"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


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Month End Positioning Underway

Attempting to make sense of the movement in the currency markets in today's session can be very confusing. Case in point? The Euro/Dollar. A report by the OECD, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, warned that tapering of the bond buying programs (monetary easing) by various Central Banks, could result in a slowdown in global growth. It singled out the Euro-Zone as a region that could be most impacted and consequently lowered its forecast for that region's growth.

Normally, that would have been enough to put pressure on the Euro. No so today! Today seems to be a case of large speculators squaring positions ahead of this month's end. Since everyone and their dog has been long the US Dollar and short nearly every other currency on the planet, we are seeing a bit of an unwind occurring which is taking the Dollar lower, especially given the fact that the equity markets are under pressure today. That too might be a case of end-of-the-month position squaring.

Trying to read too much into price action at this time of the month can be rather futile. I am more interested in seeing how things close the week this Friday instead. Nonetheless, if we can any breaches of chart resistance or support levels, no matter what the cause, we could see additional price volatility.

Speaking of price volatility, has anyone seen the Volatility Index lately? Check it out....What I find rather fascinating is that lately, the VIX has actually been moving higher even as the stock market has been making one new lifetime high after another on an almost daily basis. Perhaps, even some of the perma equity bulls are beginning to wonder if this bubble can keep inflating indefinitely!?

Trading Theme Du Jour

Here's the current mindset in the gold market as of this morning... the stock market looks as if it is experiencing either a bout of profit taking by longs or has temporarily run out of willing buyers near its new lifetime high - that begets a safe haven bid and a bit of the risk aversion trade comes back on.

That can primarily be seen in the bid going into the Japanese Yen, which is becoming extremely volatile due to this risk on, risk off, alternating from day to day. You can also see it in the long bond which rallied over a full 1 1/2 points off its low of the session. This trade then brings back a bid into the gold market.
 especially as the US Dollar weakens.

Today, we have the European majors and the Yen moving up against the US Dollar as the equity markets weaken. The inverse link between the greenback and gold then comes into play and gold pops higher. Gold then functions as a safe haven.

Whether this is sufficient to take gold through the $1400 level and maintain a "14"handle on it is unclear at this time. It all depends on what happens to the equity market. If this is just another dip in price that will be bought by the large specs, then gold will run into further selling as it moves towards overhead chart resistance. Why? Because they will look to jettison their gold holdings to put that money to work in the equity markets. If it is something more serious in regards to the stock market, then gold will be able to clear round number resistance at $1400 and should be able to maintain its gains.

This is what will be required to spook any of the hedge fund shorts out of their positions and touch off some buying by that side of the ledger. Remember, gold needs a catalyst of some sort.

I should also note here that there is general weakness in the grains and in the energy sector today. That combined with weakness in the copper markets is keeping pressure on the Goldman Sachs Commodity Index and furthering the notion that inflation, at least when it comes to the cost of basic commodities, is currently a non-issue.

Take a look at the chart of Unleaded Gasoline. Notice that it is some $0.45/gal cheaper than it was a mere two months ago. You put that together with a stock market nearly daily making one all time high after another, and is it any wonder that consumer confidence readings are moving up?