"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


Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Monthly Gold Charts - January 2012

Gold knocking on the door of resistance at $1750

One thing in particular that really stands out to me in today's trading session is the resilience of the gold market even as the safe haven trades were being put back on by a decent sized contingent of traders. The Euro got knocked down about 50 points and the US Dollar saw a pop higher as traders were expressing signs of nervousness over both Greece and now Portugal. Additionally, the long bond rallied up nearly a full point and is once again at the top end of a trading range that is now three months in duration.

This combined with the fact that Euro Gold is extremely strong tells us that gold is attracting a fairly large amount of safe haven flows itself and is not being impacted all that much by the risk aversion trades which hit silver, copper and platinum today. If this sort of thing keeps up, it will make it much more difficult for the bears to prevent $1750 from being breached.

A strong upside breach of $1750 should clear the way for a run at $1775 - $1780 which will also be heavily contested by our pals at the bullion banks. Downside support should emerge first near $1720 and then lower at $1705 should buyers decide to sit on their heels a bit.

The yield on the Ten Year note CLOSED at an all time LOW. The yield has moved lower but has never CLOSED for the month below 1.80% before. It is evident that the FOMC news from last week continues to have a profound impact on these markets. Inflation is not the primary concern of bond traders at this point.

Silver has run into a bit of difficulty clearing the $34 level as it has hit this level or near there for the last three trading sessions but has been unable to decisively push through. It will take a lessening of concerns associated with European sovereign debt for silver to run through this barricade and try for $35.

What is Euro Gold telling us?

Gold priced in terms of the Euro continues to be most impressive on the chart as it creeps ever closer to its all time high. This move upwards is a visual telegraph that there remains deep-seated concerns over the European sovereign debt situation, especially on the Continent itself, in spite of the recent euphoria over "free money" for the next two years.

While the Fed has given the markets, and in particular, the wild-eyed hedge fund community, the green light to buy "risk assets", there is an underlying current of palpable worry which remains in our global markets. Short-term oriented players are betting that they are faster than the next guy and can exit any risk trades if something goes wrong. Longer term players are more cautious but also do not want to be sitting on the sidelines missing potential profits. Expect some wild swings in price even on an intraday basis as we move forward. "Conviction" is not something that we will see much of.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Question to the Bank of Japan - How's that intervention been workin' out for ya?

Talk about a collosal waste of money...

Some of the more industrious among us might want to tally up the total sum of money used to shove the Yen lower on the foreign exchange markets by the Bank of Japan as well as the ECB and the Fed. As stated many times, intervention can NEVER reverse a market trend; it can only postpone it.

As a point of reference, the continued strength in the Yen is tending to keep Yen-gold on the defensive, in contrast to gold priced in terms of most of the other world major currencies.

Gold firm in spite of Stronger Dollar

Gold is coming under a bit of selling pressure in New York after opening higher in Asia alongside of silver last evening. Both markets then saw selling originating in the form of both profit taking and new short positions (from top pickers) after traders' attentions turned back to the sovereign debt woes in Euroland, particularly Greece.

Also there was a bit of news that China was not going to be in a hurry to loosen the monetary strings as quickly as some were anticipating.

Either way, it led to a reversal of the recent risk trades in favor of the safe havens once again with the bonds getting a strong bid (they are now over a full point higher) so much so that the yield on the Ten Year Note is currently 1.84%. You have to understand that a great deal of these FOMC shenanigans have but one true purpose beyond the obvious ploy to keep the stock market propped up during an election year and that is to ATTEMPT TO PUSH BORROWING COSTS FOR THE US GOVERNMENT LOWER.

The fiscal condition of the US is so abysmal that rising longer term interest rates will send the deficit soaring even higher due to the escalation of servicing its gargantuan debt load. While this government-sanctioned mugging of savers and retirees continues, the US gets to borrow its trillions at extremely low rates, rates which otherwise would force a much larger chunk of its revenue to go towards paying higher borrowing costs.

It seems to me that the Gold market is seeing through all of this mess as it saw good buying below $1720 this morning. Bulls are reluctant to push it higher in today's trading session and are not chasing it but they do seem willing to step in down at these slightly lower levels. With some of the momentum indicators in overbought territory, some have decided to book a few profits out of the nice rally and see what their next move will be.

Any reversal higher in equities later in the session or a continuation of the recent Euro rally will see a rather swift bout of short covering occur in gold. We'll have to see whether or not we get that. In the meanwhile, the bears have the advantage for today's session as selling is being seen across nearly the entirety of the commodity complex with energy, grains and metals all lower.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

This is too cute to pass up

With a hat tip to my pal JB Slear for a good laugh  - This one is for Dog Lovers in particular....

Three dogs go into a bar and....


Trader Dan on King World News Weekly Metals Wrap

Please click on the following link to listen in to my regular weekly radio interview with Eric King on the KWN Weekly Metals Wrap.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Money Flowing back into Commodities

Note the CCI chart and the nearly vertical lift over the last week. Money is pouring back into RISK ASSETS as the Dollar heads lower and the Fed keeps interest rates so low that money is free. This is the perfect environment for the wild-eyed speculator, especially the hedge fund types, who ADORE LEVERAGE and will shove as much money as they can wrap their fingers around into the commodity sector in anticipation of inflationary price rises.

