Monetary Metals's blog

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Gold and silver went up the dollar went down, +$33 and +$0.53 -64mg gold and -.05g silver. This Report looks into the market to understand its fundamentals, that is, where the price should be if physical metal were to clear based on supply and demand.

Of course, two factors make this very interesting. One is that the speculators use leverage, and they can move the price around. At least for a while. The other is that the fundamentals change. There is no guarantee that the prices of the metals will reach the fundamental price of a given day. Think of the fundamentals as gravity, not the strongest force in the system but inexorable, tugging every day.

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Last week, we discussed the growing stress in the credit markets. We noted this is a reason to buy gold, and likely the reason why gold buying has ticked up since just before Christmas. Many people live in countries where another paper scrip is declared to be money. Most of the time, most of these people buy dollars as the escape hatch from their native currencies.

They buy the dollar first, and gold (for now) is a distant second. That leads to the question of silver. Do they buy silver in equal measure as gold, or is silver a distant second to gold, as gold is a distant second to the dollar?

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Every week we talk about the supply and demand fundamentals. We were surprised to see an article about us this week. The writer thought that our technical analysis cannot see what’s going on in the market. We don’t want to fight with people, we prefer to focus on ideas. So let’s compare and contrast ordinary technical analysis with what Monetary Metals does.

Technical analysis, in all of its forms, uses the past price movements to predict the future price movements. We are not here to argue for or against technical analysis. We simply want to say that it’s not what we are doing. Not at all.

Our analysis is based on different ideas. The key idea is that there is a connection between the spot and futures market. That connection is arbitrage.

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This week, the prices of the metals dropped. As always, the question is what happened to the fundamentals? Below, we will show the only true picture of the gold and silver supply and demand.

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This week, the prices of the metals mostly moved sideways. There was a rise on Thursday but it corrected back to basically unchanged on Friday. The gold basis was up slightly and cobasis is down with our calculated fundamental price is all but unchanged around $1,360. In silver, the basis is basically unchanged but the cobasis went up a bit. The silver market got just a bit tighter, and our calculated fundamental price is up more than 30 cents to about a quarter above the market price. Not exactly “bet the farm with leverage territory”, but definitely not “short this dog” either.

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This week, the prices of the metals moved up on Monday. Then the gold price went sideways for the rest of the week, but the silver price jumped on Friday. We see a higher price of gold along with greater scarcity (i.e. cobasis, the red line), which means the price of gold is being pushed up by buyers of physical metal, not by buyers of futures (which would push up the basis, and reduce scarcity). In silver, the story is a bit less compelling. The scarcity of the metal is holding (not increasing), as the price rises. This implies there is some good demand for physical, and the price action had futures market assistance.

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This week, the prices of the metals went up, with the gold price rising every day and the silver price stalling out after rising 42 cents on Tuesday. The gold-silver ratio went up a bit this week, an unusual occurrence when the prices are rising