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Gold gets a rare compliment from the Financial Times

Section: Daily Dispatches

Negative-Yielding Debt Sends Investors Scurrying into Gold

By Henry Sanderson
Financial Times, London
Thursday, January 30, 2020

Investors around the world are hurrying back to bullion.

Holdings in gold-backed exchange traded funds have risen to their highest levels in seven years, following $19.2 billon in inflows last year. Analysts say interest has picked up for a variety of reasons, including fears over slowdowns in big economies, rising geopolitical risks, and an apparent loss of faith in traditional "haven" assets such as Japan's yen.

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But chief among them is a giant mound of negative-yielding debt, now tipping the scales at more than $13 trillion. If buyers of bonds are being asked to pay for the privilege of holding them to maturity, then the appeal of gold -- which yields nothing but also costs nothing to hold on to -- is burnished.

"You're seeing flows into the metal. It's a global trend," said John Hathaway, co-manager of the Sprott Gold Equities fund. "The typical havens of safety are not that safe anymore and gold is getting a bid for that reason."

The revival for the yellow metal comes after a fairly bleak few years, in which a steady global economic recovery pushed gold prices down as low as $1,000 a troy ounce in December 2015. ...

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