Volatile week for Gold

The time since the Labor Day holiday in the USA has seen some particularly volatile movements in precious metals prices.  My commentaries on this published on the http://www.sharpspixley.com website appear below.  Click on the titles to view full articles:

Precious metals prices underwent some heavy corrections in the past week but now seem to be picking up again, We still feel the overall trend is positive.

GOLD SEE-SAW: UP IN EUROPE, DOWN IN USA

Gold is riding something of a see-saw at the moment with positive price movement in European trade being counterbalanced by a pull-back when U.S. markets start to dominate. But overall we see the pattern as positive.

My initial July gold and silver articles on Sharps Pixley websites

The gold price started July positively, silver rather less so and my initial takes on this, as published on the http://www.sharpspixley.com Metals Daily website are linked below.  Note the dates of the articles.  Gold and silver may have performed a little differently (positively in gold’s case) since the articles were written. Click on the titles to read in full:

Gold catches another wave ahead of U.S. holiday

04 Jul 2019 – The gold price moved sharply upwards over $1.400 on Tuesday and remains above that level for the Independence Day holiday. Will prices move on further once th holiday is over next week? Silver, though, remains muted

Silver should be good to go

03 Jul 2019 – Silver has been the weak link in the precious metals chain, but is should start to play catch-up alongside a booming gold price’

 Gold: What a difference a month makes

01 Jul 2019 – June saw the gold price increase by around $100, and more at one time, before falling $30-40 back after various accords at the G20 meeting. What will happen now?

 

LAWRIE WILLIAMS: GLD turnaround very positive for gold

With the Sharps Pixley Site still Down for Direct Posts I am continuing to post my articles here with the link to them picked up by sharps Pixley’s alternate site Metalsdaily.com

Gold showed signs of weakness through most of April and May and no less than 35 tonnes of gold were liquidated out of GLD, the world’s largest gold ETF, between April 1st and the Memorial Day holiday on May 27th. But as so often seems to be the case, the U.S. holiday seemed to trigger a turning point and, since then, GLD has added 22 tonnes of gold to its holdings. And the GLD increase has coincided with a very sharp uptick in the gold price which is currently approaching $1,350 spot as I write – a big increase from a low point of around $1,275 only a week ago.
This is no coincidence as both the GLD deposits and the rising gold price signify a major change in sentiment about the prospects for gold from some of the big money funds. Ray Dalio’s Bridgewater, reputed to be the world’s biggest hedge fund with around $150 billion under management, has been leading the clarion call for gold. Dalio is said to be a gold believer and is reported as recently having his fund increase its gold exposure in the light of what he sees as an escalating trade war between the U.S. and China which he regards as potentially moving out of control. In a recent blog post he noted “History shows that countries in conflict have seen that such conflicts can easily slip beyond their control and become terrible wars that all parties, including the leaders who got their countries into them, deeply regretted, so the parties in the negotiations should be careful that that doesn’t happen. Right now we are seeing brinksmanship negotiations, so it is a risky time.”
While that may be a contentious assessment of the current trade negotiations, many feel that Dalio has a strong point here and President Trump’s ‘shoot from the hip’ approach to weaponise U.S.-assumed financial clout certainly has huge dangers – not least for segments of the U.S.’s own business structures. National leaders, who have ‘face’ to protect, may not cave in to bullying tactics of this type as easily as Trump’s business rivals may have done in the past. Equity markets in the U.S. and globally are looking nervous and there are fears around of a full-on global recession.
Where Dalio is seen to go, others follow, so it is not too surprising that GLD seems to be seeing gold inflows. The big question is how far can this apparent change in sentiment boost the gold price before it is seen as having risen too far too fast with a correction coming back in?
But meanwhile there are other elements boosting the gold price – not least a falling U.S. dollar index which usually coincides with a rising gold price. Geopolitical tensions seem to be ever-present, there are ongoing tariff, counter-tariff and economic sanction impositions, the U.S. Fed is now seen as more likely to cut interest rates rather than raise them, equity market nervousness, central bank gold buying, etc. All these would seem to be in favour of an increasing role for gold globally. Thus the target for a $1,400 plus gold price in the second half of the year would seem to be comfortably in play again. Indeed even higher price levels may come about should some of the current global tensions remain unresolved or escalate further.

LAWRIE WILLIAMS: Gold price back ahead of palladium again

the sharps pixley site still appears to be down so posting this article here and seeing if I can upload the Link to sharpspixley.com

A rising gold price and a falling palladium one have seen gold regain its crown as the highest priced principal precious metal. Both metals do seem to have a fair amount going for them but, for now, the sentiment appears to be with gold.

Nervousness about the onset of a possible global recession plus a perceived drop in gasoline (petrol)-powered automobile sales worldwide has seen the high-flying palladium price slip back.  With gold showing some strength, the price positions between the two precious metals have again reversed – as predicted in early year price forecasts – with gold trading as I write at about a $20 premium over the pgm.  However palladium supply/demand fundamentals remain strong and the price tends to be much more volatile than gold so don’t be too surprised if it regains its price ascendancy over gold in the short to medium term, but perhaps only briefly.

Historically gold has usually traded at a substantial premium over palladium, although not over the latter’s sister metal, platinum.  We suspect over time there will be something of a return to the status quo with platinum playing catch-up, but that may take some years to come about.  Palladium demand is hugely dependent on the autocatalyst market – a recent estimate is that this sector accounts for 80% of palladium demand – so a continuation in the drop in auto sales could hit the metal hard.  But there remains a big supply deficit overhang which will take some time to eliminate so palladium could yet benefit from the occasional price spurt.

The ever growing take-up of battery electric powered vehicles, and perhaps longer term of fuel cell power, will also severely dent the prospects for palladium, as it will for another pgm group metal, rhodium, which tends to be utilised – in very small quantities – alongside palladium in autocatalysts, but it will take a few more years yet for these alternative drive systems to put a serious dent in the internal combustion engine market,  Given that the world’s second biggest auto market is the U.S., and that country is currently led by a climate change sceptic who perhaps sees less need for non-polluting vehicles, and has a strong vocal following, the take-up of alternative-powered automobiles may move slower than anticipated in that part of the world.  However the world’s biggest auto market currently is China, and given that country’s air pollution problems electric vehicle take-up there is likely to be strong.  Swings and roundabouts!

As for gold itself there appears to have been a major change in sentiment towards the yellow metal which has certainly been price supportive over the past few days.  Futures markets are pricing gold higher than current spot levels so it could have further to run. Outflows from the world’s biggest gold ETF, GLD, have been replaced by inflows which is a guide to where the big money is now headed.  Some commentators see the gold price as now threatening this year’s high of around $1,350 over the summer.  We shall see.

All in all though there are a number of factors which look to be in favour of a rising gold price.  Tariff wars instigated by President Trump’s aggressive foreign trade policies, geopolitical instabilities in several parts of the world which could blow up any time, fearful equity markets and the now likelihood of U.S. Fed rate cuts all would appear to be gold price supportive.  Gold investors may yet have something to cheer about as the year progresses.

Gold a better 2018 investment than equities – almost everywhere!

Lightly edited version of article first published on www.sharpspixley.com

The better gold price, coupled with the big downturn in general equities, has meant that over the year to date gold has outperformed stocks quite significantly even in the USA – and even more so in most other countries.

As the year draws to a close we see that gold has outperformed equities, virtually everywhere in the world.  Year to date U.S. equities, as measured by the Dow, S&P and NASDAQ, are down over 10%, while European and Asian equities have fallen by even greater percentages.  Gold, in U.S. Dollars is also down year to date, but only by a little under 4%.  Indeed the gap may even be widening as the year end approaches with gold gaining and equities still falling.

