President Donald Trump gives remarks during an appearance at the Loren Cook Company on August 30, 2017 in Springfield, Missouri.
Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images

Not North Korea

By Lucinda Shen
September 6, 2017

North Korea may be ramping up nuclear missile tests, but its not Kim Jong-un that’s spooking investors and making them turn toward the gold market.

Analysts at banking giant Goldman Sachs say it’s actually Donald Trump’s administration that’s been the main cause for concern among investors—pushing them toward so-called safe haven assets such as gold, with the current gold price now at $1,334 an ounce. Assets such as gold tend to stay relatively stable while the stock market fluctuates in times of uncertainty.

“It is tempting to blame the rally in gold prices on recent events in North Korea,” the Goldman Sachs analysts led by Jeffrey Currie said in a Tuesday note. “We find that the events in Washington over the past two months play a far larger role in the recent gold rally followed by a weaker dollar.”

The past few months have been eventful in Washington. The New York Times reported on a secret meeting between a Russian lawyer and members of the Trump campaign in July, fanning even more concerns about the White House’s relationship with the Kremlin. Another health care bill also failed in the same month. Then in August, Trump drew widespread criticism for his initial response to the violence in Charlottesville.

Market watchers have worried that these events have distracted Washington from achieving goals that would be a boon for businesses. More recently that’s involved passing tax reform.

“In coming months, the unfortunate aftermath of hurricane Harvey suggests that Washington is going to have to overcome their differences, pass spending bills, try harder to avoid a government shutdown and pursue infrastructure projects sooner than later,” the analysts wrote.

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