If we ignore as much noise as possible, zoom out and focus on what has performed well across global markets for the last year, the theme that dominates is that of lower interest rates. Assets geared to lower rates—most notably real estate investment trusts (REITs) and bonds—have handsomely beaten those assets geared for higher rates. In light of this, gold's impressive gains may seem counter-intuitive at first glance; however, with interest rates in many parts of the world moving below the so called "zero bound" and into negative territory, gold is increasingly being viewed as (and trading like) a long-duration government bond proxy.
The chart below can be downloaded here.
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