Passive Buy and Hold Investors in General are Starting to Panic: XLU, Dividends, Bonds
It has been an interesting year with stocks down nearly 25% and the bond ETF TLT down over 40% since the 2020 highs. The passive buy and hold investor is becoming panicked and we can see this in the stock market through the mass selling of utility stocks dividend stocks and bonds.
When the masses become fearful they liquidate nearly all assets in their portfolios which is why we see the Big Blue chip stocks selling off along with precious metals. As investors liquidate around the world they focus on where their money can be preserved. With most currency falling in value there is a flood towards the U.S. dollar index as the safety play.
Gold Video Analysis
Here you can watch my detailed analysis along with both my short-term expectations and long-term supercycle outlook.
Global Currency Trends – Monthly Charts
As the US dollar index rises we tend to see precious metals fall. As you can see from the charts below almost all currencies are falling in value helping to send the US dollar index sharply higher this is a headwind for precious metals until it finds resistance in tops.
Gold Monthly Chart Comparing 2008 Bear Market and 2022
Let’s take a look at the monthly chart of gold. I believe gold entered a new bullish supercycle in 2019, which is very similar to the Super cycle that started in 2001.
I believe the bear market in equities we have started can be compared to the 2008 bear market. Technical analysis shows that gold could correct another 16% lower and match the same 34% correction we saw in 2008.
The price of gold is threatening the 1674 support level. If price is broken on the monthly chart it will signal a large sell off to roughly the $1300 to $1400 level for gold.
While the circumstances and economy are very different from 2008 the price charts are painting a very similar picture. I believe there’s still a long way to go for gold to find support and it may take another 8 to 12 months to unfold. I also believe that the precious metal sector will be one of the first assets to bottom and then start a multiyear rally very similar to what happened during the 2009 to 2011 rally.
While the 34% correction starting to take place may look very large it is in line with what we’ve seen in the past. While price charts don’t repeat they do tend to rhyme so I’m expecting a similar type of scenario though I’m sure it will unfold a little differently and take a different length of time to mature.
The price of gold is on the verge of breaking down from a stage three topping phase. Once the breakdown is confirmed it will then be in a stage 4 decline which is known as a bear market. It’s important to note that we can have bear markets within supercycles.
Just like when gold started at new super cycle in 2001 which lasted to 2013 there can be large corrections and smaller bear markets within the bullish Super cycle.
Dollar Index Rockets Higher and Has More Room to Run
The US dollar Index has been one of the hottest assets to own this year. I believe the rising value of the dollar index has been putting downward pressure on the metals sector all year. As you can see from the quarterly chart below, The US dollar index still has more room to run to match the high set in 2001.
Keep in mind I still think there’s another three to five more bars before the dollar forms a top and reverses direction. Each bar on the chart is 3 months because this is the quarterly chart so we still have potentially a year of sideways or lower gold pricing ahead of us.
Gold Miners Will Be Under Pressure If Gold Falls
If gold breaks down and the bear market in equities continues, we will see gold mining stocks continue to sell off. The large cap gold stocks ETF GDX shows a potential of 44% decline in price over the next year. While this may sound bad it will become an extraordinary opportunity in do time.
I believe silver and silver mining stocks will follow that of gold stocks as well.
In short, I’m very excited for what is unfolding in the precious metals sector. And while it may still be early I’m keeping my eye on the sector for the start of a new super cycle rally in 2023 which could be life changing for investors.
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To say that gold has been struggling this year is an understatement. As the chart below shows, the price of the yellow metal declined from above $2,000 to below $1,700 (as of September 20). That slide occurred during the highest inflation since the great stagflation of the 1970s.
US Dollar Strength Was Crucial Pressuring Gold Price Lower
One of the headwinds blowing strongly in the gold market has been the strong greenback. As the chart below shows, the American currency has been appreciating since mid-2021. The broad U.S. dollar index rose from 110.5 in June 2021 to 124 right now, or more than 12%.
Wait, wait a second. The dollar strengthened during a period of high inflation (see the chart below) in which money is losing purchasing power. How could the currency gain and lose value at the same time? It doesn’t seem to make any sense.
Nevertheless, it does. Because of inflation, the dollar is losing its internal purchasing power, i.e., how many real goods and services can we buy with these green pieces of paper? However, the exchange rate is about external purchasing power, i.e., how many pieces of paper with different symbols and signatures issued by foreign central banks we can buy.
The answer is: more! As the chart below shows, the dollar is now near its highest levels in decades versus the British pound, the euro, and Japanese yen (please note that, for consistency, the chart paints the exchange rates as the dollar’s value in foreign currencies).
Remember that exchange rates are all about relative values. For example, inflation in the euro area surpassed 5% in December 2021 and by now it has increased to about 9%, but the central bank didn’t lift its interest rates until July 2022.
The faster and more decisive Fed’s reaction increased the divergence in monetary policies and interest rates (see the chart below) between the dollar and the euro, which strengthened the value of the former. The mechanism was simple: higher rates in America attracted money from all over the world, and as investors have been buying dollar-denominated assets, the value of the greenback has increased.
What Does a Strong Dollar Imply for the Global Economy?
Problems! Why? Well, maybe because about 30% of all S&P 500 companies’ revenues are earned abroad, a stronger dollar reduces the dollar’s value of these sales. Or maybe because many governments and companies have international debts denominated in dollars?
