Dollar surges, yields fall but gold hesitant

The Dollar Index continues its impressive advance. Expect resistance at the 2013 highs at 84.50. Reversal below 81.50 is most unlikely.

Dollar Index

* Target calculation: 81.50 – ( 81.50 – 79.00 ) = 84.00

The yield on ten-year Treasury Notes is retracing to test its new resistance level at 2.40/2.50 percent. The primary trend is down, with 13-week Twiggs Momentum holding below zero. Respect of resistance is highly likely and would confirm a decline to 2.00 percent*.

10-Year Treasury Yields

* Target calculation: 2.50 – ( 3.00 – 2.50 ) = 2.00

Gold

Gold continues in a narrow range, between $1280 and $1320/ounce, in the apex of the triangle. Both this and oscillation of 13-week Twiggs Momentum close to zero signal uncertainty. Expect further consolidation between $1250 and $1350 in the medium-term. Breakout from that band is likely to indicate future direction. Falling crude prices and low inflation favor a down-trend.

Spot Gold

* Target calculation: 1200 – ( 1400 – 1200 ) = 1000

Crude and bulk commodities fall but nickel, aluminum rally

Crude oil prices are falling. Nymex Light Crude is testing primary support at $92/barrel and Brent Crude at $99/barrel. Breach of support would signal a down-trend.

Nymex WTI Crude

Commodity prices remain low, in line with sluggish world trade.

But that does not tell the full story.

Bulk commodity prices are falling as Chinese construction slows…

Bulk Commodities

…While copper prices recovered above 7000/tonne. Penetration of the declining trendline suggests that the down-trend is slowing. Breakout above 7400 would strengthen the signal.

Copper

And aluminum alloy…

Alumina

…and nickel show surprising strength, signaling an up-trend.

Nickel

The Unintended Consequences of Risk Avoidance | Pragmatic Capitalism

Cullen Roche on risk avoidance:

Many investors have learned the hard way that trying to beat the market over shorter time frames can be more trouble than it’s worth. A singular mission to outperform can actually lead to underperformance. The same logic applies when trying to minimize losses. A sole focus on downside protection usually leads to the opportunity cost of no upside participation.

An illusion of safety in the short-term can lead to problems in the long-term. Judging your portfolio or your financial advisor over a six month period is a recipe for failure. No strategy can be assessed over that short of a time frame.

Also, while fees are important over the long haul, investor behavior is much more important. Investors need to make sure they aren’t sacrificing other areas of portfolio management in a push to only reduce fees. Lower investment fees are only one of the many risk management techniques needed for a successful portfolio.

Read more at The Unintended Consequences of Risk Avoidance | Pragmatic Capitalism.

ASX finds support

The ASX 200 found short-term support at 5630 and continuation of the US rally would see a breakout above resistance at 5650. Follow-through above 5680 would confirm the advance, offering a target of 5850*. Completion of another 21-day Twiggs Money Flow trough above zero would strengthen the signal. Reversal below 5550 is unlikely, but would warn of a test of primary support at 5360/5380.

ASX 200

* Target calculation: 5650 + ( 5650 – 5450 ) = 5850

Retreat of the ASX 200 VIX below 12 indicates low risk typical of a bull market.

ASX 200

Hang Seng leads Asian recovery

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index broke its 2010 high at 25000, confirming a primary advance and offering a target of 27000*. Rising 13-week Twiggs Money Flow signals continued buying pressure. Reversal below 24000 is unlikely, but would warn of a correction to the rising trendline.

Hang Seng Index

* Long-term target calculation: 24000 + ( 24000 – 21000 ) = 27000

China’s Shanghai Composite Index continues to test resistance at 2250. Breakout would confirm a primary up-trend. Rising 13-week Twiggs Money Flow indicates medium-term buying pressure. Reversal below 2150 is unlikely, but would warn of another test of primary support at 1990/2000.

Shanghai Composite Index

* Target calculation: 2250 + ( 2250 – 2000 ) = 2500

India’s Sensex is retracing to test support at 26000. Respect would confirm the target of 27000*. Declining 13-week Twiggs Money Flow continues to warn of selling pressure. Respect of the zero line would indicate that buyers have taken control, while a fall below zero would warn of a correction. Penetration of the secondary trendline is unlikely, but would indicate a correction to the primary trendline.

