"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


Friday, February 15, 2013

Speculative Money Flowing out of Gold

This afternoon's (Friday) Commitment of Traders report confirms what I have been discussing here on this site as well as in my audio interviews over at King World News Metals Wrap, namely, that the Central Banks have managed to curtail speculative money flows into Gold and direct those money flows into equities.

This is the reason gold cannot find much in the way of traction to the upside and cannot mount any sustained moves higher. Quite simply, big specs are using rallies into resistance to unload stale longs and put on new shorts. Now that near term momentum has shifted to the downside, they are also selling into weakness and pressuring the metal even lower.

Notice that since October of last year, hedge funds have been steadily liquidating long positions in the gold market while simultaneously instituting brand new short positions. The result of money flows out of the gold market that began in that month,  in addition to fresh shorting, has sent the gold price down $116/ounce as of Tuesday of this week, when the data for the COT is captured by the CFTC. Gold has since fallen another $39 as of Friday so one can assume that further long liquidation has been taking place by hedge funds along with another fresh burst of short selling by this same group of traders. Another way of saying this is that gold has fallen $155/ounce since this movement or repositioning by large hedge funds has occured in earnest.

I should also note that this is the LARGEST outright short position by hedge funds in Five Years.... that is quite remarkable to say the least.

Gold loses Support

Gold bears have been salivating for nearly 5 weeks now over the prospect of setting off the avalanche of sell stops that had been building below the support region marked on the chart starting near $1640 and extending to $1630. They hit them and more today setting off a selling cascade that also nailed the sell stops just below $1620. That was enough, along with some brand new short selling, to take gold down towards the psychological support level at $1600. It then briefly penetrated that line but managed to claw its way back up as short term traders rang the cash register after this week's fall of $60+.

The pit session close was a good $10 off the intraday low but in the aftermarket gold continued to attract selling pressure and was pivoting around the $1606 level for most of the late afternoon. The last 30 minute or so of trading in the stock market saw that sector begin recovering off the Wal-Mart email fiasco news and as it did, gold began to drift higher. Prior to that it had moved back down towards $1604 again.

I mentioned earlier this week that a strong break of support on good volume would turn the trend indicator, the ADX, into a trend mode and that is what it did. Note on the indicator that the negative DMI (red line) has exceeded its previous peak and is now moving towards the next peak made near mid-December of last year. +DMI is also workly steadily lower confirming the move while the ADX line is now rising indicating that a short term trend lower is in effect.

Gold will need to recapture $1640 at a bare minimum to turn this indicator friendly and push out some weak-handed shorts but more than anything, $1665 - $1670 to get any serious large scale short covering started. The 200 day moving average comes in near $1664 and that will serve to attract selling for the time being.

Right now the story remains the same - the Central Banks of the West (Japan is included) have managed to pull off one helluva feat by corraling the hedge funds out of commodities (and gold) and into equities, the only game in town to capture any decent yield on investment in this pathetically low, near zero , interest rate environment that they have created.

As far as downside in gold goes, today's low will serve as the initial level of chart support as handle of "15" will serve to attract some value-based buying as it has been a while since we have seen that price. If the market cannot hold there, I see some light chart support near $1585 or so. Below that, $1560 and then $1545.

The HUI looks beyond pathetic. Barrick announced that they will be selling off some non-productive assets and properties, etc, to streamline their operations and reduce costs. That is a very good sign that some of these mining CEO's are getting the message from the market: "Get your financial house in order and get costs under control so that you can return value to stockholders or else...". It is a pity that it has taken a beating of this severity to wake some of these guys up. One last thing - be selective about which gold companies you want to own. Make sure that management is serious about running a tight ship.