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Gold price forecast: Will gold surpass record highs?

By Jekaterina Drozdovica

Edited by Valerie Medleva


Updated

Close-up of a $20 banknote and gold bullion
How will a weakening US dollar affect the price of gold? – Photo: corlaffra/Shutterstock.com

Gold prices surged to near all-time highs in early May, touching the $2,067 mark for the first time since March 2022. The latest surge was driven by the uncertainty surrounding the US debt ceiling negotiations, with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warning that the world’s biggest economy risks running out of cash as early as 1 June.

Previously, the gold price was supported by investor anxiety over the banking industry caused by the failure of Silicon Valley Bank and the resulting Credit Suisse takeover by UBS (UBSG) shook investors’ confidence.

Will the gold price maintain bullish momentum as investor sentiment shifts to risk-off, and what does the future hold for the safe-haven asset? Here we take a look at the gold price forecast for 2023 and beyond. 

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What are gold’s key price drivers?

Gold is a rare precious metal found in quartz veins and stream gravel, in its pure form. Gold has a history that goes as far as Ancient Egypt, and is a highly influential commodity in the global economy. 

The gold’s price is shaped by the forces of supply and demand, although the metal is appreciated beyond its instrumental value. Some investors use gold as a safe-haven asset during recessions or periods of uncertainty, or as a hedge against inflation.

Historically, periods of high inflation have been positive for the gold’s price, as investors tend to flee from fiat currencies towards the yellow metal. Hence monetary policy by central banks in controlling inflation is key in driving the gold’s price. 

As a tradable commodity, gold is denominated in the US dollars, which creates an inverse relationship with the greenback. When the US dollar rises against other currencies, gold becomes more expensive, which hurts demand. When USD falls, on the other hand, this boosts the gold’s price as the metal becomes cheaper for overseas buyers.

Gold is also used to produce jewellery, which is especially popular in China and India – some of the world’s biggest buyers – for festivals and weddings. The biggest gold importers in 2021 were Switzerland, India, the UK and China, according to Statista.

Gold prices flirts with record highs in 2023

In late 2022 and the first weeks of 2023, however, the precious metal saw a trend reversal to bullish momentum, enjoying a series of higher highs and higher lows. The gold’s price rose by 14% from November 2022 to early February 2023, supported by a less hawkish tone by the US Federal Reserve’s (Fed’s) Jerome Powell. Plus, the reopening of China’s economy and hence stronger jewellery demand boosted the price at the start of 2023.

Gold’s price, 2018 - 2023

Gold passed the $2,000 mark in March amid the turmoil in the banking sector resulting after the Silicon Valley Bank collapse, forcing investors to seek safe-haven assets. The precious metal continued the bullish momentum, reaching the peak of $2,067 intraday on 4 May as concerns about the US debt ceiling combined with the US Fed’s signalling a pause of tightening fuelled demand for gold. 

US debt ceiling concerns support gold

The debt ceiling in the US serves as a limit to the amount of debt the federal government can amass. The nation's constitution mandates that the Congress approves any debt issuance, which in turn empowers the government to fund legally binding obligations such as Social Security, Medicare benefits, military wages, interest on the national debt, tax refunds, and other disbursements.

In May 2023, a deadlock transpired over the issue of the debt ceiling between the Democratic and Republican parties. The Republicans advocated for a rollback of spending to the levels of 2022 as a prerequisite for increasing the debt ceiling. On the other hand, Democrats were in favour of an "unencumbered bill", devoid of preconditions. The Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen, cautioned that the impasse over the debt ceiling has led to an increase in the cost of government borrowing. She further indicated that the US could deplete its cash reserves as soon as the beginning of June.

As explained by Michael Pearce, Lead US Economist at Oxford Economics:

“Negotiations over the debt ceiling kicked into a higher gear, but both sides are still far from an agreement. With the Treasury potentially running out of cash by early June, the chances of a disorderly and damaging default are rising. Even if default is averted, the odds are high that any final deal includes cuts to federal spending, which would weigh on the economy.”

Meanwhile, Russ Mould, AJ Bell’s investment director, noted that the ever-growing US federal deficit and the debt-ceiling debate on Capitol Hill will be the key point of gold-supporting investors. He said:

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“Gold bugs will be on the look-out for any signs of higher spending and higher deficits as justification for their faith in the precious metal as a store of value at a time of fiscal incontinence and after an extended period of money printing.”

