precious metals industry, John Hathaway of Sprott Asset Management. The three discuss the Fed, inflation, the financial markets and the outlook for gold bullion and gold stocks.
Shree Kargutkar, Sprott Portfolio Manager: I believe that we are on the cusp of a generational opportunity today. I would encourage every viewer to dust off their old notebooks and do a little research on precious metals mining companies, especially those that are well managed, with attractive balance sheets.
The silver market has started 2022 on a reasonably volatile note as prices swung in a $3 range in January; however, despite the volatility, the precious metal is seeing strong physical demand, according to January sales data from the U.S. Mint.
Gold prices have remained resilient in recent weeks in the face of broad market volatility, decoupling somewhat from its typical price drivers — bond yields and the dollar.
Paul Wong, CFA, Sprott Market Strategist: Gold reached a high of $1,848 in January, but slid following the Fed's exceptionally hawkish statements at the January FOMC meeting. Market risks are rising and we believe that gold, as it did in 2018, is likely to stage a breakout given its safe haven characteristics.
Podcast: Welcome to Season 2, Episode #1 of Sprott Gold Talk Radio. Join Ed Coyne and Senior Portfolio Manager Doug Groh for a deep dive on gold mining stocks. Coyne and Groh explore the tremendous opportunity gold equities offer and uncover their potential to bring value to a diversified investment portfolio.
Overconfidence and apathy towards risk dominated investor sentiment in 2021, but, according to one precious metal fund manager, that could all change in the new year as the Federal Reserve looks to tighten its monetary policy, reducing the liquidity sloshing through financial markets.
Paul Wong, CFA, Sprott Market Strategist: For 2021, the gold price averaged $1,799 compared to $1,770 for 2020, up $29, despite losing 3.64% for the twelve months. Gold traded in a narrow range for most of last year as markets were ping-ponged by inflation and rate hike expectations. Based on historic patterns, gold's lengthy consolidation indicates that prices have the potential to rally sharply and quickly in the coming year. We explain why in our List of Top 10 things to watch for gold investors.
John Hathaway, Senior Portfolio Manager: With Fed policy taking a more hawkish turn, the fire hose of liquidity that has fueled market mania is being turned off. At this moment, it appears that confidence in the Fed and attraction to gold are binary. Our view is that a position in gold offers a very favorable asymmetric risk-reward proposition on the possibility that confidence will not survive 2022.
Per Jander, WMC Energy, Technical Advisor to Sprott Physical Uranium Trust: Research and development on small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs) is underway globally and generating tremendous buzz. But SMRs are not likely to contribute meaningful amounts of carbon-free power for another decade. By contrast, nuclear power plant life extensions and uprates hold the power to boost carbon-free electricity production in the interim and provide a bridge to a future date when new SMR technologies will be commercially available.
The year-ahead prognostications of longtime financial pundit Byron Wien are always an event. His latest list of 10 forecasts, for 2022, is topped by a bullish outlook for gold—coming amid a flat stock market.
Sprott Physical Bullion Funds
Raising the bar in precious metals investing
170 Million Oz.
In partnership with ALPS Advisors, Inc. and ALPS Distributors, Inc. Sprott offers two gold mining ETFs. The Sprott Gold Miners ETF (NYSE Arca: SGDM) and the Sprott Junior Gold Miners ETF (NYSE Arca: SGDJ).