The precious metals sector of the commodities market posted a gain over the third quarter of 2020, with all members of the sector posting impressive gains. The sector has moved over 17% higher over the first nine months of 2020.
The composite of the four precious metals that trade on the COMEX and NYMEX divisions of the CME dropped by 5.44% in Q1 2020. In Q2, it gained 11.52%. In Q3, it vaulted 14.30% to the upside and was 17.46% higher over the first nine months of this year.
In Q1, the outbreak of coronavirus and the upcoming US election caused volatility in markets across all asset classes. During the final week of February, risk-off conditions caused central banks around the world to ease, which continued to support the price of gold. In March, the US central bank lowered the Fed Funds rate to zero percent and launched bazookas of liquidity in the form of quantitative easing into the financial system. Throughout Q2, the Fed unleashed an unprecedented quantitative easing program that included both government and corporate debt issues. The US Treasury borrowed $530 billion from June through September 2008 in the aftermath of the global financial crisis. In May 2020, the Treasury borrowed $3 trillion, and more borrowing is likely on the horizon over the coming months.
Global interest rates are at record low levels. In Europe, the ECB lowered its deposit rate by ten basis points in September. The central bank also began quantitative easing to the tune of 20 billion euros per month in November. As the virus took a took on Europe, the ECB unleashed an accommodative bazooka on the financial system. Sluggish economic growth in Europe put the ECB on a dovish path when it comes to monetary policy before the outbreak of COVID0-19.