Gold price rise caused by Brexit uncertainty


Gold is proving to be one winner from the uncertainty surrounding this week's Brexit vote.

The gold price has spiked to US$1,300 (NZ$1,842).

It has risen 24 percent this year to a two-year high.

The rally came as the International Monetary Fund warned a decision by Britain to leave the European Union would result in a "negative and substantial" hit to the British economy, with "permanently lower incomes."

Click here for economists' predictions of the potential impact on New Zealand's economy.

The gold rally is not only about the Brexit vote. The gold price is also rising because some investors are worried assets like shares and property are overvalued.

There is also concern the yields (returns) are low for fixed-interest investments like bonds.

Last week the yield on ten-year German government bonds fell below zero percent. That means investors are effectively paying the German government to look after their cash.

The latest opinion polls show a shift back towards the Remain camp.

That makes the undecided votes crucial.

Betting still gives the 'Remain' camp about a 60 percent chance of a win. In part that is because punters are picking that voters will opt for the status quo, much like they did with the Scottish independence referendum and last year's UK general election.

Friday did see some lift in positive sentiment, perhaps reflecting a feeling that the Remain camp will win.

All three indexes fell over one percent for the week.

Polls close on 11am Friday morning New Zealand time with the result of the vote likely to be known within about four or five hours.

The currency dealing rooms will lead the market reaction.

The pound will plunge if voters opt to leave the European Union. Gold is likely to really along with other assets considered safe havens, like the Japanese yen.

British stockbrokers are expecting a big day's trading after the results come in, regardless of the decision. They say many investors have been staying on the sidelines until the result is known.