You have to be really impressed by gold’s performance today. It had three, no, make that four, strikes against it. First, the equity markets dropped sharply. Second, bonds ran strongly higher in a flight to safety. Thirdly, the Dollar was marginally higher. Fourthly, crude oil dropped nearly $3.00 barrel while copper was hit hard. In other words, all of the usual deflation trades were back on today with investors/traders moving towards the risk aversion plays. Yet, gold refused to break down and around mid morning began climbing back into positive territory. At the same time, the mining shares also moved well of their lows helping to further confirm the strength at the Comex. As the session wore on, gold gained more upside momentum closing the pit session trade just off its best level of the day.
The price action in gold indicates that it is trading on its own merits for at least today and acting like the proverbial safe haven that it has always been historically. The fund algorithms have seriously distorted this role recently because those computer generated trades just jettison nearly everything in sight when their set of various inputs signal sells. The notion that gold is a “risky” asset that should get sold during such times when risk is being avoided contradicts history yet that is exactly what has tended to occur with the metal particularly when equities were being sold off. Remember, these computer generated trades are just that, “computer generated”. As such they are generally not selective but are rather quite indiscriminate as there is no human thinking or analysis involved. All that these infernal things are designed to do is to front run other orders coming in or jam prices higher or lower in the pursuit of ultra short term profits. That is what makes today’s move higher in gold so telling. Someone is buying in sufficient size to absorb any algorithm selling along with the usual bullion bank price capping efforts.
That brings me to the Dollar – it continues to gain at the expense of the Euro, the Swiss Franc, and the British Pound (read that as Europe land) as it is winning by default rather than any bullish scenario. Even at that, I keep mentioning its deteriorating price chart. The bearish divergence continues to show itself and momentum is waning but the bears just cannot seem to break it down technically. We will need to watch the 80 level on the USDX to see if the shorts can knock it below there. If so, they have a legitimate shot at taking it down to 79.75 where a large number of technical sell stop orders are waiting. With the kind of strength gold has been demonstrating by its refusal to break down, a technical sell off in the Dollar should easily allow gold to break through the barrier erected at $1,130. We will have to wait and see how things develop.
I mentioned yesterday that the bulls in the mining sector need to hold the line near the 390 level in the HUI to prevent a move down towards the 375 level. They are digging in admirably this morning but will still need to push the shares high enough to move the index back above the 405 level to generate increased nervousness among the shorts, who have got to be disappointed that they could not build on yesterday’s downside momentum. They were certainly running to cover this morning once price took out yesterday’s high. Support in the HUI lies at today’s low near 380 with stronger support at 375.
The long bond is back above the major moving averages climbing above the resistance barrier corresponding to the 20 day moving average having flipped the technical indicators back to the buy side. We will need to see how they act the next few sessions to see if they too are ranging. As you can probably tell by now, there are not a lot of these major markets that are trending right now in the short term but are rather bouncing back and forth in a range trade as players try to figure out what is next (inflation or deflation).
Click chart to enlarge today’s hourly action in Gold in PDF format with commentary from Trader Dan Norcini