Gold muted as Dollar slides

I would have expected a gold rally in response to the falling Dollar but the response is so far muted.

The Euro leapt 3.08% last Thursday, December 3rd, in response to a weaker-than-expected stimulus package from the European Central Bank.

EURUSD

The Dollar Index, with a 57.6% weighting against the Euro, fell 2.26%.

Dollar Index

Other factors also weaken the Dollar. The Peoples Bank of China is selling off reserves to support the falling Yuan. This is likely to continue as capital outflows from China maintain pressure on the currency.

USDCNY

A weaker Dollar would boost US exports and accelerate domestic growth. Strong bearish divergence between 13-week Twiggs Momentum and the Dollar Index warns of a reversal. Breach of support at 98 would indicate a test of primary support at 93. Failure of primary support remains unlikely, but reversal of 13-week Twiggs Momentum below zero would strengthen the warning.

Dollar Index

Interest Rates

Long-term interest rates remain soft despite the anticipated Fed rate hike. 10-Year Treasury yields respected support at 2.0 percent. Breakout above 2.50 percent would indicate a test of 3.00 percent.

10-Year Treasury Yields

Gold

Gold is headed for a test of support at $1000/ounce* after breaching $1100. 13-Week Twiggs Momentum peaks below zero confirm a strong primary down-trend. A weaker Dollar would increase support for gold but there is no sign of this yet.

Spot Gold

* Target calculation: 1100 – ( 1200 – 1100 ) = 1000

Gold is rising despite a strong Dollar

Gold is strengthening despite falling oil prices and the rising Dollar.

The Dollar Index is advancing toward a long-term target of 100 after breaking resistance at 90 in December.
Dollar Index

* Target calculation: 90 + ( 90 – 80 ) = 100

Spot gold is testing resistance at $1300/ounce after breaking through $1250. Expect a rally to test resistance at $1400, but a change in the primary trend is unlikely. Reversal below $1200 would warn of a decline to $1000*.
Gold

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

The most likely explanation for gold strength is the prospect of significant quantitative easing by the European Central Bank. Mario Draghi has called on the ECB to purchase € 50 billion of securities per month until December 2016 according to Bloomberg. With Japan and China already following the path of monetary expansion, concerns over the potential for a “currency war” are growing.

Market turbulence

A Coincident Economic Activity Index above 0.2 indicates the US recovery is on track. Produced by the Philadelphia Fed, the index includes four indicators: nonfarm payroll employment, the unemployment rate, average hours worked in manufacturing, and wages and salaries. Bellwether stock Fedex also suggests rising economic activity.

Coincident Economic Activity Index

But contraction of the ECB balance sheet by € 1 Trillion over the last two years has pitched Europe back into recession.

Weakness in Europe and Asia has the capacity to retard performance of US stocks despite the domestic recovery.

Market turbulence

A Coincident Economic Activity Index above 0.2 indicates the US recovery is on track. Produced by the Philadelphia Fed, the index includes four indicators: nonfarm payroll employment, the unemployment rate, average hours worked in manufacturing, and wages and salaries. Bellwether stock Fedex also suggests rising economic activity.

Coincident Economic Activity Index

But contraction of the ECB balance sheet by € 1 Trillion over the last two years has pitched Europe back into recession.

Weakness in Europe and Asia has the capacity to retard performance of US stocks despite the domestic recovery.

Andreas Dombret: What is going on in Europe? The view from within

From a speech by Dr Andreas Dombret, Member of the Executive Board of the Deutsche Bundesbank, at the New York Stock Exchange, New York, 26 March 2014:

How do we get to the end of the tunnel?

At the European level, the most important project is the banking union. The banking union is most certainly the biggest step since the introduction of the euro. And it is the most logical step to take. A single currency requires integrated financial markets and this includes the supervision of banks.

Consequently, one of the pillars the banking union rests upon is a Single Supervisory Mechanism – that is European bank supervision for the largest banks. Centralising supervisory powers in such a way can foster a comprehensive and unbiased view upon banks. It also enables policy action that is not held hostage by national interests. Thus, it will contribute to more effective supervision and better cross-border cooperation and coordination.

Read more at Andreas Dombret: What is going on in Europe? The view from within.

Surprise as BOE, ECB Give Forward Guidance | WSJ

New [BOE] governor Mark Carney has already made changes. In a statement accompanying the widely-expected decision to leave both rates and asset purchases unchanged, the BoE said that rising market rates had shifted expectations for the Bank Rate above levels that were justified by the economic situation.