So even in the U.S. gold has comfortably outperformed equities over the year, while in other key currencies it has even done rather better having seen gains in most, with many currencies declining in value against the mighty dollar.  Globally, thus gold has more than performed its role as a safe haven investment extremely well.  In countries where the domestic currency has collapsed, like Venezuela and, to an extent, Argentina, gold has proved to be an exceptionally good asset to hold.

As an example of gold in major currencies, the gold price in Euros is up by 1% so far this year and in the British pound sterling it is up around 2.5%. while in both the EU and the UK equities have fallen sharply (around 11%) over the year to date.  In the Australian dollar gold is up almost 6%, and in Canada it is up around 3.5% in the domestic currency’ while again equities are down sharply in both countries.

There are exceptions of course – in Japanese yen gold is down by 5.7%, but Japan’s prime stock index – the Nikkei – is off by 11.4% so gold has still easily outperformed the market there too.  In Swiss Francs, another currency which is usually considered among the stronger palyers, gold is also down – by around 2.9% – but again it has comfortably outperformed the Swiss Stock market which is also down a little over 11%!  (All figures as at close Friday December 21st).

If one looks also at another key investment asset – the heavily promoted bitcoin – the biggest bitcoin player, BTC, has lost around a massive 70% since January 1st this year.  I think that more than quashes any argument that bitcoin provides a better haven than gold which was prevalent when BTC was riding high in the second half of 2017.  It has proved to be a far more volatile asset than gold which somewhat defeats the safe haven principle! It is altogether a much more speculative asset class and we would not be surprised to see the price dive further in the weeks and months ahead.  Other cryptocurrencies have declined even further than BTC in percentage terms.

As we have noted before we have not been a believer in bitcoin as an investment.  We warned people to get out when BTC was at around $10,000 on the way up to almost double that level so we were a little early with our advice, but were obviously correct in principle.  In our view it’s better be out too soon in what was looking increasingly like a developing bubble situation than too late!

So what happens from here?  Equities are still looking vulnerable while portents for gold and the other precious metals are looking positive although data may yet change the position of either or both.  Geopolitics are ever increasingly uncertain – in part due to President Trump’s domestic difficulties and his insistence on a continuing trade dispute with China which seems to be disadvantageous to both nations. There are also continuing issues in the Middle East, Ukraine, Afghanistan, North Korea and the South China Sea to name but five potential flashpoints – but there could well be others which crop up in the year, or years, ahead.  The Democratic party majority in the U.S. House of Representatives which will be in place in 2019 and the subsequent possibility of moves to impeach the U.S. President add further degrees of uncertainty to the mix, which could weigh on equities and the dollar and boost precious metals.

Some observers feel that silver, which has underperformed in the past year, might be the precious metal to plump for given that it tends to outperform gold when the latter is in a rising pattern.  Palladium fundamentals look strong too, but the price could suffer if there is an economic recession, as could that of silver,  and a global recession may, or may not, be on the cards.  A U.S. recession has looked unlikely in the near term, but further falls in equities could lead to negative overall sentiment which could push the recession button and adversely affect all industrial metals – sooner rather than later.

The U.S. Federal Reserve is currently looking as if it will reduce the projected number of interest rate rises next year.  If this is indeed confirmed – or if the Fed looks as if it will reduce the number of rate rises further, which looks possible if equities continue on their downwards path – then this could depress the U.S. dollar and gold could move up strongly.

A word of caution for precious metals investors though – should equities truly crash, which has to be a possibility, liquidity issues could also lead to a precious metals sell-off too as happened in 2008 as big investors struggled to stay afloat and needed to sell good assets to do so.  However, if history repeats itself in this respect the twin consolations are that firstly some of the big institutions are much lighter on gold holdings this time around, given that gold investment fell out of favour given the seeming ever-upwards path of equities up until the past few weeks.  And secondly comfort could be gained in that back in 2008/9 gold was the quickest major asset class to recover – indeed was rising strongly while equities were still on the way down!

Could gold and bitcoin be headed for parity?

Here’s a lightly edited version of an article I published on the http://www.sharpspixley.com website.  To read the original article click here.

At current prices with gold closing last week back over $1,200 and the bitcoin BTC token at around $6,600, the idea of gold and bitcoin regaining parity they last saw a year and a half ago might seem a little far fetched. But Bloomberg Intelligence’s Mike McGlone seems to think otherwise. In a report earlier this week, he painted a scenario of the BTC price falling and gold rising which could bring the two back into parity.

McGlone’s hypothesis is that market volatility, particularly in the bitcoin price, is an important indicator which investors need to watch. After all, bitcoin has already fallen from its peak of almost $20,000 achieved only seven months ago, to its current levels – a fall of nearly 70% – and he sees another similar fall, coupled with a possible pick-up in the gold price as being a distinct, but perhaps arguable, possibility.

As readers will be aware, this commentator is no believer in bitcoin. We feel there is no substance behind it. It is only worth what people are prepared to pay for it. It has no real inherent value having been purely a computer creation. I read somewhere that one observer (Richard Bernstein) likened it to a Candy Crush token which struck me as being extremely apposite. As people fall out of love with bitcoin – and it will have lost a lot of adherents with its fall from last December’s peak – the potential for it to fall back towards zero is, to my mind, a strong one. Bitcoin itself (BTC) is currently struggling to stay above the $6,000 mark despite a concerted campaign by pro-bitcoin commentators to drive it back up – many will probably have a vested interest in high crypto-currency prices. If it does come back down to the $5,000s or below this could signify a stronger fall ahead.

We tend to watch some of the other less costly cryptos as a guide and the fall of these from their respective peaks has been immense. Ethereum, probably the second highest market cap cryptocurrency, for example is nowadays comfortably below the $300 mark. It peaked in January at just under $1,400, so it has seen a fall of over 80% in around seven months. Monero, reputedly the crypto of choice for ransomware scammers and the criminal element wishing to keep transactions out of sight of the law and the tax collectors, is also down over 80% from its December 2017 peak and most of the other minor cryptocurrencies are also down by similar percentages or more.

Gold, on the other hand, despite it having been having a particularly torrid time of late is only down by 12% from its peak this year in U.S. dollars and beginning to pick up again as the dollar turns weaker. Unlike the cryptocurrencies, gold has stood the test of time as a store of value and does at least have substance behind it.  The recent price fall has been all about dollar strength after a period of sustained decline, and perhaps we are due a reversal again as the real ramifications of the confrontational U.S. trade tariff impositions begin to sink in in terms of raised prices, and thus inflation, in the U.S. domestic economy.

We see gold’s long term fundamentals as strong. Even if we are not quite yet at peak gold we are there or thereabouts and global new mined production will start to decline – and once the decline starts it will accelerate as there has been a huge drop in gold exploration and new mega-project construction necessary to replace depleting older assets. Meanwhile global incomes in the emerging gold buying nations are rising and the longer term increase in demand likely to be thus generated, coupled with eventually declining output, will put the gold price under some strong positive pressure.

Gold at the moment is being squeezed by the strong dollar brought on by President Trump’s tariff war and the prospect of rising U.S. Fed interest rates. But Trump is beginning to recognise that the strong dollar is putting U.S. exporters at risk while mitigating the pricing effects of the tariffs and is unhappy with this. How long before he initiates steps, perhaps behind the scenes, to start to bring the dollar down with a corresponding uplift in the gold price?

Back to Bloomberg’s McGlone: he comments that “Bitcoin is down to about 5x the price of gold after stretching toward 15x. There’s little to prevent another four-turn reduction to get it back toward 1-to-1, in our view”.

