In an interview on Bloomberg’s “First Up” show, Treasurer for the Perth Mint, Nigel Moffatt, said “Our biggest restriction is the amount of unrefined gold we’re getting in from producers”, adding, “everything we get in is going straight out the door as soon as we refine it.”
Well that escalated quickly...
Religious imagery... peak condescension... everyone proclaiming "gold is dead"... In a nutshell, sentiment has plunged to negative levels not seen in years, if not more than a decade. Here are four mainstream media articles that provide some evidence we may be approaching a sentiment low. Some of them we're sure you’ve seen, others perhaps not. What amazes us is how they’ve all come out within the last two weeks.
With the major US equity markets within 1-2% of their record highs, Gavekal Capital notes that underneath the headline indices, stock markets are extremely tumultuous. Rather stunningly 21% of MSCI USA stocks are at least 20% off their recent highs, and 68% of Canadian stocks are in bear markets, but the real carnage is taking place in Emerging Markets.
Having detailed yesterday the manipulation in the precious metals markets that implies the bear market in bullion is an artificial creation, we thought the following 'rational' chart effort at 'valuing' gold may provide some frame of reference for the level of riggedness occurring...
Overnight, US energy major Chevron announced it will cut 1,500 jobs globally "as the company aims to reduce internal costs in multiple operating units and the corporate center." According to Rigzone, "the San Ramon, Calif.-based energy company will cut 950 positions in Houston, 500 positions in San Ramon and 50 positions internationally." But it's not just the US, because moments ago Italy's biggest oil and gas industry contractor Saipem announced that not only is it cutting its guidance, sending its stock plunging, but also reported that it plans to cut 8,800 workers by 2017.
This series reached an extremely skewed -462 yesterday (18 New Highs minus 480 New Lows). If this reading gets any worse, it will be one indication that the uptrend since 2009 is in jeopardy.
The bear market in bullion is an artificial creation. This artificial, indeed fraudulent, increase in the supply of paper bullion contracts drives down the price in the futures market despite high demand for bullion in the physical market and constrained supply.
Why the big slowdown? Why is the world falling apart? Because you can’t fake an economic recovery... Instead of “stimulating” a recovery, the feds have “simulated” one.
For the first half an hour after China opened, things looked bleak: after opening down 5%, the Shanghai Composite staged a quick relief rally, then tumbled again. And then, just around 10pm Eastern, we saw a coordinated central bank intervention stepping in to give the flailing PBOC a helping hand, driven by the BOJ but also involving NY Fed members, that sent the USDJPY soaring which in turn dragged ES and most risk assets up with it. And while Shanghai did end up closing down -1.7%, with Shenzhen 2.2% lower at the close, the final outcome was far better than what could have been, with the result being that S&P futures have gone back to doing their thing, and have wiped out all of yesterday's losses in the levitating, zero volume, overnight session which has long become a favorite setting for central banks buying E-Minis.
Overall, the bull market in biotech stocks doesn’t look like it will end in a fury today or tomorrow. However, as Biogen has shown, a high flying group of stocks like this can blow up performance at any moment. The trend in these stocks is still mostly positive, however, momentum seems to be changing for the worse on the margin. As a stock market leading group for most of this bull market, it will be worth investors’ time and effort to keep a close eye on biotech’s performance.
Hedge Funds' net long position in WTI Crude collapsed 27% (the biggest single 'dump' in over 3 years) ahead of the big plunge last week (and is now down almost 60% in the last month - the most since 2010). Part of a broader deflationary collapse in commodities, as Bloomberg reports, long positions dropped to a two-year low while short holdings climbed 25%, erasing more than $100 billion in market value from the 61 companies in the Bloomberg E&P stock index. With crude supplies still almost 100 million barrels above the five-year average, "there's a lot more room for prices to slide," warned one trader, "it's going to take a long time for this to work itself out."
It all started in China, where as we noted previously, the Shanghai Composite plunged by 8.5% in closing hour, suffering its biggest one day drop since February 2007 and the second biggest in history. The Hang Seng, while spared the worst of the drubbing, was also down 3.1%. There were numerous theories about the risk off catalyst, including fears the PPT was gradually being withdrawn, a decline in industrial profits, as well as an influx in IPOs which drained liquidity from the market. At the same time, Nikkei 225 (-0.95%) and ASX 200 (-0.16%) traded in negative territory underpinned by softness in commodity prices.
There is a myth prevalent today that the gold price always falls when interest rates rise. The logic is that when interest rates rise it is more expensive to hold gold, which just sits there not earning anything. And since markets discount future expectations, gold will even fall when a rise in interest rates is expected. With the Fed's Open Market Committee debating the timing of an interest rate rise to take place possibly in September, it is therefore no surprise to market commentators that the gold price continues its bear market. Only the myth is just that: a myth denied by empirical evidence.
The purpose of this article is to outline, with facts, large global structural issues that everyone, bulls and bears alike, should be fully aware of. This article will focus on much larger structural issues that have been building for years and decades. And no this article is not so much about central banks, debt issues, Greece, China, deficits, etc. While all these are important as part of the overall picture, they are mere current symptoms of a much larger issue that is at the core of all that is already in play and will only deepen in our societies in the decades to come.