Gold Market Morning: Quick recovery from yesterdays’ flash crash

Gold Today –New York closed at $1,244.30 yesterday after closing at $1,255.90 Friday. London opened at $1,250.00 today. 

Overall the dollar was slightly weaker against global currencies, early today. Before London’s opening:

         The $: € was weaker at $1.1256 after yesterday’s $1.1199: €1.

         The Dollar index was weaker at 96.97 after yesterday’s 97.25

         The Yen was weaker at 111.77 after yesterday’s 111.49:$1. 

         The Yuan was weaker at 6.8145 after yesterday’s 6.8427: $1. 

         The Pound Sterling was slightly weaker at $1.2748 after yesterday’s $1.2751: £1.

Yuan Gold Fix
Trade Date     Contract Benchmark Price AM 1 gm Benchmark Price PM 1 gm
      2017    6    27

     2017    6    26              

     2017    6    23

SHAU

SHAU

SHAU

/

278.15

277.34

Trading at 277.90

278.03

277.76

$ equivalent 1oz at 0.995 fineness

@    $1: 6.8145

       $1: 6.8427

       $1: 6.8374     

  /$1,259.33

$1,256.63

Trading at $1,263.42$1,258.78

$1,258.54

Please note that the Shanghai Fixes are for 1 gm of gold. From the Middle East eastward metric measurements are used against 0.9999 quality gold. [Please note that the 0.5% difference in price can be accounted for by the higher quality of Shanghai’s gold on which their gold price is based over London’s ‘good delivery’ standard of 0.995.]

 Shanghai ignored the price action in London and New York. As you can see above, the gold price there has steadily risen in the last three days and adjusted for the gyrations in the Yuan as it suddenly went strong after weakening in the last two days. With both London and New York recovering fast now Shanghai is pulling them up. New York went $16 lower than Shanghai yesterday, but London opened $13.42 lower than Shanghai. If the recovery continues in both London and New York today, we will see more evidence of Shanghai dominating pricing power.

The action on the Yuan corrected our view that thought that the P.B. of C. was allowing the Yuan to weaken. Its sudden strength showed they do not want a weaker Yuan at all and will act accordingly. Those positioning in a weaker Yuan paid a hefty price. We think such actions by them discourage speculative action by punishing speculators with losses.

Silver Today –Silver closed at $16.57 yesterday after $16.70 at New York’s close Friday.

LBMA price setting:  The LBMA morning gold price was set today at $1,250.40 from yesterday’s $1,240.85.  The gold price in the euro was set at €1,111.17 after Friday’s €1,109.88.

Ahead of the opening of New York the gold price was trading at $1,250.80 and in the euro at €1,108.96. At the same time, the silver price was trading at $16.68. 

Price Drivers

Yesterday, we thought the sale at the open in London must have been a physical sale, but it wasn’t, it was a ‘paper’ sale, where one theory was that someone made a huge mistake selling ‘lots’ in the futures market instead of ounces.  The deal was 56 tonnes of gold a massive amount that has not been seen since the gold price was crushed in 2013. Whatever it was, we learned a great deal about the behavior of markets then right up until now and likely tomorrow.

Lesson 1: Shanghai, a physical gold market, is not influenced by London and New York in such speculative lurches.

Lesson 2: To impact the gold price solidly, physical sales are needed in gold’s global markets.

Lesson 3: The influence of ‘paper’ gold markets [Futures and Options] is declining rapidly as physical sales or purchases directly affect gold prices. Paper sales do not involve physical gold sales in such cases. The speed of the price recovery in the face of such massive sales confirms what we are saying.

Lesson 4: When such speculative sales take place dealers in London and New York take up defensive positions in case of stop losses or further sales, but return to higher prices when buyers came in, which they  are doing in both the ‘paper’ and physical gold markets. The charts may show a rapid take up of such ‘paper’ contract sales, as one saw in the F & O markets, probably by ‘limit’ purchase orders below the market prices. Nevertheless, the SPDR gold ETF saw buyers come in at these levels to buy physical gold. The markets both physical and ‘paper’ now know the strong underlying strength below $1,250. The ‘Golden Cross’ remains intact!

