Gold prices are at a 3-month high relative to bitcoin as the Fed continues monetary-stimulus efforts

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  • Spot gold rose to $1,853.12 an ounce on Monday, the highest point since February 10.
  • Gold’s price relative to bitcoin is now at a three-month high as the cryptocurrency sells off.
  • Investors are flocking to gold amid fears of rising inflation and a weakening dollar from the Fed’s stimulus efforts.
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Gold prices rose to a three-month high Monday morning as investors have flocked to the safe-haven asset amid continued Federal Reserve stimulus that’s weakened the dollar.

Spot gold rose 0.5% to $1,853.12 an ounce on Monday, reaching the highest point since February 10, according to Bloomberg. The price movement came as bitcoin sank to nearly $42,000 after Elon Musk suggested Tesla may sell its holdings.

The ratio of gold’s price relative to bitcoin is up to the highest point since early February. One Bitcoin is now equivalent to about 23 ounces of gold bullion, down from a record of 36 ounces in April, according to Bloomberg data.

It’s likely that many investors may be buying gold as an alternative to a weakening dollar. The Federal Reserve has promised to keep interest rates near zero for the foreseeable future, which could weaken the US currency and strengthen the case for gold.

Gold has also been historically viewed as a hedge against inflation, and Wall Street has grown increasingly concerned that inflation will overheat as the US emerges out of the pandemic.

Cryptocurrency bulls argue that bitcoin’s fixed supply makes it an even better hedge against inflation than Gold, but recent price movements in both assets question this narrative.

Last week, when key inflation data came in significantly higher than expected, bitcoin fell 7% in one day, moving in the exact opposite direction as one would expect an inflation hedge to move. Bitcoin experts say they’re not concerned about day-to-day movements in the historically volatile cryptocurrency’s price.

Read more: UBS says to buy these 42 ‘new momentum’ stocks that are poised to outperform in a rising inflation environment

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Bitcoin bulls have long claimed the cryptocurrency is an inflation hedge. But recent price swings have challenged that idea.

  • Bitcoin bulls have long argued that the cryptocurrency is a hedge against inflation, particularly because of its fixed supply.
  • But bitcoin tanked this past week after stronger-than-expected inflation data when it theoretically should’ve gained.
  • We spoke to one bitcoin expert who isn’t concerned about bitcoin’s recent downward movement – and who said it’s still undervalued as an inflation hedge.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

Fears of rising inflation came to a head on Wednesday when key data came in significantly higher than economists expected. Bitcoin, touted by some of its biggest supporters as an inflation hedge – because it has a finite supply, unlike the dollar – didn’t rise in response. It instead slumped around 7% on the day.

Headline inflation data as measured by the Consumer Price Index rose 4.2% year-over-year in April, the fastest rate since 2008, while core inflation rose 0.9% in the largest monthly increase for the core index since 1982. The Dow shed nearly 700 points Wednesday.

Meanwhile, alleged inflation hedge bitcoin dropped below $50,000 to its lowest level in nearly three weeks.

The day that inflation fears hit a boiling point would have been bitcoin’s time to shine as the hedge against devalued, government-backed money its supporters claim it to be. With its fixed supply of 21 million bitcoin, the cryptocurrency is meant to protect against reckless central bank policy and helicopter money distributed by governments during the pandemic.

But as inflation concerns built in the weeks leading to Wednesday’s crescendo, bitcoin was unable to break out past new records. It has slumped 24% in the last month, and Elon Musk’s tweet about its environmental impact following the inflation print didn’t help.

The world’s most popular cryptocurrency may not be the hedge it is claimed to be, and its sensitivities to everything from local restrictions on bitcoin mining to Elon Musk’s latest tweets show that the coin is really treated by market participants as a risk asset and a vehicle for speculation.

Read more: A 29-year-old crypto billionaire who’s perfected digital-currency arbitrage shares 2 tips for investors looking to get started in trading – and explains why ether is unlikely to surpass bitcoin

Still, some bull are steadfast that bitcoin will get its day in the sun as inflation rises.

Dan Held, head of growth at cryptocurrency exchange Kraken, doesn’t think bitcoin’s recent price movements indicate it’s not a good inflation hedge, and said it’s developed a floor at the current price of $45,000-$50,000.

“I don’t think there was one singular catalyst that would either have pushed bitcoin up or down that’s inflation related,” he told Insider. “Bitcoin moved so intensely upwards earlier this year, this was sort of a bitcoin catching its breath before another big leg up.”

Held said bitcoin is still undervalued as an inflation hedge, especially considering that at a $1 trillion market capitalization, its much smaller than other assets that are traditionally seen as inflation hedges like gold and real estate.

Read the original article on Business Insider