Maund on Gold, Silver, US$ & More

Technical Analyst & Author
January 4, 2007

For commodities the new trading year did not start off with a bang or a whimper, but rather with an implosion. After moving higher in a most deceptive manner in the early trade commodities across the board went into a dramatic retreat, ending the day at or close to their lows. Damage was widespread and severe, and we will now quickly review it on a range of charts. The early rally is thought to have been an orchestrated campaign to shake out shorts ahead of the big drop.

Copper, which had been clinging on to the underside of its large top area by its fingernails, let go and plummeted. Although now oversold it could get more so, and this drop has set up a massive supply overhang that will inhibit any attempt to recover. This commodity is now a bear market and any rallies should be sold.

Gold rose higher in the early trade in a move clearly contrived to take out the stops of those who had gone short, as it briefly looked as if the Head-and-Shoulders top that has formed since early November had aborted. It then turned on its tail to close sharply lower. This was bearish action and the Head-and-Shoulders top therefore remains valid. The real downside action will begin once the key neckline support at $615 is breached. This would project the price back down to the $570 area at the minimum.

Silver moved sharply higher in the early trade to trigger the stops of those short before plummeting back to end the day down about as much as it had been up earlier. On the silver chart we can now see that a Head-and-Shoulders top is forming that parallels the one in gold. This formation projects the price to a minimum downside target at $10.50 - $11, and the price can be expected to drop steeply towards this objective once "neckline" support at $12.40 fails.

Light Crude broke down from its long-term uptrend in force for about 5-years, which triggered heavy selling of oil stocks. A break below the support level at $55 - $57, signaled by a break below $54, will usher in a bear market in oil. As long as this support holds it is still possible that a Right Shoulder will form to complement the Left Shoulder of late 2005, despite the trendline break.

A major precipitating factor behind the carnage in commodities yesterday was the action in the US dollar, which rose strongly. The last thing you want to be part of in this business is a very large crowd, and dollar bears are a VERY large crowd. Over the past few months dollar bulls have been almost as hard to find as mahogany trees, while you could probably fill a thousand baseball stadiums with dollar bears, at a conservative estimate. This is a situation that creates the potential for an explosive advance, and it is the dawning perception of this possibility that is believed to be a contributing factor behind the extraordinary action yesterday. A glance at the long-term dollar chart quickly reveals that there is plenty of scope for a substantial advance, even if the fundamentals appear to rule it out, especially as it has recently been flirting with multi-year lows.

So, what does all this mean? There has been a sudden shift in perception and massive change is afoot - what is driving it? A suspected reason for this shift is the dawning realization in the markets that the long-threatened attack on Iran is not going to happen, at least not for the foreseeable future. This would explain the breakdown in oil prices.

The reasons why the dollar might rally from here are not known, but one plausible explanation might be a progressive 'beggar thy neighbour" policy of competitive devaluations by other countries and trading blocs battling to keep a competitive edge. With other factors weighing in, the dollar could end up being "king of hell" if money supply expansion elsewhere outran the dollar.

In conclusion, commodities gave an across-the-board sell signal yesterday which it would take a move above yesterday's highs to begin to negate. We will be looking at effective ways to protect long positions in the sector and to capitalize on further weakness in the time ahead on


Clive Maund, Diploma Technical Analysis

[email protected]

Kaufbeuren, Germany, 4 January 2007

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.

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