Hence, the stronger the dollar, the higher the debt to be repaid. According to the IMF, 60% of low-income countries are in or at high risk of government debt distress. Tighter financial conditions in the U.S. and a stronger dollar could only increase the pressure on countries with foreign debts.
The dollar is America’s currency, but the emerging market’s troubles. Egypt, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka have already asked the IMF for help – and others may follow suit.
Please also note that about half of international trade is invoiced in dollars, which means that importers are facing higher costs not only because of inflation and supply-chain disruptions but also because of the stronger dollar.
What Does the Strong Dollar Mean for the Gold Market?
It goes without saying that the recent appreciation of the greenback has weighed on gold prices. If not for the strong dollar, gold would have fared much better. Indeed, this year, the yellow metal lost about 6% of its value when measured in the U.S. dollar, but it gained 6.2% in euros and 9.3% in British pounds. Thus, maybe gold’s performance hasn’t been disappointing, but simply the greenback has been shining, and maybe gold is an inflation hedge, after all (but in other currencies than the US dollar)!
It gives hope that when the dollar weakens (for example, due to the start of the recession and the Fed’s pivot, or due to the end of the war in Ukraine), gold will start rallying eventually. It seems that the greatest part of the upward move in the greenback is already behind us.
The strong dollar could also trigger some economic turbulence, which could benefit the yellow metal. However, I wouldn’t bet that financial crises in emerging markets will induce a safe-haven demand for gold. Precious metals investors don’t care too much about other countries than the U.S. or Western Europe.
There is a true silver lining for gold bulls: one reason behind the appreciation of the dollar. The Fed’s tightening cycle is only one driver, but another is safe-haven inflows. Investors have been moving to the U.S. dollar not because it is so strong, but because of economic turmoil and recessionary risk. If so, gold could at some point (perhaps when the Fed pivots and adopts a dovish policy again) start to move in tandem with the greenback.
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The S&P 500 has fallen a bit during the trading week to break down through the 200-Week EMA. Ultimately, this is a market that made a fresh, new low, that of course is a very negative turn of events as well. If we break down below the candlestick, then it’s likely that we could go to the 3500 level. The 3500 level is a large, round, psychologically significant figure that will attract a lot of attention.
At this juncture, if we can break above the top of the candlestick for the week, it’s likely that the market could go looking to the 4000 level. The 4000 level of course is an area that would cause a significant amount of headline noise, and of course selling pressure. Ultimately, I think that any signs of exhaustion should get sold into as we continue to see a lot of negativity in general. That being said, the market has gotten a bit overdone, so I do think that it is a situation where we have more of a “fade the rally” type of attitude.
Interest rates in the United States continue to climb long term, therefore I think it’s a situation where we will eventually have to make a bigger decision, but I do think that the bigger decision is to go lower. After all, there’s just too much ugliness out there to think that markets can take off to the upside for no apparent reason. Unless the Federal Reserve actually pivots, I just don’t see what would turn things around. That being said, I think this is a scenario where you are looking for an opportunity to short from higher levels.
Silver markets have fallen a bit during the trading sessions that make up the previous week, as the $18 level has been important more than once. Ultimately, this is a situation where the market continues to see a lot of volatility, and of course noisy behavior to say the least. The market has a negative correlation to the US dollar and the interest rates coming out of the bond market. Ultimately, you also have to keep in mind that this is a market that is highly sensitive to industrial demand, as there is a lot of usage of silver in the manufacturing sector.
You should also keep in mind that the silver market has seen the $18 level offer a lot of support previously, and if we could break down below there, it’s likely that the market could break much lower, perhaps reaching to the $16 level, but even the $15 level. The markets will continue to be noisy, and of course we have a downtrend line this is just above.
The $20.00 level could be an area of significant resistance, so therefore I think signs of exhaustion could be difficult to overcome. That being said, we did form a hammer for the week, so that is obviously a bullish sign, and this of course is a situation where certain traders will be looking to it as a buying opportunity.
However, if we were to break down below the bottom of the candlestick, then it’s likely that the silver market will collapse, because breaking down below support is one thing, but also breaking down below a hammer is another thing as well.
Silver Price Forecast Video for the Week of 03.10.22
The West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil market has gone back and forth during the course of the trading week, as we hang around the $80 level. The $80 level of course is an area that people will be paying close attention to, as it is a large, round, psychologically significant figure and an area that had previously been important. It’s also worth noting that the United States government supposedly is willing to buy crude oil near the $80 level to refill the vote buying operation coming out of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. At this point, I think we have a situation where there is a little bit of the squishy floor just below, but I still think that the demand equation doesn’t look good. Because of this, rallies probably get faded.
Brent Crude Oil Weekly Technical Analysis
Brent has also been a bit noisy during the week, as we continue to see a lot of noise overall. The market is likely to see a lot of back and forth, but I think what people are really paying close attention to is the fact that there is a serious demand issue at the moment, people will be curious as to whether or not the economy will demand more crude oil.
I don’t necessarily think it will, but a short-term rally could show selling opportunities until we break above the 50-Week EMA. I don’t necessarily think that happens, but of course it is something that we have to keep the back of our minds as anything is possible in the markets, especially as volatile as they have been. Ultimately, the question now we have to ask is if this has been a nice correction, or are we starting to sell off again?
