Copper began a strong rally into the end of last year, followed by a selloff with a resumption of the rally into a new high for this year in February. Since that time however it has been straight down for this important bellwether metal. Today's selloff in the red metal marks a brand new low for 2013 and the matching of a nearly 2 month low.
A couple of things are at work here. First, traders fear Chinese action to ramp down speculative fever in the housing sector over there. The concern is that any slowdown in Chinese building, no matter what the source, is not good news for Copper.
Secondly, there continues to be a general theme of selling commodities by hedge funds here in the US as evidenced not only by this chart, but by the CCI (Continuous Commodity Index) chart as well.
I believe we will want to keep a close eye on this market. With the US equity market once again moving higher today while copper moves lower, there is a divergence that needs to be monitored. I personally believe copper is a much better indicator of future expected economic activity than is the US stock market, which has become a bubble fueled by investors chasing "it is the only yield game in town". Ultra low interest rates, courtesy of the destroyers at the Fed, have sent high octane money flows into stocks. At some point that game is going to come to an ugly and ignominious end. I am just not sure when. Seeing these guys pouring back into equities in spite of the massive high volume reversal day posted this week is quite extraordinary.
The bullish fever refuses to die. What is particularly worrisome to me is seeing the huge outflows from money market mutual funds. Those funds, which are taking some rather reckless risks to try to obtain some sort of return in this insanely low interest rate environment (can you tell by now that I despise the Fed for what it has done to punish savers and retirees), are watching their investors leaving in droves to go and chase the stock market higher. This sort of herd mentality is precisely what the Fed has wanted but it is also precisely the same sort of foolishness that sets up those latecomers to the stock market for serious losses.
Forget all that claptrap being spewed out of the mouths of the various Federal reserve officials when it comes to their "mandate". The Fed has become nothing more than a serial bubble blower and a manager of the mess inherent in such things.
"When misguided public opinion honors what is despicable and despises what is honorable, punishes virtue and rewards vice, encourages what is harmful and discourages what is useful, applauds falsehood and smothers truth under indifference or insult, a nation turns its back on progress and can be restored only by the terrible lessons of catastrophe." … Frederic Bastiat
Evil talks about tolerance only when it’s weak. When it gains the upper hand, its vanity always requires the destruction of the good and the innocent, because the example of good and innocent lives is an ongoing witness against it. So it always has been. So it always will be. And America has no special immunity to becoming an enemy of its own founding beliefs about human freedom, human dignity, the limited power of the state, and the sovereignty of God. – Archbishop Chaput
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