Gold stirs as Dollar falls

The Dollar Index is retreating from resistance despite another rate hike from the Fed. Follow-through below 89.50 would signal another test of primary support at 88.50. Respect of resistance suggests another decline; confirmed if primary support is broken.

Dollar Index

Gold is stirring as the Dollar weakens. Penetration of the descending trendline suggests that the correction is over. Follow-through above $1340 per ounce would test resistance at $1360.

Spot Gold

Breach of primary support by the Dollar would most likely fuel another primary advance for gold.

Australia: Contraction ahead

Concern about rising household debt and house prices prompted Australian regulators to crack down on bank lending, with APRA introducing limits on interest-only loans.

Australia: Household Debt and Housing Prices

China is also making it more difficult for Chinese nationals to purchase real estate offshore. The combined result is a slow-down in Australian bank credit, with credit and broad money growth falling below 5% for the first time since the global financial crisis.

Australia: Credit and Broad Money Growth

Currency in circulation may be more volatile but a sharp fall in currency growth over the last two years confirms tighter monetary conditions.

Australia: Currency and M3 Growth

The Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry recently kicked off with intense media coverage. Airing of banks’ dirty laundry in public is again likely to lead banks to further tighten lending standards. Falling housing prices as a result of fewer offshore purchases and restrictive lending practices will in turn fuel a more negative lending outlook, creating a negative feedback loop.

While a credit contraction can still be avoided, it may be difficult for the RBA and APRA to reverse course. Given that their objective is to avoid a full-blown banking crisis, caused by a collapse of the housing bubble, the current slow-down may appeal as the lesser of two evils.

ASX 200 meets stubborn resistance

A long-term, monthly chart filters out most short-term market ‘noise’. The ASX 200 has found stubborn resistance at 6000, while bearish divergence on the Trend Index warns of selling pressure. Follow-through below 5900 would warn of a test of primary support at 5600/5650. A primary down-turn on ASX banks would strengthen the bear signal.

ASX 200

The ASX 300 Metals & Mining index continues in a primary up-trend. Respect of the rising trendline remains likely and would suggest another primary advance.

ASX 300 Metals & Mining

The ASX 300 Banks index rallied strongly in 2016/2017 but bearish divergence on the Trend Index now warns of strong selling pressure. Breach of primary support at 8000 would signal renewal of the primary down-trend, with a target of 7000. A down-trend in its largest sector would weigh on the entire ASX 200 index.

ASX 300 Banks

Gold & Dollar: The big picture

Continuing with long-term, monthly charts, the Dollar Index is in a primary down-trend. The latest rally is likely to respect resistance at 92. Breach of support at 88 would signal another decline.

Dollar Index

* Target calculation: 91 – (95 – 91) =87

Gold has formed a broad base over the last 4 years. Breakout above resistance at $1350 per ounce is likely in the long run, aided by a weaker Dollar, and would signal a primary advance.

Spot Gold

The All Ordinaries Gold Index is in a primary up-trend. The large ascending triangle is testing resistance at 5000/5100. Breakout would signal a primary advance with a long-term target of 6000*. But the declining Trend Index warns of medium-term selling pressure and penetration of the rising trendline would warn that momentum is slowing.

All Ords Gold Index

* Target calculation: 5000 + (5000 – 4000) = 6000

East to West: The long game

It pays to regularly step back from daily fluctuations that characterize short-term charts, to examine the big picture using monthly or even quarterly charts.

Over the last 20 years there is one clear winner when comparing major indexes. India.

Major Index Comparison over 20 Years

Even after adjusting for a weaker (INR) currency.

US Dollar compared to Indian Rupee and Chinese Yuan

Over the last 5 years, however, the DJ China 15 Index has outstripped the Dow Industrial Average and DJ India 15 when measured in US Dollars.

Dow Jones US, India & China in USD

But the picture changes when comparing ETFs based on broader-based indexes.

Dow Jones US, India & China in USD last 2 years

While volatility is a problem, growth in these two rapidly-expanding economies (India & China) should not be ignored if investing for the long run. Nor the absence of long-term growth in the UK, Europe and Japan.

East to West: S&P 500 strengthens

Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index continues to test its rising trendline and support at 21000, with resistance forming at 22000. A Trend Index peak below zero warns of medium-term selling pressure.

Nikkei 225 Index

India’s NSE Nifty Index has had a strong bull run, with Trend Index troughs above zero. But now the Index is heading for a test of primary support at 10000, warning of slowing momentum.

Nifty Index

South Korea’s Seoul Composite Index remains bearish after breaking support at 2450.

Seoul Composite Index

Likewise China’s Shanghai Composite Index found resistance at 3300.

Shanghai Composite Index

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index is the pick of the East, with a long run of Trend Index troughs above zero. Breakout above 32000 would signal a fresh advance.