Crude Oil Prices Forecast Video for the Week of 03.10.22
Natural gas markets have been very negative for a while, as we have seen so much in the way of demand destruction. The question now is whether or not we can continue to see that, and I think although that’s very possible, we do need to bounce a bit as we continue to see a lot of volatility in most markets around the world. At this point, I believe that the $8.00 level could be a significant barrier, so breaking above there could change a lot of things.
However, it’s worth noting that the random explosion of Russian pipelines in the European Union did very little to lift the price of natural gas, showing you just how exhausted this market is after the chaos that has ensued all year. The situation in the natural gas area is a bit interesting to pay attention to, because European countries supposedly have enough to last through the winter. That being said, the question then becomes what happens after that? Russian gas is not coming anytime soon, and quite frankly the Americans cannot supply enough LNG to keep Europe afloat.
Something’s going to break sooner or later, but at this point I think we probably have more downward pressure than up, pending a short-term relief rally. If we were to break down below the bottom of the candlestick for the week, then it opens up the possibility of a move down to the $6.00 level, which of course is a large, round, psychologically significant figure and an area where we have seen some action at previously. “Market memory” comes to mind in that region.
Natural Gas Price Forecast Video for the Week of 03.10.22
Gold markets initially plunged lower during the week, but as we are closing out the Friday session, we find ourselves nearly $1600 level, which is an area that has been important more than once. Because of this, I would expect to see a certain amount of pushback in this general reason, but I think what you are probably going to have to do is drill down to the daily chart, because quite frankly there is so much noise out there. With that being said, I do anticipate that we will continue to see a little bit of follow-through, followed by a selloff.
If the US dollar starts to spike again, that will be exactly what sins gold tumbling. The $1680 level of course is rather important, but even more important would be the $1600 level, because if we were to break down below there we would then send this market to much lower levels. The market breaking down below that area opens up the $1500 level, and then possibly even as low as the $1250 level.
We are at extreme lows though, at least for the time being so recovery rally does make all of the sense in the world. And I think will end up offering another selling opportunity before it’s all said and done. I have no interest in buying this market until we break well above the $1750 level, and even then, I would need to see some type of change when it comes to the attitude of central banks and of course the fundamental situation altogether. Gold does not operate in a vacuum, so simple chart reading will not do the trick.
Gold Price Predictions Video for the Week of 03.10.22
British Pound vs Japanese Yen Weekly Technical Analysis
If there was one currency pair that destroyed a multitude of currency traders accounts this week, it was this one. I shudder to think how many people got blown out during the course of the week, but at the same time there were almost certainly some very lucky individuals. That being said, this is a very dangerous place at this moment.
As long as there are a lot of concerns out there when it comes to the British pound, it’s difficult to get overly bullish of this pair. Quite frankly, if I want to short the Japanese yen, I might do it again something a little bit more reliable like the US dollar or the Swiss franc. Yes, I recognize how big the turnaround has been, but that’s exactly my point, it’s overdone. On the other hand, if we see the Japanese yen suddenly strengthened, this pair will almost certainly get handed its head, as the British pound is so unstable at the moment anyway.
The Bank of England is essentially panicking, as they are buying bonds and raising rates simultaneously. This is the look of a central bank that has lost control, so it’ll be interesting to see how this plays out. Either way, you are best advised to either leave this pair alone or use very small position sizing. Volatility could be a killer in this pair, so you need to think about your trading account first and foremost and focus less on the potentially huge moves that could make you a very lucky person.
Australian Dollar vs US Dollar Weekly Technical Analysis
The Australian dollar has plunged a bit during the trading week but found enough support near the 0.64 level to bounce a bit. By doing so, the market looks as if it is ready to rally some, with the 0.67 level above being a major resistance barrier. The area being broken above would make a huge statement, but at this point I just don’t see how the Aussie starts to climb against the US dollar. I think this is a simple matter of the pair being oversold, and because of this I have no interest in chasing it down here. Unfortunately, that probably means sitting on the sidelines for a week or 2, waiting for value in the greenback.
The alternate scenario is that we break down through the bottom of the hammer, which of course is very negative. In that situation, we would see the market fall toward the 0.60 level underneath, perhaps even lower. However, I don’t think that we are quite yet in the panic phase that we would need to be to start seeing that.
This is a market that will continue to be noisy and difficult, but at the end of the day I think it’s also a market that favors the downside more than anything else. Trying to pick the bottom of a market is very difficult, and just because you have seen a hammer form does not mean that you are there. I suspect at this point the only thing you can probably count on is a lot of volatility, which is quite typical for this pair anyway. I’m looking for “cheap US dollars” on some type of bounce.
US Dollar vs Japanese Yen Weekly Technical Analysis
The US dollar has rallied again against the Japanese Jen, as we continue to see a lot of noisy behavior overall. That being said, I believe that the market is probably going to see a lot of reasons to go higher, but the Bank of Japan intervening recently of course has had a huge effect on the psychology. Either way, central-bank interventions typically do not work for the long term, so I believe we are more likely than not going to see the ¥145 level be broken. If we do break above there, then it opens up a whole new world for this market.
That being said, the one thing that you do not want to see is massive momentum. After all, the Bank of Japan got involved for that exact reason, so I do think that we have a situation where we will be looking for dips to get involved, but you also need to keep in mind that the market is a little overextended, so I do think that consolidation is not necessarily a bad thing. In other words, I remain bullish, but I also recognize that we have come a long way in a very short amount of time. After all, we started the year closer to the ¥113 level.
