Gold finds support at $1250

The Dollar Index continues to test support at 96.50. The primary trend is down and breach of support is likely, signaling a decline to test the 2016 low at 92/93.

Dollar Index

Spot Gold found support at $1250. A weaker Dollar and rising political uncertainty both favor an up-trend but rising interest rates are expected to weaken demand. Respect of support at $1250 would confirm the up-trend, while breach of $1200 would warn of another decline.

Spot Gold

Crude tests support at $45/barrel

Nymex Light Crude is testing support at $45/barrel. Breach would offer an immediate target of $40. Follow-through below $40 would signal another test of the 2008/2016 lows at $30.

Nymex Light Crude

The chart below plots long-term crude prices adjusted for inflation. Recent falls show real crude prices returning to their previous trading range (0.1 to 0.2) before the 2004 to 2015 “China boom”.

Nymex Light Crude/CPI

The 2004 to 2015 surge in crude prices is very likely a major cause of low global growth over the last decade. Return to the previous trading range would be a bullish sign for the global economy.

Rising inflation, Dollar weakens

The consumer price index (CPI) ticked up 1.14% (year-on-year) for April 2016, on the back of higher oil prices. Core CPI (excluding energy and food) eased slightly to 2.15%.

CPI and Core CPI

Inflation is muted, but a sharp rise in hourly manufacturing (production and nonsupervisory employees) earnings growth (2.98% for 12 months to April 2016) points to further increases.

Manufacturing Hourly Earnings Growth

Despite this, long-term interest rates remain weak, with 10-year Treasury yields testing support at 1.65 percent. Breach would signal another test of the record low at 1.50% in 2012. The dovish Fed is a contributing factor, but so could safe-haven demand from investors wary of stocks….

10-year Treasury Yields

The Dollar

The US Dollar Index rallied off long-term support at 93 but this looks more a pause in the primary down-trend (signaled by decline of 13-week Momentum below zero) than a reversal.

US Dollar Index

Explanation for the Dollar rally is evident on the chart of China’s foreign reserves: a pause in the sharp decline of the last 2 years. China has embarked on another massive stimulus program in an attempt to shock their economy out of its present slump.

China: Foreign Reserves

But this hair of the dog remedy is unlikely to solve their problems, merely postpone the inevitable reckoning. The Yuan is once again weakening against the Dollar. Decline in China’s reserves — and the US Dollar as a consequence — is likely to continue.

USD: Chinese Yuan

Low inflation and a stronger dollar indicate weak gold

Growth in hourly manufacturing earnings has climbed above the Fed target of 2.0 percent, while core CPI continues to track near the target. But the 5-year breakeven rate (5-year Treasury minus TIPS yield) is close to 1.0 percent. The market expects inflation to fall over the next few years.

5-Year Breakeven Rate, Core CPI and Growth in Hourly Manufacturing Earnings

The reasoning is straight-forward: the end of the infrastructure boom in China and slowing economic growth means low energy and commodity prices for the foreseeable future. Slow credit growth in the West will also act as a brake on aggregate demand, maintaining downward pressure on CPI.

CPI:US and EU

Long-term interest rates are low, with 10-year Treasury yields testing support at 2.0 percent. Declining 13-week Twiggs Momentum, below zero, suggests further weakness.

10-Year Treasury Yields

The Dollar Index rallied off support at 93. A higher trough indicates buying pressure. Breakout above 98 would suggest another advance.

Dollar Index

Gold

A strong dollar and low inflation would weaken demand for gold. Spot gold is testing medium-term support at $1150/ounce. Breach would warn of a test of the primary level at $1100. 13-Week Twiggs Momentum is rising, but a peak below zero would signal continuation of the primary down-trend.

Spot Gold

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

Low inflation and a stronger dollar indicate weak gold

Growth in hourly manufacturing earnings has climbed above the Fed target of 2.0 percent, while core CPI continues to track near the target. But the 5-year breakeven rate (5-year Treasury minus TIPS yield) is close to 1.0 percent. The market expects inflation to fall over the next few years.