By the way, just take one look at the following chart of unleaded gasoline if you have the stomach for it. Every time you head to the gasoline pump and fill up, you can bow down and pay homage to the Fed for their "gift" of higher fuel prices. After all, who gives a damn about the average consumer and retiree when Wall Street profits are on the line. That, and the current occupant of the White House's re-election chances....

Gold regains half of its losses from the record peak price

Technicians make a big deal out of the 50% Fibonacci retracement level due to the psychological implications of that level in the minds of traders, both bulls and bears. Generally speaking,  those who have been on the wrong side of a trade and who have very deep pockets, will oftentimes allow the market to continuing moving against them while they wait for the inevitable price retracement, either higher or lower depending on which side of the market that they are on.

Once they regain half of their losses, they will oftentimes then finally get out of the losing trade and move to the sidelines to access their next move. That means that a market that has been moving lower after making a peak in price, can very often expect to see some strong selling at this 50% retracement level. Note on the chart that I have indicated in red "Should be a tough fight here" at this particular level which came in near $1725.

Today gold went through this level and as of the time of this writing has not as of yet shown any indication of wavering on the part of the bulls or any eagerness to cut losses if they have been riding the wave down from $1900. This fact bodes well heading into next week as it sets the gold market up for a potential test of first, $1750, and then $1770.

The fact that the mining shares as evidenced by the HUI are acting so strongly today, is suggestive that those equity guys are reassessing their views of where the gold price is headed and are pricing in a higher level than they originally were thinking.

Downside support lies first near $1710-$1705 followed $1680.

US Dollar fails at 82

Since the late spring of last year, the US Dollar has been the recipient of a fair amount of "safe haven" flows, mainly in response to the woes afflicting Europe and by consequence, the Euro. We have said repeatedly that the US Dollar rally was not based on any desire to own the Dollar out of bullish economic fundamentals but rather out of fears concerning the viability of the Euro.

What this translates to is that any news or developments that seem to lessen the severity of the European sovereign debt situation, whether through concerted Central Bank action or from any other front, will send money flowing right back out of the Dollar and back into the Euro. Note that the last two weeks, particularly this week after the FOMC just cut the legs out from under the Dollar for as far out as the eye can see ( 2 years), the Dollar has seen very heavy selling which has confirmed the level near 82 as significant chart resistance. The Dollar failed here last week and has not as of yet been able to regain its footing.

When you couple the FOMC statement this week with today's release of the abysmal 1.7% US GDP reading for 2011, is it any wonder that the Dollar is sinking like a lead brick.

If it fails to bounce here near 79, it looks like it has a clear shot back down towards 77.

HUI notes

We are seeing a definite reversal in the price action of the gold miners in comparison to the action in the broader equity markets in today's session. I am not sure of the reason but whatever it is, the result is that the mining shares are finally seeing a strong bid in comparison to the broader equity markets.

As most gold mining shareholders have been all too painfully aware of by now, the mining shares have been lagging the broader market for the last 6 months or so now. Notice the peak last summer and the progression lower, particularly at the end of last year.

Trying to decipher at what level the analysts have pencilled in the gold price when valuing these things is an exercise in futility seeing that the Fed threw everyone an enormous curve ball this week when they gave the green light to another two years of zero interest rates. Obviously, that is strongly bullish for both gold and silver which are poised to go out on a very strong note this week.

The problem has been the mining shares in general which kept underperforming. After yesterday's lackluster showing, I was cautious about the HUI failing to gain any ground after making its high on the open. Today however, those bulls which seemed so hesitant to push them any higher, are obviously having second thoughts and have stepped in much heavier with the result that they took out the previous day's high and are keeping these miners well bid through the session. Apparently we are seeing a revaluation of the shares now that the FOMC has changed the playground rules.

If this sort of buying continues heading into the close ( and I am closely watching to see whether it does or not - so far it is very strong), the HUI will close at its best level in 6 weeks. It has even managed to turn the short term moving averages (10 day and 20 day) higher while it remains well above the 50 day. That is a nice turnaround from yesterday. The buying has taken the index exactly to the 100 day moving average. That will keep the index on a strongly bullish footing if it succumbs to the bulls.

Broad US Dollar Index chart

By request  -

US GDP remains mired in mediocrity

Reports out this morning show that US GDP for 2011 was a pathetic 1.7% compared to 3.0% for 2010. Imagine what it would have been without all that QE! No wonder the FOMC is giving the green light to hedge funds to jam the stock market higher with their stupid zero interest rate policy now extended out for another two years.

Euro Gold right at Resistance level

Take a look at the following chart of gold priced in Euros, or "Euro-Gold" as I prefer to term it. I have mentioned here and on some of my KWN Weekly Metals Wrap that this chart is one that all gold traders must continue to reference if they are to get a proper handle on the technical aspects of this market. The reason for this is that the issue most shaking the gold market during the "risk off" trades was the mess in the sovereign debt situation of many countries in the Euro-Zone.

Fears over that factor were seeing European-based buying of gold as doubts over the integrity of the Euro surfaced and still are haunting the minds of many traders and investors from that region. After all, put yourself in their place - when you see nations such as Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal (that is today's concern) having to pay record or near record yields on their government issued debt to attract sufficient buying to absorb it; when you see France along with some other nations there downgraded, would you not want to follow prudence and at least move a portion of your Euro-denominated assets into gold for protection? I know I sure would.

Either way, that process has kept Euro gold very well bid, even when we were seeing some decent selling showing up on the Dollar priced gold chart.

