Gold will hit $3,000 an ounce and the dollar will surge 50% against the Japanese yen. Here are the 10 outrageous 2023 predictions from one European bank

gold bars
Reuters / Krishnendu Halder
  • Gold surging to $3,000 an ounce is part of Saxo Bank's list of 10 Outrageous Predictions for 2023.

  • The Danish bank's annual list also foresees Japan setting a floor of 200 yen to temporarily halt a surging US dollar.

  • The UK holding an UnBrexit referendum also made the bank's cut.

Gold soaring by almost 70% and the Japanese yen sinking further against the US dollar as the world craters into a global war economy are among the wild predictions for 2023 by Saxo Bank.

Central banks "stumbling" on their inflation mandates and the Federal Reserve pushing on with aggressive rate hikes contribute to the backdrop of the 10 Outrageous Predictions list put out each year by the Danish bank.

"This year's Outrageous Predictions argue that any belief in a return to the disinflationary pre-pandemic dynamic is impossible because we have entered into a global war economy, with every major power across the world now scrambling to shore up their national security on all fronts; whether in an actual military sense, or due to profound supply-chain, energy and even financial insecurities that have been laid bare by the pandemic experience and Russia's invasion of Ukraine," Steen Jakobsen, chief investment officer at Saxo, said in a statement.

Russia's war against Ukraine may mark one year from its start in late February unless a cease-fire is reached and Saxo said this year's predictions were inspired by the similarities between Europe today and the state of the war-hit continent in the early 20th century.

Among Saxo's 10 Outrageous Predictions (in Insider's order):

1. Gold rockets to $3,000 an ounce 

The precious metal  "finally finds its footing" in 2023 after rough 2022 during which the so-called inflation hedge couldn't rally even as inflation hit record highs worldwide.

Saxo predicted 2023 as the year the market discovers that inflation will continue to burn hot for the foreseeable future, driving gold to $3,000 an ounce. That would mark a 69% jump from Monday's price at around $1,778 an ounce.

"Fed policy tightening and quantitative tightening drives a new snag in US Treasury markets that forces new sneaky 'measures' to contain Treasury market volatility that really amounts to new de facto quantitative easing," said Saxo.

Meanwhile, China fully ditching its zero-COVID through touting an effective treatment and perhaps a new vaccine would drive gold and other commodity prices sharply higher and send inflation surging. "Under-owned gold rips higher on the sea-change reset in forward real interest rate implications of this new backdrop, it said.

Gold could slice through the double top near $2,075 "as if it wasn't there," it said.

2. Japan pegs the USDJPY currency pair to 200 yen to sort out its financial system

The dollar exchanging hands at 200 yen would represent a climb of about 47% from Monday's level of more than 136 yen.

"As 2022 rolls into 2023, the pressure on the JPY and the Japanese financial system mounts again on the global liquidity crisis set in motion by the vicious Fed policy tightening and higher US treasury yields," said Saxo.

In the prediction, the Bank of Japan and Japan's Ministry of Finance deal with the situation by slowing and then halting currency intervention after burning through more than half of central bank reserves. With the dollar soaring beyond 180 and inflation levels scorching, officials declare a temporary floor of 200 yen in the USDJPY to allow for a reset of the Japanese financial system.

"That reset includes the BoJ moving to explicitly monetise all of its debt holdings, erasing them from existence. QE with monetization is extended to further lower the burden of Japan's public debt, but with a pre-set taper plan over the next 18 months," said Saxo.

The reset "puts Japan back on a stable path and establishes a tempting crisis-response model for a similar crisis inevitably set to hit Europe and even the US eventually," said Saxo, adding that the yen would also move considerably lower by the end of 2023.  

3. A country agrees to ban all meat production by 2030

Saxo said to meet the target of net-zero emissions by 2050, one report estimates that meat consumption must be reduced to 24 kilograms per person per year, compared with the current OECD average of around 70 kg.

In 2023, "at least one country looking to front-run others in marking out its lead in the race for most aggressive climate policy, moves to heavily tax meat on a rising scale beginning in 2025."

4. UK holds UnBrexit referendum

This prediction foresees the Labour government taking power in the third quarter, promising an UnBrexit referendum for November 1, 2023, and a ReJoin movement vote wins.

Market impact: after a weak performance in early 2022, the UK's pound sterling recovers 10% versus the euro and 15 % versus the Swiss franc on the anticipated boost to the London financial services sector.

5. Widespread price controls are introduced to cap official inflation

Saxo said: "In 2023, expect broadening price and even wage controls, maybe even something like a new National Board for Prices and Incomes being established in the UK and the US.

6. OPEC+ and Chindia walk out of the IMF, agree to trade with new reserve asset

Chindia is a reference to China and India, and in this prediction, Saxo  sees the two countries and the oil cartel "recognising the ongoing weaponisation of the USD by the US government."

In this scenario, non-US allied countries move away from the USD and the IMF to create an international clearing union (ICU) and a new reserve asset called the Bancor with the currency code KEY. Market impact: Non-aligned central banks vastly cut their USD reserves, US Treasury yields soar and the USD falls 25 percent versus a basket of currencies trading with the new KEY asset.

7. Billionaire coalition creates trillion-dollar Manhattan Project for energy

8. French President Emmanuel Macron resigns

9. Foundation of the EU Armed Forces established 

10. Tax haven ban which kills private equity

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