That’s a huge move in the currency markets, and therefore the occasional breather will probably be needed. The ¥140 level underneath should be a massive support level from what I see, so if we were to break down below there we may enter a bigger pullback, but right now that is what I am choosing to use as my “floor in the market.”
British Pound vs US Dollar Weekly Technical Analysis
The British pound has gone back and forth during the trading week, as we continue to see a lot of noisy behavior. The Bank of England has stepped into the market this week to try to drive down interest rates in the bond market, but at the same time, we also have seen a promise to raise rates, so it’s a bit schizophrenic in its behavior. This is not something that’s going to be very conducive to higher exchange rates over the longer-term, but we probably have a little further to go when you look at the weekly chart. After all, we have plunged lower, and markets do not move in one direction forever.
I would be very interested in shorting this pair closer to the 1.15 level, but I don’t know if we get there. Quite frankly, the US dollar continues to swallow almost everything, and I think that’s going to be the main story going forward. It is not a situation where I think we’ve got a lot of good news just waiting to happen, so I think you have to look at this through the prism of fading rallies, but I’d like to see more of a rally to take advantage of before I get too aggressive. In the short term, I will probably look at this through the prism of opportunities to sell the British pound against other currencies, using this as a relative strength indicator of sorts for Pound Sterling.
The Euro has gone back and forth during the trading week, and showed a significant amount of support near the 0.95 level. Ultimately, the market is likely to continue seeing a lot of noise, as we had gotten a bit oversold. The parity level above should offer a significant amount of resistance, and for what it is worth, the 50-Day EMA on the daily chart of course is a significant barrier.
All things being equal, this is a market that I think continues to see a lot of volatility, but at the end of the day, this is a market that is still very negative, so this is not going to be a situation where I’d be a buyer, at least not until something changes from a stronger standpoint. For example, the market will almost certainly have some type of relief rally again, but the European Union still struggle overall, and the fact that they are now going to have to worry even more about natural gas, I just don’t see how the economy takes off.
On the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, you have the Federal Reserve which continues to tighten policy. Idea that the Euro suddenly turns round is laughable, and quite frankly I think we have much further to go. The European Union is in a significant crisis, with industries on the continent starting to close due to energy concerns. With this, I believe that we continue to see more of the same, more of a “fade the rally” type of situation.
Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the final quarter of the year! What were the first nine months of 2022 for the gold market? Well, in Q1 there was an impressive rally in gold, with the yellow metal staying above $2,000 for a while. However, the next few months brought a gradual decline in gold prices. After several weeks of being traded between $1,700 and $1,800 during the summer, in September, gold gave up and slid below $1,700, as the chart below shows.
The reason behind thisbearish trendin gold is clear, and its name is theFed, thehawkish Fed. The tightening of monetary policy by the U.S. central bank boosted the greenback, gold’s nemesis, and bond yields (see the chart below). The higher the interest rates, the less attractive gold is compared to interest-bearing assets. Unfortunately for gold, inflation stabilized somewhat, which – with the hikes in the federal funds rate – lead to the rise in the real interest rates that are key for the gold market.
What’s Next for Gold?
We know what happened, but the key question is what awaits us in the last months of the year. Well, I don’t have a crystal ball, but obviously gold could struggle more during this tightening cycle of U.S. monetary policy. Interest rates are set to continue higher until inflation retreats closer to the 2-percent target. The Fed could go all the way to 4.5%. The more hawkish the Fed and the steeper the expected path of the federal funds rate, the worse for gold.
However, everything passes away, and this applies also to gold’s disappointing performance (although please note that gold is still one of the best assets this year – just think about declines in equities – and gold fares much better in other currencies than the U.S. dollar). At some point, either inflation softens or arecessionarrives. In August, Bloomberg’s US recession probability forecast increased from 40% to 50%, and according to the World Bank, “as central banks across the world simultaneously hike interest rates in response to inflation, the world may be edging toward a global recession in 2023.”
Then, the Fed will likely reverse its course, and gold could rally again, especially if the economic downturn is accompanied by still high inflation. Gold has historically performed relatively well during stagflations and recessions (according to the World Gold Council, “gold’s median return during such periods has been 0.92%, higher than comparable major asset classes with the exception of US Treasuries and corporate bonds”).
What could also help gold a bit is the Ukrainian counteroffensive (it increases the odds of a resolution and a lack of the energy crisis in Europe during winter) and the continuation of the tightening cycle started recently by the ECB (it could reduce the divergence between interest rates across the pond).
Implications for Gold
Of course, waiting for the Fed’s pivot could be similar to waiting for Godot. In Beckett’s play, Godot never arrives, but we know that at some point, the Fed will at least stop raising interest rates. We just don’t know exactly when this will happen. However, it’s possible that we are already behind the peak of the Fed’s hawkishness and that the upcoming hikes will be smaller compared to those from September and previous months.
I also believe that the biggest increases in real interest rates and the U.S. dollar index have already been made. The full reversal in the Fed’s stance would be much better for gold, but such a moderation should be welcomed as well.
Hence, gold could find a bottom in the final quarter of 2022, although it could struggle until Q1 2023. Why? Well, inflation probably won’t moderate this year, and I expect more economic weakness that would finally force the Fed to make a policy shift.
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The Move Index is essentially the Volatility Index (VIX) for bonds. When financial markets are stressed – it tends to rise. At 158.99 – it’s now above panic levels.