As long as this chart stays strong, and it is currently very strong with price threatening to take out the resistance level noted and make a run at the former all time high, any dips in Dollar priced gold are not going to last long.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

HUI higher but showing signs of selling pressure coming back in

Take a look at the following chart and you will see what I am referring to. The mining shares gapped up today on the opening trying to catch up a bit with the overnight surge in gold and in silver but after that, most of them went nowhere. That is not a bullish sign for continuing their move higher. They did attract some dip buying later in the session but the shares are reflecting a lack of confidence that the rally in the metals is going to continue tomorrow. We will see whether or not they are prescient.

The Party Continues

The binge continues unabated in today's session as both gold and silver bulls are giddy with delight over the FOMC statement from yesterday while bears are still trying to locate what is left of their trading accounts. Both metals are pressing higher as the US Dollar continues to plummet now that the Fed has basically given it the kiss of death once again.

Lost in this stupid euphoria over zero interest rates for the next TWO YEARS is the pathetic fact that the Fed has just consigned the savings accounts of all of our retired citizens and the elderly to the wastelands. How in the hell are they supposed to live off the fruit of their labors and enjoy their retirement SAFELY and without concerns when the monetary masters have just laid them on the altar and sacrificed them to the hedge fund gods?

This is the price we supposedly have to pay in order to watch the stock market rally - namely turning our entire generation of senior citizens into a band of wild-eyed speculators if they are to hope to obtain more than a pitiful 1% on their one year Certificate of Deposits in their local banks.

I wish that some one of these Republican presidential candidates besides Ron Paul would actually begin to deal with this madness head on. After all, we are talking about a primary in Florida, a state loaded with senior citizens and other retirees who were hoping to live off the interest yields on their savings and other CONSERVATVE investments. My view is that what the Fed is doing is downright criminal in the sense that it is plundering the wealth of those who have saved in order to prop up the rotten house of Dagon.

As a trader I have to deal with what the market gives me and what that is at the moment is a veritable orgy of risk asset buying by hedge fund managers. As a private citizen however I have to shake my head in dismay that this is now what passes for sound monetary policy and is conducive to lasting prosperity. Have we lost our collective minds?

As I stated yesterday, the end result of this FOMC green light to the speculative community is to borrow all the "free money" you can get your hands on, leverage that up at least 10:1, and plow it into commodities and other risk assets and have at it. Bring back that carry trade and let's get this party going as we are in an election year and we cannot have a sagging stock market or actually deal with the real problems associated with $16 trillion in debt.

Quo vadis America?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Gold Chart - Updated

Gold shattered overhead resistance near $1680 and has continued higher as momentum based buying is coming in driving out panicked shorts who were hoping for a halt in the advance to occur as the market encountered bullion bank selling originating at $1680. The FOMC made that a mirage as a zero interest rate environment for the next two years means an environment in which it pays to own gold. The yellow metal pays no interest but at this point, neither do short term Treasuries and those offer no protection from currency induced price increases. Just look at what is occuring across the commodity sector today as hedge funds now push the price of food, energy and metals in a northerly direction. Forget about tame inflation - that just vanished.

The sheer size and scope of this fund buying has driven out everything in front of it except for the strongest of shorts.

Gold has light resistance starting at $1705 (it is right on this level now) or so and extending towards $1720-$1725. The latter is the important 50% Fibonacci retracement level from the all time high to the recent double bottom down near $1535. The bears are going to make a stand near this level. If the fund buying remains as robust as it was today - the bears are going to be routed. Pushing through this cap will set it up to make a run at $1750. If the shorts can defend $1720 - $1725 then we should see a retracement back towards the $1700 level initially followed by $1680 where support should emerge.

By the way, the HUI and some of the gold stocks dodged a very big bullet today courtesy of the FOMC. They were in severe danger of breaking down technically.


Or in the words of Captain Jack Sparrow. "Drink up me hearties".

The FOMC just gave the green light to every hedge fund manager between here and the planet Mars to cram every bit of leveraged funds they can borrow or beg into the commodity sector and the equity markets.

Gold soared through overhead resistance at $1680 as if it was non-existent. Silver shattered $32.50 rebounding over $1.50. Crude oil is now back over $100 and gasoline just soared another $.05/gallon. Gasoline prices alone have now rallied 40 cednts a gallon since November. Get ready for more pain at the pump. Here we go again!

The CCI shot up; bonds rallied over 2 full points and the US Dollar just got clocked. RISK ON - who gives a crap about European sovereign debt woes or Greece or anything. Free money - more free money - and even more free money.

"God Bless the Fed" is now being heard around the lunch tables at the restuarants as hedge fund managers raise their glasses of Chablis to toast their new found prosperity.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Barrick Downgraded - down goes the HUI - again.

Barrick Gold was downgraded this morning to sector perform by some of the "analysts" citing concerns over delays and cost escalations at new mines under construction. Tie that in with weakness in both gold and silver, which ran into long liquidation and some fresh selling after failing to better the chart resistance levels noted yesterday, and that has resulted in the HUI sinking down to the bottom of a critical support level on the price chart once again.

The gold shares in general are becoming dogs that cannot hunt or in the case of some, not even bark.

The same hedge funds that have been buying them down at this level late last year and early this year had better not have a change of heart. Still, it is only Tuesday so they do have time to recover before the end of the week. They will certainly need to or we are going to see a technical chart breakdown.

