As has been the case through much of the post-crisis period, investors in the third quarter generally saw bad news as good news: Signs of a slowing economy were deemed benign because they were likely to provoke greater accommodation from the Fed.
The gold price continued to climb in the third quarter of 2019, reaching a six-year high of $1,552/oz. in early September, as macroeconomic and geopolitical uncertainty continued to support the appeal of perceived safe-haven assets like gold.
The move down in long-term interest rates in recent quarters has shed an ominous light. We’ve seen the yield curve invert in the United States, and there is evidence of softening in the underlying economy. The manufacturing sector has been weak globally, and momentum in the service sector has started to fade.
The use of gold as a potential hedge against extreme market outcomes has long been a key tenet of First Eagle’s investment philosophy.
At First Eagle, we’ve long held that the United States does not have a monopoly on good companies. While we think most market participants would agree with this sentiment, asset allocation data suggest US investors in general continue to be significantly underexposed to international equities relative to their share of the global opportunity set.
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