Sensex

* Target calculation: 21000 + ( 21000 – 15000 ) = 27000

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index recovered above 15500, suggesting continuation of the advance. Expect resistance between 16000 and 16300. Declining 13-week Twiggs Money Flow warns of medium-term selling pressure, but respect of the zero line would indicate that buyers have taken control. Reversal below 14800 is unlikely, but would warn of a test of primary support at 14000.

Nikkei 225

* Target calculation: 16000 + ( 16000 – 14000 ) = 18000

DAX surges

Germany’s DAX surged after a brief test of support at 9250/9300. Recovery of 21-Day Twiggs Money Flow above zero indicates short-term buying pressure. A trough above the zero line would reflect medium-term buying pressure. Expect resistance at 9700/9800.

DAX

* Target calculation: 9750 + ( 9750 – 9000 ) = 10500

Dow Jones Euro Stoxx 50 also surged, indicating a test of 3250 on the weekly chart. Completion of a 13-week Twiggs Money Flow trough above zero would indicate long-term buying pressure. Reversal below 3100 is unlikely, but would warn of another test of primary support.

Dow Jones Euro Stoxx 50

* Target calculation: 3150 + ( 3150 – 3000 ) = 3300

The Footsie faces strong resistance between 6750 and 7000, as illustrated on the quarterly chart. 13-Week Twiggs Money Flow oscillating above zero indicates a healthy up-trend, but this is a major psychological barrier to overcome. Breach of support at 6400/6500 is unlikely, but would warn of a reversal.

FTSE 100

* Target calculation: 700 + ( 7000 – 6000 ) = 8000

Dow signals fresh advance

Dow Jones Industrial Average recovered above 17000, signaling a fresh advance. Follow-through above 17150 would confirm a target of 17500*. Leveling off of 21-day Twiggs Money Flow in recent days, however, indicates (short-term) resistance. Reversal below 16950 is unlikely, but would warn of a test of 16750.

Dow Jones Industrial Average

* Target calculation: 16500 + ( 16500 – 15500 ) = 17500

The S&P 500 is again testing resistance at 2000. Breakout would offer a target of 2250*. Recovery of 13-week Twiggs Money Flow above its recent (July 2014) high would confirm buying pressure. Reversal below 1950 is unlikely, but would warn of another test of (primary) support at 1900.

S&P 500

* Target calculation: 1500 + ( 1500 – 750 ) = 2250

Declining CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) readings suggest continuation of the bull market.

VIX Index

The Nasdaq 100 broke through the psychological level of 4000. Expect retracement to test the new support level. Respect is likely and would confirm another advance. Recovery of 13-week Twiggs Money Flow above its recent (July 2014) high would confirm buying pressure. Reversal below 4000 is unlikely but would warn of a test of support and the rising trendline at 3750.

NASDAQ 100

* Target calculation: 4000 + ( 4000 – 3750 ) = 4250

Scottish Independence | Cato @ Liberty

From David Boaz:

Some scholars argue that the Act of Union in 1707 made the Scots part of a larger and more advanced nation and opened the way to the Scottish Enlightenment of David Hume, Adam Smith, and other scholars. And perhaps those modern ideas and the connection with England made possible the achievements of the inventor James Watt, the architect Robert Adam, the road builder John MacAdam, the bridge builder Thomas Telford and later Scots such as Alexander Graham Bell and Andrew Carnegie.

But whatever the benefits of union might have been in 1707, surely they have been realized by now. And alas, the land of Adam Smith has become one of the poorest and most socialist parts of Great Britain…

Read more at Scottish Independence | Cato @ Liberty.

She’s ruled by a dictatorship of patient, far-sighted determined men who are rapidly making their country the foremost naval and military power in the world. They are not doing this solely for the sake of self-defence. A huge, largely land-locked country like Russia does not need to build the most powerful navy in the world just to guard its own frontiers. No. The Russians are bent on world dominance, and they are rapidly acquiring the means to become the most powerful imperial nation the world has seen. The men in the Soviet politburo don’t have to worry about the ebb and flow of public opinion. They put guns before butter, while we put just about everything before guns. They know that they are a super power in only one sense — the military sense. They are a failure in human and economic terms.