Pressure in gold and silver today is coming from a slightly stronger Dollar and some increased chatter over Greece and woes associated with that running sore. Traders are a bit hesistant to get too aggressive on the risk trades as a result and are exercising a bit of caution. That is allowing for some long liquidation and fresh short sellers from top pickers.

Silver stills need to get a solid close ABOVE $32.50 to avoid sagging here while gold needs to close over $1680 to avoid a setback towards $1650.

Bonds, a good measurement of the willingness of traders to take on risk, are basically flat today reflecting the lack of conviction either way for today's session. We'll see what we get in tomorrow's session which should be more telling as to where we might head next.

Note on the following HUI chart that all of the major moving averages are trending lower. We need the shorter term ones to at least stop heading lower and flatten out if the HUI is going to attract any sort of momentum based chart buying in the gold sector.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Gold Chart and comments

Gold has made it into a formidable resistance level near $1680 which has served to bring out some heavy selling, just as expected seeing that a breach of this defensive line by the bulls will set the market for a run to $1700 and higher. Gold bears can read the charts just as we can and understand what will bring in the momentum buyers if they fail to hold it here.

If the recent price advance falters here at this critical zone, then we will see a setback towards $1650 - $1645 initially followed by a bit deeper drop to $1620 or so if the dip buyers are a bit sluggish in making their appearance.

On the topside, a push through $1700 sets this market on a course to challenge $1720 - $1725, above which lies much stronger resistance just above $1750, a level which I might add, needs to be taken out to accelerate the recent move higher.

Risk trades continued today with the Dollar seeing some selling pressure as the Euro moved further away from its recent 52 week low. The Dollar is sitting on top of some important chart support which coincides with both the 50 day moving average and a horizontal support level. I would not be surprised to see it bounce higher from here. If it does not, then we could see it drop down to 79 very swiftly. Bonds would probably drop off rather sharply also as it would indicate another wave of money flows into the risk trades and away from the safe haven "risk aversion" dollar.

That generated commodity-wide buying as the CCI (Continuous Commodity Index was up nearly 1.4% today. It is closing in on some important overhead chart resistance so we will see if the bulls can continue to take it higher or if the urge to snatch some money off the table strikes first.

Even natural gas put in a very strong rally off its 52 week low made early in the session on the news of cutbacks in production by Chesapeake.

The natural gas market may have bottomed today based on the very bullish chart pattern. This market however has had a habit of putting in some strong moves higher only to then resume a downtrend when the field resumes focusing on the enormous supply picture once the short covering rally is over. With the huge amounts of shale gas being produced, it is going to take other suppliers to follow the lead of Chesapeake if this is going to be a definitive bottom. That being said, natural gas is incredibly cheap. Consumers are most definitely enjoying this even if the industry as a whole is not!

Silver runs right into a Resistance Zone and then halts

Just as if on clue, Silver bulls came out of the gate bucking high and hard but were unable to throw the bears who have dug in at the exact spot on the chart which says they should.

Take a look at this chart which I posted last week and which is still applicable after today's trading session. Notice how silver shot up throw that "formidable resistance zone" near $32.50 but then faded to close almost right on the line instead of solidly above it.

Still, the bears dodged that bullet only by the slimmest of margins as the market put in a strong close to end the session, although it has retreated a bit this afternoon.

Tomorrow's session is now set up to be an important near term juncture for this market. If the bulls can take out today's high and hold the market above $32.50, this thing has a real shot at making a quick run at $35. If they hesistate here, we could see it set back about $1.00 or so to see if it can uncover some good quality dip buying.

Support should also emerge down near $30.95.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Silver tracking the CCI - risk trade measurement

One look at this tells you all you need to know about whether or not silver is going to perform. If risk is in and hedge fund money flows are coming into the commodity complex in general, it will move higher. When it does, silver goes right along with it.

When risk is out and money flows OUT of the commodity complex, silver sinks like a lead brick.

Notice that chart pattern is almost identical between the two.

Long term View of the Gold/Silver ratio

You will note on this chart that since Silver peaked near $50 back in April of last year, gold had generally been outperforming it for the remainder of the year. I am of the opinion that this was due to the anticipation of the end of QE2 in June of last year. Traders began preparing for the loss of the liquidity being supplied from that front. When you couple this with the fact that European sovereign debt woes began to gain ascendancy in the minds of traders worldwide, it is easy to see why gold held up better than silver. DEFLATION was back in; INFLATION was out.

If, and this is a big "IF", traders become convinced that deflationary forces have been left behind, then the environment in which the grey metal will outperform the yellow metal is created. In such a case, this ratio will begin trending LOWER as silver outperforms.

Every single bit of this is dependent on the attitude of traders towards risk, which is simply another way of saying whether they are leaning more towards improving global growth prospects and inflation rather than slowing global growth and deflation.

Stay tuned as the environment is still very volatile. For this week at least, the inflationary (risk trade) forces have won the battle.

Trader Dan on King World News Weekly Metals Wrap

Please click on the following link to listen to my regular weekly radio interview with Eric King on the KWN Weekly Metals Wrap.


Friday, January 20, 2012

Ten Year Note Interest Rate Rising

The Ten Year Note Interest Rate has been trading in a range between 1.80 and 2.10 or so for the better part of the last three months. Rates would move higher on improving economic data coming out of the US or China but then retreat on any sour news particularly coming out of Europe.

