Author Archives: Keith Weiner

     

 

 

Digital Asset Rush

The only part of our April Fools article yesterday that was not said with tongue firmly planted in cheek was the gold and silver price action (though framed it in the common dollar-centric parlance, being April Fools):

 

“Gold went down $21, while silver dropped about 1/3 of a dollar. Not quite a heavy metal brick in free fall, but close enough.”

 

Bitcoin, hourly – a sudden yen for BTC breaks out among the punters. [PT]

 

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Keynesian Rot

The prices of the monetary metals rose $11 and ¢27 last week. The supply and demand fundamentals is the shortest section of this Report [ed note: we are excerpting the supply-demand section for Acting Man – readers interested in the other part of the report can find it here].

 

The eruption of Mt. St. Helens in 1980 – prior to the cataclysmic event, numerous small earth quakes and steam venting from fissures warned that something big was about to happen, even if no-one suspected the actual magnitude of the outbreak. The eruption was so powerful that a fairly large chunk of the mountain went missing in the proceedings. There are always accidents waiting to happen out there somewhere, and the modern-day fiat money system is clearly one of them. There will be warning signals before it keels over – in fact, the final cataclysm usually happens fairly quickly, while the period that leads up to it tends to be a drawn-out affair. [PT]

 

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The Week Ends with a Surprise

The weekly closing prices of the precious metals were up +$5 and +¢11. But this does not tell the full story of the trading action. Prices were dropping until Friday. More precisely, Friday 8am in New York, or 1pm in London.

 

Gold and silver – back in demand on Friday… [PT]

 

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Rise of the Zombies – Precious Metals Supply and Demand

Last week, the prices of gold and silver fell $35 and ¢70, respectively. But what does that mean (other than woe unto anyone who owned silver futures with leverage)?

The S&P 500 index and the euro was up a bit, though the yuan was flat and copper was down. Most notably, the spread between Treasury and junk yields fell. If the central banks can lower the risk of default premium, they can make everything unicorns and rainbows again extend the aging boom a while longer.

 

Non-Zombie vs. Zombie enterprises, via BIS and OECD. The Zombies won’t be able to withstand rising interest rates, which will unmask the misallocation of capital in the economy fostered by the extremely loose central bank policies of recent years. [PT]

 

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Feel Good Now, Pay Dearly Later

The prices of the metals were up somewhat last week, gold +$7 and silver + ¢13.

The price of the S&P 500 index was up, as was the price of oil and copper, and the price of the euro, pound, and yuan. And bitcoin. Even the Treasury bond posted slight gains (i.e., there was a slight drop in yields).

 

There’s a reason why they call it the “everything bubble”. Its demise won’t be pretty, hence the recent frantic back-pedaling by assorted central bankers who tried to look “tough” for a second.  [PT]

 

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Intermarket Correlation Dance

Monday was Martin Luther King Day in the US. The price of gold dropped six bucks last week. The price of silver fell 26 cents, a greater percentage.

The price of gold can sometimes correlate well with the price of stocks. For example, from April 2009 – July 2011. The price of gold went from $892 to $1,626, while in the same time period the S&P went from 841 to 1,289. The percentages are different — gold’s was 82% and the S&P’s 53% — but they moved together. And now, they seem to be inversely correlated.

 

In the short term, the gold-SPX correlation has clearly turned negative (in fact, a negative correlation is generally thought of as “normal”). Over the short to medium-term, the correlation is cyclical, but it is indeed negative over the long term. The forces driving the cyclical element of the short-term moves are an agglomeration of contingent circumstances, time leads and lags and perceptions. The latter include the choices of market participants regarding which of the macroeconomic gold price drivers to particularly focus on. [PT]

 

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Something Odd is Happening

The price of gold went up two bucks, while that of silver fell ten pennies. Something’s odd about how the metals have traded. Back when the market thought that the Fed was tightening, the prices of gold and silver were rising. Silver is now about a buck higher than its Oct-Nov trading range.

 

A timeline of brief bubble trouble followed by bubble restoration via Hedgeye. It starts in early December (upper left corner) when Santa refuses to provide rising stock prices… Collective Wall Street yammering soon ensues and the socialist central planning agency at the center of our so-called market economy is begged to intervene… After consulting its crystal ball, it decides to make a “coo” sound in late December (lower right corner), and presto – everything is fixed! Oddly enough, gold seemed to like the less accommodative Mr. Powell better. This does actually make sense on one level, but one would normally expect gold to like the prospect of a retreat from a tightening cycle even better. We do have some ideas on that topic, which we plan to discuss in an upcoming Acting Man gold update. [PT]

 

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Fundamental Developments – Silver Looking Frisky

The price of gold went up four bucks, and the price of silver rose 32 cents. Silver has been going up in gold terms since the middle of last week, when the gold-silver ratio peaked at just under 87. It closed this week at just under 82 (a lower ratio means silver is more valuable).

 

Silver: more valuable since last week, both in absolute and relative terms. Just avoid dropping it on your toes – it’s still just as heavy as it always was. [PT]

 

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Fundamental Developments: Physical Gold Scarcity Increases

Last week, the price of gold rose $25, and that of silver $0.60. Is it our turn? Is now when gold begins to go up? To outperform stocks?

Something has changed in the supply and demand picture. Let’s look at that picture. But, first, here is the chart of the prices of gold and silver.

 

Gold and silver priced in USD – the final week of the year was good to the precious metals. As an aside: January is the seasonally strongest month for silver. [PT]

 

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… Something Wicked this Way Comes

Last week the price of gold went up $18, and that of silver 6 cents. Looking at the ongoing stock market drop, someone asked us if this is “it”. So far in Q4, the stock market (S&P 500) has now lost more points than in any quarter during the great financial crisis (though so far less as a percentage). Is this it, will gold hit $10,000?

 

S&P 500 Index, daily – an unseemly slipping on the banana peel. [PT]

 

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Sally Forth and Speculate on my Behalf!

Last week, the price of gold was down ten bucks and silver four cents. Someone on Twitter demanded if we didn’t find it odd that the biggest sovereign debt bubble has managed to inflate a bubble in virtually every asset price except for gold.

 

Snapshot from a recent Goldbugs Anonymous meeting. Why, oh why have you failed to bubble my asset, dear fellow speculators? [PT]

 

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A Rocky Road

The price of gold rose $26, and the price of silver rose $0.44. And bitcoin fell $560. Somebody should look into if the Fed and the Plunge Protection Team and the Bitcoin Banks are in cahoots to sell bitcoin naked-short…

 

No PPT for Bitcoin – after breaking a long-standing lateral support level, the cryptocurrency went into free-fall. You may notice the little remark in the annotation at the top of the chart: we believe BTC is highly likely to continue to lead the stock market, as it has done since the turn of the year. This is because both markets are under the sway of the same driver, namely rapidly weakening money supply growth. [PT]

 

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