1. It is led by institutions and funds, not private investors. Global quantitative easing created a huge and mobile pool of capital in constant need of a place to call home. As the need for a safe haven became apparent among the stewards of that capital, the demand for gold flourished. The consistent presence of funds and institutions as buyers in this rally, as represented by the growth in ETF stockpiles, is one of its hallmarks and represents one of the major differences between this gold rally and rallies of the past. Though private investors have been late to the game, the rapid development of the physical market for gold coins and bullion in the United Kingdom is testament to the fact that sentiment can change quickly.
2. Day-to-day price reversals often originate in Asia and Europe, not just the United States. For decades, the U.S. commodity markets set the tone for gold pricing and the rest of the world was content to follow. Even the old London price fix tended to follow along with trends established in the United States. That all changed when the Shanghai gold market began offering its own pricing mechanism and the effects of Brexit began to have a profound impact on both sides of the English Channel. Now, price reversals often begin in Asian or European markets overnight and carry over to the open in New York rather than the other way around. All of this is a reflection of ramped up global investor interest in gold and a leveling of the playing field in terms of who and what influences the price on a daily basis. As such, it comprises our second important difference between the current gold price rally and rallies in the past.