This week saw rates drop on Monday and stay stagnant on Tuesday but for the remainder of the week, they were on a tear higher. This is attributable to changing sentiment in regards to the global economy, especially in relation to fears surrounding the European debt situation. When traders saw French and Spanish debt finding buyers, they dismissed contagion fears and rapidly shifted from risk aversion trades to risk trades. In other words, they dismissed Deflation concerns and began leaning towards Inflation concerns in association with the tremendous amounts of Central Bank liquidity being supplied to deal with these issues.

Note this chart carefully for it is, in my opinion, a roadmap as to where Silver is headed in particular and to a lesser extent, gold.  There is the POTENTIAL, (please note the emphasis) for rates to have bottomed. If that is indeed the case, then we are going to see strong rallies in Silver and in gold as the inflation trade (RISK ON) will be back in vogue. I would want to see this chart get a WEEKLY CLOSE above 2.25% to feel that we are now leaving the period of low interest rates behind us. Keep in mind that we could still see eruptions out of Europe at any time and that is going to keep traders on edge a bit but if the investing/trading community becomes convinced that we are now past the debt meltdown stage and will be dealing with INFLATION next, then this chart is going to show it.

Certainly, if we get that weekly close above 2.25%, then precious metals should begin to react accordingly as risk capital, that has been on the sidelines begins coming back into both the gold and silver markets.

As always, time will tell. We do not need to be soothsayers or attempt to divine patterns in those silly wave charts to realize that a changing interest rate environment will signal the onset of a new period of investment factors that will have to be adjusted to.

Silver on Track to Challenge $32.50

ON Wednesday of this week, silver finally managed to get a CLOSE above strong chart resistance at the $30 level. The next day, while it was unable to advance much, it refused to back down below that resistance level and eked out another close above $30. Two consecutive closes above a strong chart resistance level and the bears had no choice but to begin running. Fresh money is now chasing them out as it appears that the hedge funds are beginning to move back into the grey metal after having fallen out of love with it in December of last year.

The technical chart picture is much improved with all momentum indicators now in a bullish mode on the daily chart as price is trading ABOVE the 50 day moving average in today's session. The 20 day moving average is now turning higher indicating the short term trend has flipped up. The 50 day should prove to be some support if we get some retracements lower.

A strong finish to the session today will set this market firmly on track for a test next week of another band of formidable chart resistance centered near the $32.50 region.

Note that the short term downtrend line drawn off the August 2011 peak was broken last week but that horizontal resistance at $30 had not as of yet fallen until it was bettered this week.

If the bulls can take out $32.50 next week, they should have relatively clear sailing all the way to $35 which is where one helluva battle royale is going to be waged by the perma bears. If that group fails to stem the advance, this market has a real shot at launching an upside trending move.

It should be noted that the move higher in silver is being accompanied by a sharp move LOWER in the bonds. Bonds are breaking down on their price chart indicating the LACK OF RISK AVERSION trades at the current moment. Keep in mind what I have repeatedly said - Silver will outperform gold in an environment in which RISK is IN. That is what the movement in the bond market is suggesting.

Only a sharp reversal to the upside in the bond market would derail the move higher in silver as it would be accompanied by a downside move in equities and a move higher in the US Dollar once again. Such an event would signal that investment funds would be back to shunning risk with money flowing back out into cash and cash equivalents and away from "risk assets".

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Gold attempting to fight off pressure from sagging gold stocks

Once again the weakness in the gold mining shares is leading to weakness in gold as the yellow metal fights to retain its footing above the $1650 level. This is occuring even as the US Dollar is weakening and a general bid is coming into the commodity sector overall.

The HUI is down nearly 2% at the time of this writing even as the S&P 500 is up 2/3 of a percent. Note that the HUI to Gold ratio it is currently pressing into levels which saw a low made last year, a level which I might note was commensurate with where it was trading way back nearly three years ago.

No matter how you analyze it, the gold miners are so cheap compared to the price of bullion that it is difficult for me to envision how we are NOT going to see takeovers, mergers or acquisitions. If someone wanted a fire sale, they are surely getting one on some of these firms.

One other side note, the long bond is getting whacked today (down almost a full two points) as traders apparently took the news that Spain and France were able to peddle their debt to some fool somewhere as proof that the situation in Europe is not all that dismal. In other words, even though Greece continues to lurk in the background, investors/traders are basically ignoring the problems there now as they rush back into the Euro which some now feel is undervalued. Yep, another episode of "How the Hedge Fund World Turns" is on television for us all to witness.

Note the following chart of the long bond and the weakening chart pattern. A technical breakdown (while not here YET) would signify that the market is anticipating a RISE in longer term interest rates. The bonds seem to have reached a level that they are unable to rise above ( if they do, it will herald the onset of a massive deflationary event) and are thus retreating. Still, the bears are unable to break this market down signficantly due to lingering concerns in the background of traders' minds about the potential for more bad news out of Europe.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Gold clears $1650; looks firm

Gold has now managed two consecutive closes above chart resistance near $1650 and is looking firm at this hour. It has a very good shot at testing resistance at $1675- $1680 where it should experience some fairly heavy selling. If the bulls can break through that line, we should see a handle of "17" in front of the metal.

Weakness in the Dollar is aiding the progress of the metal higher.

