By way of the CBOE:
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Some deep thoughts from Goldman Sachs, by way of Jeffrey Currie and team, on the drivers of the current commodity sell-off (and no, their short gold advice from last week isn’t listed as one of them):
The sharp sell-off in gold was triggered by growing fears that the central bank of Cyprus would sell its gold reserves, potentially reflecting a larger monetization of gold reserves across other European central banks. The decline in prices was exacerbated by the breach of key technical price support level at $1,530/toz and then at the $1,434/toz 200-week moving average, creating the largest one day decline. Spillover from gold and renewed European and EM macroeconomic concerns also created sharp sell-offs in crude oil and base metals, that were mostly front-end driven, crushing spreads (the carry), as longer-dated prices remained remarkably stable.
If the meteoric rise and fall of the cyber crypto currency Bitcoin this month teaches us anything, it’s the degree to which a market can be influenced by internet hysteria, viral marketing and propaganda.
There is no intrinsic value to a Bitcoin. Read more
The biggest ASX fallers on Monday…
… all gold.
(yes, even PanAust)
From Capital Economics on Friday:
At the time of writing (Friday afternoon in the UK), equity and commodity prices and government bond yields are all falling sharply. This appears to be in response to weaker-than-anticipated US data on retail sales and consumer confidence (discussed further below). If so, this is probably an overreaction, as the figures were hardly disastrous. The falls in the prices of riskier assets may also have been exaggerated by week-end position squaring after the Bank of Japan-inspired rally in the previous days.
Nonetheless, most of these moves are consistent with our long-held view that a disappointing global recovery will cause the equity market rally to run out of steam, the prices of industrial commodities to fall further (with Brent crude in particular heading back below $100) and 10-year US Treasury yields to dip to 1.5% or so by year-end. The pick-up in market volatility more generally is something that we had been anticipating too.
Societe Generale’s big (bearish) scorecard on “the end of the gold era” – click to enlarge:
Here follows a thoughtful commentary on the changes going on in gold market from BNY Mellon’s Neil Mellor, including the point that central bank purchases are in many ways helping to stabilise what might otherwise be a much more substantial slump.
Our emphasis throughout… Read more
Almost a year ago the Telegraph’s Thomas Pascoe put out an interesting piece on gold. We’ve decided to reprise it this Friday because we think it offers an interesting and useful perspective on current developments in the gold market:
One of the most popular trading plays of the late 1990s was the carry trade, particularly the gold carry trade. In this a bank would borrow gold from another financial institution for a set period, and pay a token sum relative to the overall value of that gold for the privilege.
Anyone who bought gold in 2008 is probably more than tempted to cash in their profits right about now.
Reflecting the scale of the change in sentiment — and confirming that there was indeed something of a choke level for gold at around the $1,908 mark — is the following chart from Macro Risk Advisors which neatly sums up the degree to which investors have been liquidating gold ETF positions. Read more
Last week, Kit Juckes at SocGen was one of many analysts who, after looking at the latest FOMC minutes, found fit to arrive at one overriding conclusion: the era of Risk-on, Risk-off (RoRo) investing is arguably coming to an end.
As he explained… Read more
We made the case a few weeks ago that the gold price may have reached its choke level and that it was arguably capped from that point on. One good indicator of this, we noted, was the divergence between the gold price — which had been flat-lining for some time — and real interest rates.
It’s also hard to ignore gold’s reaction to the latest Fed announcement, which has been intriguingly bearish to say the least Read more
The following chart, we propose, has the potential to inspire a whole new way of looking at the gold and Treasury market:
Gold experienced a sizable wobble on Wednesday, so no surprise people are still trying to make sense of it.
The best comment we’ve seen come from Commerzbank and UBS on Thursday who suggest a fat finger or rogue computer algorithm could be to blame for the disturbance… Read more
Now there’s this:
“We have been in discussions with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York about the Bundesbank’s holdings of gold,” the Bundesbank said yesterday in a letter to the German parliament’s budget committee. “The discussions have been fruitful and the Federal Reserve has expressed a commitment to work with the Bundesbank to explore ways to address the audit observations, consistent with its own security and control processes and logistical constraints.”
There will be a few people hoping this practice doesn’t spread: Read more
Germany has the second largest gold reserves in the world, nearly 3400 tons. Supposedly, anyway. Because stocks have never been checked for authenticity and weight. Now, the Federal Court has asked the Bundesbank to examine the gold reserves abroad regularly.
The price of gold has been all over the place in the past twelve months. No matter, say James Steel and Howard Wen at HSBC; they remain bullish on the yellow metal and expect prices to hit $1,900 before the end of the year. They also raise their average price forecasts for 2013 and 2014 to $1,850 and $1,775 respectively, but lower the 2012 average to $1,700 from $1,760.
As the graph below suggests, expectations of monetary policy in the US have been the key drivers, offsetting somewhat sluggish global demand. Read more
That’s the title of a note from ING’s chief international economist Rob Carnell on Monday. It had us worried. That is, until we remembered Betteridge’s Law of Headlines and skipped straight to the conclusion:
To wrap up, gold standards may have a long tradition in Europe and the US. But then we also used to send children up chimneys and burn witches. There is little to argue for a return to such practices today. Read more
While there was a time that the gold price represented a useful expression of investor concerns over currency debasement, that may no longer be the case. So says Simon Derrick from the Bank of New York Mellon, who argued last week that it’s probably time to re-evaluate the signals coming from the bullion market.
As he wrote last Wednesday: Read more
The official rate in Poland is 4.75 per cent.
Yet, across the Polish high street a slew of so-called ‘para-banks’, regularly offer interest rates in excess of 8 per cent. Read more
In our previous post, we made the point that if the old goldbug accusation that central banks and bullion banks were suppressing the gold price by selling or lending gold into the market is true, then in the current cash-for-gold universe — which features negative gold lease rates — the opposite must apply.
That is, the very same entities may now, if anything, be supporting prices in the market. Read more
A while ago we observed that negative gold leasing rates were potentially signalling something awry with the Libor rate.
That judging by gold forwards, the Libor component of the gold lease rate calculation (Libor-GOFO = Lending rate) was coming in much lower than what might otherwise be expected. Read more
In 2010, when the BIS first revealed that it held gold swap agreements worth SDR8.16bn (representing 346 tonnes of gold) the revelation knocked the gold market.
That’s because rather than making money (or yield) from lending out its gold — as the BIS usually did — it had become cost effective for the BIS to lend out currency against gold collateral instead. Read more