5-Year Breakeven Rate, Core CPI and Growth in Hourly Manufacturing Earnings

The reasoning is straight-forward: the end of the infrastructure boom in China and slowing economic growth means low energy and commodity prices for the foreseeable future. Slow credit growth in the West will also act as a brake on aggregate demand, maintaining downward pressure on CPI.

CPI:US and EU

Long-term interest rates are low, with 10-year Treasury yields testing support at 2.0 percent. Declining 13-week Twiggs Momentum, below zero, suggests further weakness.

10-Year Treasury Yields

The Dollar Index rallied off support at 93. A higher trough indicates buying pressure. Breakout above 98 would suggest another advance.

Dollar Index

Gold

A strong dollar and low inflation would weaken demand for gold. Spot gold is testing medium-term support at $1150/ounce. Breach would warn of a test of the primary level at $1100. 13-Week Twiggs Momentum is rising, but a peak below zero would signal continuation of the primary down-trend.

Spot Gold

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

Fanaticism consists in redoubling your efforts when you have forgotten your aim.

~ George Santayana

Dollar strengthens on low inflation

Core CPI continues to hover below the Fed’s 2.0% target, while plunging oil prices keep the broad index close to zero. Core CPI is likely to weaken as the beneficial effect of lower energy costs flows through to all sectors of the economy.

CPI and Core CPI

We often read of the threat of impending deflation — which may well occur. But one needs to differentiate between deflation caused by a surge in aggregate supply, as in the present situation, and a fall in aggregate demand as in 2008. The former may well act as a stimulus to the global economy, while the latter threatens a negative feedback loop between income and consumption which can lead to substantial falls in output.

Low inflation takes pressure off the Fed to raise interest rates but we can expect the first increment later this year. 10-Year Treasury yields respected the rising trendline and support at 2.10%, suggesting another test of 2.50%.

10-Year Treasury Yields

The higher trough on the Dollar Index indicates buying pressure and breakout above 98 would signal another test of 100. In the longer term, breakout above 100 would signal resumption of the primary up-trend but is likely to meet push-back from the Fed as a higher dollar would hurt both exporters and domestic producers competing against imports.

Dollar Index

Gold headed for $600 or $700?

Gold broke long-term support at $1140/ounce, offering a medium-term target of $1000*. Peaks at zero on 13-week Twiggs Momentum indicate a strong primary down-trend.

Spot Gold

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

What is the long-term target?

Gold fell from a long-term high around $1800 before encountering strong support at $1200. Breakout below this lengthy, mid-point consolidation suggests that the precious metal is likely to experience another decline of similar magnitude to the first. These patterns are normally symmetrical, which would present an end target of $600 per ounce. That is $1200 – ($1800 – $1200) = $600.

$600 may seem outlandish, given the strength of recent support, but not when one adjusts the gold price by the consumer price index (CPI). Then it appears that yellow metal still has some way to fall.

Gold over CPI

Nothing is certain in this world (except death and taxes) and there are many fundamentals (like central banks) that may intervene. Also, there is a strong support level at the 2008 low of $700 per ounce.

Spot Gold

I would attach a 50% probability to gold reaching $700 in the next few years and a bit less, say 30%, to gold reaching $600.

Gold breaks $1180 support

Core CPI continues to track close to the Fed target of 2.0 percent (CPI All Items is distorted by falling oil prices).

CPI and Core CPI

Long-term interest rates are in a primary up-trend, with 10-year Treasury note yields breakout above resistance at 2.25% offering a target of 3.0 percent. Rising 13-week Twiggs Momentum above zero strengthens the signal.

10-Year Treasury Yields

The Dollar Index continues to test support at 95. Breach would warn of a test of the primary level (and rising trendline) at 93. A sharp decline on 13-Week Twiggs Momentum indicates this is likely.