Shanghai Composite Index

In Europe, DJ Euro Stoxx 600 is struggling with resistance at 380/385 while bearish divergence on the Trend Index warns of selling pressure.

DJ Euro Stoxx 600

The Footsie is similarly headed for another test of resistance at 7300 but bearish divergence on the Trend Index warns of selling pressure.

FTSE 100

In the US, the S&P 500 is testing medium-term resistance at 2800. The difference is that a Twiggs Money Flow trough at zero warns of buying pressure. Breakout above 2800 is likely, bringing the long-term target of 3000* within reach.

S&P 500

* Target calculation: log scale 750 x 2 = 1500; 1500 x 2 = 3000

Canada’s TSX 60 is recovering. Breakout above 940 would suggest another advance.

TSX 60

Patience is required to weather the volatility of the next few weeks without making short-term decisions.

ASX 200: Bank relief but miners bearish

The ASX 300 Metals & Mining index broke support at 3500, warning of a test of primary support at 3300. The long-term up-trend is losing momentum.

ASX 300 Metals & Mining

Banks continue in a long-term down-trend but recovery above the former primary support level at 8100 offers temporary relief. Respect of the declining trendline warns of another test of primary support at 8000. Breach would signal a primary decline.

ASX 300 Banks

The ASX 200 remains hesitant. Bearish divergence on the Trend Index continues to warn of long-term selling pressure. A primary down-turn on either banks or miners would strengthen the bear signal. Breach of support at 5800 would signal a primary down-trend.

ASX 200

Gold waits on the Dollar

The Dollar Index continues to consolidate below resistance at 90.50. Downward breakout is likely and would offer a target of 87*.

Dollar Index

* Target calculation: 91 – (95 – 91) =87

Gold is ranging between $1300 and $1350 per ounce. A declining Dollar is bullish for gold. Breakout above $1375 would offer a target of $1450*.

Spot Gold

* Target calculation: 1350 + (1350 – 1250) = 1450

The All Ordinaries Gold Index is testing resistance at 5100. Upward breakout would signal a primary advance with a long-term target of 6000*.

All Ords Gold Index

* Target calculation: 5000 + (5000 – 4000) = 6000

ASX 200: Miners & banks spoil the party

Miners are undergoing a correction. Breach of the rising trendline and support at 3500 on the ASX 300 Metals & Mining index would warn that the up-trend is losing momentum.

ASX 300 Metals & Mining

Banks continue their bearish down-trend, respect of the declining trendline warns of another test of primary support at 8000. Breach would signal a primary decline.

ASX 300 Banks

The ASX 200 will follow if banks and miners, the two biggest sectors, fall. Bearish divergence on the Trend Index continues to warn of long-term selling pressure. Breach of support at 5800 would signal a primary down-trend.

ASX 200

Gold rallies as Dollar meets resistance

The Dollar rally ended, with the Dollar Index encountering stubborn resistance at 90.50. Expect a test of primary support at 88.50. Breach of support would signal a primary decline.

Dollar Index

* Target calculation: 91 – (95 – 91) =87

Gold found support at $1310 and is likely to again test resistance at $1360. A declining Dollar would be bullish for gold. Breakout above $1360 would offer a target of $1450*.

Spot Gold

* Target calculation: 1350 + (1350 – 1250) = 1450

The All Ordinaries Gold Index has been undermined by the strong Aussie Dollar but found support at the rising trendline. Expect another test of resistance at 5100. Breakout would signal a primary advance.

All Ords Gold Index

Martin Wolf: Xi’s power grab means China is vulnerable to the whims of one man

Xi's Power Grab

From Martin Wolf at FT:

Sometimes an announcement succeeds in being both unsurprising and shocking. It had long been evident that China’s Xi Jinping would not — indeed, could not — step down from power. He has made too many enemies, particularly through his anti-corruption campaign, even if he wanted to go, which seems unlikely.

Yet the announcement that the two-term limit on the presidency is to go, is still shocking. What seemed likely is now a fact. Mr Xi has discarded the attempt by Deng Xiaoping to institutionalise checks on the power of China’s leaders — itself a reaction to the wild excesses of the era of Mao Zedong. What is re-emerging is strongman rule — a concentration of power in the hands of one man…..

Read the full article at FT.com

ASX 200 back from the brink

A positive week for the ASX 200 index as Australian banks came back from the brink, recovering above primary support at 8100. Expect a rally to test the declining LT trendline around 8350 but selling pressure continues, with the Trend index below zero, and another test of primary support, this time at 8000, is likely.

ASX 300 Banks

Miners continue their up-trend. Although this week’s bearish hanging man candle warns of a correction.

ASX 300 Metals & Mining

The ASX 200 will lift for as long as the bank rally lasts but ASX 300 Banks long-term trend is downward. Bearish divergence on the Trend Index continues to warn of long-term selling pressure.

