Veteran investor Mark Mobius gave a blanket endorsement to buying gold, saying accumulating bullion will reap long-term rewards as leading central banks loosen monetary policy and the rise of cryptocurrencies serves only to reinforce demand for genuinely hard assets. Prices climbed.
"Gold's long-term prospect is up, up and up, and the reason why I say that is money supply is up, up and up," Mr Mobius, who set up Mobius Capital Partners LLP last year after three decades at Franklin Templeton Investments, told Bloomberg TV. He added: "I think you have to be buying at any level, frankly."
Gold hit a six-year high this month on prospects for easier monetary policy from the Federal Reserve and other central banks to support growth that's been impacted by the prolonged trade war between the US and China. With the US Treasury market signaling that a recession may be on the horizon, investors have been swarming into bullion-backed exchange-traded funds.
"With the efforts by the central banks to lower interest rates, they're going to be printing like crazy," said Mr Mobius, who recommends allocating about 10 per cent of a portfolio to physical bullion. In the interview on Tuesday, he didn't spell out a price target for gold in his on-air remarks.
The increasing role of digital currencies such as Bitcoin has spurred a debate in the precious metals market both about their intrinsic worth, and whether their rising popularity will detract from traditional haven gold. For Mr Mobius, their advent will actually boost bullion consumption.
"You have all these currencies, new currencies coming into play," he said. "I call them 'psycho currencies,' because it's a matter of faith whether you believe in Bitcoin or any of the other cyber-currencies. I think with the rise of that, there's going to be a demand for real, hard assets, and that includes gold."
Spot gold -- which hit $1,535.11 an ounce on August 13, the highest since 2013 -- rose as much as 0.5 per cent to $1,503.46 on Tuesday, and is up 17 per cent this year. Mr Mobius correctly predicted in early July that prices would top $1,500.
As signs of a global slowdown emerge, central banks have boosted accommodation. The Fed cut interest rates last month for the first time in more than a decade, while the authorities in China have delivered targeted support.
"I think we are going to see lower rates in China and elsewhere," Mr Mobius said.
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