The fact that there was a statement at all indicated a change in policy. The old BOE just announced its decision and left interpretation to the markets.

This was a clear attempt to talk the markets down and it worked.

Read more at Recap: Surprise as BOE, ECB Give Forward Guidance – MoneyBeat – WSJ.

Eurozone risks Japan-style trap as deflation grinds closer | Telegraph

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard reports:

The region’s core inflation rate – which strips out food and energy – fell to 1pc in March. This is far below expectations and leaves monetary union with a diminishing safety buffer. “The eurozone is tracking the experience in Japan in mid-1990s. There is a very high risk of a slide into deflation,” said Lars Christensen, a monetary theorist at Danske Bank.

Read more at Eurozone risks Japan-style trap as deflation grinds closer – Telegraph.

EU Deal Reached on Bank Supervisor | WSJ.com

GABRIELE STEINHAUSER And LAURENCE NORMAN at WSJ write:

European Union finance ministers reached a landmark deal early Thursday that would bring many of the continent’s banks under a single supervisor, in what governments hope will be a major step toward resolving their three-year-old debt crisis. Ministers said the European Central Bank would start policing the most important and vulnerable banks in the euro zone and other countries that choose to join the new supervisory regime next year. Once it takes over, the ECB will be able to force banks to raise their capital buffers and even shut down unsafe lenders.

This is an important step, centralizing banking control in Brussels. Though there is bound to be dissent amongst member states as to capital buffers and unsafe lending practices.
Read more at EU Deal Reached on Bank Supervisor – WSJ.com.

ECB Unveils Bond-Buying Program – WSJ.com

By GEOFFREY T. SMITH

The ECB will buy in the secondary market only government bonds with remaining maturities between one and three years without announcing any limits in advance, and as long as the government in question is under a program approved by the euro zone.

The measures will primarily benefit fiscally troubled countries like Spain and Italy, which are facing difficulties financing their budget deficits…

via ECB Unveils Bond-Buying Program – WSJ.com.

Germany backs Draghi bond plan against Bundesbank – Telegraph

By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard,
9:39PM BST 20 Aug 2012

“A currency can only be stable if its future existence is not in doubt,” said Jörg Asmussen, the powerful German member of the ECB’s executive board. He signalled full backing for the bond rescue plan of ECB chief Mario Draghi, brushing aside warnings from the German Bundesbank that large-scale purchases would amount to debt monetisation and a back-door fiscal rescue of insolvent states in breach of EU treaty law.

via Germany backs Draghi bond plan against Bundesbank – Telegraph.

Italian’s Job: Premier Talks Tough in Bid to Save Euro – WSJ.com

Only the ECB has the necessary firepower to move the market. Senior German officials say the ECB’s help is what [Italian premier Mario] Monti has really been after all along. The Italian leader is convinced that the June 28 summit provided political cover for the ECB to take bold action, in the knowledge that euro-zone governments—including Germany—won’t oppose it.

“I have no doubt that the night before the disintegration of the euro, the ECB will do whatever is necessary to save it,” Mr. Monti says. “The question is: Do we need to get to the night before?”

via Italian’s Job: Premier Talks Tough in Bid to Save Euro – WSJ.com.

Benoît Cœuré: Short-term crisis management and long-term vision – how Europe responds to the crisis

Interesting to get a view from within the ECB as to the state of the euro-zone crisis.

Benoît Coeuré, Member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank:
On 29 June, the Euro Summit took a further series of steps to strengthen crisis management. They agreed that loans to Spain as part of its bank recapitalisation programme would not have a senior status, removing a key concern for investors about the programme and their continued purchases of Spanish government debt. They committed themselves to use the full range of EFSF and ESM instruments in a flexible and efficient manner. And most importantly, they decided that the ESM should have the ability to recapitalise banks directly, once a single supervisory mechanism is in place involving the ECB. These are all very significant developments. Let me elaborate.

First, the possibility for direct bank recapitalisation by the ESM is crucial to break the vicious circle between banks and their sovereigns that is at the heart of the crisis. It would allow for banks to be stabilised without increasing the debt level of the sovereign, thereby avoiding further damage to sovereign debt markets and banks’ balance sheets. This would move the euro area closer to the type of financial union we see in federations like the U.S. or Switzerland, where banking sector problems are dealt with at the federal level and have no implications on the finances of the federated units…..

via Bank for International Settlements >> Benoît Cœuré: Short-term crisis management and long-term vision – how Europe responds to the crisis.

