The price of gold hit a new all-time high Monday morning as investors seek safe havens to protect themselves from the weakening U.S. dollar and concerns about the health of the global economy.
Gold traded at $1,931.90 per ounce overnight, up by 20% year to date and up by 67% over the past 12 months. That surpassed the previous all-time high of $1,891.90 set in August 2011, though the price retreated slightly on Monday after hitting that peak.
Precious metals including gold and silver have been rallying in recent weeks on dollar concerns. The dollar has lost nearly 5% of its value compared to the euro and British pound as COVID-19 cases have spiked to new record highs in many parts of the U.S.
The Federal Reserve plans to make a policy statement on Wednesday, and this rally ahead of that indicates traders anticipate that it will warn of a weak growth outlook. If the Fed remains worried about the U.S. economy, it's likely to continue its stimulus efforts, and such actions usually put pressure on the value of the greenback.
Competing proposals in the U.S. Congress for a second stimulus bill would add at least $1 trillion, and perhaps as much as $3.5 trillion, to U.S. spending this year, which would further pressure the dollar.
The spike in gold prices paints a more complicated picture for equity investors. In recent years, traders have mostly viewed weak economic news as bullish for equities because of the power of Fed stimulus efforts, so what is bad for the U.S. dollar and U.S. economy can be good for U.S. stocks.
Stock futures were pointing to a positive open on Monday, with gold producers looking particularly strong. The iShares MSCI Global Gold Miners ETF (NYSEMKT: RING) was up nearly 3% prior to the open.