According to Bianco Research, a rise above 155 in the MOVE index commonly denotes a crisis. The graph below highlights previous events such as the Great Financial Crisis, Iraq War, Worldcom Bankruptcy, September 11th, LTCM Failure, etc.
The status of Treasury liquidity supports a potential plumbing issue. When markets are stressed, vanishing liquidity causes the average yield error in Treasuries to soar (see below). The recent spike to 2.93% achieved panic levels not seen since the Coivd collapse. If the credit markets freeze – expect central bank intervention.
Financial Stress Indicator
Corroborating the potential for a crisis is Bank of America’s Financial Stress Indicator, which recently fell to 1.75. It remains above the Covid spike but still at levels not seen since the 2009 financial crisis.
Gold Price Forecast
Gold has been falling since March over rising interest rates and aggressive Fed tightening. With short-term Treasury yields above 4.00%, I don’t think rates can go much further without breaking something, given the current level of market stress. This looks like a repeat of the 2018 bottom. I expect higher prices in 2023, extending into a 2024 cycle peak.
Note: Gold could spike lower temporarily…if we see a liquidity event, but overall, I’m forecasting a new advance through 2023 and into the first half of 2024.
Contrary Bullish Indicator?
Below is a headline from the Wall Street Journal asking if Gold Lost its Haven Status? This made the front page of the business section on September 20th. Contrary indicator? I’d be surprised if people still feel this way 2-years from now.
In closing, I think gold is very close to a bottom. The next few weeks are crucial. The soaring dollar could increase financial stress, which could trigger a crisis.
AG Thorson is a registered CMT and expert in technical analysis. He believes we are in the final stages of a global debt super-cycle. For regular updates, please visit here.
The recent events on both pipelines (North Stream 1 & 2) have raised the question of sabotage.
Currently, it is difficult to find out who led such explosive operations (at least three) in the Baltic Sea but that it is not going to help a de-escalation of the Russia-Ukraine war, even though international investigations have begun.
Meanwhile, former U.S. President Donald J. Trump suggested mediating a peace agreement between Russia, Ukraine, and the United States through a few posts on “Social Truth” (his own social media network):
On the macroeconomic view, the greenback has kept rallying above its previous swing high.
As I expected in my two previous articles, the quarterly R3 pivot (around $115) became the new target. So, it is where the market stopped after making a new high at $114.778 yesterday.
Therefore, a strong dollar tends to reduce the purchasing power of investors using other currencies.
The market initially reacted to the evacuation of twelve oil rigs located in the Gulf of Mexico in anticipation of the passage of Hurricane Ian, which swept through Florida on Wednesday.
Speculation of a production cut by OPEC+, which will meet next Wednesday, is weighing on prices.
Indeed, OPEC+ could decide on a drop in production to galvanize prices – a scenario anticipated by investment banks such as UBS or JPMorgan.
Commercial crude oil reserves fell slightly last week in the United States, according to figures released on Wednesday by the US Energy Information Agency (EIA), as analysts expected a sharp rise in inventories.
U.S. Crude Oil Inventories
On Wednesday, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) released the weekly change in the count of barrels of commercial crude oil held by US firms.
During the week ended September 23, oil stocks fell by 215,000 barrels, when the consensus, established by Bloomberg, was counting on an increase of two million barrels (so, almost five times as much as the forecasted figure of 443,000 barrels).
In the context of the energy crisis in Europe and sanctions hitting Russia, U.S. crude is in high demand.
On average over four weeks, crude oil exports are about 40% higher than they were last year at the same time.
In addition, the drain on U.S. strategic reserves was significantly lower than in previous weeks, at more than four and a half million barrels.
U.S. Gasoline Inventories
As for gasoline reserves, they have shrunk by almost two and a half million barrels, while analysts expected an increase of almost half a million barrels.
On the daily chart, WTI crude oil (November contract) has been falling again into the lower band before bouncing back above its mean regression line (or median of its regression channel) currently starting from May-20 on the daily chart to get a Pearson’s R (coefficient) near 0.87, with a 4-month long correlation of almost 87% for WTI, 90.3% for RBOB Gasoline, and almost 93% for Brent (see the charts below).
That’s all, folks, for today. Stay tuned for our next oil trading alert!
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The information above represents analyses and opinions of Sebastien Bischeri, & Sunshine Profits’ associates only. As such, it may prove wrong and be subject to change without notice. At the time of writing, we base our opinions and analyses on facts and data sourced from respective essays and their authors. Although formed on top of careful research and reputably accurate sources, Sebastien Bischeri and his associates cannot guarantee the reported data’s accuracy and thoroughness. The opinions published above neither recommend nor offer any securities transaction. Mr. Bischeri is not a Registered Securities Advisor. By reading Sebastien Bischeri’s reports you fully agree that he will not be held responsible or liable for any decisions you make regarding any information provided in these reports. Investing, trading and speculation in any financial markets may involve high risk of loss. Sebastien Bischeri, Sunshine Profits’ employees, affiliates as well as their family members may have a short or long position in any securities, including those mentioned in any of the reports or essays, and may make additional purchases and/or sales of those securities without notice.
With gold and mining stocks enjoying oversold bounces on Sep. 27, the pace of the PMs’ recent drawdowns was poised to normalize at some point. Also, since asset prices don’t move in a straight line, daily declines of 1% or more often result in countertrend rallies along the way.