Dollar Index

Gold

A weakening dollar would boost demand for gold, but rising interest rates counter this. Spot gold broke medium-term support at $1180/ounce, warning of a test of the primary level at $1140. 13-Week Twiggs Momentum peaks below zero suggest continuation of the primary down-trend. Failure of $1140 would offer a long-term target of $1000*.

Spot Gold

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

Inflation steady while Gold tests support

CPI continues below zero, but core CPI (excluding food and energy) came in at 1.81% for April 2015, indicating long-term inflationary pressures are constant.

CPI and Core CPI

Low inflation relieves upward pressure on bond yields. The yield on 10-year Treasury notes encountered resistance at 2.25%, with tall shadows on the last 3 weekly candles. Expect another retracement to test support at 1.85%. Reversal of 13-week Twiggs Momentum below zero would strengthen the signal.

10-Year Treasury Yields

* Target calculation: 2.25 + ( 2.25 – 1.85 ) = 2.65

The Dollar Index broke resistance at 96 despite falling bond yields, indicating the correction is over and another test of 100 likely. 13-Week Twiggs Momentum is declining, but recovery above the descending trendline would support the (bull) signal. Reversal below 96 is unlikely, but would test support at 93.

Dollar Index

Gold

The inflation-adjusted price of gold (gold/CPI) suggests that gold has further to fall. Unusually high levels of intervention by central banks in financial markets may, however, be fueling support at current prices — suggesting a gradual decline rather than a sharp adjustment.

Gold/CPI

Spot gold is headed for another test of medium-term support at $1180/ounce after respecting resistance at $1220. Breach of support would test the primary level at $1140. 13-Week Twiggs Momentum peaks below zero suggest a primary down-trend. Failure of $1140 would test the long-term target of $1000*.

Spot Gold

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

Gold and the $1200 ‘support’ level

Barrick Gold failed to break resistance at 13.50 and looks set to continue ranging between 10.00 and 13.50. The consolidation is not an indication of reversal in the primary down-trend.

Barrick Gold

Inflation-adjusted price of gold (USD price divided by US consumer price index) is well above its historic long-term average, indicating that the bear trend is likely to continue.

Spot Gold

On the daily chart spot gold recovered from its March test of primary support at $1140, but has encountered strong resistance around $1200/ounce. 13-Week Twiggs Momentum continues to oscillate below zero, suggesting continuation of the primary down-trend. Reversal below $1180 would warn of another test of $1140, while breach of the primary support level would signal a decline to $1000/ounce*. Breakout above $1220 is unlikely, but would signal a (bear) rally to $1300/ounce.

Spot Gold

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

Inflation and Dollar stable

March CPI readings were much as expected, with the annual rate at zero but core CPI (excluding food and energy) close to the Fed target of 2 percent.

Core CPI

Ten-year Treasury Note yields continue to consolidate in a narrow band between 1.85% and 2.00%. Breakout above resistance is more likely and would offer a target of 2.25%. 13-Week Twiggs Momentum below zero continues to indicate a primary down-trend. Recovery of long-term yields is likely to be gradual for two reasons:

  1. The Fed is adopting a cautious stance towards lifting short-term rates; and
  2. Downward pressure exerted on long-term yields by offshore (Chinese & Japanese) purchases of Treasury securities (with the intent of suppressing appreciation of their exchange rates).

10-Year Treasury Yields

A stable inflation rate and low interest rate outlook have kept the Dollar Index range-bound between 96 and 100. Rising 13-week Twiggs Momentum continues to indicate a strong primary up-trend. Breakout above 100 would signal an advance to 110*. Failure of support at 96 is unlikely.

Dollar Index

* Target calculation: 100 + ( 100 – 90 ) = 110

Inflation outlook

March consumer price index (CPI) is due for release on Friday. Producer prices, released Tuesday, ticked upwards after a sharp December/January fall on the back of plunging crude oil prices.

PPI Finished Goods

Average hourly earnings growth (non-supervisory manufacturing jobs), however, retreated below 1.0%.

