"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, August 16, 2013

Dow Jones/ Gold ratio - by request

I like to track this ratio to see if I can glean what investor sentiment is towards the precious metals in relation to stocks. As can be expected, with the horrific sell off in the precious metals sector this year, coupled with the surge in US equity markets into all time highs, the ratio has been rising since the beginning of this - until the beginning of last month (July) when it began to move in favor of gold once again.

It could very well be that some large investors are seeing US stocks as overvalued and in the latter stages of a bull run compared to a beaten down sector which is undervalued and needs further long side exposure. For whatever reason, over the last 6 weeks or so, gold has outperformed the Dow Jones.

Additionally, the indicator below the price graph has now crossed below what is a signal or trigger line for the first time this year. That would entail that gold is coming back into favor when compared to expensive stocks.

while I do not like becoming too dogmatic when using these ratio charts, they are still very informative as to SENTIMENT.

By the way, I have noted the very clear, textbook perfect example of what is called "Bearish Divergence" on this chart. While the ratio was going on to make new highs the indicator measuring momentum was making a series of lower highs. In other words, the upside momentum was waning. Translation - there appears to be a very slow yet growing shift in sentiment in favor of gold and away from equities.

This does not mean that the stock market has topped out and the bull run is over - what I think it means is that gold is slowly coming back into favor among some larger investors.

Stay tuned!

Long term interest rates continue their ascent

There is no doubt in my mind that we have seen the lows in yields for Treasuries perhaps for the rest of my lifetime. The long bond has topped out on its price chart indicating an end to the THREE DECADE LONG bull market in bonds. While that does not mean we cannot get some intervals during which interest rates move lower again, I do not expect to see the long bond to ever again exceed the top shown on this chart. If it were, it would signify a PROLONGED DEPRESSION the likes of which would be difficult to envision.

The weekly chart is also showing a rising ADX line indicating the start of a trending move, in this case to the downside. I find this rather interesting because I believe that the Fed does not want rising long term interest rates. For whatever reason, the chart is showing that the bond market is expecting the exact opposite.

Already today the Ten Year hit a TWO YEAR HIGH yield of 2.864% at one point before settling the day at 2.829%. Think about this - it was just 14 basis points shy of hitting 3% today! I wonder how that is going to play with the real estate/housing markets?

There is obviously rotation going on with money moving out of bonds but whether or not the majority of that is going into equities is a bit unclear to me. It sure seems like some of it is heading back into the base metals/precious metals and certainly the mining shares right now. One thing is clear - it sure ain't going into the home building stocks!

Also, check out the home builders ETF, XHB, and look at the break in the uptrend. It sure seems to me like the Street is noticing this rise in interest rates and is treating the homebuilders accordingly with an expected negative impact to the industry. If the Street sees it, my guess is that the Fed is also seeing this and is not happy!

Demand Side News

The World Gold Council this week released some very interesting data which I want to relay here although you can get it firsthand by clicking on the link below to take you directly to their site.


I want to first start with a chart of the largest gold ETF, GLD. I consider this ETF to be a very good proxy for overall WESTERN gold investment demand.

Notice how the gold holdings in the ETF have been consistently dropping for this entire year thus far. GLD Began the year with 1350 tons of gold reported in their holdings. As of yesterday, August 15, reported holdings are 913 tons. Doing the math we learn that a total of 437 tons have gold have been offloaded from this ETF by predominantly large WESTERN investors, aka, hedge funds. So we have it established that investment demand for gold in the West has been pitiful. That we know and have stated repeatedly as the gold price chart has continued to deteriorate for most of this year.

However, what stands out to me in the WGC data is this: (By the way, I could not help but notice that they misspelled the word ' jewelry)!

Globally, jewellery demand was up 37% in Q2 2013 to 576 tonnes (t) from 421t in the same quarter last year, reaching its highest level since Q3 2008. In China, demand was up 54% compared to a year ago; while in India demand increased by 51%. There were also significant increases in demand for gold jewellery in other parts of the world: the Middle East region was up by 33%, and in Turkey demand grew by 38%.
Bar and coin investment grew by 78% globally compared to the same quarter last year, topping 500t in a quarter for the first time.  In China, demand for gold bars and coins surged 157% compared with the same quarter last year, while in India it jumped 116% to a record 122t. Taking jewellery demand and bar and coin investment together, global consumer demand totalled 1,083t in the quarter, 53% higher than a year ago.

Look at that last sentence again.... total global consumer demand for gold totaled 1,083 tons in the second quarter. The report also states that demand for bars and coins was 508 tons - that is more than enough to completely absorb the 437 tons of gold dishoarded by hedge funds!

What the hedge funds have been throwing away, the Chinese and the Indians have been buying as well as smaller buyers of bars and coins.

This fits with the Commitment of Traders reports which have been detailing the continued long liquidation by the category of traders known as Managed Money or Hedge funds, not to mention the rapid escalation of new short positions in gold.

It has been this solid, sustained demand for PHYSICAL GOLD that has put the price floor under this market and prevented the bears from cracking the market lower. However, in and of itself, that buying was insufficient to drive the price SHARPLY HIGHER. To do that, MOMENTUM BUYERS must make their entrance into the metals markets. That now appears to be occurring; not in a large way as of now, but nonetheless it is happening.

As mentioned yesterday hedge funds are beginning to take a look at the precious metals once again and getting some exposure on the long side. They are grossly under-invested in this category (and that includes the mining shares) and thus we are seeing somewhat of a rebalancing of their portfolios to favor a larger exposure. This bodes well for the metals as we head into the historically strongest season for gold prices.

Oh and by the way, It is certainly helping matters to learn that Paulson has cut this holdings in gold in a significant way. A move by such a large player of his nature goes a long way in assuaging fears that more "capitulation" type selling in gold is coming. Maybe we can look back at some point in the near future and point to his selling as the final bottom. I find that incredibly ironic. It also goes to show how the STREET shows no mercy and has no friends whatsoever but is a violent, cruel and brutal entity. The smaller barracudas seem to relish harassing the larger sharks when opportunity presents itself.