COLUMN: Commodities for the Trump-China trade war: Gold for bears, copper for bulls – by Clyde Russell (Reuters U.S. – May 16, 2019)

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – One of the most popular questions at mining conferences is what is your top metal and why are you bullish on it. The clear winner so far this year is gold. While gold is a perennial favorite at mining events, the near unanimous backing among industry insiders likely reflects two emerging dynamics.

These are the limited prospects for significant new supply of the precious metal, and the view that the world economy is headed for turbulent times as the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump ramps up its trade war with China and its disputes with major oil exporters Iran and Venezuela.

At a session at this week’s 121 Mining Investment event in Singapore, three out of four panelists picked gold, while the fourth was more in favor of other precious metals such as palladium and silver.

(Disclosure: I was on the panel and chose gold as my likely best performer in the coming year, but I also hedged my bet, nominating my bull case pick as copper.)

Discussions among participants at the 121 Mining conference mirrored those at similar events earlier in the year in Hong Kong, Cape Town and Singapore. The mining industry is not only bullish on gold, but also seemingly prepared to put its money where its mouth is by backing junior miners in the sector.

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