Gold is on the rise as trade tensions continue to weigh on the global economy. Earlier this week China has announced it will suspend all meat imports coming from Canada. This is after Canada detained the CFO of Chinese company Huawei at the request of the United States. China has revealed that the official veterinary health certificates attached to the batch of pork exported to China were counterfeit and the number of certificates was up 188. This latest move comes as Canadian Prime Minister visits Japan for the G20 leaders’ summit. It’s not clear whether or not diplomatic issues can be addressed or not between the United States and China. But president Donald Trump said he expects a “productive” meeting with China’s leader Xi Jinping, without making any specific predictions.
But many investors have not been convinced, and new interest in precious metals has developed this year. The price of gold increased 10% this year partly due to geo-political uncertainty. It’s now at a six year high. What’s more interesting though is that gold is selling at all time highs in 72 different national currencies including the Canadian dollar and Australian dollar. Excluding the pegged (fixed exchange rate) currencies, there are only 130 currencies in circulation that’s recognized by the United Nations.
Many experts believe the price of gold will continue to climb this year. According to MarketWatch, Citigroup analysts believe this “bullish gold fever is justified,” and estimates the metal “could reach between $1,500 to $1,600 an ounce in the next 12 months, and $1,500 by end-2019 in the most optimistic of their new predictions for the metal.” One way for investors to gain exposure to the gold market is through mining companies.
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Earlier this year, gold mining giant Newmont Goldcorp (NYSE: NEM) formed as the result of a $10 billion merger between Newmont and Goldcorp. Last year, the pre-merger Newmont produced 5.1 million ounces of gold with a cost of $909 per ounce. Meanwhile Goldcorp produced 2.3 million ounces of gold in 2018 with the costs at around $800 an ounce and is expected to maintain these levels of production and costs in this year. In addition to great production volume, “Newmont Goldcorp has a large portfolio of reserves and resources for future development, making it less likely that its production will taper off as its current mines are exhausted. The combined production of these two companies exceeded the 2018 production of Barrick, which was the largest gold producer of 2018 though the average costs were higher.” During a gold bull market like in recent months, the increase in share price of gold miners often exceeds the increase in the price of physical gold itself. NEM’s share price has grown from $31 to $38 in the last month alone, a 22% gain.
The 12 month analysts consensus on Newmond Goldcorp’s stock is $42, which would be a 10% increase from today’s price. However, this is assuming gold prices stay at current levels. If the price of gold continues to gain ground in the world market, then NEM shares could easily reach $45 or higher. There is certainly more risk involved when investing in gold companies than physical gold itself. Management could make mistakes, and costs of doing business could go up. But Newmond Goldcorp currently claims to have the largest collection of reserves and resources. The difference is that reserves are economically, legally, and technically feasible to extract, while resources are potentially valuable and are reasonably likely to be extracted. This simply means that the company has properties that can replace its current operations when the existing mines have been exhausted. So if one wants to invest in a gold company, NEM can be considered relatively safe to put money in right now.
This author currently has 31 shares of Newmont Goldcorp Corp (NGT:TSE) as of writing this post.