Gold Is Oversold On Misplaced Expectations Of A 2016 Rate Hike

October 15, 2016

Gold investors know that the metal has been under pressure due to expectations of a Fed rate hike in 2016. Many believe that an increase in the Fed Funds Rate would strengthen the dollar and send prices for precious metals lower. This has been a key driver of the decline in the gold price to support at $1,250, the 200-day moving average.

But the Fed has been leading investors to believe a rate hike is imminent for the past 10 months and yet, they have been unwilling to increase rates even by as little at 25 basis points. Now that we are nearing year end, many have increased expectations for this elusive rate hike to finally materialize.

Janet Yellen gave a somewhat dovish speech today, in which she emphasized that low rates and stimulus may be the only way to heal the economy. She didn't take a rate hike off the table, but it sure didn't sound supportive of higher rates.

So, could the Fed finally raise rates before 2016 draws to a close?

That sounds plausible in theory, but there are a number of factors that do not support a rate hike in the near term.

  1. The employment report during the past two months has been weak, with fewer jobs created than anticipated. Furthermore, a large number of those jobs are part-time service sector jobs. The official unemployment rate actually ticked up to 5.0% and ShadowStats calculates true unemployment at 23%.
  2. GDP growth has been anemic with a series of downward revisions. During Q2, the U.S. economy grew by only 1.1% versus initial forecasts well over 3%. Q3 GDP estimates were 3.7% initially, but have since been revised down to just 1.9%.
  3. Consumer confidence unexpectedly fell to a one-year low in October, declining to 87.9 from 91.2 in September. This was below the lowest estimate on record.
  4. The annual inflation rate has been trending around 1% all year, half of the Fed's target rate of 2%. To move the needle closer to the target, the Fed would need to lower rates, not raise them.
  5. Debt burdens around the globe continue to grow rapidly and would amplify the pain of any rate hike. The U.S. annual deficit increased for the first time this year, on a trajectory back to $1 trillion per year. The IMF just announced a new record for total global debt of $152,000,000,000,000 (152 trillion) or 225% of global GDP.
  6. The stock market rally has clearly run out of steam, unable to make new highs for over two months now. Equities are overvalued by a number of metrics and due for a major correction.

Jason Hamlin is the founder of Gold Stock Bull and publishes a highly-rated investment newsletter focused on strategies for profiting in the bull markets in gold, silver, energy, agriculture and emerging technologies. Mr. Hamlin has a background analyzing charts and trends for the world’s largest market research company, is versed in fundamental and technical analysis and has consulted to Fortune 500 companies around the globe. Jason is a cycles investor, student of Austrian economics and speaks regularly at investment conferences throughout North America. The Gold Stock Bull newsletter is focused on finding junior mining companies that are undervalued relative to their peers.  His website is at www.goldstockbull.com.  You can reach Jason at: https://goldstockbull.com/contact-us/.

 

A single ounce of gold (about 28 grams) can be stretched into a gold thread 5 miles (8 kilometers) long.