Downside support comes in near $1640 - $1635 initially followed by $1620.

Silver is benefitting from risk trades being put back on as it and copper are both seeing decent inflows of investment money from hedgies. This is the first close ABOVE $30 for silver in over a month. Follow through in tomorrow's session should see it make a run towards the $32.50 level, which is what stands between it and a push to $35.

The Ultimate Inflation Casualty

We've all seen the tricks being played by food manufacturers in shrinking the size of their products but charging the same price as the former size. The old 5 pound bags of sugar some to my mind. Whether it is cereal or bar-b-sauce, or whatever, the consumer ends up paying the same amount as they once did but they come home with a smaller quantity for their money spent.

All of this is to hide or disguise the impact of inflation. One goes to the store, buys a bag of sugar for the price they paid for it a few years ago and thinks little if anything about it until they realize that they ended up with one pound less sugar than they might have assumed.

Now, I give you the ULTIMATE INFLATION CASUALTY - yes indeed - the lowly but glorious roll of toilet paper.

Look at the following picture and weep for our old familiar friend... the roll of toilet paper on the right is the old sized roll. The new, inflation adjusted roll is on the left - I actually took out a ruler and measured the thing - it is 5/16" of an inch narrower. Think about how much wood pulp that saves the paper manufacturer. The result - VOILA!  the package of the new paper costs as much as the old sized rolls cost but you get that much less.

Alas, let us pause for a moment of respect at the passing of the dear friend of our derriere.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Gold stocks continue being plagued by the hedge fund ratio trade

The HUI continues to lose value against the price of gold bullion as evidenced by a continued deterioration in the ratio of the price of the HUI to the price of an ounce of gold.

We are reminded continually of two things that have led to this abysmal performance of the gold shares which are rapidly losing speculative interest in favor of the ETF.

The first is the risk of investing in companies that are subject to surprises which happened to Hecla and recently to Kinross. Hedge funds and other large investment groups or players seeing this say to themselves, "Why risk this sort of thing when we can get LEVERAGED EXPOSURE" to the gold price by buying the gold ETF on margin".

There is no such risk inherent in the ETF. No one worries about nationalization of the ETF or environmental lawsuits or some bureaucratic agency shutting it down to clean up debris in a mine.

Secondly -this then leads us to the ratio spread trade. Buy the actual metal either through the ETF or the physical stuff (or even the Comex) and take a corresponding short position in some of the mining companies to further minimize the risk of investing in gold.

This shows up in the rotten performance of the gold shares in general as they continue to decline against the price of bullion . Note that the line goes nearly straight down since the beginning of 2011 with a brief exception of a lousy two months last year.

If one wanted to devise a mechanism to deliberately depress the price of the mining shares they could not have come up with a better mechanism to do so than the gold ETF. The lesson in this is that investors must be extremely selective in choosing gold mining companies to invest in and not just blindly throw money into the sector and thereby hope to be successful. As long as the Gold ETF is in existence, the hedge funds are going to use it as the long leg of these spread trades and actively seek out the weaker gold mining companies to short. At this point I am not sure what it is going to take to reverse this trade as traders will stick with a strategy as long as it works and not a day longer. Long suffering gold mining share owners should continue to press management to take the steps necessary to make it more difficult to short their shares successfully. Failing that they can always pray for a takeover or acquisition!

GFMS reports substantial offtake of Gold by Central Banks

Dow Jones news is carrying a report this morning from GFMS (formerly Gold Fields Mineral Services)detailing the amount of gold purchased last year by the world's Central Banks. It was indeed a formidable number.

The net purchases of the yellow metal came in near 430 tons, a more than 5-fold increase on the previous year. It was also the highest level recorded since 1964.

To give you a sense of the significance of these purchases - the amount of NET purchases by Central Banks in 2010 was a mere 77 tons!

Surprising to me was the fact that Mexico was the largest buyer as far as the official monetary sector goes. GFMS reports that they added almost 100 tons of gold to their reserves. I would have thought it would have been China to lead the pack.

The other surprising fact was that signatories to the Central Bank Gold Agreement ( this was set up to limit the amount of gold sold by European Central Banks ) sold less than 10 tons for 2011.

The summary - Central Banks are now absorbing a significant amount of world gold production. This should continue to provide very good downside support for the metal on price retracements lower as these banks do NOT CHASE PRICES HIGHER but are there to buy at levels they consider gold to have "value".

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Trader Dan on King World News Weekly Metals Wrap

Please click on the following link to listen in to my regular weekly radio interview with Eric King on the KWN Weekly Metals Wrap.


Friday, January 13, 2012

Gold retreating from chart resistance near $1650

The inability of the metal to secure a CLOSE above $1,650 in spite of yesterday's surge towards $1,660 has engendered profit taking by shorter-term oriented longs this morning. As noted the other day, the metal has had a strong rally off of a major double bottom on the chart near $1,535 since the last couple of trading days of 2011 to the present coming over $130 higher since then. Longs are wisely pulling some chips off of the table after watching the push higher in yesterday's session fail to attract enough momentum to keep it trading above that $1650 level.

The US Dollar surge to yet another 52 week high is proving to be a source of some rather stiff headwinds for the longs today as the equity markets are selling off and risk aversion trades are showing their usual signature once again.

Dip buying has been the order of the day since this rally began. We will now watch to see where this buying will resurface. There is some light support that should appear near $1625- $1620. If it does not hold there, $1,600 is the next stop.

