Modern Paradox: As Large As Goldman Sachs But Has No Intrinsic Value

Aibek Burabayev - INO.com Contributor - Metals


The Riddle

This riddle could be paraphrased as “It is almost worth the gold reserves of France (World #5), it is what all want now at the price of 2016, you would be eager to have it as a gift last Christmas, it stands at 14 GDPs of Kyrgyz Republic (my motherland)”. Yes, you got it right, it’s a Bitcoin - notorious, attractive and, of course, risky.

Last week the market cap of this coin hit an all-time high at the 99+ billion dollars increasing ten times from what it was just a year ago.

Chart 1. 1-year dynamics of Market Cap of Bitcoin in USD

Dynamics of Market Cap of Bitcoin in USD
Chart courtesy of blockchain.info
Continue reading "Modern Paradox: As Large As Goldman Sachs But Has No Intrinsic Value"

Stock Market Poised To Close At Record Highs

Hello traders everywhere. All three indexes are positioned to post record closes today on the back of a passed budget by the U.S. government and renewed hopes of tax reform. The dollar and Treasury yields are heading higher as President Trump closes in on naming the next Fed chair. Will Janet Yellen, the sitting chairman, survive or will we get a new chair? Check out INO.com Contributor George Yacik's article on the looming decision.

MarketClub's Mid-day Market Report

Meanwhile, sales of previously owned U.S. homes increased unexpectedly in September, showing demand is stabilizing in the aftermath of hurricanes Harvey and Irma. The National Association of Realtors said on Friday existing home sales rose 0.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.39 million units last month. August’s sales pace was unrevised.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast that sales would fall 1% to a rate of 5.30 million units last month. Sales were down 1.5% from September 2016, the first year-over-year decline since July 2016.

Key levels to watch next week: Continue reading "Stock Market Poised To Close At Record Highs"

Is Janet Coming Back?

George Yacik - INO.com Contributor - Fed & Interest Rates


A lot of names have been thrown around to be the next head of the Federal Reserve. But who is the most likely person President Trump will name?

The current occupant, Janet Yellen, has to be considered the front-runner, although that doesn’t necessarily mean she’ll be renominated. Indeed, I would put the odds of her being reappointed at less than 50-50 – a lot less.

She does have several things going for her. First and foremost, she’s a known quantity. The markets would certainly be happy if Yellen were reappointed, if for no other reason than that they’ll know what they’re getting. With the major stock indexes all at or near all-time highs, and the bull market already nine years old, the market doesn’t want anything untoward to upset the status quo.

But as we should know well by now, stability isn’t exactly Trump’s comfort zone. Two weeks ago, he had no problem telling investors in billions of Puerto Rican bonds that they could pound sand, which caused a major meltdown in the price of those bonds (administration officials subsequently walked back his remarks).

Would he risk something like that happening to the entire bond and stock markets by not reappointing Yellen? (Even if she doesn’t get reappointed as Fed chair, Yellen’s term as a member of the Fed’s Board of Governors doesn’t end until January 2024, although it’s expected that she’ll resign if she’s not renamed as chair).

Besides the stability factor, the main reason why the markets like Yellen, of course, is because, in the words of Mr. Trump himself on the campaign trail in May 2016, “She is a low-interest rate person, she’s always been a low-interest rate person, and let’s be honest, I’m a low-interest rate person.” He reiterated those feelings in July in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, in which he added, “I think she’s done a good job.” Continue reading "Is Janet Coming Back?"

Oil Price 'Risk Premium' to Play Out Over 4Q17

Robert Boslego - INO.com Contributor - Energies


The Energy Information Administration (EIA), International Energy Agency (IEA) and Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) each released their monthly global oil assessments and projections. They agree that the global oil glut will not be whittled down to anywhere near OPEC’s target of the 5-year OECD average by year-end. Their numbers also imply that global inventories in 1Q18 will build.

The EIA numbers indicate that stocks will be 130 million above the average, just slightly below September’s estimate at end-March.

Global Oil Inventory

OPEC does not project its own production, and it, therefore, does not produce future global inventory levels. But assuming September OPEC production for 4Q17 and 1Q18, stocks will drop by 51 million barrels in 4Q17 and rise by 74 million in 1Q18, a net gain in inventories from September. Continue reading "Oil Price 'Risk Premium' to Play Out Over 4Q17"

Commodities: Time For A Strategy Shift

Lior Alkalay - INO.com Contributor


Commodity prices are facing a shift. As inflation heats up and growth stabilizes, the commodity arena is gradually tilting in favor of growth-oriented commodities such as Oil and Copper Meanwhile, commodities associated with inflation protection, e.g., Gold and Silver, are not only losing their allure but face growing sell pressure.

The thought of selling precious metals just as inflation is showing signs of coming back may sound counter-intuitive. After all, precious metals are one of the more well-known methods of hedging against inflation. So, why are precious metals tanking just as inflation is coming back?

Because the capacity of precious metals as an inflation protection method emerges when investors believe that inflation is understated in the official numbers. When inflation becomes fact, we begin to see the classic, "buy on rumor, sell on fact" response; i.e., investors start selling precious metals. Since Gold and Silver do not pay interest, their investment appeal decreases when rates rise. But, when inflation is under-reported, effective rates are lower and the value of the currency, in our case the Dollar, is eroded. And, in this case, precious metals gain appeal for preserving value and as an alternative investment. That would explain Gold’s price surge from July $1,210 an ounce in July to $1,350 in September, when US headline inflation numbers caught the market off guard with a fall to from 2.7% in February to 1.6% in June, meaning inflation was understated.

This dynamic also explains the fire sale that hit precious metals in the aftermath of the Fed's September rate decision. The Fed signaled a rate hike as soon as December and another three in 2018. Gold responded by shedding 3.6% in two weeks.

Gold
Chart courtesy of MarketClub.com

All the while, the rest of the commodities space was holding rather well in the face of higher rates. In fact, in aggregate, excluding precious metals, commodities prices were gaining. One good example is the iShares S&P GSCI Commodity-Indexed Trust ETF (GSG), which embodies exposure to the broad commodities market from energy and agriculture to precious metals and gained 0.54% during Gold's selloff. Continue reading "Commodities: Time For A Strategy Shift"