He also feels that the gold market is about to start picking up again. He pointed out that gold’s 90-day volatility is at its lowest level since 1999, at the same time its 60-day volatility is at its lowest level since 1997 and that the last time volatility was this low, the price entered a three-week rally which saw it pick up 34%. A similar increase now would put the price back to close to $1,600 and that it only needs a minor spark to ignite such a change in perception. There are plenty of geopolitical uncertainties out there which could initiate such a spark. Gold investors will hope McGlone is at least halfway correct in his analysis. Bitcoin investors will be less enamoured!

Gold not allowed to close the week above $1,350.

My latest article on the Sharps Pixley website looks at gold’s performance over the past week with it affected positively and negatively by conflicting statements on U.S. policy on the dollar at the World Economic Forum in Davos, but culminating in gold being held marginally below the psychologically important $1,350 level at the week’s end through activity in the gold futures and currency markets.

With potentially conflicting comments re. the weakness of otherwise of The U.S. dollar from U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and President Trump, the gold market didn’t know which way to run.  Mnuchin had to backtrack, but not particularly convincingly, on his weaker dollar being beneficial to the U.S. economy statement lest he be accused of talking the dollar down in conflict with U.S. assurances that it would not do so.  President Trump’s Davos statement suggested he was in favour of a stronger dollar, contrary to his earlier position on the currency, and following this the dollar rose, and gold fell on Thursday.  But then the former reverted to lower levels in Friday afternoon trade in the U.S. and gold rose back above $1,350 before activity in the futures markets  and gentle dollar support brought gold back to heel and the yellow metal ended the week a fraction under the key $1,350 level.

To an impartial (relatively) external observer of the market the gold price did appear to be trying to rebound back above $1,350 but kept being knocked back again.  Whether it can build sufficient momentum to breach the $1,350 level permanently next week remains to be seen, but one suspects it will do so barring any major adverse news or data.

So far this year precious metals have all done well as Nick Laird’s bar chart from www.goldchartsrus.com shows (below).  The bar chart shows the relative performances of the four major precious metals, the HUI (the NYSE ARCA Gold Bugs index) and Nick’s Silver 7 index tracking seven major silver stocks and the stock indices have generally outperformed the metals which are their key drivers.  As can be seen platinum is by far the best performer year to date, but all have done pretty well given the year is only just over 3 weeks old.  We suspect that Silver and the Silver 7 Index will ultimately outperform the others – however we would have said that in 2017 too – and ever-unpredictable silver ended the year as performing far more poorly than gold, and particularly palladium which was far and away one of the best assets of any type to hold last year.

As readers of my writings here will know I am anticipating precious metals to do well this year – except perhaps palladium which may have risen too far too fast in 2017.  But I don’t anticipate any of them doing spectacularly well with rises pretty much in line with gold’s 2017 performance (See:Precious metals price predictions for 2018 – gold, silver, pgms, but this year stocks may comfortably well outperform the metals assuming the general trajectory for both is upwards.  The key may well be dollar strength and if the Trump Administration sees exports picking up, and imports falling, due to a weaker dollar, then the engineered decline in the dollar index may be allowed, or even encouraged,  to continue.  This process may well be mitigated though by similar effective currency devaluations among competitor nations or areas as others seek to contain any competitive disadvantage with their own export businesses.

Falling dollar, rising gold – where will that take us?

Here’s my latest article published on the Sharps Pixley website earlier today looking at the collapsing US Dollar and its impact on the gold price.  While gold is very definitely sharply higher in dollars, the fall in the dollar index means that in some other significant currencies – notably the British pound which finds itself at its highest level against the dollar since the Brexit vote a year and a half ago – the gold price may actually have fallen.

Dollar drops, gold soars as U.S. starts to lose control

If gold trading this morning in Europe is anything to go by, gold is headed for US$1,350 an ounce, and not before time.  But before non-U.S. gold-owning citizens get carried away with euphoria they should also be aware that the dollar index has dropped below 90 for the first time since early 2014 and the gold price in many other key currencies like the British pound (easily at its highest level against the dollar since the Brexit vote) the Swiss Franc and the Japanese yen, has actually fallen.  Silver though has been somewhat left behind with the Gold:Silver Ratio at well over 78, but we do anticipate, if gold stays in the high $1,340s, or breaks through $1,350, that silver will play catch-up.  It usually outperforms gold when the latter is rising sharply.

The performance of the dollar gold price level, though, does suggest that the big money into the gold futures markets, which had been successful in keeping the shiny yellow metal price down below $1,340, may be losing control.  It could thus see discretion as the better part of valour and allow gold to find a new top and then work hard again to keep it there.

The key though looks to be U.S. dollar strength and it remains to be seen whether the recent decline is an engineered one in an attempt to make U.S.-manufactured goods more competitive (a policy that had had been signalled by President Trump some time back – although since denied).  If so a dollar decline may have gained more steam than intended, as these things do.  On the face of things the U.S. economy is in a decent growth stage, unemployment is at a low level – both things that might normally lead to dollar strength, not weakness.  But perhaps massaged government-produced statistics are beginning to be doubted and the huge U.S. debt level is beginning to come home to roost as some countries seemingly (reportedly) are beginning to reduce their reliance on dollar denominated securities in their foreign exchange holdings.  Perhaps the Trump Presidency is not making America great again – at least in terms of dollar dominance of global financial markets –  but having the opposite effect globally.

Could all this herald the start of the much predicted crash.  Stock markets appear to be stalling, bitcoin has come off nearly 50% from its peak – maybe the speculators and wealth protectors are at last beginning to see gold as an answer.  It’s probably too early to tell yet, but signs don’t augur well for the seemingly unending bull markets in equities we have been seeing in the past few years.  Market growth is all about confidence.  Once that starts getting eroded it can turn into a desperate downwards spiral.

The problem of course for gold is that, should markets collapse, it too could suffer collateral damage as institutions and funds struggle for liquidity and have to sell good assets to stay afloat.  We saw this in 2008 in the last big stock market collapse, but the comfort for gold holders, perhaps, is that gold was far faster to recover than equities and went on to perhaps its strongest bull market ever taking the price up to around $1,900-plus over three and a half years, nearly tripling its price from its October 2008 nadir.

As I write the spot gold price has indeed briefly hit the $1,350 level.  Whether the U.S. market will allow it to stay there when it opens in just over 3 hours time remains to be seen.

Gold and Bitcoin Surge on North Korea Fears

Article written prior to the sharpish turndown in the gold price after the weekend.

By Frank Holmes, CEO and Chief Investment Officer, U.S. Global Investors

bicion

If you’re familiar with ABC’s popular reality show Shark Tank, you should already be familiar with the concept behind the San Antonio Angel Network (SAAN). Select entrepreneurs and innovators pitch their startup ideas to accredited investors, who can choose to make early-stage investments in a potentially successful company.

I attended an SAAN meeting last week at Ferrari of San Antonio, and what struck me the most was how fluid and seamless the whole thing is. Other professionals in attendance, including lawyers and CPAs, had a similar opinion, with some of them saying it was because there wasn’t any bureaucracy or red tape to hamstring the presenters.

This is unlike the world of mutual funds, which I believe has become excessively regulated.

As I’ve said numerous times before, regulation is essential, just as referees are essential to a basketball game. No one disputes that, because otherwise there would be chaos.

Similarly, the new and very unregulated world of cryptocurrencies has grown dramatically, beyond bitcoin and ethereum. Did you know there are over 800 cryptocurrencies? These new initial coin offerings, called ICOs, are like initial public offerings (IPOs) but with little regulation or accountability. As I’ve commented before, if the refs get too powerful or too numerous, and the rules too complex, the game becomes nearly unplayable.