We see the gold price recovering to levels seen before the sale, at least, as physical dealers move prices higher for fear of more physical gold buying, likely from Shanghai through arbitrageurs. If the sale of 56 tonnes was an attempted ‘bear’ raid we do not expect to see more in the future, unless they involve large amounts of physical gold. When they do come in, expect Shanghai to pick up the physical stock sold.

Gold ETFs – Yesterday saw purchases of 2.666 tonnes of gold from the SPDR gold ETF but no change in the Gold Trust. Their holdings are now at 853.684 tonnes and, at 208.41 tonnes respectively.

Since January 6th 2017 49.64 tonnes have been added to the SPDR gold ETF and the Gold Trust.

 Julian D.W. Phillips 

 GoldForecaster.com | StockBridge Management Alliance 

3 Reasons Why Gold Isn’t Behaving Like Gold Right Now

By Frank Holmes, CEO and Chief Investment Officer, U.S. Global Investors – www.usfunds.com

July 27, 2015

Green-Gold

As many of you know, I was in San Francisco the week before last where I had been invited to speak at the MoneyShow, one of the biggest, most preeminent investor conferences in the world. Over the past couple of decades, I’ve spoken at many MoneyShows all around the country and have covered many different topics. Gold investing is one that often draws a big crowd. Not this year. Guess which natural resource stole the show?

The commodity that attracted attendees’ attention is one that until pretty recently could only be grown and harvested under the shroud of secrecy. Marijuana. Currently legal in 23 states and the District of Columbia, medical marijuana generated $2.7 billion in 2014 and is expected to bring in $3.4 billion this year. Investors are taking notice. The cash crop is even starting to change intranational migration. Whereas many retired seniors flock to warmer climates in which to live out their golden years, others now factor in whether a state will permit them to self-medicate in order to treat their arthritis, according to a recent Time article.

Investors themselves who might have suffered from arthritis attended the pot presentation at their own risk, as it was standing room only. They couldn’t have been pulled away even to sit comfortably in the scarcely occupied room next door. Sentiment toward gold was indeed very bearish at the MoneyShow, as it is around the world right now.

Gold Hits the Reset Button

Gold is universally recognized as a safe-haven investment, a go-to asset class when others look uncertain. Following the 2008 financial crisis, for instance, the metal’s price surged, eventually topping out at $1,900 per ounce in August 2011.

But last week proved to be a particularly rocky one for the metal, even with Greece and Puerto Rico’s debt dilemmas, not to mention the recent Shanghai stock market decline, fresh in investors’ minds. Gold traded down for 10 straight sessions to end the week at $1,099 per ounce, its lowest point in more than five years. Commodities in general dropped to a 13-year low.

Commodities-Drop-to-a-13-Year-Low
click to enlarge

Gold stocks, as expressed by the XAU, also tumbled.

gold-stocks-slide-to-a-multi-year-low
click to enlarge

The selloff was given a huge push when China, for the first time in six years, revealed the amount of gold its central bank holds. Although the number jumped nearly 60 percent since 2009 to 1,658 tonnes, markets were underwhelmed, as they had expected to see double the amount.

Then in the early hours last Monday, gold experienced a “mini flash-crash” after five tonnes appeared on the Asian market. Initially this might not sound like a lot, but five tonnes equates to 176,370 ounces, or about $2.7 billion. It also represents about a fifth of a normal day’s trading volume. Suffice it to say, price discovery was effectively disrupted. In a matter of seconds, gold fell 4 percent before bouncing back somewhat.

Reflecting on the trading session, widely-respected market analyst Keith Fitz-Gerald noted: “Far from being a one-day crash, this could represent one of the best gold-buying opportunities of the year.”

The last time the metal descended this quickly was 18 months ago, on January 6, 2014, when someone brought a massive gold sell order on the market before retracting it in a high-frequency trading tactic called “quote stuffing.” Last month I shared with you that we now know who might have been responsible for the action—and many others that preceded it—and pointed out that the accused party’s penalty of $200,000 was grossly inadequate. Last Monday I told Daniela Cambone during the Gold Game Film that such downward price manipulation seems to result in little more than a slap on the wrist. But if manipulation is done on the upside, traders could get into serious trouble.

