Sorry, gold bugs. The world’s biggest money manager appears to have run out of love for the precious metal.
“Fourteen months ago, we had a fairly significant position in gold. Today, we’ve reduced it to almost zero,” Russ Koesterich, the manager of BlackRock’s Global Allocation Fund
told Bloomberg in an interview.
“We primarily think of gold as a hedge against equity risk, and that works when you’ve got an environment with real rates that are flat or declining. If part of our view is that real rates normalize a bit, that particular commodity is unlikely to work as well as it did in the middle of 2020,” said Koesterich.
Near term, he said there are likely “better hedges against inflation in the equity market and rather than own an asset that doesn’t produce cash flow, we would rather hedge some of the near term upside with stocks that have pricing power.”
Those include stocks in the material, industrial and consumer sectors that “can raise prices as incurred costs also rise,” said Koesterich.
Among other commodities, the BlackRock manager said they see energy prices remaining firm and have been adding some tactical positions in equities to take advantage. U.S. oil prices
have climbed nearly 50% year to date, against an 8% drop for gold
Gold investors have this year battled against a stronger dollar
which can make assets priced in the currency, such as gold, more expensive to overseas investors. Also working against gold, has been strengthening economies that could push central banks to tighten accommodative policies sooner than later. Investors are waiting on a Federal Open Market Committee meeting for next week.
Gold prices were slightly higher on Friday, up about $3.80 to $1,761.10 an ounce, after the sharpest daily drop in nearly six weeks on Thursday, following stronger-than-expected retail sales data.