Average Hourly Earnings

CPI is likely to remain heavily affected by oil prices, but core CPI (excluding food and energy) is expected to remain close to the Fed’s target of 2.0%.

CPI and Core CPI

Deflation in Australia?

The Eurozone experienced negative CPI growth over December/January.

CPI EU

Australia shows consumer price growth declining at the end of 2014. The next CPI update (Q1 2015), at end of April, is likely to reflect further slowing.

CPI Australia

Declining inflation expectations reported by Westpac (in the 0 to 5% range) tend to support this.

CPI expectations Australia (0 - 5% range)

CPI unwinds as the Fed runs out of “patience”

From Seeking Alpha:

The euro fell to a fresh 12-year low on Wednesday, extending a broad decline just days after the ECB launched its €1T bond-buying program, while the dollar index soared to its highest in more than 11 years at 98.95, buoyed by expectations that the Fed could soon lift U.S. interest rates. Nearly all now believe the FOMC will remove the word “patient” from its policy statement after its March 17-18 meeting, opening the door for a rate increase in June.

Not so fast. US consumer price growth (annual % change) to end of January 2015 fell below zero.

US CPI

Core CPI is slowing at a far gentler rate because it excludes energy prices (as well as food).

CPI Core

Wage pressures in the manufacturing sector are declining, despite solid job numbers, indicating there is still plenty of slack.

Manufacturing Hourly Earnings

With inflationary pressures easing, why the haste to raise interest rates? I believe that Janet Yellen will move when the time is right. And not before.

Crude still has further to fall

West Texas Crude has been falling since breaking support at $75/barrel, following through below $50/barrel. A test of 2009 lows at $30/barrel is likely unless there is major disruption to supply.

WTI Crude Monthly

When we adjust crude prices for inflation, they remain high by historical standards. Prior to the China boom of the early 2000s, the ratio of WTI Crude to CPI had seldom ventured above $20/barrel when measured in 1982-1984 dollars (shown as 0.2 on the chart below). After the dramatic fall of the last 3 months, the adjusted price at the end of December 2014 (in 1982-1984 dollars) is still $25.20/barrel (0.252 on the chart) — well above the former high.

WTI Crude adjusted for inflation

Gold – further falls likely

Low interest rates increase demand for gold by lowering the carrying cost. A rising dollar, however, has the opposite effect.

Gold respected resistance at $1250/ounce, confirming the primary down-trend. Another 13-week Twiggs Momentum peak below zero strengthens the signal. Breach of primary support at $1180 would offer a long-term target of $1000*. Recovery above 1250 is unlikely, but would test the descending trendline around $1300.

Spot Gold

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

Gold Bugs Index, representing un-hedged gold stocks, fell sharply since breaching long-term support at 190. Declining 13-week Twiggs Momentum (below zero) signals a strong primary decline. Bearish for gold.

Gold Bugs Index

The price of gold adjusted for inflation (gold/CPI) remains relatively high and further falls are likely.

Gold adjusted for CPI

Depleting Putin’s war chest

From Quartz:

The “First Law of Petropolitics,” coined by New York Times columnist Tom Friedman… states that when oil prices are high, the leaders of petro-states can become demanding and belligerent; when they are low, they are more prone to be pussycats.

Oil prices at elevated levels explain Russian belligerence. The graph below shows Brent Crude prices adjusted by the (US) consumer price index to reflect growth in real crude prices over the last decade. To bring crude prices down to pre-2005 levels will be no small feat.

Real Crude Oil Prices

Read more at How the US might persuade the Saudis to co-conspire in unleashing an oil weapon against Putin – Quartz.

Is China sliding towards deflation? | beyondbrics

Robert Cookson: Chinese policy makers spend a lot of their time worrying about inflation. But the growing risk now appears to be deflation….

The PPI index has already turned negative [and] year-on-year growth in money supply has plunged to a level that in the past been consistent with CPI of between zero and 1 per cent…..

via Is China sliding towards deflation? | beyondbrics.