However, with the PMs’ medium-term technical and fundamental outlooks supremely ominous, a hawkish Fed, higher real yields, and a stronger USD Index are poised to inflict more pain. To explain, I wrote on Apr. 11:
With real interest rates poised to turn positive in the coming months, gold should suffer profoundly once its war premiums unravel.
The historical fundamental playbook shows:
When a crisis erupts, the Fed cuts interest rates and commences QE;
Real yields turn deeply negative;
Gold rallies sharply;
The Fed normalizes monetary policy, real yields surge, and gold plunges.
Please see below:
To explain, the gold line above tracks the price tallied by the World Gold Council, while the red line above tracks the inverted U.S. 10-Year real yield. For context, inverted means that the latter’s scale is flipped upside down and that a rising red line represents a falling U.S. 10-Year real yield, while a falling red line represents a rising U.S. 10-Year real yield.
Moreover, while I’ve shown variations of this chart before, the long-term implications are profound. For example, if you analyze the left side of the chart, you can see that the U.S. 10-Year real yield soared and gold plunged during the global financial crisis (GFC). However, when the Fed launched QE and the U.S. 10-Year real yield sank to an all-time low, gold hit a new all-time high along the way.
Furthermore, the current situation is a spitting image. When Fed Chairman Jerome Powell performed a dovish pivot in late 2018, the U.S. 10-Year real yield suffered. Then, when the Fed fired its liquidity bazooka in March 2020, it pushed the metric to another all-time low. And surprise, surprise, gold hit another all-time high.
However, we’re now in stage four of the historical fundamental playbook.With the Fed normalizing policy, the U.S. 10-Year real yield has surged in recent weeks. Moreover, the Fed needs to push the metric above 0% to curb inflation.
To that point, with long-term Treasuries continuing their sell-offs on Sep. 27, the U.S. 10-Year Treasury yield closed at another 2022 high of 3.97%.
Please see below:
More importantly, the U.S. 10-Year real yield ended the Sep. 27 session at 1.64%, its highest level since 2010. Therefore, my prediction has proved prescient, even though gold has been a relative outperformer amid the chaos.
Please see below:
To explain, the U.S. 10-Year real yield is at its highest level in a decade-plus, while gold is relatively uplifted. Furthermore, a U.S. 10-Year real yield of 0% implies a gold price of $1,500, while the current reading of 1.64% should have gold south of $1,300.
So, what gives?
Well, for one, it’s not uncommon for assets to operate with a lag, meaning that gold will reconnect with the U.S. 10-Year real yield at some point, only the timing remains uncertain. As evidence, remember when I presented this chart throughout 2021 and 2022?
To explain, the green line above tracks the U.S. 10-Year Treasury yield, while the red line above tracks the U.S. 10-Year breakeven inflation rate. The unprecedented gap on the right side of the chart shows how a low nominal rate (the green line) and a high breakeven rate (the red line) created a major imbalance and pushed the U.S. 10-Year real yield into deeply negative territory. For context, the latter sank to an all-time low of -1.17% in August 2021 and hit -1.04% on Mar. 8 during the Russia/Ukraine conflict.
However, significant imbalances don’t last forever. In fact, if you analyze the middle of the chart, you can see that the two lines reconnected after the 2013 taper tantrum and remained in contact for years after that. Therefore, when the U.S. 10-Year real yield hit 0% in April 2022, the reconnection was complete, and the 2020-2022 imbalance was erased.
As such, we find ourselves in an identical situation now. While gold has outperformed the U.S. 10-Year real yield, the pair should reconnect once again; and with the Fed forced to play catch-up due to 40+-year high inflation, gold is much more likely to collapse than the U.S. 10-Year real yield. Remember, I wrote the Fed needs to push the metric above 0% to curb inflation.
However, there is no magic real yield that sinks inflation. In reality, the Fed needs to keep pushing the metric higher until progress materializes. Moreover, I noted that Powell understands this and made the point for me during his June FOMC press conference.
Please see below:
Thus, while Powell has achieved his objective of “positive real rates across the [yield] curve,” it only matters if real rates are high enough to reduce demand and alleviate inflation. If not, they need to go higher.
To that point, with the Cleveland Fed projecting the headline and core Consumer Price Indexes (CPI) to rise by 8.20% and 6.64% year-over-year (YoY) in September, the metrics are nowhere near normalized. As a result, the U.S.10-Year real yieldhas the wind at its back, and gold should fall to restore the imbalance.
Please see below:
Also, please note that while gold has showcased immense resiliency in the face of elevated real yields and a soaring USD index, the GDXJ ETF hasn’t been so lucky.
Please see below:
To explain, the gold line above tracks the gold futures price, while the black line above tracks the GDXJ ETF. If you analyze the relationship, you can see that the pair remained close pre-pandemic. Conversely, with the junior miners materially underperforming gold post-pandemic, shorting the GDXJ ETF has proven profoundly wise and lucrative, as the junior miners have followed the real-yield roadmap to a greater extent.
In addition, the USD Index paints a similar portrait.
Please see below:
To explain, the gold line above tracks the gold futures price, while the black line above tracks the USD Index. If you analyze the middle of the chart, you can see that when the USD Index hit its ~2017 high, gold sank below $1,200.
However, while the USD Index closed well above its ~2017 high on Sep. 27, the yellow metal is much higher.
In contrast, the GDXJ ETF’s price action has been more formulaic.
