Gold has started 2024 at a high level, and the year ahead looks likely to have more volatility that should offer further gains for the precious metal.
2023 saw some strong gains and falls across the twelve months, with a range of $350 + per ounce. We saw a low of $1,809 per ounce and a very brief new all-time high price of $2,198.54. Prices have fallen back somewhat but gold is still trading at $2,050 at the time of writing and is still historically very strong.
The outlook in 2024 also suggests the potential for further gains to come, and given gold’s already high price, a new record in 2024 seems more than possible. A whole range of economic and geopolitical factors could give gold a further price boost, particularly in the latter half of 2024.
After two years of hikes, markets generally expect rates have now peaked, and are pricing in rate cuts towards the middle of the year. Inflation could still have some surprises that could delay these cuts, or require further hikes, which would be negative for gold. Should market expectations bear out however, and rates start to come down in the US, then there should be further weakness for the dollar that will see gold rise.
The two ongoing major conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza continue to threaten the global economy. The latter in particular has continued to escalate and is now having an impact on shipping in the Red Sea. The disruption of this key shipping route is already resulting in longer and more expensive journeys for a wide range of goods. This will do little to help bring inflation down, and the conflict could still spill out further across the Middle East.
2024 will also see what is likely to be one of the most contentious US elections in history. 2016 and 2020 already saw tensions rise, and a vast gulf open in the political spectrum in America, and 2024 is likely to be even worse. Biden and Trump are currently expected to be on the ballots once again, despite both candidates facing a barrage of criticism and legal challenges. The 2024 election has the potential to plunge the US into bitter deadlock that could have significant impact on the US and wider global economy.
The above three points are just some of the top-level issues that could affect gold in 2024, but as shown in 2023, it is often the unexpected issues that really drive the price. The banking crisis of March, and the outbreak of the conflict between Israel and Gaza were both two of the major drivers for gold in 2023. Between the points above, and anything else that could yet arrive in the coming months, there is plenty of opportunity for gold to push back above $2,100 per ounce, and on towards the $2,200 mark needed for a new record.