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FT's Tett Says "Foolish Simply to Deride Or Ignore GATA" - GATA Debates CPM re Silver

One of the major issues and talking points in the precious metal markets in recent years has been allegations by GATA and others that bullion banks and central banks may be intervening in free markets and surreptitiously manipulating gold and silver prices and keeping them artificially low. It is an issue that is quite divisive amongst investors and in the market - including in GoldCore where opinions differ. It is an important debate and one that has ramifications not just for the gold and silver market but for markets in general and for free market capitalism. The ‘Great Silver Debate’ took place at the Silver Summit in Spokane, Washington on Friday where Bill Murphy of the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee (GATA) debated  Jeffrey Christian of the CPM Group. The debate, hosted by Kitco, did not see a knockout blow with both contestants voicing their long held opinions regarding the manipulation of silver and precious metals. It was a bit short on time at just 30 minutes and a full hour may have been needed in order to flesh out some of the many issues raised.  Christian recently accused GATA of being "a group that makes money by basically bilking gold investors out of fees to support GATA so they don't have to get legitimate jobs." In the aftermath of the debate, GATA secretary Chris Powell accused Christian of "graduating from his usual distortions to outright contrivance." Most of the mainstream media has ignored GATA’s allegations and the debate was not reported. However, an important development over the weekend was an op-ed piece by the respected Gillian Tett in the Financial Times.

US Money Supply Surges Surges 33% in 4 Months - Gold To Follow?

Gold prices are mixed today as markets remain on edge due to increasing divisions amongst European leaders on how to solve the intractable Eurozone debt crisis. There continues to be very strong demand for physical bullion globally and support is  strong at the $1,600 level due to this demand. The sharp fall of copper yesterday, by 6%, is an indication that the US, Chinese and indeed global economy is very fragile and may soon begin to contract. Physical demand in Asia, mainly India and China, has entered the traditional peak season with Indian festivals and the increasingly important Chinese New Year. This is reflected in premiums in Asia which remain good. There are reports of massive physical buying out of China on gold’s fall close to $1,600 yesterday. The most active Shanghai gold futures traded at a premium of more than $10 over spot prices earlier today. The contract stood at 335.22 yuan a gram, or $1,634 an ounce, at a premium of $3.

Precious Metals To Replicate 1970s Performance On Institutional Allocations?

COT data in the US shows that speculative sentiment has fallen dramatically which is bullish from a contrarian perspective. The Got Gold Report reports that silver futures market data is the most bullish it has been since 2003 - eight years ago. Silver was priced at about $4.40 per ounce then. Large commercial shorts have dramatically reduced their positions after the selloff in recent weeks suggesting that we are likely at or very close to silver bottoming. While the figures for gold are not as dramatic they too show that speculative positions and sentiment has been reduced significantly. Venezuela will repatriate some gold reserves held abroad before December 24th, Central Bank President Nelson Merentes told reporters today in Caracas according to Bloomberg. “I can’t give you an exact date for security reasons,” Merentes said. Venezuela will keep an unspecified portion of its gold reserves in foreign institutions, he said. In August, President Hugo Chavez ordered the central bank to repatriate $11 billion of gold reserves as a safeguard against volatility in financial markets. Venezuela held 211 tons of its 365 tons of gold reserves in US, European, Canadian and Swiss banks as of August.

Gold Supported At 144 DMA And By Negative Real Interest Rates in US - Charts Of Day

With France's AAA credit rating looking shakier by the day and Spain being downgraded by two notches, gold should be supported by safe haven demand.  Every day that goes by without resolving the issue of too much debt in the global financial system is a day closer to financial contagion. Gold looks very well supported between the 100 and 144 day moving average (simple) with the 144 day moving average providing strong support for nearly three years - since January 2009. Bullion dealers in Hong Kong say physical demand is robust at these levels with one dealer reporting “a wave of physical buying” once prices went below $1,630/oz. Newsletter writer, Dennis Gartman again made negative sounds about gold’s prospects. This is bullish in the short term as many of his short term calls in recent months have been inaccurate. Indeed, some traders use him as a good short term contrarian indicator. The Chart of the Day (‘Real Interest Rates and Gold – 1970-2011’) shows that gold prices rise during periods of negative real interest rates in the U.S. as was clearly seen in the 1970s and again since the early 2000s.

