Weekly Outlook: Middle East Conflict Drives Up Price of Gold

Weekly Outlook: Middle East Conflict Drives Up Price of Gold

Weekly Outlook: Middle East Conflict Drives Up Price of Gold

May 21, 2024 258 view(s)

On May 19, Iran's foreign minister and president, Ebrahim Raisi, died in a helicopter crash, reportedly due to mechanical failure. Raisi was the president of Iran and the potential successor to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. According to state media and local video, the disaster occurred during dense fog in the mountainous area of Iran's northwest border.​

The Middle East conflicts involving Israel against Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iran have been significant factors in the rising price of gold since Hamas's initial attack on Israel on October 7 last year. Gold had a spot price of $1,832 per ounce the day before the attack and is now up to $2,431 seven months later. The sustained higher prices in gold this year have also been backed by increasing demand as a hedge against stagflation, as persistent inflation, higher-than-expected unemployment, and a quickly shrinking GDP (Gross Domestic Product) have dominated recent monthly reports for the United States.​

Potential market-moving events for the week of May 20 include the Existing Home Sales report on Wednesday, the Initial Jobless Claims report on Thursday, and the Consumer Sentiment report on Friday. A combination of a lower-than-expected Existing Home Sales report, a continued decrease in Consumer Sentiment report, and a higher-than-expected Initial Jobless Claims would all be negative signs for the U.S. economy. These negative signals may also create more demand for safe-haven investments in precious metals like gold and silver.​

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Next week, we will provide insight into this week's upcoming economic reports and consider additional market-moving events for May 2024. This Memorial Day Weekend, we would like to take a moment to remember fallen soldiers who died protecting our country and our rights as citizens. We are deeply grateful for their bravery.​