Cryptocurrencies Still Draw Investor Attention Following China Crackdown

Bitcoin, ethereum and other cryptocurrencies have had a meteoric year, with more than $2 billion raised in ICOs so far in 2017, according to Bloomberg. Approximately $155 billion in cryptocurrencies are in circulation around the world right now. Bitcoin by itself is at $78 billion, which is close to the $90 billion invested in all gold ETFs.

Cryptocurrencies have made red hot moves this past year
click to enlarge

Like gold, cryptos are favored by those who have a deep distrust of fiat currency, or paper money. Money, after all, is built on trust, and the blockchain technology that bitcoin is built on top of automates trust through an electronic ledger that cannot be altered. Every transaction is anonymous and peer-to-peer. The system is entirely decentralized and democratic. No monetary authority can see who owns what and where money is flowing.

This, of course, is a huge reason why some world governments want to crack down on the Wild West of virtual currencies, especially with bitcoin surging close to $5,000 this month.

China did just that last week, putting a halt to new ICOs and crypto transactions. In response, ethereum tumbled as much as 15.8 percent last Monday, or $55 a unit. Bitcoin lost $394 a unit.

China’s decision comes a little more than a month after the SEC said cryptocurrencies are securities and therefore should probably be regulated as such. At this point, though, the implications are unclear.

What’s clear to me—after seeing firsthand how easily and quickly transactions are made—is that there’s no going back. It’s possible cryptocurrencies will one day be regulated. But I’m confident bitcoin, ethereum and some other virtual currencies offer enough value to weather such a potential roadblock.

I also believe there has to be a happy medium between the excessively regulated fund industry and the potential chaos of the cryptocurrency. This is what I witnessed at the SAAN event I mentioned, which allowed the professionals in attendance to gain information, ask questions and make informed decisions.

Gold Trading Above $1,350 an Ounce

Speaking on cryptocurrencies last week, Mark Mobius, executive chairman of Templeton Emerging Markets Group, said gold could be a beneficiary of China’s decision to clamp down on ICOs. As more governments and central banks turn their attention to virtual currencies, investors could move back into the yellow metal as a store of value.

That’s a possibility, but I think gold’s price action right now is being driven by negative real Treasury yields and fears over a potential conflict with North Korea. Adjusted for inflation, the two-year and five-year Treasuries are both currently yielding negative amounts, and the 10-year continues to fall closer to 0 percent.

Real treasury yeilds fall further
click to enlarge

As I’ve explained numerous times before, gold and real interest rates share an inverse relationship. It makes little sense to invest in an asset that’s guaranteed to cost you money—which is the case with the two-year and five-year government bond right now. Investors seeking a “safe haven” might therefore add to their weighting in gold, especially with North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un raising tensions.

The yellow metal closed (last week) above $1,350 an ounce, more than a one-year high – (but has come down quite sharply this week as some of thge geopolitical fears eased – temporarily perhaps? – Editor).   

Gold price up more than 15 percent year to date
click to enlarge

Despite Efforts to Control Spending, National Debt Expected to Continue Growing: CBO

Similarly driving the gold Fear Trade are concerns over the national debt. Last week President Donald Trump sided with Congressional Democrats in raising the federal borrowing limit to allow Hurricane Harvey recovery aid to pass. An initial package of $7.85 billion for Harvey victims was agreed upon, but with total costs expected to be as high as $190 billion—more than the combined costs of Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy—and with Hurricane Irma the federal aid amount could eventually run even higher.

Trump partially ran on reigning in government spending, which I and many others would like to see. Even so, this might not be enough to control our runaway debt. According to an August report by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), debt will likely continue to grow as spending for large federal benefit programs—Social Security, Medicare and the like—outpaces revenue. Interest payments on the debt will only continue to accelerate as well.

Below is a chart showing national debt as a percentage of GDP going back to the founding of the U.S. Although we’ve seen periodic spikes in response to national crises, the debt could soar to unprecedented levels within the next 10 years.

Federal debt expected to continue rising
click to enlarge

Financial writer Alex Green, the Oxford Club’s chief strategist, told me during my recent interview with him that he thought out-of-control spending posed a greater threat to our country than even North Korea.

I tend to agree with him, and that’s why I believe that investors should have a 10 percent allocation in gold, with 5 percent in bullion and 5 percent in gold stocks, mutual funds and ETFs.

Gold will go to $2,000 plus on coming central bank failure – Michael Pento

Mike Gleason* of Money Metals Exchange interviews Michael Pento.  Below is a transcript.  However the interview is also available on a YouTube video and if you’d prefer to watch the video here’s a link to it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3QKushYDGH0.  The interview was recorded before North Korea conducted its H-Bomb test on Sunday and gold has moved up a few notches as a result, but that does not detract from Michael Pento’s overall message – it perhaps brings the timing scenario forwards.

Mike Gleason: It is my privilege to welcome in Michael Pento, President and founder of Pento Portfolio Strategies, and author of the book, The Coming Bond Market Collapse: How to Survive the Demise of the U.S. Debt Market. Michael is a well-known and successful money manager, and has been a regular guest on CNBC, Bloomberg, Fox Business News, and also the Money Medals Podcast, and shares his astute insights on markets and geopolitics from the perspective of an Austrian school economist viewpoint.

It’s always a real pleasure to have him on with us. Michael, welcome back and how are you?

Michael Pento: I’m doing fine and thank you for having me back on Mike.

Mike Gleason: Well Michael, let’s start out here with the topic that is dominating the news. Hurricane Harvey has laid waste to Houston, and the Texas Gulf coast. But Wall Street doesn’t seem to be bothered. Gold and silver have got a bit of a boost, but the equity market shrugged it off. This all makes me think back of the parable of the broken window, which was introduced by the well-known 19th century economist, Frédéric Bastiat, where he described why the money spent to recover from destruction is not actually a benefit to society.

But Michael, it appears as though Wall Street and the financial world might be buying into the idea of the broken window fallacy and viewing it as truth, and that all the destruction will somehow be good for the economy. What are your comments there, and what do you makes of the market’s initial response here, to this terrible, terrible tragedy?

Michael Pento: I guess it’s part of the hyperbole and hysteria that encompasses Wall Street right now. Nothing can knock down the stock market. You didn’t even mention the fact that North Korea Kim Jung-un, his new regime, launched his 80th scud missile, and they’re ICBM’s, ballistic missiles, into the Sea of Japan and over Japan, and towards southern, south Sea of Japan. And nobody seems to care. As a matter of fact, the market rallied, from being down about 150 points in the pre-market to, I think, plus 58 on the DOW, yesterday (Tueday).

There’s nothing (that) can harm this market. The reason for that … The simple reason behind that, is that central banks have printed 15 trillion dollars’ worth of confetti and counterfeit money, leading out of the financial crisis, from 2008 to today. 15 trillion and counting. You know, don’t forget you still have 60 billion euros per month, over in Europe, and you’ve got the Swiss Central Bank. You’ve got the Bank of Japan, which is hopefully enamored with money printing in it, at least Mr. Kuroda, the head of the BoJ, understands that he can never, never, even think about, or hint about reducing his quantitative easing, or QQE program that he has.

Going back to Frédéric Bastiat … Wall Street, very low level of thinking, very idiotic group of individuals, who actually … I was listening to CNBC, comment about how … By the way my heart and my prayers go out to the people in Houston, and now in Louisiana. I heard a commentator on the show saying, “Hey, but let’s look at the good news here. Look at all the construction that’s going to happen, so this is actually a boom for the economy.” Well, you know, if you follow that philosophy, then we might as well just bulldoze all the houses, and all of the physical structures in the United States. That’s how you grow GDP. You don’t grow GDP through productivity, and you don’t grow GDP by increasing and boosting your labor force.