Apple Total Cash Hits $81.6 Billion, Over $5 Billion Increase In The Quarter, $22 Billion Increase In 9 Months

While the verdict of whether Apple's operations may or may not have peaked, one thing is certain: its cash is growing. In the past (Q4) quarter, AAPL increased its cash, short and long-term investments from $76.2 billion to $81.6 billion (which, however, skeptics will point out was only half the cash growth rate from Q2 to Q3). In 2011 alone, the company that Steve Jobs built generated $22 billion in total cash. Ironically, that is precisely how much the company's market cap is lower by in the after hours session. If AAPL is unsure what to do with all that cash, which would make it the world's biggest hedge fund, it could hire all the stock experts on Twitter, and become the best funded trading operation in the world, which would naturally be buying its own stock all day long (and, if it were to hire a few JPM/BofA/MS traders, buy CDS on itself). Alas, for the CDS plan to work, it would need to issue some debt: the company is still completely debt free.

Some Market "Fun With Numbers" From Art Cashin

Art Cashin shares this amusing market "performance" anecdote which should come as no surprise to anyone who follows the uber-volatile chaos that the stock market has become.

UK Inflation Rises Again To 5.2% - Ultra Loose Monetary Policy May Lead To Stagflation

Gold has fallen in all currencies today as equity and commodity markets have seen weakness due to concerns about Chinese economic growth after China's economy eased somewhat. Germany’s pouring cold water on the likelihood of a speedy resolution of the euro zone's debt crisis and the summit this weekend has also increased market jitters. Gold continues to be correlated with equities in the short term but we are confident that this correlation is short term in nature and the inverse correlation between gold and equities and bonds will again be seen in the medium and long term. Peripheral European debt markets are showing weakness again. The recent trend of falling yields appears to have ended which is worrying. Should yields begin to rise again this should create added safe haven demand for gold. UK inflation rose to match a record high of 5.2% (CPI) and retail price inflation (RPI), a measure of the cost of living used in wage negotiations, accelerated to 5.6% (from 5.2%), the highest since June 1991. The figures were again worse than expected by the BoE, economists and many economic experts who have been underestimating the threat of inflation for some time. The BoE, like the Federal Reserve, continues to follow an ultra loose monetary policy in an effort to boost an economy teetering on the brink of a double dip recession.

Yuan Gold Trading In Hong Kong On 'Triple Demand' ?- China Positioning CNY As Reserve Currency

Hong Kong, the world's third-largest gold trading centre, has become the world's first place to offer gold trading in yuan, further positioning the yuan or renminbi as a potential global reserve currency. Hong Kong’s Chinese Gold & Silver Exchange Society, a century old bullion bourse, has introduced gold trading quoted in Chinese yuan, making it more convenient for Chinese people and high net worth individuals (HNWs) holding yuan to invest in the precious metal and opening a new way to hedge. The move comes amid the continuing push by Chinese authorities for a more international role for its currency and as an alternate reserve currency to the embattled dollar and euro. With gold now traded in yuan, it is only a matter of time before oil is traded in yuan thereby positioning the yuan as ‘petro yuan’ and a rival to the petrodollar’s status as the global reserve currency. The move reinforces Hong Kong’s status as an offshore hub for the Chinese currency and as a rival to New York, London and other cities as a global financial capital. The Chinese Gold & Silver Exchange said that the service, dubbed "Renminbi Kilobar Gold," is targeting retail and institutional investors. The product is among the latest offerings designed to tap the fast-growing pool of yuan deposits within Hong Kong banking system. "By attracting both local and international investors, the Renminbi Kilobar Gold is a significant step towards internationalizing the renminbi," said Haywood Cheung, president of CGSE.