Metals broke out earlier in the year because there has likely never been so many fundamental reasons to buy gold and silver. We’ve seen economic turmoil, political strife, social unrest, a $3 trillion federal deficit, and a dollar weakened by fiscal and monetary stimulus – all happening at once.
How the markets finish the year will depend on whether these conditions persist.
The near-term bearish scenario for metals would probably have something in common with 2016. Donald Trump wins and investors feel more confident.
They could focus on buying risk assets, and they could be less motivated to buy safe-havens.
This time around, however, the election is not likely to put an end to uncertainty. The far left would have to accept a Trump victory without erupting into widespread social unrest, and the fear surrounding COVID would need to subside.
In such an environment, the equity markets could rally, and the Fed may not have to inject more monetary methedone. Investors could rationalize multi-trillion-dollar deficits and expect widespread unemployment will diminish.
The near-term bear case for precious metals hinges on the restoration of general investor confidence. If they can see 2021 being a better year, then demand for physical metal could wane, as it did after Trump’s first victory four years ago.
The bull case for metals lies in continued, or escalating, uncertainty. Gold and silver investors will be highly motivated should Joe Biden win the election. They will anticipate higher taxes, more economy crushing lock-downs, and even more debt funded bailouts and spending.
Regardless of the outcome, Americans could become even more polarized as social unrest escalates.
An even more contentious debate on how to respond to the ongoing COVID pandemic could ensue. A President Biden would lead the effort to close more schools and businesses and further limit gatherings using the heavy hand of the federal government.
In this scenario, the recovery narrative falls apart. Investors accept the nation’s economic plight is not good and likely to worsen. The conventional markets begin reflecting a darker reality. The Fed responds with the next round of stimulus, even more massive than the last. The dollar weakens and precious metals surge.
The election results are one key variable in forecasting how gold and silver markets might finish the year. Right now the prediction markets, and the polls, point to a Biden victory. But the pollsters weren’t even close to correct 4 years ago.
The next couple of weeks should be exciting, one way or another.