ASX 200

Dollar drives long-term Gold prospects

The Dollar is likely to continue weakening over the next few years according to analysis from a number of major banks. A falling Dollar would be a bull signal for gold investors.

The Dollar Index rallied over the past few days but is likely to encounter stubborn resistance at 90.50. Respect is likely and would signal another test of support at 88.50. Breach of support would warn of another primary decline.

Dollar Index

* Target calculation: 91 – (95 – 91) =87

Gold lacks direction, ranging between 1310 and 1360, but that would change dramatically if the Dollar breaches support at 88.50. Breakout above $1360 would signal another primary advance, with a target of $1450*. Follow-through above $1375 would strengthen the signal.

Spot Gold

* Target calculation: 1350 + (1350 – 1250) = 1450

The All Ordinaries Gold Index has been undermined by the strong Aussie Dollar. Further weakness of the greenback would help support commodity prices and the Aussie. But further gains on XGD remain likely and recovery above 5100 would signal another advance.

All Ords Gold Index

East to West: Caution

Markets settled after the sharp fall of the previous week but a hint of caution was evident, with buyers wary of being caught by an after-shock. It should take several weeks for sentiment to settle back into a semblance of normal routine.

Short candles were common, as on South Korea’s Seoul Composite Index, with buyers displaying a lack of enthusiasm.

Seoul Composite Index

The long tail on Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index reflects buyer support but the large overlap with the previous candle suggests hesitancy.

Nikkei 225 Index

China’s Shanghai Composite Index likewise displays a short candle below the new resistance level at 3250.

Shanghai Composite Index

After a strong bull run India’s NSE Nifty Index is surprisingly hesitant. A close below the rising trendline would signal a test of primary support at 10000.

Nifty Index

DJ Euro Stoxx 600 shows a stronger blue candle but is still testing resistance at 380.

DJ Euro Stoxx 600

The Footsie shows a similar pattern, with resistance at 7300.

FTSE 100

In the US, bellwether transport stock Fedex respected support at 230. Follow-through above 250 is likely and would signal resumption of the up-trend, a bullish sign for the economy.

S&P 500

Canada’s TSX 60 respected primary support at 880. Recovery above 920 is likely and would indicate a test of 940.

TSX 60

Patience is required to weather the uncertainty of the next few weeks without making knee-jerk decisions.

The intelligent investor is a realist who sells to optimists and buys from pessimists.

Benjamin Graham: The intelligent investor…..

Why Aussie banks are weakening

Australian banks are breaking primary support levels. There are two major reasons for this. One is the precarious level of household debt as a result of the housing bubble. The first graph below shows how housing prices have more than doubled compared to disposable incomes (after tax but before interest payments) over the past 30 years. And how household debt has risen, not as a result of, but as the underlying cause of, the housing bubble. Without rising debt there would be no bubble.

Australian House Prices and Household Debt to Disposable Income

Growth in Australian housing prices is now slowing, prompting fears of a correction.

Australian House Price Growth

The second reason is falling returns on equity. Banking regulators have increased pressure on major banks to improve lending standards and increase capital backing for their lending exposure. For decades banks were given free rein to increase lending without commensurate increases in capital, to the extent that the majors hold only $4 to $5 of common equity for every $100 of lending exposure. Low interest rates, increases in capital and slowing credit growth have all contributed to the decline in bank equity returns to the low teens.

Australian Banks Return on Equity

ASX 200: Banks break support

The ASX 300 Banks index broke primary support at 8100, signaling a fresh decline. Follow-through below 8000 would strengthen the signal. Another Trend Index trough at zero warns of long-term selling pressure. The next major support level is the 2016 low at 7200 but expect retracement to first test new resistance at 8100.

ASX 300 Banks

Miners rallied, softening the blow.

ASX 300 Metals & Mining

But decline in its biggest sector would weigh heavily on the ASX 200. Retracement is likely to test 6000 but respect would warn of a test of primary support at 5650. Bearish divergence on Twiggs Trend Index warns of long-term selling pressure.

ASX 200

Dollar falls, Gold rises

The Dollar weakened, with the Dollar Index testing support at 88.50. Respect of new resistance at 91 — the last primary support level — confirms the strong down-trend. Completion of another Trend Index peak below zero would further strengthen the signal.

Dollar Index

* Target calculation: 91 – (95 – 91) =87

The extent of the Dollar’s fall is best illustrated against major trading partner China’s Yuan: a 9.5% fall in just over two years. And that is despite rising US interest rates and a $120 billion increase in China’s foreign reserves over the last year.

USDCNY

Gold is again testing resistance at $1350. Breakout would signal another primary advance, with a target of $1450*. Follow-through above $1375 would confirm.

Spot Gold

* Target calculation: 1350 + (1350 – 1250) = 1450

The All Ordinaries Gold Index has been undermined by the strong Aussie Dollar. But recovery above 5000 would signal another advance.

All Ords Gold Index