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What gold, copper futures are telling us about the economy

Gold futures (GC=F) have had a record run in 2024, hitting an all-time high in late May. It's been a rally for commodities overall as copper prices (HG=F) moved to a record high in this same timeframe.

Barrick Gold (GOLD) CEO Mark Bristow comments on the trends in the commodities trade that have been pushing metal prices higher and how it is acting as an economic indicator.

"Mining is a long-term game. It's capital intensive. You've got to allocate capital over the long term. We did this big deal with Randgold back in 2019. We've been consolidating, it's all about delivery, and we've expanding our copper production," Bristow tells Yahoo Finance. "And overall looking to grow our production by 30% by the end of the decade. And bring our costs down. And that's the game in mining."

For more expert insight and the latest market action, click here to watch this full episode of Morning Brief.

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This post was written by Luke Carberry Mogan.

Video transcript

Gold's run has taken braces to record highs this year.

Right now.

It's up just about 12% year to date just outpacing the S and P five hundred's climb.

Now, the surge that we have seen is in part thanks to emerging market, central banks scooping up gold at record rates.

So where do we go from here?

We want to bring in our next guest for more on that.

We have Mark Bristow.

He is Barrett Gold, Ceo, Mark.

I it's great to see you here.

So bear gold.

If our viewers are not familiar with gold and copper producers, I'm curious just your reaction to this run up that we've seen in gold prices and in copper prices as well, where you think that trade is headed from here?

Uh Very interesting run up because uh it's been um the gold price that's moved the, the equities have lagged.

And also we've seen uh sell down on the ETF so interesting.

And I think it's to your point, people searching for some protection in, in this very mixed up world and, and your point about the central banks buying is important.

And of course, we know that China has been buying although China did um share with us that they hadn't bought the last month.

So that's good for Gold Mark Bryan here.

Good to, good to see you again.

It's, it's been a while.

Look, I was just trying to go to Costco to pick up a steak.

I got trampled somebody looking for a Costco gold bar.

I mean, these are just amazing times but given demand as something as simple as a gold bar from Costco.

What are you doing in terms of production?

How is this run up in gold prices to be on $23 2300 dollars an ounce?

How has this changed your operations this year?

And how does it change your outlook for the back half of this year?

So, so Ryan, you know, mining is a long term game, it's capital intensive.

You got to allocate capital over the long term.

We did this big deal with uh um Rand gold back in 2019.

We've been consolidating, it's all about delivery.

Um And we've expanding our copper uh production and overall looking to grow our production by 30% by the end of the decade.

So, and bring our cost down and that's the game in mining and so higher gold prices are always helpful.

They don't always stay up there, they go down and they go up.

Um But I think what we're seeing is uh people worried about the global economy and to your some of your previous um speakers, we've seen uh the economies driven by a select few companies and, and people are worried about that.

And, and as you know, Ryan, the world is not as stable as it was just a decade ago.

Uh now you mentioned Mark, it is a mixed up world and you also mentioned copper.

Now copper is often seen as a leading indicator for the global economy.

What are you seeing in terms of copper demand in the US?

And can you contrast that with what you're seeing in China?

I think people are realizing that the copper market is going to be squeezed the supply side.

And so there's AAA response to that and we've seen a couple of big producers um close down in the last year and that's also worried people and I think more so now copper is all about industrialization in a cleaner fashion and that's what's driving copper.

I think it's gonna have a bumpy ride for the next 18 months to 2.5 years.

And but definitely uh there's a big squeeze on the supply side of copper and on the on the demand side, uh we have to keep developing and the commitment to transition to a cleaner uh global energy industry is very real and that drives copper.