The "safe" haven of precious metals is once again well bid this morning as Draghi's disappointment sent the EUR higher (and USD lower). Gold and silver have now recovered all the losses from the flight-to-high-beta-equity that followed Putin's press conference on Tuesday. So since he spoke, oil prices have collapsed (hurts Russia) but US stocks have surged (as bonds dumped). Must maintain the illusion of control (but it appears the PMs are leaking that status quo trust away).
Palladium has gained 5.5% during the last five days of the crisis and is up 7.9% year to date. Ore deposits of palladium are rare and are mostly located in Russia and South Africa. Russian resource nationalism, as has been seen with natural gas, could lead to supply disruptions and to palladium going higher in the coming months. Some analysts believe palladium may be in deficit for most of the next decade as Russia depletes stockpiles and industrial uses and investment demand for the precious metal increase.
Most people, even most people in the C-suite of money center banks (the prime candidates for disintermediation), still have no clue as to what the promises, prospects & risks of Bitcoin are. Well, as UltraCoin launches into beta, these become crystal clear!
U.K. natural gas jumped the most in more than 16 months and was 2.3% higher to $4.72 on supply concerns. Wheat and corn surged 4.3% and 3.3% respectively, also on supply concerns. Should relations between Russia and Western nations deteriorate further, it will have consequences for already vulnerable economies and lead to increased safe haven demand.
We were perhaps even more amused than our readers by our Friday headline "Stocks Close At New Record High On Russian Invasion, GDP Decline And Pending Home Sales Miss." It appears that today the market forgot to take its lithium, and is finally focusing on the Ukraine part of the headline, at least until 3:30 pm again when everything should once again be back to market ramp normal. As expected, the PMI data from China and Europe in February, was promptly ignored and it was all about Ukraine again, where Russia sternly refuses to yield to Western demands, forcing the shocked market to retreat lower, and sending Russian stocks lower by over 11%. This is happening even as Ukraine is sending Russian gas to European consumers as normal, gas transport monopoly Ukrtransgas said on Monday. "Ukrtransgas is carrying out all its obligations, fulfilling all agreements with Gazprom. The transit (via Ukraine to Europe) totalled 200 million cubic meters as of March 1," Ukrtransgas spokesman Maksim Belyavsky said. In other words, it can easily get worse should Russia indeed use its trump card.
Yuan volatility is part of a major rebalancing of global trade. The next phase of EM turmoil will involve banking crises in several countries including China.
While the FT promptly retracted an article on precisely the topic of gold manipulation from earlier this week (recorded for posterity here), Bloomberg appears to not have had the same "editorial" concerns and pressures, and today released an article once again slamming the final conspiracy theory that while every other asset class is manipulated, gold is in a pristine class of its own, untouched by close-banging, price fixing traders or central bankers, and reports that "the London gold fix, the benchmark used by miners, jewelers and central banks to value the metal, may have been manipulated for a decade by the banks setting it, researchers say." And the punchline: "Large price moves during the afternoon call were also overwhelmingly in the same direction: down. On days when the authors identified large price moves during the fix, they were downwards at least two-thirds of the time in six different years between 2004 and 2013. In 2010, large moves during the fix were negative 92 percent of the time, the authors found."
"If you have physical gold or silver, you are in a golden position,” Celente said. Despite the many risks of today, Celente saw light at the end of the tunnel. He said that there are opportunities in “clean food”, breakthrough alternative energy, alternative medicine and in digital education and internet learning.
Gold declined from $1,900 in September 2011 to $1,188 on December, 19, 2013. Silver declined from $48.50 to $18.50 over approximately the same time frame. Precious metal equities declined by approximately 70% over this period. This move down played out exactly as was scripted. However, let us review the causes of this decline. We start out with the most important words ever written by a regulator: BaFin, the German equivalent of the SEC, said that precious metals prices were manipulated worse than LIBOR. What are we to read into this, particularly the word “worse”? Obviously, worse than LIBOR could not mean that more money was fraudulently earned since the LIBOR markets are many orders of magnitude larger than the precious metals markets. Then it must mean that the egregiousness of the pricing dysfunction was materially larger in precious metals.
As CNY unwinds, Russia-Ukraine safe-haven bids, and Turkish Lira (erdogan corruption) concerns flood back into the USD as a safe-haven, precious metals have come under pressure this morning. Gold has been sold but remains relatively stable but Silver is suffering its biggest down day in almost 2 months ad the gold-to-silver ratio surges back up to ts 4-month average.
We haven't seen the once ubiquitous morning drubbing of precious metals for a while but this morning gold (and more so silver) have been hammered. US equities' overnight quiet meltup has given way as AUDJPY is once again fully in charge. Emerging market FX is tumbling (Turkish Lira as well as Ukraine). Treasuries are rallying once again as the USD soars on the back of EUR weakness. It appears Russia's actions (Readiness tests) this morning are prompting a flight to USD and bond safety for now (and as the turmoil picked gold has stopped dropping).
Global gold prices may have been manipulated on 50% of occasions between January 2010 and December 2013, according to analysis by Fideres, a consultancy. Pension funds, hedge funds, commodity trading advisers, futures traders and ordinary investors are likely to have suffered losses as a result. Many of these groups were "definitely ready" to file lawsuits.
"The Pig In The Python Is About To Be Expelled": A Walk Thru Of China's Hard Landing, And The Upcoming Global Harder ResetSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 02/21/2014 10:37 -0400
The die has been cast, and it appears that the world is finally on the path to the great "carry-trade unwind" endgame. If so, this is what it will look like...
The last week or two appeared to be dominated by hope that the transitory weakness in data was weather-related, the recovery was all good, and that the Fed would un-taper to give it a helping hand just in case... Today's FOMC minutes made it clear the latter was not the case and today's macro data made it clear this weakness is not just the weather. With US macro data at six-month lows, the last 2 days saw credit and equity protection markets well bid - even as underlying stocks surged back to unchanged on the year. However, between Fed talking-heads and the FOMC minutes, hope faded... stocks tumbled, credit widened, Treasury yields surged higher, the USD jumped, and precious metals were slammed into the red on the week. Volume - surprise surprise - was the highest in over a week.