Here comes the index funds and the hedge funds on the return to the “anti-dollar” move.
You will recall they all began a mass exodus beginning in July of last year that took many months to complete as they had built a massive long position across the entire gamut of commodity markets. Those long positions were as much a play on the weaker dollar as they were on a move to hard assets or tangibles as investors were fearful of the spectre of runaway inflation with the Dollar the probing new life time lows. That all came to a screeching halt as risk aversion and the need for cash to meet both redemption requests and margin calls resulted in a wholesale repatriation of funds from emerging markets abroad and a huge reversal in the Yen carry trade. We all know the results of that by now having watched it unfolding before our eyes – the Dollar embarked on a sharp move higher which sent commodity prices crashing alongside of equities as every single commodity market was crushed with not even gold being spared for a short season before it took on its historic safe haven role.
What we are now seeing continue this morning after beginning yesterday, are these same exact players who bailed out en masse, now returning en masse to the commodity markets as the long term implications of the Fed’s announcement becomes crystallized in the minds of investors world wide. The death knell of the US Dollar was just rung by Bernanke and company – we wonder how many heard it. Their action guarantees that the US will experience at some point in the not-too-distant future soaring inflation with the increasing likelihood of a hyperinflationary event following. Think about what they announced and sweep aside all the high-sounding phrases and flowery rhetoric – they are going to create in excess of US $1 trillion out of thin air and buy US debt . This is the very monetization that we have been predicting they would be forced to resort to but which we were somehow hoping could be avoided for the sake of our nation’s future.
The cards have been dealt and the Fed has shown its hand – with the US embarking on a spending spree that makes the word “orgy” too mild to describe it, they have decided to devalue the currency and debauch our Dollar. They have no other choice now short of defaulting on our debt obligations. I am not sure how this is going to go down with the Chinese who have become our largest holder of US debt but I would strongly suspect that the Chinese will move with even greater speed in their reserve diversification process. I also suspect that the recent chatter coming from several quarters about the need to have a new global reserve currency or some combination thereof is going to garner more earnestness. If the path which the Fed has chosen to follow were being implemented by any other nation on the face of this earth, the currency of that nation would immediately become practically worthless overnight. The only thing that allows the Fed to get away with this con is the fact that the Dollar is the global reserve currency. How do you think this is going to sit with other nations around the world? I am both sickened and angered by what these men, who were given a stewardship of our national currency, have done to us. As I have said many times before, I would much prefer to see a sound US economy, sound monetary policy, a balanced budget and responsible spending and taxing policies. Instead we have the worst of all possible worlds. All we can now do is to attempt to protect our wealth from the ravages that are going to be inflicted upon it. It is coming and nothing can avoid the consequences of this action.
Gold continued its torrid reversal off the lows made early in yesterday’s session. It experienced a bit of selling during the Asian session last evening as shorts were trying to push it back below the technically significant $930 level. They failed. It ran right on into the heavy resistance band on the charts near $960 this morning which is the level that is so critical for the shorts to defend if they are going to prevent an almost immediate return to the $1000 level. A breach of $960 that can hold that level for a couple of hours and many of the shorts will cover. That will also bring in fresh money from the momentum funds which have been sitting on the sidelines who are watching to see if that level will fall before their algorithms kick in. See the chart for the technical levels…
Yesterday’s volume readings in gold were huge with over 269,000 contracts trading hands. I have not yet had time to check it against the data base but it certainly was one of the largest volumes I can recall seeing. Interesting enough open interest increased only a relatively minor amount in that wild session indicating that a whole lot of hurt was administered to both longs and shorts yesterday.
The HUI and the XAU both ran right up their recent swing highs and are attempting to gather enough momentum to break above those levels. For the HUI that means a breach of the 326- 328 level need to occur and hold to set up a solid trending move higher. The XAU looks a bit stronger technically than the HUI as it breached its former swing high near 135 but it needs to push above there a bit further for a bona fide breakout to occur. The move in both indices is occurring with several technical indicators on the daily charts not yet in the overbought zones so they are primed technically for further gains if the bulls can perform and the shorts will blink. Stay tuned on this one. The weekly charts show both indices right on the 50 week moving average so how they can finish out this week will tell us a great deal about what to expect moving forward. If they can best the 50 week average, then the next target is the 100 week moving average.
