Precious Metals

     

 

 

Introductory Remarks by PT

We have discussed the proprietary Incrementum Inflation Indicator in these pages on previous occasions, but want to quickly summarize its salient features again. It is a purely market-based indicator, this is to say, its calculation is based exclusively on market prices and price ratios derived from market prices.

However, contrary to most measures of inflation expectations, the Incrementum Inflation Signal is not primarily focused on yield differentials, such as is e.g. the case with 5-year breakeven inflation rates.

 

The 5-year breakeven inflation rate is derived from the differential between 5-year treasury note yields and 5-year TIPS yields. Interestingly, it has recently begun to tick up as well after declining sharply for several months.

 

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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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Commodities as an Alternative

Our readers are presumably following commodity prices. Commodities often provide an alternative to investing in stocks – and they have clearly discernible seasonal characteristics. Thus heating oil tends to be cheaper in the summer than during the heating season in winter, and wheat is typically more expensive before the harvest then thereafter.

 

Silver: 1,000 ounce good delivery bars [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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Numbers from Bizarro-World

The past few months have been really challenging for anyone invested in gold or silver; for me personally as well. Despite serious warning signs in the economy, staggering debt levels and a multitude of significant geopolitical threats at play, the rally in risk assets seemed to continue unabated.

 

Bizarro-World intrudes into our reality, courtesy of central banks. [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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The Last Thing to be Left Standing – Alas, Not Yet 

The price of gold was about unchanged this week, whereas that of silver fell another nine cents. All Serious Right Thinking people agree that the world does not need gold. Indeed our monetary system produces Great Moderations that are totally unlike the incredible volatility of the gold standard era. They wish they could kill all memory of gold as money.

 

Ben Bernanke, the inventor of the “Great Moderation” fairy tale, somehow felt compelled to explain in 2012 “why the world will never see another gold standard”. One day this will probably  turn out to have been an unwise deployment of the word “never” – since is not exactly known for the accuracy of his forecasts, regardless of their time horizon. Although he dismissed gold as an unimportant residual of tradition, the very central planning agency he led at the time for some reason does keep quite a bit of gold under lock and key behind a 140 ton steel door, both for itself and similar agencies domiciled abroad. [PT]

 

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Battles for Civilization

A major theme of my work — and raison d’etre of Monetary Metals — is fighting to prevent collapse. Civilization is under assault on all fronts.

 

Battling the barbarians at the gate… [PT]

 

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