The stock market has had a lot of trouble so far in 2022, with a host of different concerns weighing on investor sentiment. Yet one thing that Wall Street knows is that after today, at least one source of uncertainty will get resolved, as the midterm elections will emerge with winners and losers. That seemed to buoy investors today, and major market benchmarks were up around 1% to 1.5% in early afternoon trading.
One source of particular disappointment in 2022 has been the gold market. With inflationary pressures on the rise, many investors expected gold and other precious metals to perform well, much as they did in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Instead, gold has spent much of the year moving lower. On Tuesday, however, gold investors got a shot in the arm, and that has many investments in the space moving higher.
A good day for bullion
Gold led most precious metals higher on Tuesday. The yellow metal moved up $41 per ounce to $1,717, reversing a skid that lasted throughout much of September and October. Silver prices enjoyed even bigger percentage gains, climbing more than 3% to approach $21.50 per ounce. Platinum and palladium were also modest higher as well, with the former rising $21 per ounce to $1,004 and the latter picking up $36 per ounce to $1,868.
A number of factors came into play. Some traders credited short-covering efforts for the bounce, with many investors having bet against the precious metals complex in a rising interest rate environment. In addition, news of consolidation in the cryptocurrency exchange arena made some crypto investors less comfortable with their holdings, particularly in light of worries about possible suspension of withdrawals, and that has those who are looking for safe-haven investments turning away from cryptocurrencies and back toward traditional stores of value like gold.
Some promising stocks
When gold rises, gold stocks often rise even more, and that was largely the case on Tuesday. The VanEck Gold Miners ETF (GDX 0.39%) picked up nearly 7%, while the VanEck Junior Gold Miners ETF (GDXJ 0.73%) rose more than 5%.
Some individual stocks had even stronger gains. Canada's Equinox Gold (EQX 0.92%) led the way higher with a rise of more than 12%. But major gold producers weren't far behind, as Gold Fields (GFI 0.13%) jumped nearly 10%, while Barrick Gold (GOLD 1.15%) and Newmont (NEM -0.47%) settled for gains of between 7% and 8%.
Franco-Nevada (FNV -1.63%) was a solid winner on the day, rising almost 7%. The natural resources streaming company has put together an impressive portfolio of energy and mining assets that has largely endured the impact of falling gold and silver prices during 2022. Franco-Nevada set records for gold equivalent ounces produced, as well as financial metrics like sales, net income, and various adjusted profit figures.
Can gold's shine last?
Unfortunately, this isn't the first time that gold has tried to mount a comeback only to fall short. Because many gold investors borrow money to buy precious metals, rising interest rates have been a problem. The coming reading on the Consumer Price Index could spook gold investors once again if high inflation appears likely to make the Federal Reserve stay aggressive with its monetary policy.
Still, gold companies might be in a similar position to that of energy companies a few years ago. Given up by many as perpetual laggards, gold might finally be looking to set the stage for a longer-term rebound.