The new way of growing productivity now, is to break things, and to pray for catastrophic storms. Of course, they never think about where the money comes from. In other words, if I was going to fix this pane of glass, in the analogy that you brought up, the broken window analogy … Well, I was going to buy a pair of shoes, and now I have to spend that money on fixing the pane of glass. Or, if I have to just borrow that money, that money that’s borrowed, to fix the glass, would have been borrowed to, perhaps buy capital goods, and expand the economy. And of course, if that money is just printed, well then, we have the scourge of inflation. There is no magic. There is no free lunch, in anything, and especially in economics. That’s true.

Mike Gleason: When the flooding in Texas moves out of the news, the coming fight over the debt ceiling could be front and center. Now, it looked like, to us a fight was brewing with a contingent of conservative Republicans revolting on one flank, and Democrats looking to thwart Trump and his agenda, everywhere possible, on another. Trump and GOP leadership have their hands full, getting a bill to hike the borrowing limit passed. But it could be that Hurricane Harvey will be used to prevent a big fight here, relief for Texas, might be inserted into the bill to raise the borrowing cap. And few politicians will object for fear of being criticized. With that said, are you expecting a fight over the debt ceiling to be significant Michael? And any chance, we could see a government shut down here?

Michael Pento: Well, at first glance, a prima facie look at this, is that I expect more dysfunction in DC. I predicted this when Donald Trump was elected. I said that his massive reform of healthcare, his tax reform packages would be both, deluded, and delayed, and that’s exactly what has happened. And of course, Wall Street likes to look at every event as a positive. The glass is always half full. So, now they’re saying that we have hurricane that we have to pay for, that this is going to somehow make the passage of everything, tax reform, construction spending, infrastructure, the debt ceiling, the budget. Everything’s going to go smoothly.

I have my doubts. I run an actively managed portfolio. So, the base case scenario is dysfunction in DC. That has been very, very prudent, and a correct path to assume and to take. I believe it’s not going to go smoothly. I believe that we have to pass the budget by the end of September, and raise the debt ceiling by middle of October. Now, Mnuchin and Mulvaney, they were on opposite sides of this, but now they’re on the same talking points as Trump. They just want to raise the debt ceiling cleanly. But I don’t think the Tea Party Republicans, in the House of Representatives are going to go alone with that, so yes there will be a fight, even if they try to attach this hurricane spending bill, infrastructure bill to it.

Mike Gleason: The U.S. dollar isn’t looking too good these days. We’ve seen pretty steady decline, since the beginning of the year. Of course, the dollar is a terribly flawed instrument, and the fact that the DXY index traded at an all-time high late last year, was more a testament to just how bad other major world currencies must be. Where do you think we’re going from here? Is the dollar going to head lower?

Michael Pento: Well, we went from about 80 on the DXY … which is heavily weighted towards the euro … from 80 to above 100, in anticipation of what? Anticipation of Mr. Trump getting a lot of his agenda passed, rather quickly. And also the divergence between the two major central banks, between ECB and the Federal Reserve. And where, as we see now, things not shaking out that well at all. We see the dollar index has dropped from above 100, now at major support around 92. If it breaks through 92 on the DXY, I think it could head towards 80. All eyes are on the ECB. The ECB is primarily in charge here.

If Mario Draghi, on September seventh, announces a tapering of his 60 billion per euro a month, asset purchase program, I would expect the euro to skyrocket, and the dollar to fall precipitately, right through that 92, towards 80. And, of course if he does not taper his asset purchase program, then the dollar could catch a bid and head back towards 100.

That’s why, again, I run an actively managed portfolio, trying to guess the minds of these megalomaniac schizophrenics, that run central banks, is very, very difficult, so it’s best to have, not a passive ETF strategy, buy and hold, and then forget about your money. You have to actively manage your portfolio. So, I will react to, what Mario Draghi does. European GDP growth is not very strong, but getting stronger. They are missing on the inflation target, just as we are here in the United States, at least the way central banks measure inflation, if you don’t count everything that’s going up, like medical costs, and college tuition, and asset prices. So, who knows what they’re going to do, but you have to be reactive, rather than just proactive in this kind of environment.

Mike Gleason: Staying on monetary policy here for a moment. Any thoughts on where Trump goes with his Fed chair appointee early next year? Any chance Yellen get reappointed, or does he bring in somebody even more dovish? What do you think?

Michael Pento: Well, it’s hard to get someone more dovish than Janet Yellen, but … I guess, you know, I don’t have any special insight here. Gary Cohen would be my best guess, because Trump likes to put his fingerprint on everything, and he needs somebody in there who is going to really fight for low interest rates, and for deregulation policy. Yellen kind of submarines herself at Jackson Hole, talking about the importance of regulation in the banking system. So, my best guess is that, come February 2018, that we have a new Fed chair, and that person is Gary Cohen, who will really fight hard for low interest rates, and a weak dollar. Both those things espoused by our President Trump, not candidate Trump, President Trump, and there’s a difference.

Mike Gleason: Yeah. Very important distinction there, for sure. Let’s dig into the gold and silver markets here for a minute. Now, demand in the retail bullion market continues to be pretty soft. To our way of thinking. That can be largely attributed to a few factors. First off, bullion investors are more optimistic about a Trump Presidency, than the Obama Presidency.

Another is that, precious metals prices really haven’t been going anywhere for a while now. And then, also, those who have been buying gold and silver as a safe haven, have probably, just gotten exhausted. They’ve been on high alert, expecting significant fallout, resulting from ultra-loose Fed policy, massive Federal deficits, unlimited borrowing, et cetera.

But the reckoning, it never seems to come, so are bullion investors just going to have to live a while longer here, in purgatory, or do you see anything exciting developing in the months ahead for the metals?

Michael Pento: Oh. I see something very exciting developing. So, we have a condition here across the United States and in Europe – not in Japan as I mentioned – where we have central banks that absolutely believe they have solved all of the global, economic problems. And, what they have done instead, they’ve engendered, they’ve fostered a huge increase in debt. We have about a 70 trillion dollar increase in debt, coming out of the great recession. We have 230 trillion dollars of debt now in the globe. It’s about 330%, just about 330% of global GDP. And the entire global economy, as anemic as it is, and people talk about this global synchronized growth…

Global growth is not anywhere near where it was in the early 2000’s. We’re about – globally speaking, you look at the major developed economies – they’re about one percent, one to two percent. There is no big expanse in global growth, but whatever global growth there is, it totally and completely hinges on continued low interest rates. And central banks have now convinced that they’ve solved all our problems, as I said. And now, you look at the Fed, who entered QE in 2014, and now we’re getting ready for quantitative tightening, reverse QE to start this year.

And surely, I’m 100% convinced, if it doesn’t start in September, at least in the early part of 2018, Mario Draghi and the ECB, will start to taper, it’s assets. They were 80 billion. Now, they’re 60 billion. He’s going to be reducing his asset purchase program towards zero, certainly by the end of 2018. So, when that happens, you’re going to have … and the Fed likes to talk about tapering, they’re not selling assets, they’re just letting them roll off the balance sheet… assets do not roll off of a Fed’s balance sheet. When the Federal Reserve has a note due, what they’re going to do, is ask the treasury to pay them this note. Well, the treasury has no money.

So, the treasury has to sell an amount equal to the note due to the Fed. The treasury then, has to not only sell this debt, but has to now, service this debt, whereas before those interest payments were being refunded by the Fed to the treasury. And when the Fed gets this money, it’s retired. So, you’re talking about a draining of the money supply. You’re talking about that happening, not only in the United States, but also in Europe. And who’s going to buy all this debt?

