×

Falling interest rates are good for gold

The identifying marks of 'KIB' for Kibali, 'DRC' for Democratic Republic of Congo, and a unique number sit on gold bars after engraving at the Kibali gold mine, operated by Randgold Resources Ltd., in Kibali, Democratic Republic of Congo.
Simon Dawson | Bloomberg | Getty Images
The identifying marks of 'KIB' for Kibali, 'DRC' for Democratic Republic of Congo, and a unique number sit on gold bars after engraving at the Kibali gold mine, operated by Randgold Resources Ltd., in Kibali, Democratic Republic of Congo.

Gold investors are happy with the recent pop in gold.

In fact, gold's rebound is one of the hottest turnaround stories of 2016 and one of the few asset classes making investors money.

The president of Barrick Gold and the CEO of AngloGold Ashanti joined Power Lunch's Brian Sullivan from the BMO Metals and Mining Conference in Hollywood, Florida Monday.

The main takeaway, both company heads agree on two things: if China has a hard landing it will be good for gold and if interest rates continue to fall, that will also be good for gold.

Barrick President Kelvin Dushnisky told CNBC that he does not think China is in for a hard economic landing.

Dushnisky says, "China has actually been a buyer of gold over the last year and beyond." He also says the uncertainty in the global markets and some geopolitical risks have been a positive for gold.

Barrick's stock price has more than doubled in 6 months, as the company has undergone a dramatic balance sheet transformation and carved off debt, becoming free cash flow positive.

Dushnisky, says they are pleased with the work they have done on their balance sheet but admits they have some heavy lifting ahead of them.

He does say the company is on target for meeting this year's debt reduction of $2 billion.

While oil prices have gone down, the price of gold has been climbing.

AngloGold Ashanti is the world's third largest gold mining company.

The CEO, Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan (Venkat), told Power Lunch he is forecasting a production total of 3.6 to 3.8 million ounces of gold.

Venkat says gold has had a rough ride but the fundamentals that keep gold up haven't changed and that negative interest rates in some parts of the world mean gold will go up.

Venkat says, "you are getting a benefit by keeping physical gold or gold equities. They appreciate as compared to the other asset classes and therefore you are starting to see funds come into gold."

But Venkat says he still does not bank on the price of gold going up.

He says his planning assumptions are quite conservative, (he sets them at $1,100/ounce). Venkat also says AngloGold Ashanti also budgets for stronger currencies. Saying "typically when currencies weaken his margins increase."

Given this, Venkat does not think the bullishness in gold will be short-term but does say to expect some volatility through 2016.