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Gold price rally ‘set to continue’
The rally in gold prices is expected to continue as global uncertainty and volatility persists while economic growth remains weak, former International Monetary Fund deputy head John Lipsky says.
In the face of a global outlook based on negative risks and pockets of problems, Australia’s financial system is still rated as one of the most resilient in the world, Mr Lipsky says.
“The happy news for the gold miners is that in the near term the uncertainty is not a bad thing for the gold price,” Mr Lipsky told the Diggers and Dealers Mining conference in Kalgoorlie on Monday.
Gold producers have benefited from a surge in prices amid uncertainty, with the precious metal tipped to push above near record levels of $US1350 ($USA1775) per ounce recorded this week. Uncertainty was being driven by factors such as both major US political parties citing problems with the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Brexit negotiations around new trade deals as well as challenges facing the Chinese economy.
“Uncertainty is usually not a bad thing for the gold price,” Mr Lipsky said. “The consensus view is very slow growth with big risks on the downside.”
Consumer demand was robust, but a shortfall in investment was the principal cause for sluggish global growth, he said.
Interest rates were expected to be low for the long-term as weak growth and low inflation in advanced economies continued.
Capital flows to emerging markets had recently returned to long-term trends so it was important that advanced economies increased investment and sped up growth.
With growth essentially stable, and slower than it had been in the past, the outlook for commodity prices remained “modest,” he said.
Energy had recently recovered and some commodity prices had improved as fears about a potential downturn subsided.
But it was hard to imagine a big upturn in the outlook for commodity prices, he said.
Still, lower interest rates presented an opportunity for the Australian government to borrow to build infrastructure and boost productivity.
Mr Lipsky said a flaw in the consensus outlook for the global economy would be “confidence building” and would hopefully produce positive responses.
“My hope is that we move through and produce a moderate growth and performance and when the downside risks fall away that will produce positive reinforcement that will tend to produce increased confidence and increased investment,” he said.
Next month, G20 leaders will meet in China to co-operate on economic and financial policies.