Now, the debt has absolutely, as I said, skyrocketed, 70 trillion dollars increase. There isn’t any private source for this funding. No one is going to buy a German bund, yielding .37%, when there is no central bank around, and the central bank is getting ready to sell assets. There isn’t anybody who’s going to buy a U.S. 10-year note, yielding 2.2%, or 2.15 as we make this recording. Nobody is going to make that purchase, when the Federal Reserve is getting ready to sell trillions of dollars. They have four and a half trillion dollar balance sheet. If they take it down to two and a half, it’s two trillion dollars’ worth of mortgage backed securities and treasuries that are going to be adding to that a trillion-dollar deficit that we already have. Deficits go up huge, as interests rates go up. Interest rates rise. It’s a very vicious, counterproductive cycle.

If we have higher debt service costs for every one percent to 200 billion dollars. We have one trillion dollar in deficits, because of demographics. And if we have a recession, deficits will rise and buy an additional trillion dollars. We can have deficits well over two, approaching three trillion dollars, with no help from the government. This is going to cause, whatever relatively anemic economic growth to falter substantially.

And I will add this. We already have the automotive sector, and the real estate sector rolling over in this country. If we have a spike in interest rates, which will emanate from the ECB, whenever they decide to start tapering assets, and the German Bund rises towards nominal GDP, which is close to three percent, actually above three percent. You go from .37% to over three percent, that’s going to drag up yields across the globe, and that’s when the situations really going to be extremely pernicious.

And what’s going to happen then … now the gold market is already sniffing this out, by the way, as we breached $1,300 an ounce a couple of days ago … the gold market is sniffing out this: that central banks are going to have to get back into the QE programs, across the board. And when that happens, faith in fiat currencies – not just the dollar, all fiat currencies – is going to falter very dramatically. You see some of this, not only in the gold market, but you see this phenomenon in the cryptocurrency world.

There is going to be a dramatic watershed, trench and drop in the faith of central bankers. That’s the biggest bubble of all. And when that pops, gold’s going to go back to its all-time high, and well surpassing that level too. So, look for $2,000 an ounce gold. It’s going to happen rather quickly. I think it’s going to happen within the next couple of years, and you already see the beginnings of that happening today.

Mike Gleason: Well, we’ll leave it there. Fantastic stuff as always. Michael, it’s great to have you on, we respect your insights quite a bit. It’s excellent to have you join us every few months.

Now, before we let you go, as we always do, please tell people, who want to both read and hear more of your wonderful market commentaries, and also learn about your firm, and how they could potentially become a client, if they want to do that. Please tell them, how they can find out more information.

Michael Pento: Sure. You can email me directly, mpento@pentoport.com. My website is www.PentoPort.com. The office number here is 732-772-9500. Be glad to talk to you.

Mike Gleason: Well, thanks again Michael. Enjoy the Labor Day weekend. We look forward to catching up with you again later this year. Take care, my friend.

Michael Pento: Thanks again for having me back on Mike.

 

Mike Gleason

Even another flash crash can’t keep gold price down for long

This is a lightly edited version of one first posted on the Sharps Pixley news website

2 million ounces of gold were dumped on the gold market in a minute on Friday, just ahead of Janet Yellen’s speech at Jackson Hole – and, after a very brief downwards spike to below $1,280, the gold price rapidly climbed back to unchanged.  This has to be an incredibly bullish signal for gold in that even this amount of presumably paper gold thrown at it (62.2 tonnes) couldn’t keep the gold price down.  Bloomberg described the 2 million ounce trade as ‘mysterious’.  Perhaps at least that is a welcome change from the usual ‘fat finger’ attribution which seems to be applied to these seemingly increasingly frequent mega-sales of paper gold which, despite protestations to the contrary, seem to be designed to keep the gold price suppressed.

Today, the gold price drifted upwards ahead of New York’s opening and then, at around 11.00 am New York time the price spiked upwards sharply, soaring through the $1,300 psychological barrier.  The question is where to next?

The key here may well be what has been happening with physical gold.  On Friday the SPDR Gold Shares ETF (GLD) had almost 6 tonnes of gold bought into it.  GLD has thus seen 18.33 tonnes of physical gold added to it in 2 weeks after what we might describe as ‘mysteriously’ seeing some 80 tonnes withdrawn over the previous two months – during which time the gold price didn’t seem to be spooked by this amount of gold being taken out of the world’s biggest gold ETF.  We had already pointed out the anomaly that America’s second biggest gold ETF – the iShares Gold Trust (IAU) – had not seen corresponding metal liquidations.  The Swiss gold import and export statistics, also reported in these pages, had shown that there appears to be a ready market in Asia for any physical gold released in the west, and this could well be a sign that gold could be moving into a short supply situation in the West.  If America starts buying physical gold again, we could thus see big price rises with buyers bidding up what might be an increasingly rare commodity.

As I write, the gold price rise seems to have stalled at the $1,310 level and there will almost certainly be attempts to drive it down, or at least prevent it rising further.  But it does seem to have some momentum behind it and could well move up to the $1,320s.  But, as we have pointed out before, this time next week is the U.S. Labor Day holiday and this often seems to provide an inflection point in economic trends.  It could presage a sell-off in gold or see the price boosted into the stratosphere, figuratively speaking.  Nothing is simple with gold.  But if gold gets a boost after September 4th we could see equities – and perhaps bitcoin – moving sharply in the other direction.  Both would seem to be in bubble situations and sooner or later all bubbles burst.

We’d rather bet on gold than alternatives.  Even if there is a gold price turndown ahead it is likely to be relatively minor, while the fall, when it comes, as come it must, in equities and bitcoin could be devastating.  Food for thought ahead of the U.S. holiday weekend.

Gold pausing before tackling $1,300

Gold Today –New York closed at $1,293.80 yesterday after closing at $1,279.60 Monday. London opened at $1,292.65 today. 

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

         The $: € was slightly weaker at $1.1254 after yesterday’s $1.1246: €1.

         The Dollar index was slightly weaker at 96.68 after yesterday’s 96.73

         The Yen was stronger at 109.30 after yesterday’s 109.52:$1. 

         The Yuan was stronger at 6.7931 after yesterday’s 6.7954: $1. 

         The Pound Sterling was slightly weaker at $1.2898 after yesterday’s $1.2904: £1.

Yuan Gold Fix
Trade Date     Contract Benchmark Price AM 1 gm Benchmark Price PM 1 gm
      2017    6    7

     2017    6    6

     2017    6    5

SHAU

SHAU

SHAU

 

 

282.37

281.27

 

Trading at 283.60

282.97

281.35

 

$ equivalent 1oz at 0.995 fineness

@    $1: 6.7931

       $1: 6.7954

       $1: 6.8036     

 

   

 

$1,287.45

$1,280.86

 

Trading at $1,293.52

$1,290.19

$1,281.55

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.]

 New York rose to the same level as Shanghai yesterday. Today, Shanghai is pausing at the same level. London opened at almost the same level as Shanghai.

Once again we see all three centers with gold prices at the same level. This is only the second time this has happened. The first was in the last month.

Silver Today –Silver closed at $17.69 yesterday after $17.57 at New York’s close Monday.

LBMA price setting:  The LBMA gold price was set this morning at $1,292.70 from yesterday’s $1,287.85.  The gold price in the euro was set at €1,151.01 after yesterday’s €1,144.40.

Ahead of the opening of New York the gold price was trading at $1,291.75 and in the euro at €1,150.37. At the same time, the silver price was trading at $17.67. 