Besides apparent price manipulation, other factors are affecting gold’s behavior right now, three in particular.

1. Strong U.S. Dollar

Like crude oil, gold around the world is priced in U.S. dollars. This means that when the greenback gains in strength, the yellow metal becomes more expensive for overseas buyers. With the U.S. economy on the mend after the recession, the dollar index remains steady at a 12-year high.

It’s important to recognize, though, that gold is still strong in other world currencies, including the Canadian dollar. As such, our precious metals funds have hedged Canadian dollar exposure for Canadian gold stocks, which has benefited our overall performance.

2. Interest Rates on the Rise?

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen continues to hint that interest rates might be hiked sometime this year, perhaps even as early as September. When rates move higher, non-yielding assets such as gold often take a hit.

As you can see, the 10-year Treasury bond yield and gold have an inverse relationship. When the yield starts to rise, investors might find bonds a more attractive asset class.

Inverse-Relationship-Between-Gold-and-the-10-Year-Treasury-Bond-Yield
click to enlarge

3. Slowing Manufacturing Activity

Earlier this month I wrote about the downtrend in manufacturing activity across the globe. As many loyal readers are well aware, we closely monitor the global purchasing manager’s index (PMI) because, as our research has shown, when the one-month reading has fallen below the three-month moving average, select commodity prices have receded six months later.

Global-Manufacturing-PMI-Continues-Its-Downtrend
click to enlarge

China is the 800-pound commodity gorilla, and its own PMI has remained below the important 50 threshold for the last three months, indicating contraction. The preliminary flash PMI, released last Friday, shows that manufacturing has dipped to 48.2, a 15-month low. For gold and other commodities to recover, it’s crucial that China jumpstart its economy.

In the meantime, we’re encouraged by news that the slump in prices has accelerated retail demand in both China and India, which, when combined, account for half of the world’s gold consumption.

Battening Down the Hatches

They say that a smooth sea never made a skillful sailor. No one embodies this more than Ralph Aldis, portfolio manager of our precious metals funds. He and our talented team of analysts are doing a commendable job weathering this storm. We’re invested in strong, reliable companies, and when commodities eventually turn around, we should be in a good position to catch the wind.

We look forward to the second half of the year, when gold prices have historically seen a bump in anticipation of Diwali, which falls on November 11 this year, and the Chinese New Year. As you can see, average monthly gold performance has ramped up starting in September.

Average-Monthly-Gold-Performance
click to enlarge

 “Gold is down 15 to 25 percent below production levels,” Ralph says. “That might cause some companies to halt production.”

And, in so doing, help prices find firmer footing.

Spin on gold, China, Russia and everything else out of control

 

Am I just getting cynical in my old age or is everything one reads in the media becoming more and more suspect as to its provenance?  Even this article will undoubtedly reflect some of my own prejudices, but at least they are my prejudices and not fed to me by some monolithic organisation trying to manipulate global thinking.

Americans in particular in the run up to the next Presidential election will be fed all kinds of propaganda for and against the various candidates.  Some will be true, some will be half truths, and some may well be downright lies, but it may be impossible for the general public on the receiving end to know which is which.  The frightening thing is that whoever’s team is most successful in spinning their candidates’ suitability will win the election.  Their sponsor will then be at the head of the most powerful nation on earth.  And the spin will continue at the same kind of level throughout the Presidency.  And the same will apply in leadership elections in virtually any country.

And of course the same factors are being applied in global economics and geopolitics.  The media is force-fed with often axe-to-grind data and opinion designed to move markets, vilify or beatify whole countries and institutions, politicians, business leaders etc. – no-one is immune.  Modern day spin is out of control.

