Gold Market Update

May 22, 2012
Technical Analyst & Author

"Has gold finally bottomed?" That is the big question we are going to attempt to answer in this update. Last week it bounced sharply after it arrived at the strong support at its September and December lows. This was a development that was easy to predict and it was predicted on the site hours before the bounce started.

On its 2-year chart we can see that by dropping down to its December lows, gold aborted the potential Head-and-shoulders continuation pattern that had earlier looked like it was completing. That, however, does not mean that some other reversal pattern is not in the process of completing. Gold's immediate fate depends on whether the gathering deflationary forces can be beaten back by another tidal wave of printed money. Europe is teetering on the edge of an abyss and it is thought that the powers that be are summoning up a veritable tsunami of QE is order to avert the collapse into chaos that now threatens. The key question here is timing - how long are they going to leave it - how long can they afford to risk waiting - until they intervene with this QE tsunami? If the markets don't see light at the end of the tunnel soon in the form of this impending QE they are likely to crash as deflation impacts - if it becomes obvious that the QE is on its way, then we are likely to see a recovery in commodities generally and the Precious Metals in particular, and given the magnitude of the inflation that this QE is likely to stoke up, coming on top of all the other stimulus, this recovery could mark the start of a huge upleg in commodity prices.

While it is not easy to tell when exactly this QE is likely to be forthcoming, there are some other means we can employ to determine its likelihood soon. In addition to the normal technical indicators which show gold to be oversold and in position to commence another upleg, barring an out market crash, we can observe what the Smart Money is doing by reference to their positions as revealed by the latest COT charts.

Gold's COT chart reveals that the Commercials have scaled back their short positions to their lowest levels for the period shown by this chart, which dates back to last August, and they are thus at lower levels than those at the lows of last September and last December. By itself this is clearly a bullish indication, and here we should note that the latest COT chart for silver is much more startlingly bullish. This is a reliable sign that we may well have just seen the bottom for this cycle.

It is therefore interesting to observe that the Commercials have ramped up their long positions in the euro to massive record levels - levels which considerably exceed those attained in January just before a heavy dollar selloff ensued. Unless it's different this round, this does not bode well for the dollar going forward at all.

As we know, the dollar has capitalized handsomely on the euro's predicament, and it has soared in recent weeks, despite the grave and appalling state of affairs prevailing in the US with regards to its own debt situation. On its 6-month chart we can see that after breaking out from a Triangle pattern the dollar index has staged a very impressive rally to arrive at a first target at the resistance at its January highs in a critically overbought state short-term, which is why we have been looking for it to stall out and possibly react back, and as pointed out above the Commercial's huge long position in the euro makes a reaction morte likely.

On the other hand, the 1-year chart for the dollar shows that it has the potential, after digesting its recent gains, to run to the top of the large trend channel shown on the chart, which means it could get as high as 85 - 86. Should this occur it is obvious that it will be very bad news indeed for the markets, as such a development would involve the forces of deflation bursting onto center stage.

With everything now depending on how bad things get before the rulers of Europe open the floodgates on the biggest torrent of QE the world has ever known, which will send gold and silver to the moon, but before which they COULD crash the nearby support and drop further, you might think that there is no way to play the current situation, in which case you would be wrong. The most important point to take note of at this juncture is that we have an exceptionally favorable risk/reward profile for those going long gold and silver here, as the strong support at the September and December lows has just been validated by last week's strong bounce off it - so you can buy here and set either intraday or closing stops beneath it, and it will be even better if prices react back towards last week's lows again in the near future. If the deflationary scenario prevails near-term you get taken out for a minor loss. If it becomes obvious that the huge QE is in the pipeline, then both gold and silver will soar, and the upside from here is relatively unlimited - and the COTs are pointing to this scenario prevailing.

Finally it's worth reminding you all that gold stocks are now extraordinarily cheap compared to gold itself, as made plain by the XAU index over gold chart going back 20 years - this chart is now showing low readings that are approaching the extremes at the depths of the market selloff late in 2008 at the height, or rather depth, of the financial crisis at that time, which, incidentally, is a sideshow compared to what will happen shortly if they don't get on with it and unleash the great QE rescue, which is not designed to solve the crisis, only postpone it a little longer, at the expense of stoking up an inflationary firestorm. So does this mean that it's time to go storming in to fill your boots with gold stocks - not necessarily, because if they don't get on with it and do the QE soon, then markets will crash and PM stocks could get dragged even further into the mire, but what this chart does definitely tell us is to stand ready to wade in and pick up bargains immediately the QE is telegraphed. This will be an unmistakable event that should cause a truly dramatic rally, particularly across the commodities sector. With honorable exceptions, juniors should continue to be avoided. Many of them are now in the habit of using routine stock dilution to keep their offices going and their coffee machines on the go, and their token rigs turning, but due to their stock prices having dwindled to almost nothing, they will be obliged to dilute even more aggressively to keep going, so it doesn't look like there is much relief in sight for the beleagured holders of these stocks. The lesson here is to stick with producers, especially those that are set to ramp up production.