Please see below:
To explain, the gold line above tracks the GDXJ ETF, while the black line above tracks the USD Index. If you analyze the right side of the chart, you can see that the junior miners’ Sep. 27 closing price is much nearer the low set when the USD Index hit its ~2017 high. Thus, it’s another example of why choosing the right asset to short is just as important as being correct in your investment thesis.
With Fed officials back to parroting Chairman Jerome Powell’s future plans, his deputies reiterated his hawkish message. For example, Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester said on Sep. 26:
“We have to understand that inflation is going to be continuing to be hard to predict (…). We can’t have wishful thinking replace really compelling evidence. So before I conclude that inflation has peaked, I will need to see several months of declines in the month-over-month (MoM) readings.”
As a result, Mester was ominously honest about the economic challenges that lie ahead.
Please see below:
Likewise, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said on Sep. 27:
“[Inflation] is a serious problem and we need to be sure we respond to it appropriately. We have increased the policy rate substantially this year and more increases are indicated.”
He added that the U.S. federal funds rate (FFR) may need to reach “the 4.5% range,” as inflation is more resilient than Fed officials expected. As such, with the U.S. labor market on solid footing, officials remain focused on the other half of their dual mandate.
Please see below:
Finally, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans said on Sep. 27 that “My own viewpoint is roughly in line with the median assessment” from the Summary of Economic Projections (SEP).
“I had a sobering assessment that we’ve got more work ahead,” Evans said. “I’m optimistic that the peak that we’ve set out is going to be sufficiently restrictive that it could be enough.”
Thus, while I warned for months that reality would re-emerge, suddenly, a 4.5% FFR is the low-end of the consensus range.
The Bottom Line
While gold has relatively outperformed the U.S. 10-Year real yield and the USD Index, the GDXJ ETF has not. Moreover, the prior imbalance between the U.S. 10-Year Treasury and breakeven inflation rates is a cautionary tale of how history is undefeated. Therefore, the yellow metal should reconnect with the U.S. 10-Year real yield at some point, and we expect the normalization to occur through lower gold prices.
Furthermore, with Fed officials hawked up and pressing ahead with further rate hikes, the medium-term outlooks are bullish for the USD Index and the U.S. 10-Year real yield. Absent short-term sentiment rallies, gold, silver, and mining stocks should struggle in the following weeks and months.
In conclusion, the PMs were mixed on Sep. 27, as silver ended the day in the red. However, while oversold conditions may provide some short-term relief, the medium-term implications are unchanged: the precious metals remain in downtrends, and the technicals and the fundamentals signal lower lows in the months ahead. While I’m not making any promises with regard to price moves or profitability, in my opinion, the above also indicates that profits on our short positions in junior mining stocks are going to increase even further.
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Przemyslaw Radomski, CFA
Sunshine Profits: Effective Investment through Diligence & Care
* * * * *
All essays, research and information found above represent analyses and opinions of Przemyslaw Radomski, CFA and Sunshine Profits’ associates only. As such, it may prove wrong and be subject to change without notice. Opinions and analyses are based on data available to authors of respective essays at the time of writing. Although the information provided above is based on careful research and sources that are deemed to be accurate, Przemyslaw Radomski, CFA and his associates do not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the data or information reported. The opinions published above are neither an offer nor a recommendation to purchase or sell any securities. Mr. Radomski is not a Registered Securities Advisor. By reading Przemyslaw Radomski’s, CFA reports you fully agree that he will not be held responsible or liable for any decisions you make regarding any information provided in these reports. Investing, trading and speculation in any financial markets may involve high risk of loss. Przemyslaw Radomski, CFA, Sunshine Profits’ employees and affiliates as well as members of their families may have a short or long position in any securities, including those mentioned in any of the reports or essays, and may make additional purchases and/or sales of those securities without notice.
As investors began dumping their UK assets in a massive fire sale that started on Friday further crippling the pound – the currency hit an all-time low of $1.03528 on Monday, according to ActivTrades’ data.
The currency has since bounced back from this level, but some investors are wondering if the GBP/USD might reach parity any time soon. Today, the sentiment indicator shows that 61% of investors are buying the pair after the dip, while 39% of traders are still bearish.
The New “Growth Plan”
The mini-budget includes what some opponents are calling “risky” adjustments to the country’s tax plan, including £45 billion in total cuts to stamp duty, the basic rate of income tax, and the cancellation of a corporation tax rise that was due next year.
These measures, which figure among the new government stimulus of around £60 billion promised to offset the rise of energy prices and cost of living crisis, have many experts questioning the method for funding the plan, as the country battles rampant inflation and economic uncertainty.
Chancellor Kwarteng was seemingly unmoved by the market turmoil. Speaking to Laura Kuenssberg of the BBC on Sunday, he said: “As chancellor of the exchequer, I don’t comment on market movements. What I am focused on is growing the economy and making sure that Britain is an attractive place to invest.”
Kwarteng’s plan is for more tax cuts to come in the future, with this current round to be broadly funded by a public borrowing plan. But at the same time, the BOE has had plans in place to sell around £80 billion in gilts to scale back its balance sheet over the next year.
10-year gilts have increased by 131 basis points already in September, an almost unprecedented increase, suggesting that the market may expect the BOE to be more aggressive with interest rate rises to reduce inflation in the future.
In the policy statement from the UK Government website, a target trend rate of 2.5% growth has been set, among other various reforms that would allow businesses and individuals to keep more of their earnings and stimulate the economy.
