Gold as ‘Trump insurance’

Yesterday’s solid blue candle on the gold chart [XAUUSD] confirms my view of the precious metal as a form of “Trump insurance”. After Trump and North Korea exchanged threats suggesting nuclear retaliation, gold gained 1.32%, breaking resistance at $1275/ounce. Follow-through above $1300 would signal a primary advance, with a target of $1400*.

Spot Gold

* Target calculation: 1300 + ( 1300 – 1200 ) = 1400

From the BBC:

US President Donald Trump says North Korea “will be met with fire and fury” if it threatens the US.

His comments came after a Washington Post report, citing US intelligence officials, said Pyongyang had produced a nuclear warhead small enough to fit inside its missiles.

This would mean the North is developing nuclear weapons capable of striking the US at a much faster rate than expected.

The UN recently approved further economic sanctions against the country.

The Security Council unanimously agreed to ban North Korean exports and limit investments, prompting fury from North Korea and a vow to make the “US pay a price”.

The heated rhetoric between the two leaders intensified after Pyongyang tested two intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) in July, claiming it now had the ability to hit the US.

Mr Trump told reporters on Tuesday: “North Korea best not make any more threats to the US. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.”

China goes all-in on the Yuan

China is betting that it can use its more than $3 Trillion of foreign reserves to stare down hedge funds betting on a collapse of the Yuan. Any sign of weakness in the Yuan would fuel further speculation and flight to safety. The caterpillar on the right of the daily chart reflects PBOC efforts to support the Yuan (prevent further appreciation of USDCNY).

USDCNY

But you need plenty of bikkies (chips) to stand firm against the market and China is depleting its foreign reserves to buy up Yuan. IMF figures to September last year show a substantial fall in foreign reserves (excluding gold) but the pace has accelerated and I suspect China must now be close to the $3 Trillion mark (from a high of $4.0T in June 2014).

China Foreign Reserves ex-Gold

China’s sell-off of foreign reserves has had an unusual impact: in the midst of a flight to safety, the Dollar is falling. Sell-off by the PBOC is driving the Dollar Index lower. Good news for US exporters (and manufacturers competing against imports) who would have been crucified by a rising Dollar.

Dollar Index

Flight to safety not only led to a sell-off in the Yuan but has spiked demand for Gold. If you can’t get your capital out of China to buy real estate in Vancouver or Sydney then the next best alternative is to buy gold. Spot metal prices brushed aside expected long-term resistance at $1200/ounce, reaching highs of $1250. Expect some retracement, but gold should find support at $1200. Completion of a higher trough would confirm a primary trend reversal.

Spot Gold

Global stocks

Dow Jones Global Index respected resistance at the former primary support level of 290. Breach of 270 would confirm another decline. 13-Week Twiggs Momentum peaks below zero flag a strong primary down-trend.

Dow Jones Global Index

* Target calculation: 290 – ( 320 – 290 ) = 260

Dow Jones Industrial Average is hammering primary support at 16000 but long tails on weekly candles (and rising 13-week Twiggs Money Flow) highlight committed buying. Expect another bear rally next week, but the weight of the market is on the sell side and is unlikely to change course. Breach of 16000 offers a target of 14000*.

Dow Jones Industrial Average

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

The S&P 500 also rallied Friday and recovery above 1850 suggests another test of 1900/1950. Rising 21-day Twiggs Money Flow reflects medium-term buying pressure. Reversal of the primary trend is unlikely and breach of support at 1850 would confirm a decline to 1700*.

S&P 500 Index

* Target calculation: 1900 – ( 2100 – 1900 ) = 1700

CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) continues to range between 20 and 30, reflecting elevated risk.

S&P 500 VIX

U.S. equity and options markets will be closed on Monday, February 15, 2016, in observance of Presidents’ Day.

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Canada’s TSX 60 also retraced to test resistance at 750. Respect is likely and breach of 700 would offer a target of 650*. Declining 13-week Twiggs Momentum peaks below zero indicate a strong primary down-trend.

TSX 60 Index

* Target calculation: 700 – ( 750 – 700 ) = 650

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Europe

Dow Jones Europe index continues its primary down-trend. Breach of support at 260 would signal another decline. Declining 13-week Twiggs Momentum below zero confirms a strong down-trend.

Dow Jones Europe

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Germany’s DAX is testing primary support at 9500. Peaks below zero on 13-week Twiggs Momentum warn of a primary down-trend. Follow-through below 9300 would confirm.