 

Silver Market Update

Clive Maund

The patterns forming in gold and silver are remarkably similar, and much of what has been written in the parallel Gold Market update applies equally to silver, so it will not be repeated here. The big question is "has silver finally bottomed?" - that is the question that we are going to attempt to answer in this update.

The chief difference between gold and silver is that silver is much more volatile than gold and thus serves as a vehicle to obtain more leverage on moves in the Precious Metals sector, in either direction. This is demonstrated by the silver to gold ratio chart, which we will look at shortly, which shows that when the sector is depressed, silver falls more in percentage terms than gold does.

On its 2-year chart we can see that while silver aborted its potential Head-and-Shoulders bottom pattern, in the same way that gold aborted its Head-and-Shoulders continuation pattern, like gold it may be forming some other reversal pattern, such as a Triple Bottom. In any event its arrival at key support at its September and December lows has resulted in a bounce, as we expected it would, and the crucial question as with gold is whether this bounce is just that, a bounce and nothing more, or whether it marks an important low before a major uptrend begins.

In attempting to answer this question many of the arguments set out in the parallel Gold Market update in relation to gold apply equally to silver, but one important difference should be highlighted. While gold's latest COT chart certainly looks bullish, silver's is much more strongly so, with the Commercial short positions having dropped to a very low level - about the same level as that which preceded the big rally in silver in January and February. Just by itself this strongly implies that silver has just hit an important low and that a new uptrend is dead ahead.

The 2-year silver to gold ratio chart is very interesting. While silver bugs were walking tall back in April 2011, with many being egged on by former vacuum cleaner salesmen etc, they are now almost ashamed to admit to owning the metal. This is certainly a good sign and this ratio chart shows that we are definitely at a good point for silver to start outperforming gold, as it is on strong relative support which has produced a turnaround twice over the past year, and if it starts outperforming gold it means that a PM sector uptrend will be under way.

Everything now depends on market perceptions with regard to the massive wave of QE that is believed to be slated to stave off total chaos in Europe and buy some more time there. If this is not forthcoming and the forces of deflation precipitate a market crash, then of course silver could breach nearby support which would lead to another sharp drop, but if it is, then silver is in position to start a major upleg from here, which given the magnitude of the impending QE, could be truly massive and part of a broad based advance in the commodity sector as the QE, and the massive stimulus already applied, works its way through the system resulting in severe inflation or even hyperinflation.

Regardless of whether or not we have just made an important bottom - and the latest COTs strongly suggest that we have - one thing is as clear as crystal; we have an excellent risk/reward ratio for those going long silver here as shown on its 2-year chart above, as buyers can place a close stop just below the support, and it will be even better if the price reacts back towards last week's low again in the near future. If the deflationary forces gain the ascendancy short-term then you will be taken out for a relatively minor loss, but if the expected QE is unveiled to save the day, then we could see a truly massive advance from here.

 

Clive Maund, Diploma Technical Analysis

support@clivemaund.com

www.clivemaund.com

Copiapo, Chile, 22 May 2012

Clive Maund

Clive P. Maund’s interest in markets started when, as an aimless youth searching for direction in his mid-20’s, he inherited some money. Unfortunately it was not enough to live a utopian lifestyle as a playboy or retire very young. Therefore on the advice of his brother, he bought a load of British Petroleum stock, which promptly went up 20% in the space of a few weeks. Clive sold them at the top…which really fired his imagination. The prospect of being able to buy securities and sell them later at a higher price, and make money for doing little or no work was most attractive – and so the quest began, especially as he had been further stoked up by watching from the sidelines with a mixture of fascination and envy as fortunes were made in the roaring gold and silver bull market of the late 70’s.

Clive furthered his education in Technical Analysis or charting by ordering various good books from the US and by applying what he learned at work on an everyday basis. He also obtained the UK Society of Technical Analysts’ Diploma.

The years following 2005 saw the boom phase of the Gold and Silver bull market, until they peaked in late 2011. While there is ongoing debate about whether that was the final high, it is not believed to be because of the continuing global debasement of fiat currency. The bear market since 2011 is viewed as being very similar to the 2-year reaction in the mid-70’s, which was preceded by a powerful advance and was followed by a gigantic parabolic price ramp. Moreover, Precious Metals should come back into their own when the various asset bubbles elsewhere burst, which looks set to happen anytime soon.

Visit Clive at his website: CliveMaund.com

In 1792 the U.S. Congress adopted a bimetallic standard (gold and silver) for the new nation's currency - with gold valued at $19.30 per troy ounce

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