The Dollar – what can one say about it now except that the charts have turned decidedly ugly. A look at the weekly continuous chart shows what could very well be a long term double top at the 90 level on the USDX. It would take a weekly close below the 79 level to confirm that but all of the technical indicators are showing very strong bearish divergence signals on that same chart. There is support at the 40 week moving average near 81.60 and then again at the 50 week moving average near the 79.90 – 80.00 level. If those were to fail, it would not take a lot of time to see the dollar move back down towards it all time lows. Remember that there is or should I say was, a sizeable speculative long contingent in the Dollar according to the recent COT reports. Those folks rushing into the long side of the dollar for a safe haven play were blindsided by Bernanke and company. Nothing like a long side spec flush as the friends of gold can well attest to after having watched so many of them for the last 8 years.
I have been monitoring the action in the bond market this morning as I was particularly interested in seeing whether we would get much more in the way of upside action after that mind-boggling, stunning move yesterday. The Fed has obviously moved to put at least a short term bottom in the bond market – technically it cannot be argued otherwise, but what I am personally watching is to see just how high bond traders can take this thing especially with outside support that in the past was forthcoming from foreign Central Banks, particularly the Chinese, Japanese and the OPEC block of nations. Keep in mind that with the slowdown in global trade and the drop off in Chinese and Japanese exports, not to mention the big drop off in OPEC oil revenues, there is a lot less in the way of Dollars that need to be recycled into US Treasuries from those sources. That is a very large chunk of buying that has evaporated from the bond markets at the same moment in time that the supply is being ramped up exponentially. That is not going to be lost on traders although many shorts are no doubt a bit hesitant to step back in front of those things after the shellacking they received yesterday. The question traders will be asking is whether the announced Fed buys will be sufficient to offset the drop off in buying from abroad. We will see soon enough.
Equities gave up a good portion of their gains from yesterday (at least they have as I am writing this). Perhaps the euphoria has run smack dab into reality.
I might mention here that the Fed’s quantitative easing looks to have been the spark that took crude oil up and over the $50 level. That is no mean feat especially considering the fact that we were swimming in a sea of the stuff for the immediate term. You might recall that crude oil became a proxy for the ills of the US Dollar back during the commodity boom of recent memory with many investment funds pouring money into the black gold as an inflation hedge. At the time many commercials were bewailing the fact that the specs were driving prices beyond the boundaries of fundamental value but they were powerless to halt the rise. With the global economy as sick as it currently is, the conditions are obviously different than before the bubble burst but the fact remains that many investors have come to view crude oil as a play on inflation. That must be respected. We would all do well to also recall Monty’s recent missive on crude oil and his astute observations on the long term outlook for the gooey stuff (how is that for proper, sophisticated nomenclature?).
Let’s keep watch also on the commodity currencies, the Aussie, Kiwi and Loonie to see how they fare. All are up today against the greenback. If the focus of the markets shifts to inflation fears away from deflation fears, those currencies should benefit. I am wondering what the Swiss monetary authorities must now be thinking after watching every single bit of the fruits of last week’s foray into the Forex markets to knock the props out from under the Swissie go up in smoke. The Swissie not only took back all of its losses; it even added more gains just for spite. I am curious whether they will come back in and try again. I would also venture to say that the Swiss monetary authorities must be FUMING at the US Fed right about now. With the Dems in Congress poking them in the eye over Swiss bank secrecy and picking on UBS, it is not too much of a stretch of the imagination to state that US/Swiss relations are probably at an all time low. The only question I have now is who is going to be next in this game of musical chairs of currency devaluation that is taking place.
One last thing – the collapse in the Dollar with the subsequent strong move higher in the competing major currencies has pushed the gold price down in those terms. We will want
to see how gold responds to this in the days ahead as the ideal environment for the yellow metal is a simultaneous move higher in terms of all major currencies, and not just in US Dollar terms. I would prefer to see Euro-priced gold keep its footing near the €700 level and British Pound priced gold hovering near the 650 level and then moving higher. That would indicate that the ferocious gold buying that had been coming out of Europe and Britain a few weeks ago was not just a flash in pan but can be sustained.
Click chart to enlarge today’s hourly action in Gold in PDF format with commentary from Trader Dan Norcini