It might be tempting to call an end to the gold price run. The yellow metal’s currently down at $1,460 per ounce, its lowest since the beginning of August and a move that’s dragged the share prices of dedicated gold diggers firmly to the downside. Polymetal International (LSE: POLY), for instance, recently toppled from recent record highs of £12.70 per share and is now dealing at its cheapest for more than a fortnight.
It’d be folly to suggest that the gold price surge in 2019 has run out of steam, however, given the range of geopolitical and macroeconomic concerns that continue to rumble on in the background. As recent data from the World Gold Council shows, investors continue to buy into the safe-haven asset as insurance should the global economy take a dive next year and central banks keep slashing rates like crazy.
In October, gold-backed exchange-traded funds (ETFs) added another 44.4 tonnes in October, primarily due to strong buyer interest in Europe and North America. And as a consequence total worldwide ETFs now hold a record 2,900 tonnes of metal.
I believe conditions remain strong for gold to mount another push towards the all-time highs above $1,900 per ounce in 2020, but even if you don’t share my optimism it isn’t a bad idea to have exposure to gold in your shares portfolio. History has shown that sooner or later financial markets will go to hell in a handcart, and having access to safe-haven assets can help take the edge off.
This recent gold price retreat provides a terrific opportunity to pick up some mining shares at brilliant prices. Polymetal, for instance, now changes hands on a forward price to earnings growth (PEG) readout of 0.8 – anything below 1 is considered unmissable from a value perspective – while for 2019 and 2020 the digger boasts handsome dividend yields of 3.9% and 4.8% respectively.
Another Footsie star
Polymetal’s a share that I’d buy for my ISA today and never sell, but it’s not the only top income share from the FTSE 100 that’s trading too cheaply right now. I’d argue that fellow safe-haven asset and defence giant BAE Systems (LSE: BA) is also a great share to have in your portfolio for troubled times.
War is a constant part of life and as a major supplier of hardware to the US and UK militaries, as well as fast-growing emerging economies (like Saudi Arabia in the volatile Middle East), the weapons-builder continues to win business. Military budgets in the West continue to grow and BAE Systems has a number of sizeable contracts already in the pipe, from the ramping up of the Dreadnought programme on home shores to an array of combat vehicle contracts in the U.S.
The world is getting less secure as foreign policy across the globe becomes more hawkish and terrorist activity picks up, leading City analysts to predict that earnings at BAE Systems will keep rising by mid-single digits over the next couple of years at least. And this leaves the business dealing on a forward price-to-earnings ratio of just 12.6 times and carrying chunky yields of 4% for 2019 and 4.2% for next year.
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Royston Wild has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.