Price Drivers

British Elections happen tomorrow. With the discussions around the size of the conservative majority it appears to us that the result will not affect the gold price.

Draghi and the E.U.

With inflation falling in the E.U. problems in the banking sector [Banco Popular has just been taken over by Santander in Spain]  Draghi, who has repeatedly said that policy makers must be convinced that inflation can rise toward 2% on its own, before removing monetary stimulus, is set to leave the current stimulus position in place through the rest of this year. This is positive for gold.

The Dollar

As you can see above, the dollar index continues to slip to a point where, if it falls to the lower 95 levels, it enters a bear market.  This is the main influence on the gold price, not the short term political news.

But this does not simply mean a falling dollar, it points to disruption in the global monetary system as all the globe’s currencies will be affected. It points to the proximity of a move from a dollar hegemony system to a multi-currency system. Within these changes lies a growing relevance of gold.

The environment globally, continues to be positive for gold.

Gold ETFs – Yesterday, saw purchases of 4.61 tonnes of gold into the SPDR gold ETF, but no change in the holdings of the Gold Trust. Their holdings are now at 855.163 tonnes and, at 205 tonnes respectively.

Since January 6th 2017 48.369 tonnes have been added to the SPDR gold ETF and the Gold Trust.

Julian D.W. Phillips – GoldForecaster.com | SilverForecaster.com | StockBridge Management Alliance 

Will Gold and Silver Pull Back or March Ahead?

By Stefan Gleason*

Either way, long-term gold bulls shouldn’t sweat this particular technical level. Major bull markets need to pull back and reconsolidate periodically.

Whether that starts happening this week, or later on at higher price levels, a downturn of some magnitude is inevitable.

One indicator that may be pointing toward a pullback sooner rather than later is the negative divergence in gold mining stocks which are often leading indicators for the yellow metal.

Gold Price Chart

Despite gold spot prices rallying along with the broader U.S. equity market last week, the HUI Gold BUGS (Basket of Unhedged Gold Stocks) Index fell by 3.8%. That suggests that some big institutional speculators are turning bearish on gold near term.

If you’re looking to accumulate bullion, a pullback should be welcomed as an opportunity to get in at lower levels. Long-term bulls will not want to see anything as severe as the drawdown that occurred in the second half of 2016, however. They will be looking for any coming correction to bottom out above the $1,125/oz low hit in December.

Higher highs and higher lows characterize a major bull market. The December 2016 low was a higher low than the one from 2015. A higher high will occur when gold prices can move above $1,375. At that point, the public might start taking notice of precious metals markets – which so far this year have been overshadowed by the series of record highs in the U.S. stock market.

President Donald Trump has taken credit for the rally in stocks. His vows to cut taxes and regulations have, no doubt, driven buying by investors.

Over the weekend, Trump sent out this tweet: “Great optimism for future of U.S. business, AND JOBS, with the DOW having an 11th straight record close. Big tax & regulation cuts coming!”

Great optimism for future of U.S. business, AND JOBS, with the DOW having an 11th straight record close. Big tax & regulation cuts coming!

Trump also wants a weaker dollar to help boost U.S. manufacturing. That could put him in conflict with the Janet Yellen Fed if it moves to raise interest rates.

Trump will have the opportunity to appoint multiple new members to the Federal Reserve Board. It’s one of the reasons why top financial and geopolitical analyst Jim Rickards is so bullish on gold.

“If Trump follows through on the logic of the cheaper dollar, he’s going to appoint doves to the Board. The market’s going to get the signal immediately and the price of gold is going to soar,” Rickards said in a recent Money Metals podcast interview. “We’ve got some very short run headwinds, maybe between now and April, but for certainly the second half, even the last three quarters of the year, I’m extremely bullish on gold.”

There will be some bumps along the way. But those who hang on tight for the ride in gold and silver markets stand to be rewarded.

Will Shanghai pull gold price through $1,200?

Gold Today –New York closed at $1,187.20 on the 10th January after closing at $1,182.50 on the 9th January. London opened again at $1,190.40 today.

 Overall the dollar is stronger against global currencies today. Before London’s opening:

         The $: € was stronger at $1.0554: €1 from $1.0611: €1 yesterday.

         The Dollar index was stronger at 102.09 from 101.66 yesterday. 

         The Yen was weaker at 116.05: $1 from yesterday’s 115.40 against the dollar. 

         The Yuan was stronger at 6.9225: $1, from 6.9244: $1, yesterday. 

         The Pound Sterling was slightly stronger at $1.2156: £1 from yesterday’s $1.2150: £1.

 Yuan Gold Fix

Trade Date Contract Benchmark Price AM 1 gm Benchmark Price PM 1 gm
      2017    1    11

     2016    1    10

      2016  12    9

SHAU

SHAU

SHAU

/

267.22

265.27

/

268.41

265.71

$ equivalent 1oz @  $1: 6.9225

      $1: 6.9244

$1: 6.9329

  /

$1,200.65

$1,191.56

/

$1,205.99

$1,193.53

Please note that the Shanghai Fixes are for 1 gm of gold. From the Middle Eat 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.]

 If Shanghai is leading the way for the gold price, we would expect London and New York to rise too. Consequently, the gold price needs to move to $1,200 for it to be in line with Shanghai now.

Shanghai on Tuesday was $13 higher than the close of New York. This morning London opened only $10.59 lower than yesterday’s Shanghai closing. And this strength in gold is happening while the dollar is rising and the Yuan slipping slightly.

Meanwhile the People’s Bank of China has reported a fall in its gold reserves of in December by 20.98 tonnes. Is this a change in direction of the PBoC? We don’t accept that for a second.  The Chinese authorities are rarely clear on such subjects and often don’t give a full picture of their situation, as it is not in their interests to do so. So this figure could be some sort of window dressing for our benefit. We know they use two agencies to hold gold on their behalf until it suits them to take the gold into reserves. They could easily have handed it back to the non-reporting one on a temporary basis. What we do know is that it is illegal to export gold from China. We also know that the SGE itself can hold gold and does not disclose it.

LBMA price setting:  The LBMA gold price setting was at $1,187.55 this morning against yesterday’s $1,183.20. 

The gold price in the euro was set higher at €1,128.31 after Friday’s €1,117.60 as the dollar strengthened.

Ahead of the opening of New York the gold price was trading at $1,188.15 and in the euro at €1,131.46.  At the same time, the silver price was trading at $16.77. 

Silver Today –Silver closed at $16.79 at New York’s close yesterday from $16.57 on the 9th January. 

Price Drivers

We decided to look at the gold market through the eyes of a non-professional at the gold market. It quickly became clear just how easy it was to be informed in a way that distorted the true picture and confuse investors.

For instance, when you hear that gold rose x% in sterling or y% in the dollar, that ignores the fact that the gold market is a global market where prices reflect the global market demand and supply eventually.

We would prefer to see, “the dollar fell against gold, or sterling fell against gold”, a reflection of currency performance, not gold’s performance.

As you have read in these reports the gold price is rising in all currencies at the moment, with both London and New York trying to catch up to Shanghai prices. New York and London have not moved up because of what Prime Minister May said, but that gold prices in sterling rose because of the pound’s fall.

No event in the U.S. has caused gold to move up this week. It has moved up because of global demand and supply factors. In China demand for gold is robust. In the U.S. there was a very big sale [nearly 9 tonnes] of gold in one day earlier this week, so if the gold price was driven by U.S. factors alone, the gold price would have fallen. It didn’t, it rose!

After all gold is a currency, it is both an asset and cash, globally.  

