Gold opened in Asian trade on a relatively firm note as buyers came in to take advantage of the break in prices. That buying eventually gave way to sellers looking for a bounce to exit from longs. As price dropped down to Friday's closing level (commensurate with the 100 day moving average), longs who had been bottom picking stepped aside removing any support from the market. That allowed the shorts to press it into stops below Friday's low which dropped the metal rapidly into the band of chart support near the $1600 level.
Upon its initial test of this level, it did bounce somewhat but renewed selling then took it back lower and violated this key psychological level.
Should it fail to recapture $1600, the next stop is near the $1580 level. Should that give way, it looks most likely to drop back into the band of congestion on the charts that held the price from late April of this year through the breakout that came in July. Should this occur, the entirety of the leg higher from July will have been erased. The top of that band was centered near $1550 while the bottom of the band was near the $1480 level.
That is rather fascinating to observe considering the fact that the monetary authorities' solution to the woes confronting the European economy and the US economy is further currency debauchment. Some of this is no doubt due to the fact that traders on the losing side (currently the longs) are going to be dealing with increased margins to hold these losing positions come the close of trading Monday (tomorrow) afternoon.
What we are experiencing is very similar to the events of the summer of 2008 when traders began fearing a deflationary outbreak which led to widespread commodity selling as carry trades were unwound. What is different right now is that the US equity markets are not imploding lower ( I suspect we are seeing official sector intervention occuring in there with the Exchange Stabilization Fund very active - whether they can hold it is unclear).
While monetary officials are no doubt quite pleased to see the commodity sector getting pummelled by hedge fund selling, it is going to be very difficult for that sector to continue its freefall without a spillover effect on the equity sector. What's good for the goose is good for the gander. If the global economy is slowing to this extreme to justify the severity of the sell off taking place in commodities, then stocks are overvalued and ripe for a breach of important chart support levels as well. Either the commodity sector will find value based buying very soon or the US stock markets are going to experience a free fall in price.
One further note for those who like to do historical comparisons. The plunge in 2008 took gold down from its peak by approximately 30% before it bottomed out and began its next leg higher. If that same plunge were to occur this time around, the price could drop as low as $1345 or so by comparison. Gold ended last year at $1422 on the front month Comex gold contract so such a plunge would take the metal negative for the year. Those who are buying the physical metal are being given one helluva gift. Scale in buying can take advantage of this setback in price but this is for buyers of physical only. LEveraged futures guys have got to be careful not to let these hedge funds trample you to death in their mindless rush to the exit. Wait for some signs of a bottom before moving in on the long side unless you have extremely deep pockets.
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