Personally I have a specific interest in precious metals, and in gold in particular as a long term wealth protector.  I readily admit that my articles will probably favour a pro-gold conclusion, although I do try to be rather more balanced in my opinions than many of my peers and look at both upsides and downsides rather than just the one or the other.  I am ever increasingly dismayed therefore by the plethora of opinion and dubious ‘fact’ which appears in the mainstream media in particular.  This only seems designed to try to downplay gold and its role in global economics by attempting to make it ever less attractive to investors.  Thereby to reduce gold’s influence in the global economic picture and try to drive it out of peoples’ understanding as a potential brake on profligate government spending via the degradation of fiat currencies by unchecked money printing.

But of course the spin doctors are not just anti-gold.  They target just about anything and everything which the establishment doesn’t like.  In the West Russia, and its leader President Putin, for example, have come in for enormous vilification over policies on matters occurring on its borders.  The Russian point of view over the expansion of NATO ever eastwards is totally disregarded as irrelevant.  The U.S.A. is lucky in that it has not faced potentially hostile military forces close to its borders since the Cuban missile crisis and, to an extent Russia sees the NATO moves, or potential moves, to move ever closer to its borders as its equivalent of the Russian missiles in Cuba.

In Russia itself, of course the reverse is true.  Any economic difficulties are laid fair and square as being the result of dirty tricks by the Americans and their allies and President Putin is portrayed as a hero standing up to American-instigated aggression – and has domestic popularity ratings which any U.S. president would give their eye-teeth for.  True the Russian state  is rather less tolerant of opposition than Western ‘democracies’ and more controlling of its own media which makes this task easier.  But this is still spin.

China too is beginning to be seen as a threat to American global political and financial hegemony, so we can expect more and more media attacks on Chinese policies and institutions.  One wonders, for example if the very recent, hugely blatant, gold flash crash, being blamed by much of the Western media by insinuation as being instigated by Chinese hedge funds, despite it starting in New York, was designed both to be anti-gold, but also to cast doubts on the position of the rapidly growing Chinese financial and futures exchanges.  These are seen as a threat to Western control of key markets and anything which can set back their progress towards overtaking their American counterparts (which seems inevitable long term) would not upset the latter!  With the IMF considering inclusion of the Chinese yuan in its SDR currency basket, which the U.S. establishment may see as a threat to its position as the main global reserve currency, with the enormous trade and financial benefits that brings with it, anything that might cast aspersions on the integrity of the Chinese markets could be seen as beneficial!

As an example of double standards here and in political spin, one only has to look at Afghanistan, which geographically might be considered in the Former Soviet Union’s geographical sphere of influence.  When Russia put troops into the country in 1979, supposedly in support of the then Afghan government, this was hugely condemned by the West – to the extent of supplying the Afghan Mujahiddin with weapons to fight the Russian ‘invaders’.  Fast forward 22 years with the Russians having withdrawn in 1989, the U.S. and its allies went in to Afghanistan on much the same grounds as the FSU had earlier – but this was a just intervention as far as western political spin to the media was concerned.  Of course Western political spin came up with good reasons for the American ‘intervention’, just as it had with condemnation for the Russian ‘invasion’ although the two sequential super-power involvements look to have been almost identical in purpose – but one to prop up a Communist leaning government and the other to do the same for a Western leaning one.  Such is political spin.

So what point am I making here?  Primarily don’t necessarily believe anything you read in the mainstream media which could have been placed to suit some government or financial institution’s political or economic agenda.  Someone’s likely paying for it big time and it’s for their own benefit, not yours!

As I said at the beginning, I have a specific interest in gold as a long term store of wealth and my personal prejudices and feelings will show up in the above article.  But, despite my views on Afghanistan above,  I’m not what used to be described in the U.S. press as some pinko-liberal – indeed politically I probably fall on the right wing side of things in the European context (i.e. not as far right as the American right!).  This article has thus been prompted by the enormous volume of anti-gold propaganda in the mainstream media – described as reaching bubble proportions by one commentator yesterday.  Much of this negative spin is by insinuation rather than by condemnation, and in many respects that is the more dangerous as it makes readers think they are coming to the desired conclusion by themselves rather than being told what to do.

Modern day political and economic spin is dangerous, but in this day of global news and comment dissemination by internet we all have to live with it.  The important thing is to understand that it is an integral part of modern day propaganda and to consciously try and reason things out for oneself rather than just follow the mainstream media and the herd.