Business Maverick

Business Maverick

Nvidia rivals gold as shield against inflation, survey shows

Nvidia rivals gold as shield against inflation, survey shows
Nvidia headquarters in Santa Clara, California.

The biggest US tech stocks are not only a bet on innovation but also a possible hedge against inflation, according to some respondents in the latest Bloomberg Markets Live Pulse survey.

Gold, the haven of choice for decades, is still seen as the best safeguard against the risk of rising prices, according to 46% of survey participants. But nearly a third said the tech behemoths are their first pick for the role. 

The response highlights the dominant role that companies like Nvidia Corp., Inc., and Meta Platforms Inc. are playing in the US financial markets as they expand their sway over major swaths of the economy. That has allowed them to generate steady profits, stoking rallies that are making investors confident that they will continue to be a source of solid gains. 

Inflation in the US has come down significantly from the scorching levels in 2022, but it surpassed economists’ expectations during the first three months of the year and has remained stubbornly above the Federal Reserve’s 2% target. 

That has left price increases by and large the biggest concern among investors. A majority of the survey’s respondents — 59% of 393 — cited resurgent inflation as the top tail risk facing financial markets between now and the end of the year. The next reading of the consumer price index is scheduled for this Wednesday and is likely to come around 3.4%.

Nvidia, for example, has surged more than six times since inflation first rose past 2% in March 2021. Even Apple, which has seen peaks and valleys, has outperformed the broader market in that timeframe, gaining over 50% to the S&P 500’s roughly 30%. Still, like other growth stocks, tech companies are sensitive to changes in inflation and interest-rates, because their valuations hinge largely on future profits.

About a quarter of respondents pointed to a US recession as the top risk of 2024. In that case, Treasuries and not stocks would offer a better shield, the survey shows.

The surprising resilience of the economy despite the Fed’s tighter monetary policy has kept cash flowing into the US, where bond yields are high and corporate profits continue to grow. 

The influx has been fueling a renewed rise in the US dollar, which is overwhelmingly seen as the best currency for weathering times of market turmoil. 

Almost three-quarters of the respondents said the dollar was the best haven currency, with the Swiss franc getting about 23% of the vote and the Japanese yen about six times less. Among respondents from the US and Canada, the dollar got 86% of the vote, while in Europe, 43% of participants went for the Swiss currency.

The yen has lost its haven status because of its depreciation against the dollar and due to Japan’s ultra-easy monetary policy, the survey showed. The yawning gap between interest rates in Japan and the US has sent the yen to the lowest levels since 1990 earlier this year. 

Gold is up almost 15% this year with the People’s Bank of China as one of the largest sources of demand. With the confiscation of Russia’s dollar assets in the wake of the war in Ukraine, many countries are trying to diversify away from the dollar, with gold a natural beneficiary. Only 13% of respondents in the MLIV Pulse survey said that the search for geopolitically unaligned assets has benefited Bitcoin.

The MLIV Pulse survey is conducted among Bloomberg readers on the terminal and online by Bloomberg’s Markets Live team. Sign up here to receive future surveys.


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