Bulls will need to push this thing past $1650 again and KEEP IT ABOVE THAT LEVEL to have a legitimate shot at $1675 - $1680, where bullion bank selling can be expected to appear.

The trend on gold since August has been down on this shorter term chart. However, the inability of the bears to take the metal down below $1535 and start another leg lower resulted in a bout of short covering among the weaker hands in that category. Bulls have pressed hard using the strong physical offtake at the lower price levels as their ally and have managed to take the price over $1600 which is constructive. But they have a lot more work to do to turn this chart pattern decidedly bullish.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Gold, Silver and Copper responding to low interest rate environment

All three of the above commodities are responding to news today that inflation in China is supposedly slowing somewhat (one always has to read these numbers with a healthy dose of skepticism as the Chinese are becoming almost as adept as US official-sector statisticians). Also adding to the mix is news that the ECB will keep interest rates low and would not rule out additional rate cuts if necessary in their view.

This is music to the ears of gold as it thrives in environments when there is plenty of room for more liquidity. The thinking in regards to China is that they have room to back away from any rate hikes and actually ease credit restrictions which had been put in place over the last year as the authorities there grappled with inflation problems.

Copper liked the news very much as traders there are viewing the news as positive for future demand if credit stays easy.

Note that in this environment silver is outperforming gold. That will continue as long as traders adopt a psychology focusing on future inflation as a result of easy credit instead of the opinion that deflation is the evil genie to be focused upon.

We are basically back to the risk trade today as most commodities are higher (crude oil continues its Yo-Yo-like trade as it is now higher) as the US Dollar sinks back down while the Euro rallies a full point. Grains are dragging on the commodity indices however as a USDA report has sent corn limit down this morning with spillover being seen in the Soybean market. Wheat bulls were also kicked in the groin by the same report showing larger-than-expected supplies of wheat. That news is good for consumers but disappointing for many farmers who are probably looking at corn with a handle of "5" in front of it unless some sort of crop scare down in Argentina surfaces.

Gold has pushed through $1650 and run as high as $1663 but has fallen back from its best levels. The bulls are performing but need to keep it above $1650 to see it run to $1675- $1680.

If Silver, and this is a big "IF", can hold ABOVE $30, it has a very good shot at seeing $32 relatively quickly. It has been unable to hold gains above $30 for some time now so such an event would signal a shift towards the metal by large speculators and hedge funds. We will see how it fares the remainder of the session.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Gold encountering resistance near $1650

Gold bulls have performed admirably since the last few trading days of 2011 having taken the gold price up over $100 since that time period. The rally has been very impressive, especially given the strength in the US Dollar and the move to a brand new 52 week low in the Euro. However, bulls are now at an inflection point technically and will need to drive it up through today's session high just shy of $1650 if they are going to be able to force a larger number of shorts out and take this thing to the next layer of heavy chart resistance near the $1,680 level.

The market has been encountering selling coming from both profit taking after that $100+ run in addition to fresh short selling by our favorite group (the bullion banks - who else?) That selling is showing up in the market's inability to extend and get a CLOSE above Monday's high. The market has probed that level twice since then and is thus far unable to push higher. If the bulls can perform tomorrow, then this thing should run rapidly towards $1,675 - $1,680 where the bears will make another stand. If not, and the longs get impatient instead, then expect prices to set back towards $1620 first followed by a test of $1600 if that does not uncover dip buying.

A break below $1535, the double bottom region noted on the chart, that does not quickly recover, would signify deeper losses are ahead.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Mining Shares lagging the broader equity markets since August of last year

The HUI has been lagging the broader US equity markets since August of last year but has found some good buying down near levels commensurate with valued based buying for nearly two years now.

What this tells us is that further rallies in the US equity markets should see corresponding support continuing in the mining sector.

Now if only the ratio trade employed by the hedge funds against the miners in relation to bullion would ever come to an end. For most of 2011, with brief exceptions, the miners lagged poorly against the price of gold. Note the trend has been down but the ratio is now at levels that have attracted a reversal in the spreads last year. The shares remained undervalued when compared to bullion but something will need to change in order to put the nail in the coffin of this spread trade which has gutted the value of so many quality mining companies.

Gold clears initial resistance hurdle

There has been a band of overhead chart resistance centered between $1630 - $1620 that has been keeping gold in check for the last few weeks. Gold has been probing this level for the last couple of days and has been unable to convincingly push past it. Today that all changed as gold charged higher in the very early hours of European trading. While it has been stymied in New York from furthering its overnight gains (no surprise there), it has also been attracting additional buying above $1630. As long as this buying continues, gold will have sufficient momentum to launch an attack on the $1650 level.

A large number of traders are watching the 200 day moving average to see how the metal handles itself here. The longer it holds ABOVE this level, the more nervous the shorts are going to become. From a technical perspective, a market in a bearish mode should not be able to push through this level but should fail near or at that level and then begin retreating in price. This average comes in near the $1629 level which reinforces the horizontal resistance levels noted on the chart. You will note that gold is trading above both these levels as of this hour.

If this market can continue higher tomorrow and take out $1650, we will see $1680 in very short order as shorts begin exiting more earnestly while buyers sitting on the sideline observing its performance will grow emboldened. That will bring the open interest up as hedge fund money returns more strongly.

