Despite being optimistic for the financial markets in 2020, one forecaster believes that gold prices may continue to rise in the new year. Here’s his rationale.
In an interview with CNBC, veteran forecaster and vice chairman of private wealth solutions at Blackstone Byron Wien spoke about his outlook for the next fiscal year. Known for his annual list of 10 surprises to look for in the market, the Wall Street expert chose to stick to tradition and withhold his predictions until January.
However, Wien did share some things regarding what to expect over the short and long term. While Wien didn’t go into his forecasts just yet, he singled out gold as a particularly interesting investment to watch for in 2020. Wien’s nudge towards gold stands out even more given the strategist’s general expectations for the coming year.
Despite geopolitical tensions and trade disputes, Wien isn’t too concerned that either will spill out into the coming months. Wien is optimistic regarding the early draft of a trade deal with China, a resolute Brexit and a simmering down of domestic political turmoil. While mostly bullish, Wien singled out a few possible risks on the horizon.
One would be the election of a candidate whose market policies radically differ from those of President Trump, which Wien thinks could end up causing significant upheaval to the economy. Another would be a scenario where the Federal Reserve gets caught by surprise inflation which, although unlikely, the stage does appear set for.
Over the longer term, Wien shared some notes about the pervasive issue of debt, including the federal deficit and the overall domestic debt. While the ever-expanding figures tend to be the eye-catchers, Wien explains that the U.S. economy has enjoyed an environment of low debt service rate. Although the national debt has quadrupled over the past two decades, the debt service has only gone up 25%. Wien finds this unsustainable and expects the market to eventually be shook by the coming of higher interest rates. On the other hand, Wien agreed with his hosts that any rise in U.S. interest rates is difficult to see in the near future, especially due to the amount of liquidity that central banks are currently working with.
Wien said that market participants are likewise preparing for a similar economic climate in 2020, a sentiment that has powered growth as of late. In contrast to Wien’s optimistic viewpoints, he pointed to gold as the asset to once again keep an eye out for. After an exceptional second half to the year, gold is up roughly 15% since the beginning of the year and has many forecasters calling for it to hit $1,600 in 2020.