Banking crisis lifts gold’s price

Another catalyst in supporting the safe-haven’s demand in 2023 was the Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse, the most prominent banking failure since the 2008 financial crisis. The struggling bank was heavily invested in US government bonds, which have declined in value amid rising interest rates. To cover customer withdrawals, Silicon Valley Bank had to sell off the bonds, resulting in liquidity issues, as more and more clients withdrew their funds due to worries about liquidity.

Troubles in the banking sector continued as Credit Suisse acknowledged “material weaknesses” in its booking, which led to the rescue takeover by rival UBS, a bid that resulted in $17bn of Credit Suisse bonds turning worthless. This has caused further alarm in the markets, damaging investor confidence in banking stocks. 

To restore the sentiment, several central banks, including the US Fed, European Central Bank (ECB), and the Bank of England (BoE) have taken a joint action to inject USD liquidity into the markets, echoing the steps taken during the 2008 financial crisis and Covid-19 outbreak.

Fed’s end of tightening cycle

Apart from the banking sector and the US debt ceiling, the gold market narrative has been driven by the contrasting effects of persistently high inflation and central banks, particularly the US Fed, raising interest rates to battle soaring consumer prices.

The US central bank has hiked rates seven times in 2022, and so far three times in 2023, bringing the rate to between 5% and 5.25%, the highest level in 16 years. Yet at the May meeting, the Fed signalled a dovish tilt, indicating that the tightening cycle may be coming to an end. 

In their gold market outlook as of 12 May, ANZ Research pointed out:

“Macroeconomic developments continue to present a bullish backdrop for the gold market. With the US Fed nearing the end of its rate-hiking cycle, concerns around the US economic outlook could propel safe-haven demand.”

Plus, the price of gold has been largely influenced by the US dollar, which benefited from monetary tightening. The Dollar Index (DXY), which measures the dollar’s performance against a basket of other currencies, peaked at 114.68 in late September 2022, but has since fallen back by over 10%, as of May 2023. 

Dollar Index (DXY) live price chart

Gold price forecast for 2023 and beyond

The ongoing market volatility has caused analysts to only speculate gold price forecasts up to 2024. 

On 13 May, ANZ Research upgraded its gold price forecast, citing US banking sector issues, high interest rates, and uncertainty around the debt ceiling as the primary drivers of safe-haven demand. Plus, ANZ mentioned the central banks’ gold purchases, which totalled 228 tonnes in Q1 2023, and monsoon season in India, which could lift gold buying in the second half of the year.

ANZ Research anticipated the precious metal trading at $2,100 by the late 2023, accelerating to $2,200 by September 2024. ANZ Research didn’t provide a gold price forecast for 2025. 

A gold price forecast from TradingEconomics as of 16 May expected the commodity to trade at $2,041 by the end of the current quarter. The website’s macro models and analysts’ expectations saw the price of the precious metal rising to $2,120.72 in 12 months’ time.

Analysts did not provide a gold price forecast for 2030.

Final thoughts 

When considering gold price predictions, it’s important to keep in mind that high market volatility makes it difficult to produce accurate long-term estimates. As such, analysts and algorithm-based forecasters can and do get their predictions wrong. 

We recommend that you always do your own research. Look at the latest market trends, news, technical and fundamental analysis, and a wide range of analyst commentary before trading. Keep in mind that past performance is no guarantee of future returns and never trade more money that you can afford to lose.

FAQs

Is gold a good investment?

Some investors may opt to keep some exposure to gold in their portfolio for diversification, as a hedge against a fall in stocks and bonds. However, whether gold is a suitable investment for you depends on your risk tolerance, outlook for the market and whether you expect it to rebound or fall further, among other factors. Always do your own research and remember that past performance is no guarantee of future returns. Never trade money that you cannot afford to lose.

Will gold go up or down?

The outlook for the gold price will likely depend on the strength of the US dollar and how monetary tightening affects the global economy, as well as developments in the banking industry. Keep in mind that analysts can and do get their predictions wrong. You should do your own research to make informed trading decisions, always bearing in mind that past performance is no guarantee of future returns.

Should I invest in gold?

This depends on your view of the commodity. You will need to draw your own conclusions on how gold is likely to perform over the coming years. Keep in mind that past performance doesn’t guarantee future returns and never invest or trade money you cannot afford to lose.

Markets in this article

Gold
Gold
2030.70 USD
12.91 +0.640%
UBSG
UBS
24.49 USD
-0.06 -0.250%
DXY
US Dollar Index
103.645 USD
-0.261 -0.250%

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