If you’re like most investors, you’re always on the lookout for new opportunities to grow your portfolio. Precious metals, such as gold and silver, have historically been a safe bet during times of economic turmoil. However, over the past few years, we’ve seen a decline in precious metals prices. Here are seven reasons why this is happening.
- Increased production. Thanks to advances in mining technology, we’re able to extract more precious metals from the ground than ever before. This increased supply has put downward pressure on prices.
- Lack of demand from key markets. China and India are two of the world’s largest consumers of gold, accounting for nearly 30% of global demand. But with their economies slowing down, they’re buying less gold than they have in the past. This reduced demand has contributed to lower prices.
- Strengthening U.S. dollar. The U.S. dollar is the world’s reserve currency, and it tends to strengthen when other economies are weak. This makes gold and other precious metals more expensive for buyers who don’t use dollars, further reducing demand and prices.
- Rising interest rates. As interest rates rise, so does the opportunity cost of holding gold and other precious metals that don’t pay dividends or interest income. This has led many investors to sell their holdings in recent years as rates have risen from near-historic lows.
- Exchange-traded funds (ETFs). ETFs that track the price of gold and other precious metals have become increasingly popular in recent years as a way to invest without having to take physical possession of the metal itself. However, these ETFs can also be sold quickly and easily, which can add to price volatility when there’s a sudden shift in investor sentiment.
6. Geopolitical uncertainty. In times of geopolitical uncertainty, investors tend to flock to safe-haven assets like gold and silver. However, with tensions easing in some areas (e.g. North Korea) and escalating in others (e.g. trade war with China), there’s been less need for safe havens, putting downward pressure on prices.
7. Margin calls. When investors buy gold or other precious metals on margin (e.g. with borrowed money), they’re required to post collateral equal to a certain percentage of the value of their position. With prices falling, many investors have been forced to meet margin calls by selling their holdings, further driving down prices.
While there are a number of factors contributing to the decline in precious metals prices, it’s important to remember that these commodities are still considered valuable investments. Gold, in particular, has centuries of history behind it as a store of value. So, while prices may be down in the short term, don’t forget about these valuable assets in the long term.