BlackRock backs gold to hedge market risk

Bloomberg/Susanne Barton/2-16-2017

“While the stock surge and below-average volatility show investors are more optimistic, markets are underpricing global political risks, said Russ Koesterich, who helps manage the $41 billion BlackRock Global Allocation Fund. He recommends gold as insurance. Looming elections in Europe and political uncertainty in the U.S. are among developments that could shift investor sentiment, Koesterich said. Adding to the threat is the potential impact of Britain’s exit from the European Union and a debt crisis in Greece. Such concerns have helped boost haven demand for gold, which has climbed almost 8 percent this year after posting the worst quarter since 2013.”

MK note:  All of a sudden Greece’s name keeps popping up in the litany of reasons to own gold, and with good reason.  Marine LePen’s, who has a plurality in the upcoming first round of French voting, says she will take France out of the euro, an event that would surely sink both the currency and the European Union.  That is an even bigger and more dangerous threat than what Greece brings to the table.  Given the growing populist mood across Europe, I would think that European money managers might be as interested in gold for portfolio insurance purposes as BlackRock is in the United States.

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