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With banks’ earnings and shares sinking worldwide, and nations across the globe trending among depression, recession, stagnation and tepid Gross Domestic Product growth, the US Federal Reserve, which had signaled four interest-rate hikes for 2016 after raising rates 25 basis points in December, is caught in an interest-rate trap.

Should the Fed raise rates, emerging markets will be among the great casualties. The higher US interest rates rise and the stronger the dollar grows, the greater the pressure on emerging markets to service the trillions in dollar-based debt they acquired when the Fed flooded the world with cheap, zero-interest-rate dollars following the Panic of ’08 to help stimulate the global economy.

Also, in the absence of strong economic growth in China and among developed nations, we forecast interest rates fluctuating within current trend lines. Therefore, with rates remaining negative or in near-low territory and currencies depreciating in many nations, we maintain our forecast that gold prices will increase as demand for safe-haven commodities sharply rises.

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