Friday, November 07, 2008

The Relative Appeal of Gold

Gold is unusual in that it is both a commodity and a surrogate currency. While gold's value has fallen along with other commodities, note that it has also displayed relative strength with respect to other commodities since the mid-year swoon. The chart above depicts the ratio of gold (GLD) to the commodities ETF (DBC). When stocks made their October lows along with commodities, gold's performance relative to other commodities was breaking to new highs.

While many commodities are falling due to economic weakness (oil, industrial metals), gold may be retaining a degree of interest given the worldwide race to zero interest rates--and the monetary expansion likely to ensue if those rates prove insufficient to stimulate growth.