June 16, 2009 / 4:35 PM / 10 years ago

Roubini says oil, gold look overpriced

Nouriel Roubini, RGE Monitor Chairman, speaks at the Reuters 2009 Investment Outlook Summit in New York June 16, 2009. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil and gold are overvalued at current prices, which do not reflecting their market fundamentals, economist Nouriel Roubini said at the Reuters Investment Outlook Summit on Tuesday.

Roubini, who is known for having predicted the financial crisis that rocked the global economy in the past two years, painted an economic backdrop of deflationary risks and warned that if oil keeps climbing toward the $100 level it would deal an “economic shock” similar to the one last seen in 2008.

The recent rally in oil, which sent prices to an eight-month high above $73 per barrel, was “too high too soon,” Roubini told the Reuters Investment Outlook Summit in New York.

U.S. crude oil reached a record high near $150 per barrel in July 2008 based on overly bullish global demand expectations, but prices have since more than halved with the global economic slowdown.

Roubini, who is chairman of economics research firm RGE Monitor, said the current price of gold looks overextended as deflation is likely to outweigh any risks of inflation in the near term.

“For the next two years, deflationary pressure is going to be dominant, and it is going to become a time bomb down the line if and when we keep monetizing large deficits. It may be too soon to hedge with gold,” he said.

“Unless we have high inflation, or...other risks like depression, gold looks toppy,” he said.

Gold could spike again whenever there is rising risk aversion, he said, though noting that bullion prices had declined after the Lehman Brothers debacle in September last year.

Editing by Leslie Adler

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