Today, trading gold is almost no different from trading foreign exchange.
Gold has traditionally been seen as a store of value, precisely because it is not subject to the whims of governments and central banks as currencies are. Gold prices are not influenced directly by either fiscal policy or monetary policy and will always be worth something – unlike a currency that can end up being almost worthless because, for example, of rampant inflation.
Gold can also be used by traders as a “safe haven”, along with assets like the Janpanese Yen/ Swiss Franc and the notes and bonds issued by the US Treasury. That means that when traders are worried about risk trends they will tend to buy haven assets. On the flip side, traders tend to generally sell haven assets when risk appetite grows, opting instead for stocks and other currencies with a higher interest rate. This makes gold an important hedge against inflation and a valuable asset.
Note, though, that while it is possible to trade the Swiss Franc or the Japanese Yen against a variety of other currencies, gold is almost always traded against the US Dollar. Therefore, trading gold means you will need to take into account the movements of the US Dollar. For example, if the value of the US Dollar is increasing, that could drive the price of gold lower.
An additional factor to take into account when learning how to trade gold includes market liquidity. The World Gold Council estimates that average daily trading volumes in gold are higher than in any currency pairs other than EURUSD, USDJPY and GBPUSD. That makes it higher, for example, than the daily trading volume in EURJPY, so spreads – the differences between buying and selling prices – are narrow making gold relatively inexpensive to trade.
Gold trading hours is nearly 24 hours per day. Gold exchanges are open almost all the time, with business moving seamlessly from London and Zurich to New York to Sydney and then to Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tokyo before Europe takes up the baton again. This means liquidity is high around the clock although, as with foreign exchange, it can be relatively quiet after the New York close, with lower volumes and therefore the possibility of volatile price movements.
If you’re concerned about inflation or just the overall economy in general, investing in gold is an excellent way to protect your wealth. However, if you’re actually trying to make money from the trends in gold that requires, in essence, a method and when we trade gold, we use our simple gold trading strategy.