Downside probes should meet up with valued-based buying above and just slightly below the $1600 level. Only a failure there will see the metal retreat deeper back towards $1575.

The Dollar is setting back a bit from its recent 52 week high but remains above both its 10 day and 20 day moving averages. The weekly chart is positive but does show a level of chart resistance just shy of the 82 level which is exactly where it is currently stalling a bit. Dollar bulls need to clear this level before the week is out if they hope to take the Dollar up towards 83.50 - 84.00.

The HUI is rising alongside of both gold and silver today as there is a general bid into equities across the board. The equity guys are anticipating better economic numbers coming out of the US and seem to be dismissing any concerns related to European sovereign debt issues for the time being. That will help keep the miners moving higher but I am noting the fact that they not been able to extend their gains from the opening hour of trading today. Sellers are emerging but the buyers have still been continuing so both sides are currently stalemated heading into the last hour of trading. We will see which side blinks first.

Note that the index still remains below the 50 day moving average although it is well above the bottom of the 15 month long trading range down near 500 - 490.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Trader Dan on King World News Weekly Metals Wrap

Please click on the following link to listen in to my regular weekly radio interview with Eric King on the KWN Weekly Metals Wrap.


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Gold proving to be very resilient

Considering the very strong rally in the US Dollar today, a generally weak or lackluster showing in the equities, a sinking Euro and a rather comatose bond market, one would expect the selling malaise that has gripped many of the commodity markets in today's session to be making an impact on the gold market. Instead, the yellow metal is showing signs that investors/traders are looking at it as a safe haven that got undervalued and is now a good place into which to store some wealth while trying to get a handle on the mess called the Global economic situation.

The incompetent bunglers (aka hedge funds), which came out buying everything in sight to start off the New Year have been mostly in the process of throwing all of that stuff away over the last two days proving that the advent of the New Year has not seen an improvement in the intelligence of that pack of pathetic traders. Seriously, this current crop of hedge funds contains some of the most ignorant and unskilled traders that I have ever personally witnessed over my entire two decades+ trading career.  They seem to know little if anything about nibbling on markets or being cautious and scaling back in size. It is either, "All in" or "All out". Massive amounts of money are slingshotted into everything and then promptly jettisoned out. It seems to me that the only people making money in that environment are the brokers, who must love the commissions and the exchanges which are revelling in the huge fees that this constant churning is creating.

That brings us to gold, which has been able to hold very firmly above the $1,600 level. The longer it does, the more confident traders are becoming that the bottom is in and that the next trending move will be to the upside.

You will notice on the chart that the market has run right back up into the initial resistance level detailed near and just above the $1,620 level. Forays in price the last two trading days have seen any dips below $1,600 immediately attract buying which has taken price promptly back avove that level. The result is that some shorts are getting nervous and are beginning to cover. If the bulls can now mount a close above today's session high, it seems we are going to get a move towards psychological resistance at $1,650 with the potential to charge towards the second resistance line drawn in near $1670. That is where the real battle will shape up to see whether or not the stronger-handed bulls can contain it there or watch it run to $1,700.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


It certainly appears that hedge fund managers are hungry for gain this year as they used data coming out of China and India as a reason to plow idled money into commodities and jettison the Dollar. "SAFE HAVEN" was anathema to begin the New Year's trading as bonds are being pummelled in today's session.

The surge in money flows pushed gold and silver sharply higher with Silver leading the gains (as we have said repeatedly - Silver will outperform gold anytime the RISK trade is back on) as it is currently trading near $29.60, up some 6% to start out the New Year. It still remains below $30 however and until it does, stronger hands are going to look to sell silver rallies.

Gold is acting very impressively as it has been able to push through the $1600 level and maintain its footing over this psychological resistance. A good finish to the day (needs to stay over $1600) and it has a good shot at running to $1620 where stronger-handed shorts are going to be waiting for it. If the bulls can absorb that selling, then this thing has a real shot at pushing all the way back towards $1650, which will be the indicator whether or not we can get a trend higher to commence. A short term bottom is in however - now, we will need to see whether the metal can build enough buying momentum to kick it out of a range and into a trend.

There still remains enough of a contingent of traders who remain very leery of bad news out of Europe and until that number dwindles down further, some are not going to be convinced by one day's trading gains, even though those gains are strong.

Aiding the cause of both metals is the recovery in the HUI which has managed to get back into that year-long trading range bounded by 600 on the top and 500 on the bottom. It seems that some of the same funds that were accumulating the shares last year came back in late last week and continued buying this morning. That is a good sign that the bulls were able to thwart a huge bear raid and force some short covering by frustrated shorts as the flows into the sector did not disappear as they had been hoping. The price action is telling us that the same big buyers of the shares are still bullish and see value when these things move lower. The big question in my mind is whether or not they are going to be able to recruit sufficient allies to their cause to really enable a change in the trading range pattern which has defined this sector for more than a year now.

Part of the rally in the commodity sector is being fueled by a sharp rise in the crude oil price as Iran jawbones more nonsense about shutting down the Straits of Hormuz. Let them try as such an event, while it would disrupt world oil flows, would affect their economy far worse. What else are they going to export - pistachio nuts?

I might be a bit more nonplussed than some by all this chatter as I remain very skeptical that Iran would be able to sustain a closure of these straits for very long. My guess is that the Iranian leader needs to gin up local support to take the mind of the opressed Iranian citizens off of their pathetically lousy economy.