Gold has been a dud of an investment for much of the year, but it has started to regain some of its luster.
The price of gold is up 3.5% since the start of October. During the same period, the S&P 500 has fallen 6.5%.
Gold tends to do hold up well in times of turmoil and it’s a particularly compelling investment when people are worried about inflation — like they are now. Wages grew at their fastest clip since 2009, according to October’s jobs report.
Gold is particularly attractive to central banks looking for safe, liquid assets. Central bank purchases of gold increased by 22% during the third quarter . That’s the fastest pace since the fourth quarter of 2015, according to Natalie Dempster, managing director for central banks and public policy at the World Gold Council.
During the past couple of years, most gold purchases had been made by Russia, Turkey and Kazakhstan. They are still major gold buyers, and countries like India, Poland and Hungary, have aggressively ramped up purchases lately, Dempster noted. But central bank purchases are drawing attention.