Palladium Pushed Platinum To Record Low

A year ago I wrote about the platinum/palladium ratio as it was on the edge, and there were two possible options, to restore the historically normal supremacy of platinum (target 1.93 oz) or to prolong the triumph of palladium (target 0.56 oz.).

This month the Platinum/Palladium ratio hit a new record low of 0.55 oz. amid the rocket move to the upside in the palladium market; the latter became the most precious metal beating gold. Let’s take a look at the big picture below.

Chart 1. Platinum/Palladium Ratio Monthly: New Record Low

platinum/palladium ratio
Chart courtesy of

The chart above starts with a robust growth to the upside from 3 to 5 oz. and this move had set the “normal” range for the fluctuations of the ratio within the next two decades. It was interrupted only once in 1997 when the ratio fell out of the range and quickly dropped to establish a previous record low of 0.56 oz. in 2001 amid rumors that Russia would ban palladium export. It was a textbook example of a “sell rumors - buy facts” market behavior, the ratio was down on rumors and then when the reality didn’t confirm it the ratio quickly returned to the normal range making a beautiful V-shape pattern. Then the ratio had spent another decade in that range. Continue reading "Palladium Pushed Platinum To Record Low"

Gold Sentiment Lesson

[edit] an article critical of (anonymous) others is an appropriate venue to once again note publicly the biggest mistake of my own, which was an ill-conceived target of 888 on HUI last decade. I learned from that. It’s okay to admit mistakes boys. We all make ’em. But as with humility, that appears to be all too rare in the market writer world as well. It’s okay to once in a while simply state “I was wrong”.

The number in the title is in honor of the boldest forecast burped up by the gold community in February as the metal (and the miners) jerked upward and jerked the holdout would-be enthusiasts into the market. It was included in the anonymous (but real) quotes from a cautionary post last week on the Gold Bull Horns.

We also used these quotes in an NFTRH update in order to try to make a point, despite what were very short-term contrarian bullish readings that day (per Sentimentrader’s data) for junior and senior gold miners.

From the update (2.28.19)… Continue reading "Gold Sentiment Lesson"

Gold Bullhorns Quieted For A Day, At Least

Over in the gold patch, things went from disinterested and downright antagonistic (A Notable Lack of Interest in Gold) to sleepy (Gold “Community” Crickets) to ferociously over bullish.

Any long-time and right-minded gold bug will tell you that the latter condition is usually a signal to prepare for some turbulence. Wednesday and Thursday brought the turbulence in the form of a reversal and pullback for gold, silver and the miners.

Since we became constructive on the gold sector in Q4 2018 (per the links above and especially NFTRH reports/updates) the groundswell of gold boosting (pom poms and all) has steadily risen since it became obvious that something bullish was going on in January. And it appears that last week’s breakout from various daily chart bull flags in gold, silver and the miners finally jerked ’em all in. Enter the Thursday pullback.

In the very few days immediately before that $20/oz. pullback the gold “community” threw itself a gathering of the bullish clans. On just a quick look around the gold websites, some quotes popped out from 2 days before the pullback and one day before Wednesday’s reversal. It’s crickets no more… Continue reading "Gold Bullhorns Quieted For A Day, At Least"

A Precious Metals Update

I reserve most of the work on precious metals for NFTRH weekly reports and in-week updates because it is done on a consistent basis, with the work done previously key to the narrative making sense in real time and going forward. In other words, in order to not be out there stabbing in the dark, you need to have an ongoing, adjustable plan that makes sense at all times with the macro markets around it.

So that said, let’s take a snapshot of where things stand currently with the understanding that this work will need future updates, which will probably not be made publicly. It is up to the reader to do the work required to put context to the picture. Meanwhile, this will free up more space in next week’s NFTRH 538 to focus on some quality miner charts, which sometimes take a back seat to the macro/sector stuff.

Precious Metals Update

First off, Commitments of Traders data are only available through 12.31.18 as a result of the government shutdown. So we are flying somewhat blind from that perspective. At the end of December, the CoT for gold and silver were well on their way to a bearish alignment. Have they maxed their trends and reversed in the meantime? It is quite possible, especially since the metals have taken pullbacks (within their intermediate uptrends) recently.

We have been following an analog to 2001, which saw SPX break down below its 50 & 200 day moving averages as HUI began its bull market. What’s more, SPX then tested its breakdown in Q1 2001… Continue reading "A Precious Metals Update"

Cyclical Assets Vs. Gold

In January of 2018, we noted a cyclical leader (Semiconductor Fab Equipment) in trouble: Semi Canary Still Chirping, But He’s Gonna Croak in 2018.

We also ran a series of articles featuring the happy-go-lucky 3 Amigos (of the macro) in order to gauge a point when larger herds of investors would become aware of cyclical issues facing the global (including the US) economy. Each Amigo (SPX/Gold Ratio, Long-term Treasury yields, and a flattening Yield Curve) would ride with the good times but signal an end to those good times when reaching destination (Amigos 1 & 2 got home but #3, the Yield Curve is still out there). Here is the latest Amigos status update from October: SPX/Gold, 30yr Yields & Yield Curve.

Today I would like to stick with a cyclical macro view, but do so through a lens filtered by the ultimate counter-cyclical asset, gold. As market participants, we are lost if we do not have road maps. That is why we (NFTRH) gauged Semi Equipment vs. Semi (and Tech), the unified messages of the macro Amigo indicators and many other breadth and cyclical indicators along the way to safely guide us to Q4 2018, which has been a challenge for many, but business as usual for those of us who were prepared.

But gold, which all too often gets tied up in an ‘inflation protection’ pitch by commodity bulls, is one of the best signalers of a counter-cyclical backdrop as its best characteristic is that of value retention and capital preservation. Gold, being outside the constellation of risk ‘on’ assets does not pay any income, does not leverage good economic times and does not inherently involve risk because it is a marker of stable value. Hence its underperformance during cyclical good times (leverage and all) and its outperformance during troubled counter-cyclical times.

So let’s take an updated look at gold vs. various cyclical items Continue reading "Cyclical Assets Vs. Gold"