CNBC/REUTERS
Gold rises as pandemic worsens, U.S. elections in focus

Gold prices gained on Monday on uncertainty surrounding the outcome of Tuesday’s U.S. presidential election, while a spike in global coronavirus cases exacerbated fears about an economic recovery, further boosting the safe-haven metal’s appeal.

Spot gold rose 0.6% to $1,889.76 per ounce, while U.S. gold futures were up 0.6% to $1,891.

“We are expecting an increase in volatility coming in the next 72 hours. So, because of that people are looking at gold and silver as safe haven play,” said Phillip Streible, chief market strategist at Blue Line Futures in Chicago.

Democrat Joe Biden is leading U.S. President Donald Trump in national opinion polls, but the race is tight in several battleground states, with fears that the results may not be clear on Tuesday night as ballot counting could take days.

“If the results are not clear, we can go back to $1,940 an ounce. But regardless of which candidate wins, there are underlying pieces of continued stimulus, central banks are expanding balance sheets, interest rates are remaining low for extended period of time,” Streible said.

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Marketwatch/Shawn Langlois
The next bear market will be the worst in at least 78 years, warns co-founder of Soros’s legendary Quantum Fund

That’s Jim Rogers, the 78-year-old co-founder of George Soros’s Quantum Fund, once again hammering home the idea that the flood of money flowing from central banks are artificially keeping markets around the world afloat and will ultimately lead to disaster.

“If you look out the window, you’ll see printing presses everywhere,” Rogers explained in an interview with the Peak Prosperity blog. “You know what happened to all the other countries in history that have gotten themselves deep into debt… it hasn’t been pretty.”

In separate comments made at the 12th annual “Russia Calling” Investment Forum in Moscow last week, Rogers talked about how the actions of some in positions of power have made the coronavirus pandemic even more devastating for global economies.

“This is probably the worst [crisis] that I have seen in my lifetime, because everything collapsed and you had politicians and media and everybody overreacting in my view, and everybody closed down,” he was quoted as saying by RT.com. “We’ve had many epidemics in history, but never before did they close McDonalds, never before did they close all the airlines.”

The U.S. death toll from COVID-19 just topped 230,000 and the total case number hit 9.1 million after more than 99,000 infections in a record one-day tally, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Rogers, not one to shy away from gloomy calls, told participants at the form that the next bear market is “going to be the worst in my lifetime.”

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Forbes/Pedro Nicolaci da Costa
U.S. Economy Faces Second-Wave Slump As Coronavirus Infections Surge

Now that infections and deaths are spiking again, financial markets have turned nervous as investors brace for another round of economic pain. U.S. stocks just turned in their worst week since March, when the pandemic first began.

Anxiety is especially high because the lack of a second fiscal stimulus deal from Congress increases the prospect that consumption will suffer, with millions falling below the poverty line as government relief for households and businesses falters.

“The U.S. economy remains deeply depressed, and a reentry into outright recession in coming months is highly possible,” wrote Josh Bivens of the Economic Policy Institute and others in a new blog.

“U.S. families are suffering: 225,000 lives have been lost, 30 million workers have lost either jobs or significant hours of work, nearly every state is facing sharp drops in revenue that will threaten even more cuts to essential social programs and jobs.”

Scott Minerd, CIO of Guggenheim investments, says recent signs of recovery mask the rising possibility of another major bump on the road for growth just as the economy is at its most brittle.

“Without fiscal stimulus, personal income will stagnate, job gains will slow, consumers will pull back, and more small and medium-sized businesses will fail,” he writes in a blog.

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