Roubini Says 2013 `Storm’ May Surpass 2008 Crisis

Nouriel Robini on Bloomberg TV: The Euro summit was a failure… markets were expecting much more. Either you have debt neutralization [EFSF purchases of government bonds] or debt monetization by the ECB or EFSF/ESM be doubled or tripled using leverage ….or you will have a worse crisis in the next few weeks.

The ability of politicians to kick the can down the road will run out of steam in 2013…..next year could be a global perfect storm

Bloomberg TV: Roubini Says 2013 `Storm’ May Surpass 2008 Crisis

Europe Central Banks Fight Slowdown – WSJ.com

The ECB lowered its main lending rate by 0.25 percentage point to 0.75%, the lowest level in the central bank’s 13-year history. It reduced the rate it pays banks that deposit funds overnight with the central bank by the same amount, to zero. Both decisions were unanimous.

via Europe Central Banks Fight Slowdown – WSJ.com.

Comment:~ Lowering interest rates will help restore liquidity, but will not fix the current solvency crisis.

Debt crisis: Germany caves in over bond buying, bank aid after Italy and Spain threaten to block ‘everything’ – Telegraph

Bruno Waterfield: On Thursday night, Italy and Spain plunged an EU summit into disarray by threatening to block “everything” unless Germany and other eurozone countries backed their demands for help.
…..Under the deal, Spanish banks will be recapitalised directly by allowing a €100 billion EU bailout to [be] transferred off Spain’s balance sheet after the European Central Bank takes over as the single currency’s banking supervisor at the end of the year.
……[and] a pledge to begin purchases of Italian bonds using EU bailout funds to reduce Italy’s borrowing costs with a lighter set of conditions…..

via Debt crisis: Germany caves in over bond buying, bank aid after Italy and Spain threaten to block ‘everything’ – Telegraph.

ECB’s Nowotny Cautions Against ‘Single-Minded’ Austerity – Real Time Economics – WSJ

“The single-minded concentration on austerity policy (in the 1930s) led to mass unemployment, a breakdown of democratic systems and, at the end, to the catastrophe of Nazism,” said Ewald Nowotny [Austria’s central bank governor and member of ECB governing council] at a financial conference in Vienna. He added that central bankers during the start of the financial crisis had been very keen to avoid the mistakes of the 1930s.

Mr. Nowotny also cautioned against trying to impose a “moralistic” solution to the euro zone’s current debt problems. “It is not about punishing children who have behaved badly,” he said, adding that it was important not to let the concept of moral hazard turn into an excuse for not taking “practical initiatives.”

via ECB’s Nowotny Cautions Against ‘Single-Minded’ Austerity – Real Time Economics – WSJ.

“The Big Easing” by Daniel Gros | Project Syndicate

The banks that are parking their money [about €1 trillion] at the ECB receiving only 0.25% interest are clearly not the same ones that are taking out three-year loans [€1.15 trillion] at 1%. The deposits come largely from northern European banks mainly German and Dutch, and LTRO loans go largely to banks in southern Europe mainly Italy and Spain. In other words, the ECB has become the central counterparty to a banking system that is de facto segmented along national lines. The real problem for the ECB is that it is not properly insured against the credit risk that it is taking on. The 0.75% spread between deposit and lending rates yielding €7.5 billion per year does not provide much of a cushion against the losses that are looming in Greece, where the ECB has €130 billion at stake.

via “The Big Easing” by Daniel Gros | Project Syndicate.

ECB Allots €529.5 Billion in Long-Term Refinancing Operation – WSJ.com

LONDON—The European Central Bank said it handed out €529.5 billion $712.7 billion in cheap, three-year loans to 800 lenders, the central bank’s latest effort to arrest a financial crisis now entering its third year. Wednesday’s loans were on top of the €489 billion of similar loans the ECB dispensed to 523 banks in late December. The ECB’s goal is both to avoid an escalating crisis as banks struggle to pay off maturing debts and to mitigate a sharp pullback in bank lending to customers across ailing European economies……about two-thirds of the loans went to banks in three euro-zone countries — two in the “periphery,” likely Spain and Italy, and one in the “core,” likely France or Germany.

via ECB Allots €529.5 Billion in Long-Term Refinancing Operation – WSJ.com.