~ Margaret Thatcher (1976)

In response to this speech, the Soviet Army newspaper Red Star labelled Thatcher “the Iron Lady”. Intended as an insult, Thatcher welcomed the moniker that would stick for the remainder of her political career.

Margaret Thatcher: Russia

My hatred of Bolshevism and Bolsheviks is not founded on their silly system of economics, or their absurd doctrine of an impossible equality. It arises from the bloody and devastating terrorism which they practice in every land into which they have broken, and by which alone their criminal regime can be maintained.
~ Winston Churchill (1920)

Winston Churchill: Bolshevism

Euro, Yen plunge against Dollar

The Euro broke support at $1.33, signaling a further decline against the Dollar with a target of $1.30*. Falling 13-week Twiggs Momentum, below zero, warns of a strong down-trend. Recovery above $1.35 is most unlikely, but would suggest that the down-trend is slowing.

Euro/USD

* Target calculation: 1.35 – ( 1.40 – 1.35 ) = 1.30

The recent rally of the Euro against the Russian ruble has faltered. An economic contraction and rising tensions over Eastern Ukraine both contributed. The Euro remains in an up-trend and recovery above RUB 49 would suggest another attempt at the previous high of RUB 51. But failure of support at RUB 46 would signal a primary down-trend. 13-Week Twiggs Momentum oscillating close to zero reflects current uncertainty.

Euro/Rouble

Vladimir Putin is attempting to exploit fault lines in the US/European alliance, targeting the powerful European farming and motor industry lobbies. Unauthorized incursions into Ukrainian territory by his white-painted “aid convoy” are another example, where the infringement is so apparently inoffensive that Angela Merkel will find it difficult to convince her European allies to escalate sanctions further. Failure to react will merely embolden Putin to conduct further minor infringements in defiance of the EU, confident in their response, until the Ukraine suffers “death by a thousand cuts”.

Putin

Only if the US/EU adopt an aggressive escalation, as suggested here on Defence & Freedom, are they likely to contain Russian aggression.

“…a defensive and reactionary game plan makes one predictable. The very existence of a crisis should be understood as a hint that someone used this predictability to predict the outcome of a produced crisis — and arrived at the conclusion that it’s a good idea. Aka failure of deterrence.”

Japan

As with the Euro, the Japanese Yen is also weakening against the Dollar. The Greenback broke resistance at ¥103.50, signaling a rally to test the 2013 high. Follow-through above ¥104 would confirm. Rising 13-week Twiggs Momentum above zero strengthens the signal. Reversal below ¥103 is unlikely, but would warn of another test of primary support at ¥101.

USD/JPY

Australia

The Aussie Dollar, however, is holding its own — ranging between $0.92 and $0.95 against the US Dollar. The narrow band and 13-week Twiggs Momentum holding above zero both suggest continuation of the up-trend. Breakout above $0.95 would suggest a target of $0.97. Reversal below $0.92 is unlikely at present, but would warn of a decline to the band of support between $0.87 and $0.89.

Aussie Dollar

The ASX 200, retracing slightly from resistance at 5650, is also influenced by strong foreign investment flows. Indications are predominantly bullish, including 21-day Twiggs Money Flow forming troughs above zero. Follow-through above 5660 would signal another advance, with a medium-term target of 5850. Reversal above 5550 is unlikely, but would warn of another test of primary support.

ASX 200

* Target calculation: 5650 + ( 5650 – 5450 ) = 5850

Aggressive defence | Defence and Freedom

From defence_and_freedom@gmx.de:

Imagine an unfolding crisis, and your government has confidence in its expectations for what’s going to happen next. Couldn’t a couple aggressive*, unexpected actions ruin the opposing sides’ plans, crush their timetable, make their political calculations obsolete, destroy their confidence in their ability to predict your government’s reactions and to predict the costs of the crisis?

Couldn’t such a disruption make a quite acceptable diplomatic settlement more likely? — I’m all for peace and free love and stuff**, but I distrust the notion that escalation is always a bad thing. An escalation to ruin some aggressor’s day may be the right thing to do. To have and obey a defensive and reactionary game plan makes one predictable. The very existence of a crisis should be understood as a hint that someone used this predictability to predict the outcome of a produced crisis – and arrived at the conclusion that it’s a good idea.
A.k.a. failure of deterrence.