DAX

* Target calculation: 9500 – ( 11500 – 9500 ) = 7500

The Footsie retreated below 6000, signaling a primary down-trend. 13-Week Twiggs Momentum peaks below zero further strengthen the signal. Long-term target for a decline is 5000*.

FTSE 100

* Target calculation: 6000 – ( 7000 – 6000 ) = 5000

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Asia

Dow Jones Asia breached support at 2400 confirming another decline. Declining 13-week Twiggs Momentum below zero confirms a strong down-trend.

Dow Jones Asia

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Support has given way on the Shanghai Composite Index, strengthening the primary down-trend signaled last August when 13-week Twiggs Momentum crossed below zero. Target for the decline is 2400*.

Shanghai Composite Index

* Target calculation: 3000 – ( 3600 – 3000 ) = 2400

Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index is testing primary support at 17000. Breach is likely and would confirm the primary down-trend signaled by 13-week Twiggs Momentum below zero.

Nikkei 225 Index

* Target calculation: 94 – ( 106 – 94 ) = 82

Two failed swings on India’s Sensex (failing to reach the upper trend channel) warn of increasing selling pressure. Declining 13-week Twiggs Momentum peaks below zero confirm this. Follow-through below 24000 would offer a target of 22500*.

SENSEX

* Target calculation: 25000 – ( 27500 – 25000 ) = 22500

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Australia

The ASX 200 broke support at 4900 this week, confirming a (primary) decline. There are still buyers hoping for a reversal — illustrated by bullish divergence on 21-day Twiggs Money Flow (indicates medium-term buying pressure) — but the weight of the bear market is against them. Expect a test of support at 4600 in the next few weeks but the long-term target is 4000*.

ASX 200

* Target calculation: 4850 – ( 5050 – 4850 ) = 4650; 5000 – ( 6000 – 5000 ) = 4000

Banks are taking a hammering, breach of 75.00/76.00 signaling a decline to 66.00*. Now is not the time to go bargain-hunting. What looks cheap today may be even cheaper tomorrow.

ASX 300 Banks

* Target calculation: 7600 – ( 8600 – 7600 ) = 6600

The only sound reason for buying a stock is that it is rising in price. If that is happening, no other reason is required. If that is not happening, no other reason is worth considering.

~ Nicholas Darvas

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

Gold, silver and the Dollar

A long-term chart of silver shows strong support at $15/ounce. Recovery above $18 and 13-week Twiggs Momentum above zero would suggest that the precious metal has bottomed. A bullish sign for gold.

Silver

The picture for gold is less clear, with further tests of primary support at $1140/ounce expected. 13-Week Twiggs Momentum is also rising and recovery above zero would be a bullish sign. But breakout above $1300 is unlikely at present. Breach of support at $1140 would offer a target of $1000*.

Spot Gold

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

Stocks of major gold producers like Barrick Gold remain bearish.

Barrick Gold

The Dollar Index respected its declining trendline, warning of another test of primary support at 93. Breach of support would signal a primary down-trend. A weaker Dollar would boost demand for gold and lift the US economy, enhancing the competitiveness of exporters and local manufacturers facing competition in domestic markets.

Dollar Index

Long-term interest rates are rising, however, and provide support for the Dollar. 10-Year Treasury yields respected their new support level at 2.25% and are likely to test long-term resistance at 3.0 percent. Rising 13-week Twiggs Momentum above zero, strengthens the signal.

10-Year Treasury Yields

It’s Time To Drive Russia Bankrupt — Again

Interesting view from Louis Woodhill on Forbes:

Over the past 64 years, real gold prices have averaged $544.91/oz in 4Q2013 dollars, and real crude oil prices have averaged $38.85 bbl. This means that an ounce of gold will typically buy about 14 barrels of oil.

If we fully stabilized the dollar today, we could expect gold prices to fall toward $550/oz, and oil prices to fall toward $40.00/bbl. The huge dollar premiums that gold and oil currently command reflect the value that these easy-to-store commodities have as hedges against dollar instability. If we reformed our monetary control system to guarantee the real value of the dollar, we would eliminate this risk. The risk premiums currently enjoyed by oil and gold would then decline toward zero, as the new monetary system gained credibility.

Are the current gold and oil premiums simply a hedge against an unstable dollar?

Read more at It's Time To Drive Russia Bankrupt — Again.

Gold finds support as Euro falls

  • Treasury yields warn of a decline
  • Euro trending lower
  • Dollar halts at resistance
  • Gold finds short-term support

Interest Rates and the Dollar

The yield on ten-year Treasury Notes retreated below 2.50 percent, warning of a decline to 2.00 percent*. Follow-through below 2.40 would confirm. 13-Week Twiggs Momentum below zero strengthens the signal. Reversal above 2.65 is unlikely, but indicate an advance to 3.00 percent.

