I am of course referring to the SNB's attempt to fix its currency against the Euro and derail its strength. I remember a time (it now seems long, long ago) during which a nation longed for a strong national currency as a vote of confidence by the global investing community. It attracted capital that could be used for economic expansion and growing a manufacturing base, kept the cost of imported goods low and provided a stable price environment. Not any more - now it is a case of each nation outbidding the other in their attempts to cut the props out from beneath their own currency.
This attempt,which will inevitably prove to be a failure (see Japan's futile efforts as EXHIBIT ONE), introduced a dose of confusion that allowed the bullion banks to regroup, after they have been sent reeling as Asian trade took gold to an all time high overnight. Their fierce selling took the metal lower on the day, although it is moving higher in the aftermarket hours.
Keep in mind the comments I made the other day on the KWN WEEKLY METALS WRAP in which I remarked that the enemies of gold would throw everything, including the kitchen sink, at the gold market in an attempt to keep it below $1900 and attempt to paint a double top on the technical price charts. If they fail here, gold goes to $2000 before you can blink. The battle has been joined with the East bidding up the market and the West attempting to take it down. Batten down the hatches because the sea is not going to get any calmer here on out.
Also, watch for the ESF to try continuing propping the sagging equity markets. We are quickly reaching a point where the realization that the economy is spiraling downwards is dawning on more and more of the investing public, with the current crop of political leaders offering nothing but more of the same failed policies as a cure. Not only that, but the monetary authorities have nothing left to do except print more money as they are effectively zero bound. Translation - when all else fails, resort to market chicanery.
Back to gold however - after setting a new all time high overnight, it then retreated moving lower throughout the rest of the session before settling down on the day. Some decent buying surfaced near the $1860 level as bulls attempted to take the metal back above $1880 but the effort looks a bit half-hearted right now. They will have to quickly recapture $1900 to put the pressure back on the bullion banks.
Gold bears will try to shake out some more longs and see if they can get enough sell stops targetted to drop the price back towards $1840.
The HUI added to its gains from last week further confirming the strong upside technical breakout, although it was pulled off its best levels of the session by the selling that hit the metals themselves. A second consecutive weekly close above 610 will be very bullish.
I will be most interested in observing the subsequent price action if the HUI comes back and retests the GAP area shown on the daily price chart. If the uptrend is going to continue and the shares are going to rapidly move higher, the shares comprising the index should find willing buyers that cause the price to bounce off that level and recover higher.