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"

Gold Update: Triangular Consolidation

Aibek Burabayev - INO.com Contributor - Metals


In the previous Gold & Silver update I warned you about the possible correction ahead. Indeed, both top metals showed weakness, but I didn’t think it would be that severe as we quickly reached seemingly distant supports both in gold and silver. Later I shared with you my concerns about golds outlook as the Fed starts cutting its massive balance sheet this month. This could be a real game changer as market wizards call for another perfect storm for the financial markets. In the charts below I try to model this change for you.

I would like to start with the U.S. 10-year Treasury notes (UST) chart as this instrument has a strong relationship with gold, which I already showed you in August.

Chart 1. U.S. 10-year Treasury Notes Daily: Bear Flag Works Out

U.S. 10-year Treasury Notes Daily
Chart courtesy of tradingview.com

Above is an updated and zoomed in chart from my last post. I chose a daily time frame to focus on the tactical move to see how the chart structure of the instrument develops over the time. Continue reading "Gold Update: Triangular Consolidation"

Fed Takes On Gold Unintentionally

Aibek Burabayev - INO.com Contributor - Metals


In my previous Gold & Silver post published earlier this month, I promised to update a long-term chart of Gold as I observed some interesting price behavior in a related instrument. But before I do that, let me speak about the Fed’s decision last Wednesday and that “related to gold” instrument first.

The positive dynamics of the US economy underpinned the Fed’s decision to finally start to trim its huge balance sheet next month, besides that there is a big chance of another rate hike this December. It wasn’t a shock to the market, and some big players already started their game weeks before the Fed moved from rhetoric to action.

The Fed’s decision could have a double impact on US interest rates as falling US Treasury notes increase the yields, and the impending rate hike could secure that situation. I was writing about the high possibility of this almost a month ago and last Wednesday we received a first-hand confirmation from the Fed. Continue reading "Fed Takes On Gold Unintentionally"

Gold And The Era Of Rising Interest Rates

Aibek Burabayev - INO.com Contributor - Metals


The U.S. dollar is the primary benchmark for the expense of the time value of the money around the world. It affects all asset classes, and I want to analyze it to see if the speculation about the coming cycle of the rise in interest rates is valid or not.

The wise trader once said; “if you want to know the market trend just squeeze the chart to see the perspective.” I used that advice to focus on the long-term perspective, and in this post, I would like to share the result of my research in the three graphs below.

Chart 1. The Yield Of 10-Year U.S. Treasury Notes Quarterly: Downtrend Could Be Over Soon

Quarterly Chart of 10 Year U.S. Treasury Notes
Chart courtesy of stooq.com

The chart above shows the history of the yield on the 10-Year U.S. Treasury notes (UST) from 1980 to present day. I chose that period to highlight the whole move down of the yield from the top in 1981 at the 15.84%. I chose this instrument as it is a benchmark showing investors’ sentiment about the future interest rates for the U.S. dollar. Continue reading "Gold And The Era Of Rising Interest Rates"

How Saudi Arabia Will Manage the Oil Market in 2017

Robert Boslego - INO.com Contributor - Energies


OPEC agreed in Algeria to limit future oil production. This represents a major shift in the policy announced in November 2014 to compete for market share through lower prices.

The OPEC communique stated the group will retain output to a "target range of 32.5 to 33.0 million barrels per day" (mmbd). In the latest OPEC Monthly Oil Market Report (MOMR), OPEC reported that production average 33.4 mmbd in September. While that is not far above the target range, there are other problems looming on the horizon; several countries—Nigeria, Iran, Iraq, and Libya—all want to restore their output to levels they were at before their supplies were disrupted, and that could push OPEC’s output up to nearly 35 mmbd if they succeed.

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih reversed KSA’s position from last April when it would not freeze output without Iran’s agreement to do the same. Instead, he said, Iran, Nigeria and Libya would be allowed to produce "at maximum levels that make sense as part of any output limits which could be set as early as the next OPEC meeting in November."

My interpretation is that Saudi Arabia and the smaller Gulf producers are therefore going to have to absorb the cuts if they intend to achieve the target. Continue reading "How Saudi Arabia Will Manage the Oil Market in 2017"