* “aggressive”, NOT “aggression against a peaceful country
** Similarly, I don’t think “war as last resort” makes much sense.

Read more at Defence and Freedom: Aggressive defence.

Houses overvalued by up to 30 per cent, says ex-RBA official

From Christopher Joye:

One of Australia’s top economic experts, Jeremy Lawson, says the ­housing market is 20 per cent to 30 per cent overvalued and has left Australia vulnerable to a big international ­economic shock.

Mr Lawson is the global chief ­economist of Standard Life, a massive British fund manager with $460 billion in assets under management. He was previously a senior economist at the Reserve Bank of Australia and the OECD, and in 2007 advised then ­opposition leader Kevin Rudd…

Read more at Houses overvalued by up to 30 per cent, says ex-RBA official.

Rodriguez: Crucify Your Mind

Songs by singer-songwriter Sixto Rodriguez who was “rediscovered” after living in obscurity, working as a construction worker in Detroit, for almost 20 years.

Crucify Your Mind

Hate Street Dialogue

Sugar Man (a Detroit drug dealer)

The documentary movie about his rediscovery, Searching For Sugar Man, won an Oscar® for Best Documentary Feature in 2013:

Tom Devine: Why I now say yes to independence for Scotland

Tom Devine, Scotland’s most celebrated historian of recent years, reveals why he now intends to vote in favor of independence on September 18:

I come from a Labour background that includes my grandfather, mother and father and I was very much anti-independence at the start of the campaign. For me, the catalyst for change has been how threadbare the union has become since the early 1980s and linked to that is the transformation of Scotland. I wouldn’t have voted for this in the Scotland of the 1970s or 80s. It’s the Scotland that has evolved since the late 80s and 90s that is fuelling my yes vote. It now seems to me to be in a fit condition to run a successful economy. There is a list of reasons for this.

There has been a Scottish parliament which has demonstrated competent government and that parliament has also indicated, by the electoral response to it, that the Scottish people seem to be wedded to a social democratic agenda and the kind of political values which sustained and were embedded in the welfare state of the 1950s. In fact, you could argue that it is the Scots who have tried to preserve the idea of Britishness in terms of state support and intervention, and that it is England that has chosen to go on a separate journey since the 1980s.

There has been an enormous increase in a sense of Scottishness and pride in Scottish identity which has itself been sustained by an explosion in Scottish writing and creative arts since the 1980s, especially in relation to my own subject. We now have a proper modern history of Scotland which we didn’t have until as late as the 1970s and 1980s. We now have a clear national narrative sustained by objective and rigorous academic research. In 1964, one of my great predecessors Professor Hargreaves said that the history of modern Scotland is less studied than the history of Yorkshire.

There has also been a silent transformation of the Scottish economy. As late as early 1980s it was not sustainable owing to the continuing domination of the dinosaur heavy industries. The problem there was simply that labour costs not be sustained in an emerging global economy where goods and machines could be made cheaper elsewhere. Of course the process could have been managed much more sensitively and more thoughtfully by a Labour government, instead it was the radical surgery of Thatcherism and Toryism that had its way. What we have now – and this has been the case since the mid-1990s and de-industrialisation – is a diversified economy in which heavy industry, light manufacturing, the electronics sector, tourism, financial services have come together. And the vibrant public sector is important in terms of employment. We now have a resilient economic system.

We also have considerable reserves of one of the most important things for an independent state and that is power; power through the assets of oil and also through the potential of wind energy. Scotland is disproportionately endowed with these, compared to almost all other European countries. So, in other words, because of this economic transformation, which has undoubtedly led to social dislocation for many communities – and let’s not forget that – we now have an economy that can sustain itself in a resilient way in world markets.

I support his decision, but am concerned that Devine doesn’t seem to realize that Scotland has a thriving and vibrant economy precisely because it has moved away from the welfare state policies of the 1950s and 60s. Oil will obviously play a part, but Scotland has no future as an independent nation unless it follows the Irish model of an open economy, encouraging global industries to locate there. Nothing would discourage global industry faster than a glimpse of 1960s-style British Labour policies.

Read more at Tom Devine: why I now say yes to independence for Scotland.