Relevant factors to the global gold price must not be local factors, unless they globally affect the gold price. Most that are attributed to moving the gold price just aren’t.

That’s why understanding just where gold’s pricing power lies is so important.

That’s why understanding currencies is so critical to understanding the gold price.

Gold ETFs – Yesterday, in New York, there were no sales from the SPDR gold ETF or any from the Gold Trust, leaving their respective holdings at 804.996 tonnes and 198.30 tonnes. 

As we said in an earlier report, “Substantial sales of gold on a daily basis are needed for New York to control the gold price”.

Julian D.W. Phillips 

 GoldForecaster.com | SilverForecaster.com | StockBridge Management Alliance 

Did sentiment for gold change with the New Year?

Gold Today –New York closed at $1,159.50 on the 3rd January after closing at $1,151.70 on the 30th December. London opened again at $1,166.30 today.

 Overall the dollar is weaker against global currencies today. Before London’s opening:

         The $: € was weaker at $1.0441: €1 from $1.0310: €1 yesterday.

         The Dollar index was weaker at 102.98 from 103.09 yesterday. 

         The Yen was stronger at 117.56: $1 from yesterday’s 117.92 against the dollar. 

         The Yuan was stronger at 6.9321: $1, from 6.9566: $1, yesterday. 

         The Pound Sterling was slightly weaker at $1.2270: £1 from yesterday’s $1.2280: £1.

 Yuan Gold Fix

Trade Date Contract Benchmark Price AM 1 gm Benchmark Price PM 1 gm
      2017    1    4

     2016    1    3

      2016  12    30

SHAU

SHAU

SHAU

/

264.34

264.16

/

264.30

264.70

$ equivalent 1oz @  $1: 6.9321

      $1: 6.9566

$1: 6.9340

  /

$1,181.88

$1,184.93

/

$1,181.70

$1,187.35

Please note that the Shanghai Fixes are for 1 gm of gold. From the Middle Eat 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.]

 As you can see from the above figures [yesterday’s not today’s, as today are only released tomorrow] the discount to Shanghai’s prices is narrowing. Shanghai prices continue to rise showing good demand, but London and New York’s prices are rising faster, despite strong sales from gold ETFs. Against New York’s prices Shanghai was trading $16.38 higher, but against London Shanghai was trading only $10.40 higher. The change in sentiment in the global gold markets is now evidenced by these rising prices.

LBMA price setting:  The LBMA gold price setting was at $1,165.90 this morning against yesterday’s $1,148.65. 

The gold price in the euro was set higher at €1,117.51 after yesterday’s €1,106.01.

Ahead of the opening of New York the gold price was trading at $1,165.15 and in the euro at €1,117.22.  At the same time, the silver price was trading at $.16.42

 Silver Today –Silver closed at $16.29 at New York’s close yesterday from $16.21 on the 30th December. 

Price Drivers

With a weaker dollar today, gold has jumped in the dollar but even more so in the euro.  But what is remarkable is that there was a huge sale of gold from the SPDR gold ETF, which did not move the gold price down. Instead the gold price rose and more so than appeared justified by the fall in the dollar.  We can attribute this to the ongoing pull of Chinese prices and demand in Shanghai. The fact that gold prices went higher in London tells us that the gold sold from the SPDR gold ETF was not sold into London this morning, indicating it is on its way to Shanghai.

It does look like gold prices are no longer headed lower so we do expect a more vigorous response in the gold price as the market is overhung with huge short positions in the Futures and Options markets. Any return of U.S. buyers of the shares in the SPDR gold ETF will act as an accelerant to this rise.

Gold ETFs – Yesterday in New York, there were sales of 8.299 tonnes from the SPDR gold ETF but no change in the holdings of the Gold Trust, leaving their respective holdings at 813.871 tonnes and 196.20 tonnes. This was a significant tonnage unloaded onto the market and should have knocked the price down. As the Custodian HSBC is the one who either takes this amount onto its books, or usually sells it into London, we did not see any impact on London’s prices.

Since January 4th this year, 209.601 tonnes of gold has been added to the SPDR gold ETF and to the Gold Trust.  We are almost at half the level accumulated in 2016.

Julian D.W. Phillips 

 GoldForecaster.com | SilverForecaster.com | StockBridge Management Alliance 

Big gold sales from GLD Friday but having little price impact

Gold Today –New York closed at $1,133.40 Friday after closing at $1,127.4 on the 15th December. London opened again at $1,140.85 today.

 Overall the dollar is slightly weaker against global currencies today.

         The $: € was weaker at $1.0415: €1 from $1.0441: €1 Friday.

         The Dollar index was stronger at 103.09 from 102.95 Friday. 

         The Yen was stronger at 117.11: $1 from yesterday’s 118.17 against the dollar. 

         The Yuan was much weaker at 6.9510: $1 from 6.9463 $1 yesterday. 

         The Pound Sterling was weaker at $1.2373: £1 from yesterday’s $1.2430: £1.

 Yuan Gold Fix

Trade Date Contract Benchmark Price AM 1 gm Benchmark Price PM 1 gm
      2016  12    19

      2016  12    16

      2016  12    15

SHAU

SHAU

SHAU

/

261.65

263.55

/

261.75

263.45

$ equivalent 1oz @  $1: 6.9510

      $1: 6.9463

$1: 6.9352

  /

$1,171.59

$1,181.99

/

$1,172.04

$1,181.54

Please note that the Shanghai Fixes are for 1 gm of gold. From the Middle Eat 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 prices were not available when we produced this report.

LBMA price setting:  The LBMA gold price setting was at $1,137.60 this morning against Friday’s $1,134.85. 

The gold price in the euro was set higher at €1,092.11 after Friday’s €1,085.31.

Ahead of the opening of New York the gold price was trading at $1,139.75 and in the euro at €1,093.71.  At the same time, the silver price was trading at $16.10.

 Silver Today –Silver closed at $16.09 at New York’s close Friday from $16.00 on the 15th December. 

 Price Drivers

This week’s performance by gold and silver will be the result of two factors:

  1. The dollar.
  2. Gold ETF sales or purchases.

We feel that the dollar has run too far, for too long on the back of hopes under the Trump administration. It is certainly against the interest of the U.S. to have a strong dollar at this point in the U.S.

With the Yuan continuing to fall we may well see our forecast of 7.00 against the dollar reached by the end of this year. In 2017 we expect more falls in the Chinese currency. Let’s be clear on this, if the dollar continues to strengthen much more, the likelihood of import controls via stringent tariffs increases.

Trump’s rhetoric, via Tweets against China, are not stopping, making the divisions between the U.S. and China ever greater.  While China is pragmatic it also understands the many ways it can retaliate to its advantage.

As such we do expect to see gold demand increase from China and for a strong dollar to be capped in 2017. In a divided world, under tension, gold sees greater demand as history has shown throughout the ages.

2017 will see such tension and happenings that are the unforeseen, unforeseen. It will not be a quiet year. With gold prices at current levels we see gold not being far from its bottom. This next fortnight will confirm this, we think.

Gold ETFs – Friday, there were sales of 5.333 tonnes from the SPDR gold ETF and sales 0f 0.75 of a tonne from the Gold Trust, leaving their respective holdings at 836.991 tonnes and 195.60 tonnes. These sales were again large, but had no impact on the gold price. It would appear that when sales are ONLY as large as this, the buoyancy of the market is stronger than such sales.

The influence of the dollar exchange rate seems greater than physical sales at the moment!

Since January 4th this year, 232.121 tonnes of gold has been added to the SPDR gold ETF and to the Gold Trust. 

Julian D.W. Phillips 

 GoldForecaster.com | SilverForecaster.com | StockBridge Management Alliance