Commitment of Traders
While the fear and loathing of gold by the "smart money" and central banks has been extensively documented in recent years, another asset class is emerging as the "most hated" within the speculator community: treasurys, or rather, duration.
Man Group, which runs $76.8 billion in assets, said on its website that its $4.4 billion AHL Diversified fund lost 5.1% on Thursday. Among other funds to have been running bets, to a greater or lesser extent, against the euro were Brevan Howard Asset Management, which oversees about $25 billion in assets; Tudor Investment Corp.; Moore Capital Management; and Caxton Associates, said investors. "Pretty much everyone was short the euro. The view was very clear for everyone."
Gold sentiment may finally be getting bearish enough to support a durable bottom.
Sales of American Eagle gold coins at the U.S. Mint surged in November, with gold demand nearly tripling month-over-month. China's gold reserves rose by another 21 tonnes in November, the biggest bout of gold buying since China began disclosing monthly data on it's gold reserves in June
Despite these very high levels of demand, gold prices fell sharply in November - from $1,141/oz to $1,070/oz or 6.6%.
With an all time high of 293 ounces of paper per ounce of registered physical gold, it appears hedge funds continue to ignore systemic risk and surging physical demand, merely following the trend lower in paper gold prices by adding to already record short positions in gold last week. With the speculative world near-record long the USDollar and record short gold, how much longer can the status quo boat can remain upright with so many on the same side. After this week's shake-out of USD longs courtesy of Draghi, one wonders if the gold squeeze is about to begin?
The lack of fear in risky assets is another way of saying that risk premia have been low, or as we also like to put it, that complacency has been high. Not fully appreciative of this inherent risk, it seems many investors have refrained from rebalancing their portfolios, and bought the dips instead. We believe the Fed’s efforts to engineer an exit from its ultra-low monetary policy should get risk premia to rise once again, that if fear should come back to the market, volatility should rise, creating headwinds to ‘risky’ assets, including equities. That said, this isn’t an overnight process, as the ‘buy the dip’ mentality has taken years to be established. Conversely, it may take months, if not years, for investors to shift focus to capital preservation, i.e. to sell into rallies instead.
The only other time the S&P 500 Hedgers’ net long position exceeded 60,000 contracts was... September 25-October 9, 2007. We may or may not have to remind you that October 9, 2007 marked the all-time high in the S&P 500 to that point – and for 6 years to follow. Obviously, this was decidedly NOT a well-timed long extreme.
Ever since Simon Potter's 2012 arrival as head of The NYFed's trading desk, the manipulation of VIX (and thus its reflexive levered tail wagging the algo-driven dog of the indices) has been front-and-center day-after-day in the so-called US equity 'market'. While only fringe-blogs have noticed this in the past, now The FT admits that not only was recent volatility in markets exacerbated by VIX ETFs (thus confirming the tail-wagging-dog analogy), and further, the nature of the link between VIX ETFs and VIX Futures (rebalancing) enables frontrunning which serves to reinforce any trend into the close and thus manipulate the markets.
The divergence meme that is the center of the dollar bull narrative was never predicated on precise timing of Fed's lift-off. To go from no hike in September to Fed will never raise interest rates, or QE4 is next, is a needless exaggeration.
For the last three weeks, gold has experienced something that has never happened before - hedge funds aggregate net position has been short for the first time in history. However, as Dana Lyons notes, this week saw another 'historic' shift in gold positioning as commercial hedgers shifted to the least hedged since 2001... so the 'fast' money is chasing momentum and the 'smart' money is lifting hedges into them.
Initial conditions matter when contemplating impact of Greek referendum
A look at the psycholgoy of traders as reflected in the price action ahead the new week which promises to be eventful.
Explosive moves ahead...
"It occurs to me that such massive speculation in COMEX silver futures may not be in keeping with the spirit and intent of commodity law and may suggest something is wrong with the price discovery process, since real producers and consumers of silver don't appear to be represented.... As one of the largest primary silver producers in the world, we feel that an effective and fair pricing mechanism is critical for the healthiness of our industry and for the millions of people impacted by what appears from the outside, to be manipulative practices by a concentration of players."
Dollar downmove still seems corrective in nature. Fed hike in September still seems most likely scenario. Taalk of US recession is over the top when unemployment, broadly measured is falling and weekly initial jobless claims are at new cyclical lows.