The precious metal had another rough year, but gold bugs still see bright future
It’s hard to picture anyone more immersed in the gold business than Randall Oliphant. He’s chairman of the World Gold Council, executive chairman of mid-sized Toronto miner New Gold Inc. and sits on the board of gold royalty giant Franco-Nevada Corp.
But even the 30-year industry titan can’t say where the fickle yellow metal is going next — just that he believes it’s eventually going up despite some short-term struggles.
“It’s kind of like Russia. The more you know about it the less you understand it,” jokes Oliphant from the British Airways lounge at Heathrow after talking to investors at a recent RBC gold conference in London.
One thing investors understand about 2015 is that bullion started out as the year’s hottest investment — it was actually its best start to any year since 1980. But it’s on track to finish among the worst.
After a raging bull market that lasted 13 years and saw the gold price rise 600 per cent at its peak, 2015 marks the third straight year that the gold price has ended on the downside amid a crushing metals market downturn.
In 2014, gold fell 1.5 per cent as equities surged and an improving U.S. economy cut demand for haven assets. In 2013, the metal tumbled 28 per cent, the most in more than three decades as the precious metal fell out of favour and the U.S. dollar began its ascent. (The two typically trade in opposite directions.)
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