“We want businesses to invest in the UK, we want the brightest and the best to work here and we want better living standards for everyone,” Kwarteng proclaimed in the statement.
Parity with the USD Looking More Likely by the Day
Bloomberg reports a 60% chance that the pound will reach parity with the dollar before the end of 2022 if current trends continue without intervention.
While the USD on its own has been growing in strength in recent months and benefits from being seen as a safe haven during economic uncertainty, the sterling has also been gradually growing weaker against other currencies at the same time, such as the euro. Some economists are predicting that the Bank of England, or the government, may need to intervene at some point to reassure the market.
The last time the pound performed this poorly against the dollar was back in 1985 when Margaret Thatcher was in power in the UK. A few years beforehand in the US, President Raegan had instigated large tax cuts, which boosted the economy, and then the Federal Reserve increased interest rates and prompted many investors to purchase US assets. This pushed the pound to around $1.05.
Back to 2022, and despite the point that the US has not battled with the same energy crisis and other economic difficulties such as growing trade deficits that Great Britain has, the Fed has still increased headline interest rates this year quicker and heavier than the UK to tackle rising inflation, with a total of 300 basis points so far and a forecast for more 75 basis point moves to come. In contrast, the BOE has lifted rates by just 215 basis points.
As the interest rate differential continues to grow between the two major economies, investors will tend to move their capital to higher-yielding assets, such as those in the US, as their rates continue to climb. Foreign investors must sell their own local currency in order to purchase USD for their investments, which leads to more demand for the USD and less supply. The price of the USD will then be pushed higher as a result.
The difficulty that the central banks all face is that if they continue to raise rates too high and too quickly in the fight against inflation, they will, in turn, cool the economy too much and send the country into a recession. It’s a tightrope that the US seems to have navigated somewhat well so far, as most of the economic data in recent months suggest that the economy is still able to cope with further interest rate hikes.
An analyst told CNBC on Monday, there was a strong likelihood that the BOE would have to hold an emergency inter-meeting rate increase to reduce pressure on the pound.
Last week the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency made history by becoming the first major cryptocurrency to effectively replace its consensus mechanism and while this is truly a landmark accomplishment for Ethereum developers, the hype surrounding the switch to proof-of-stake quickly dissipated.
Ethereum Fails to Bring In New Users
In order for anything in the modern world to grow or even survive, it must maintain a constant flow of new supporters, believers, and users. Although it is too early to say for sure and with the caveat that we are in a crypto winter Ethereum’s successful merge failed to bring in any new users to its ecosystem.
As the chart above illustrates the merge failed to bring a wave of new users to the blockchain.
How Did the Merge Affect the Transaction Throughput?
As you can see by the on-chain data provided by Coin Metrics the average number of transactions processed by Ethereum has pretty much stayed the same post-merge making the scalability argument for PoS becomes a hard debate at the moment.
What About Transaction Costs?
But perhaps the biggest deterrent for new users coming into the Ethereum ecosystem was the extremely high cost of transactions. Many investors were under the belief that the merger would finally provide a meaningful reduction in gas fees. Gas fees are the cost required to perform a transaction of any sort on Ethereum’s blockchain.
The chart above does show that Ethereum gas fees have come down considerably over the last year. However, the drop in gas fees is correlated to the loss in interest for the project likely tied to the loss in its underlying asset’s price.
Ethereum 2.0 Reduction in Energy Consumption
The one true success for Ethereum 2.0 post-merge is the highly anticipated reduction in energy consumption. Estimates are that energy usage has dropped by 95% – 99%.
Although it is still undetermined if this will come at a cost to the ecosystem’s security, censorship resistance, and other possible still unknown consequences this reduction is the cornerstone of the merge, and while its positive effects may not be seen for some time it surely will strengthen Ethereum’s long-term success as the globe will only ramp up its energy conservation regulations. This could also be what brings more people on board in the future as the world becomes more eco-conscious.
This was the most important facet of the merge and even if all the other hopes were in vain the energy aspect will prove more and more critical and benefit Ether for decades to come, we have not even begun to see the effects of this. So if only for that reason the merge was successful.
For anyone interested in our free service dedicated to trading Bitcoin, simply click this link.
The S&P 500 E-mini contract has been battered during the week as we continue to see a lot of strength in the US dollar. The Federal Reserve is not writing to anybody’s rescue, and I think we finally are starting to see people come to grips with this. We are getting ready to make a lower level, which of course continues the overall downtrend. I anticipate that the 3500 level will be targeted initially, perhaps even lower than that.
With global growth falling apart and the supply chain still a mess, this should not be a huge surprise at all. We have seen company after company guide lower into the future, and it’s probably worth noting that some companies like Walmart have canceled billions of dollars worth of orders for the upcoming holiday season. Things could get rather ugly, and therefore I think we’ve got a situation where you fade every rally that occurs until something fundamentally changes. Right now, it would take at the very least the Federal Reserve changing its monetary policy, but I just don’t see how that happens with inflation running as hot as it is.
Furthermore, you need to keep in mind that the Federal Reserve has a long history of doing the wrong thing at the wrong time. Remember when inflation was just “transitory” earlier this year? Well they got that really wrong, and now we are starting to pay the price for that. In other words, anybody who has faith in the Federal Reserve at this point is asking for trouble. They will do the wrong thing, it’s in their nature as they are academics and tend to look at lagging indicators. This is not setting up for very good move.