US inflation remains subdued with core CPI hovering below 2.0 percent.
Treasury yields remain weak, with the 10-year yield testing support between 1.85 and 2.0 percent.
That gives a real yield, after deducting core CPI, of close to zero on a 10-year investment.
Abraham Maslow wrote in the 1960s: “I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail.” His description certainly applies to the Fed who have used monetary policy extensively to fix a problem for which it was not intended. Interest rates were driven down to unsustainable levels, with questionable results. My concern is that maintaining rates close to zero for close to seven years could breed a host of unforeseen problems.
What is really needed is a Keynesian solution: government investment in productive infrastructure. But neither party is likely to succeed in winning approval for this.
The Dollar Index is ranging between 93 and 98. Increased interest rates or falling inflation would suggest an upward breakout. Flight to safety would drive yields downward. But the biggest factor that may drive up yields could be a Chinese sell-off of foreign reserves (largely Treasury investments) in order to support the Yuan or spend on infrastructure to revive their economy.
There is no flight to the safety of gold as yet. The Gold Bugs Index, representing un-hedged gold miners, is testing primary support at 105. Twiggs Momentum (13 week) peaks below zero indicate a strong down-trend.
Spot gold fared a little better, but is likely to test primary support at $1080 per ounce. Again, declining 13-week Twiggs Momentum, with peaks below zero, signals a strong down-trend. Breach of support at $1080 would offer a target of $1000/ounce*.
* Target calculation: 1200 – ( 1400 – 1200 ) = 1000