Investors looking at haven assets to protect against a risk-off shock should find the yen a cheaper option than gold, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
An increase in gold-price volatility has made bullish options on the traditional haven more expensive than yen equivalents, wrote strategists including Alessio Rizzi in a note Monday.
“Implied volatility and options-call skew are expensive now for gold and buying calls on the yen appears attractive,” they said. “With gold positioning becoming more stretched, the yen might be a more attractive hedge tactically.”
Holdings in bullion-backed exchange-traded funds have hit the highest level since 2013 thanks to a combination of global-growth concerns, geopolitical concerns and plans by central banks to restart monetary stimulus. Spot gold is up 11% this year. The yen has only risen 1.6% against the dollar -- less than half the gain for the un-havenlike Canadian dollar.
Gold and the yen both might benefit in the case of a shock U.S. intervention to weaken the dollar, the Goldman strategists wrote.
By Cormac Mullen