Market Report: Flights to Quality

Jan 16, 2015·Roland Khounlivong

It is pleasing to see precious metals in favour as 2015 gets underway in earnest.

Whilst 'quality' might be a subjective term, it seems to have been applied, in my opinion quite rightly, to gold, silver, platinum and palladium by investors looking to protect themselves from a start-of-the-year volatility storm in other asset classes. In the wider commodity world, oil and copper prices are still languishing whilst precious metals have shown their value to investors as a stand-alone and increasingly non-correlated asset class. I think this should be considered as bullish.

Gold chart

as at 13:00 GMT 2015-01-15

Further cheer should be taken from the fact that precious metals are finding support even against a deflationary landscape and weak global growth forecasts. I recognise that some of the positive price action can be attributed to a fall in the US Dollar, following a market revision to the timetable for US rate rises, but maintain that the shine of gold, silver, platinum and palladium is being recognised as an effective solution for portfolios.

As part of the 'risk off trading' this week, demand for government debt has seen yields reaching record lows and going below zero in some instances: investors paying more than par for 5-year bonds issued by Switzerland, Finland, Japan and Germany, for example.

All of this week's activity has re-enforced the notion that precious metals, with their unique properties as an asset class, should be considered by investors looking to diversify their portfolios.