10-Year Treasury Yields

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

The euro is in a primary down-trend, having broken primary support at $1.35. Target for the initial decline is $1.30*. Declining 13-week Twiggs Momentum below zero confirms the down-trend. Recovery above $1.35 is unlikely, but would warn of a bear trap.

EURUSD

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

The Dollar Index has run into resistance at 81.50, evidenced by tall wicks (“shadows”) on the last two weekly candles. Weakness in Europe is likely to drive the Dollar higher, while lower treasury yields would retard the advance. Recovery of 13-week Twiggs Momentum above zero suggests a primary up-trend. Breakout above 81.50 would signal a primary advance to 84*. Reversal below 81.00 is unlikely, but would warn of another test of primary support at 79.00.

Dollar Index

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

Gold

Gold found short-term support at $1280/$1300. Oscillation of 13-week Twiggs Momentum around zero continues to indicate hesitancy. Breach of support at $1240/$1250 would warn of a primary down-trend. Recovery above $1350 remains unlikely at present, but would indicate another test of $1400/$1420.

Spot Gold

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

Gold retreats as Dollar strengthens

  • Treasury yields remain weak
  • The Dollar strengthens
  • Inflation looks weak despite rising TIPS spread
  • Gold retreats

Interest Rates and the Dollar

The yield on ten-year Treasury Notes continues to test support at 2.50 percent. Failure would indicate a decline to 2.00 percent; follow-through below 2.40 would confirm. 13-Week Twiggs Momentum below zero continues to warn of a primary down-trend. Recovery above 2.65 is less likely, but would suggest the correction is over, with a medium-term target of 2.80 and long-term of 3.00 percent.

10-Year Treasury Yields

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

The Dollar Index found short-term support at 80.00. Follow-through above 80.50 indicates another test of 81.00. Recovery of 13-week Twiggs Momentum suggests a primary up-trend. Breakout above 81.00 would strengthen the signal; above 81.50 would confirm. Breach of 80.00 is unlikely at present, but would warn of another test of primary support at 79.00.

Dollar Index

Low interest rates and a stronger dollar suggest inflation expectations are falling, but this is not yet evident on the TIPS spread (10-Year Treasury Yields minus 10-Year Inflation-Indexed Yields).

10-Year Treasury Yields minus 10-Year Inflation Indexed (TIPS) Yields

Gold

Gold is nonetheless falling, in line with weaker inflation expectations. Follow-through below $1300 would test support at $1240. And breach of $1240 would threaten another primary decline, with a target of $1000*. Oscillation of 13-week Twiggs Momentum around zero, however, suggests hesitancy, with no strong trend. Recovery above $1350 is unlikely at present, but would indicate another test of $1400/$1420.

Spot Gold

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

Gold losing its luster

Inflation pressures are easing and Elliot Clarke summarizes Westpac’s outlook for US inflation as follows:

This week we decompose the Personal Consumption Expenditure (PCE) deflator to assess what inflation pressures currently exist and how they are likely to develop. The conclusion is that the inflation picture argues for an extended period of extremely accommodative policy settings and it may even serve to delay the timing of the initial interest rate increase well beyond the timeframe currently envisaged by markets.

Soft treasury yields, a weak dollar and weaker gold price tend to support this view.

Interest Rates and the Dollar

The yield on ten-year Treasury Notes is ranging in a narrow band between 2.60 percent and 2.80 percent. Breakout above 2.80 would indicate an advance to 3.50 percent* — confirmed if there is follow-through above 3.00 percent — but declining 13-week Twiggs Momentum continues to warn of weakness. Breach of primary support at 2.50 percent is as likely and would signal a primary down-trend.

10-Year Treasury Yields

* Target calculation: 3.00 + ( 3.00 – 2.50 ) = 3.50

The Dollar Index is testing medium-term resistance at 80.50. Breakout would suggest that a bottom is forming, but only recovery above 81.50 would signal a trend change. 13-Week Twiggs Momentum oscillating below zero, however, is typical of a primary down-trend. Breach of primary support at 79.00 would signal a decline to 76.50*.

Dollar Index

* Target calculation: 79.0 – ( 81.5 – 79.0 ) = 76.5

Gold and Silver

Silver failed to imitate gold’s performance in the first quarter and is headed for a test of primary support at $19/ounce. 13-Week Twiggs Momentum likewise failed to cross to above zero, suggesting continuation of the primary down-trend. Breach of primary support would offer a target of $16, while respect of support would test resistance at $22/ounce.

