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When People Riot, Should We Call Military or Gold?

Commodities / Gold & Silver 2020 Jun 07, 2020 - 05:30 PM GMT

By: Arkadiusz_Sieron

Commodities Could 2020 end, please? The pandemic is not over and the US suffers now from mass riots across the country. They could aggravate the coronavirus crisis and increase the demand for gold.

On May 26, a black man, George Floyd, was killed by the police in Minneapolis, Minnesota. During his arrest – he allegedly used earlier a $20 counterfeit bill in a nearby store – the police officer put a knee on Floyd’s neck on the ground, although the arrestee was not aggressive and repeated several times that he could not breathe.


All the police officers involved in the arrest were fired the next day, but arrested only on Friday. The arresting police officer who strangled Floyd was charged with murder and manslaughter. But it was not enough for many people. Outraged by the police’s brutality resulting in Floyd’s death and lack of quicker arrest of the police officers, hundreds of protesters poured into the streets across the country, including New York, Washington DC and Los Angeles.

Initially, protests were peaceful but later they have escalated as police have clashed with demonstrators and many shops have been looted. More than 5,000 people were arrested since the beginning of the protests on June 2.

Indeed, the situation has become serious. On Friday night, the riots triggered the highest alert on the White House complex since the September 11 attacks, and Secret Service agents rushed President Trump to the White House bunker as protesters gathered outside, some of them throwing rocks. Twenty-three states have called in the National Guard to quell unrest, and Trump threatened on Monday to mobilize the military across the US.

Implications for Gold

What do the riots across the US imply for the country and the gold market? Well, the civil unrest should be positive for the yellow metal. There are three reasons for this. The first and most obvious is that geopolitical risks concerning the US directly could spur the safe-haven demand for gold. We are, of course, fully aware that geopolitical factors rather do not drive the long-term trend in the gold prices, but they help in the short-term. As the chart below shows, the yellow metal has been consolidating recently around $1,700, perhaps preparing for further upward move.

Second, the mass protests during the pandemic is, um, well, not something what epidemiologists dream of. You don’t have to be a scientist to deduce that big demonstrations and large gatherings – and many protesters do not even wear masks – could accelerate the viral spread and increase the chances of the second wave of infections, or at least, hamper the deceleration of the epidemic. The longer and more severe the epidemic, the better for gold.

Importantly, although the direct reason behind the protest was police brutality against black community, the long period of social distancing and economic lockdown, spurring high unemployment, aggravated the civil unrest. We warned in late April, that we could see the premature reopening of the economies or even the riots. Now, we have both. Bad combination from the health and economic point of views, but quite supportive for the gold market.

Third, the civil unrest could also slow the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The violent protests and looting destroyed some stores, buildings and cars, subtracting from the GDP. Many people already reduced their economic activity due to the COVID-19 outbreak – the new civil protests can add a new layer of uncertainty and subdued consumer spending and business investment. Hence, although not a game-changer, at least not yet, the riots could support the gold prices, especially if they contribute to the current depreciation of the US dollar.

Thank you.

If you enjoyed the above analysis and would you like to know more about the gold ETFs and their impact on gold price, we invite you to read the April Market Overview report. If you're interested in the detailed price analysis and price projections with targets, we invite you to sign up for our Gold & Silver Trading Alerts . If you're not ready to subscribe at this time, we invite you to sign up for our gold newsletter and stay up-to-date with our latest free articles. It's free and you can unsubscribe anytime.

Arkadiusz Sieron

Sunshine Profits‘ Market Overview Editor

Disclaimer

All essays, research and information found above represent analyses and opinions of Przemyslaw Radomski, CFA and Sunshine Profits' associates only. As such, it may prove wrong and be a subject to change without notice. Opinions and analyses were based on data available to authors of respective essays at the time of writing. Although the information provided above is based on careful research and sources that are believed to be accurate, Przemyslaw Radomski, CFA and his associates do not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the data or information reported. The opinions published above are neither an offer nor a recommendation to purchase or sell any securities. Mr. Radomski is not a Registered Securities Advisor. By reading Przemyslaw Radomski's, CFA reports you fully agree that he will not be held responsible or liable for any decisions you make regarding any information provided in these reports. Investing, trading and speculation in any financial markets may involve high risk of loss. Przemyslaw Radomski, CFA, Sunshine Profits' employees and affiliates as well as members of their families may have a short or long position in any securities, including those mentioned in any of the reports or essays, and may make additional purchases and/or sales of those securities without notice.

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