Can gold love a coronavirus crisis? – by Peter Hobson, Rajendra Jadhav and Saqib Iqbal Ahmed (Reuters U.S. – April 27, 2020)

LONDON/MUMBAI/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Gold loves a crisis, the old adage goes. And with prices up 13% this year to their highest since 2012 and many predicting further gains as investors search for safe places to put their money, it looks true for the coronavirus crisis so far.

But, as individuals and countries alike see a drop in income, traditional gold consumers in India and China are buying less and central banks are cutting purchases. Without them, gold’s run higher may be hard to sustain.

For now, gold XAU= costs around $1,700 an ounce. Driven by investors’ clamour for insurance against economic turmoil and the potential devaluation of assets and currencies, some predict a bull run reminiscent of gold’s price rally to record highs just shy of $2,000 in 2011.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch has even said it could touch $3,000 by the end of next year. But if history is any guide, it takes a sustained period of rising demand to really drive gold higher, and given the depth of the economic recession economists expect because of the coronavirus, individual consumers may be buying less gold for some time to come..

“You encounter a lot of conventional wisdom around gold, like that inflation drives it up, or a bad environment does,” Andrew Sheets, chief cross-asset strategist at Morgan Stanley, said.

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