Spot Silver

Spot gold is undergoing a strong correction, having breached the rising trendline and support at $1320/ounce. The outlook remains bullish, but breach of primary support by Silver or continued decline of 13-week Twiggs Momentum below zero would negate this. Failure of primary support at $1200 is unlikely, but would offer a target of $1000/ounce*.

Spot Gold

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

Copper

Copper is a commodity rather than a precious metal, but is also used as a store of value. At present, copper is testing long-term support at $6800/tonne. Follow-through below $6600 would signal continuation of the primary down-trend to $6000/tonne*. Recovery above the descending trendline (at $7000) is unlikely, but would suggest that a bottom is forming.

Copper

* Target calculation: 6750 – ( 7500 – 6750 ) = 6000

Dollar falls: Outflow to safe haven?

Rising gold prices would normally signal increased inflation expectations and higher Treasury yields, but the present situation is distorted by tensions in Ukraine and increased demand for gold as a safe haven. The yield on ten-year Treasury Notes found support at 2.60 percent and is now testing medium-term resistance at 2.80 percent. Breakout would indicate an advance to 3.50 percent*; confirmed if there is follow-through above 3.00 percent. Bearish divergence on 13-week Twiggs Momentum continues to warn of weakness and reversal below 2.60 remains as likely, testing primary support at 2.50 percent.

10-Year Treasury Yields

* Target calculation: 3.00 + ( 3.00 – 2.50 ) = 3.50

Rising Treasury yields and a weakening dollar may reflect international outflows from the Dollar in search of a safe haven. The Dollar Index is testing primary support at 79.50/79.60. Breach would signal a primary down-trend; confirmed if support at 79.00 is broken. The 13-week Twiggs Momentum peak below zero suggests further weakness.

Dollar Index

* Target calculation: 79.5 – ( 81.5 – 79.5 ) = 77.5

Scott Sumner: “It’s Complicated: The Great Depression in the US” | The Market Monetarist

Lars Christensen writes of a 2010 lecture by Scott Sumner did at Oxford Hayek Society on the causes of the Great Depression.

Scott does a great job showing that policy failure – both in the terms of monetary policy and labour market regulation – caused and prolonged the Great Depression. Hence, the Great Depression was not a result of an inherent instability of the capitalist system.

Unfortunately policy makers today seems to have learned little from history and as a result they are repeating many of the mistakes of the 1930s. Luckily we have not seen the same kind of mistakes on the supply side of the economy as in the 1930s, but in terms of monetary policy many policy makers seems to have learned very little.

Scott Sumner - Click to play Video

Click to open video on separate page 1:06:12

Read more at Scott Sumner: “It’s Complicated: The Great Depression in the US” | The Market Monetarist.

Gold Bulls Hit

Grant Williams at Mauldin Economics quotes a friend in Hong Kong in his latest article on gold:

I’ve been taking this opportunity to stock up on some yellow metal. Went to Hang Seng bullion counter yesterday. The line was out the door. It took an hour wait to see a teller. When I asked if people were buying in the dip or selling in panic, she told me that they haven’t had one ounce of gold sold back to them all day. She told me they have sold more gold in 24 hrs than they normally do in 3 months.

While the price in futures market has fallen sharply, physical sales of gold have surged.

Read more at Things That Make You Go Hmmmm..

Dramatic fall on S&P 500 – April 16th

Apologies. I deleted this April 16th post by accident.

The S&P 500 fell 220 basis points (2.2%) on Monday, blamed variously on disappointing growth figures from China, the fall in gold, and the Boston Marathon tragedy. I still suspect that the primary cause is the tectonic shift last week by the Bank of Japan.

“Where is the fall?” you may ask, when viewing the chart below. That is what I enjoy about monthly charts: they place daily moves in perspective. Breach of support at 1540 would indicate a small secondary correction, while breakout below 1490 would signal a correction back to the primary trendline. But the primary trend remains up. Only a fall through 1350 would suggest a reversal.

S&P 500 Index

Pimco’s El-Erian: Markets Trading at ‘Very Artificial Levels’ | WSJ

Steven Russolillo at WSJ reports:

Actions by central bankers across the globe are propping up asset prices to artificial levels that are potentially putting investors at risk, Pimco CEO Mohamed El-Erian said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.

“Investors should recognize that in virtually every single market segment, we are trading at very artificial levels,” El-Erian told WSJ’s Francesco Guerrera. “It’s true for bonds, it’s true for equities. It’s true across the board.”

This reinforces my long-term bullish outlook for gold. Central banks are unlikely to cease their easy money policies any time soon. What we are currently witnessing is the opposite, with the Bank of Japan going ‘nuclear’ in an attempt to kill persistent deflation that has dogged them for over two decades.

I strongly recommend that you watch the video interview at Pimco’s El-Erian: Markets Trading at ‘Very Artificial Levels’ – MoneyBeat – WSJ.

Dollar Index headed for 84.00

The Dollar Index is advancing strongly, headed for a test of the 2012 high at 84*. Recovery of 63-day Twiggs Momentum above zero suggests a primary up-trend. Retracement to test the new support level at 81.50 remains likely.

US Dollar Index

* Target calculation: 81.5 + ( 81.5 – 79 ) = 84

Gold has fallen as a result of dollar strength, testing primary support at $1550. Support between $1500 and $1550 remains strong, however, and we are unlikely to see a breakout below this level.

US Dollar Index

A new Gold Standard is being born | Telegraph Blogs

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard writes:

The world is moving step by step towards a de facto Gold Standard, without any meetings of G20 leaders to announce the idea or bless the project. Some readers will already have seen the GFMS Gold Survey for 2012 which reported that central banks around the world bought more bullion last year in terms of tonnage than at any time in almost half a century. They added a net 536 tonnes in 2012 as they diversified fresh reserves away from the four fiat suspects: dollar, euro, sterling, and yen…….

It is no secret that China is buying the dips, seeking to raise the gold share of its reserves well above 2pc.

Read more at A new Gold Standard is being born – Telegraph Blogs.

Stronger dollar, weaker commodities: gold, copper and crude

The US Dollar is in a primary up-trend, the Dollar Index having broken resistance between 81 and 82. Retracement is likely to test the new support level; respect of 81 would confirm a healthy up-trend. Respect of the zero line by 63-day Twiggs Money Flow would likewise strengthen the signal.

US Dollar Index

* Target calculation: 82 + ( 82 – 78 ) = 86

Spot gold is also testing a new support level — this time on the daily chart — after breaking resistance at $1600/ounce. Penetration of the declining trendline suggests that the down-trend is weakening, but 63-day Twiggs Momentum remains firmly below zero. Follow-through above $1640 would strengthen the bull signal — as would recovery of Momentum above zero — but failure of $1600 would re-test $1540.

Spot Gold

* Target calculation: 1550 – ( 1800 – 1550 ) = 1300

Other commodities have reacted negatively to the stronger dollar, suggesting that gold will continue its downward path. Copper is in a clear down-trend, headed for a test of the 2011 low at 6800.

Copper Grade A

Brent crude broke its mid-2011 low at $100/barrel, offering a long-term target of $75*.

ICE Brent Afternoon Markers

* Target calculation: 100 – ( 125 – 100 ) = 75

Nymex WTI Light Crude is similarly headed for a test of long-term support at $75/barrel.

Nymex WTI Light Crude

CRB Commodities Index is similarly headed for a test of support at 250. The peak below zero on 63-day Twiggs Momentum warns of a strong primary down-trend. First, expect retracement to test resistance at 295; respect would confirm the down-trend.

CRB Commodities Index

* Target calculation: 290 – ( 330 – 290 ) = 250

Gold rallies

Spot gold rallied late Friday, breaking the first line of resistance at $1600/ounce. Penetration of the declining trendline suggests that the down-trend is weakening, but 63-day Twiggs Momentum remains firmly below zero. Retracement that respects new support at $1600 would strengthen the bull signal, however, as would recovery of Momentum above zero.

Spot Gold

* Target calculation: 1500 – ( 1800 – 1500 ) = 1200

Spot gold tests $1530

The Dollar Index followed through after last week’s breakout above resistance at 81.50/82.00, confirming the fresh advance signaled by a 63-day Twiggs Momentum trough above zero. Target for the advance is 86.00*.

US Dollar Index

* Target calculation: 82 + ( 82 – 78 ) = 86

On the daily chart, spot gold tests medium-term support at $1530/ounce. Long tails indicate buying support but the rising dollar continues to apply downward pressure. Breach of support and follow-through below $1500 would signal a long-term decline to $1200/ounce*. Declining 63-day Twiggs Momentum (below zero) already indicates a primary down-trend. Recovery above $1600 is less likely but would indicate that the down-trend is weakening.

Spot Gold

* Target calculation: 1500 – ( 1800 – 1500 ) = 1200