It has been over a month since my last entry on the markets, and aside from a few Twitter posts, most of my analysis has been confined to my desktop. The impact of the coronavirus on the retail precious metals market has been historic, with dueling supply and demand shocks, and as president of Texas Precious Metals, my time has been consumed by day-to-day operations. I finally have a bit of a respite this afternoon to share a few thoughts on the metals markets.
The sell off in markets accelerated by coronavirus and the global reaction to curtail the pandemic has left no prisoners, as nearly all asset classes are selling off in a flight to liquidity. As large institutions face margin calls, they are forced to close positions or raise cash by selling anything and everything that is liquid. Gold and silver – the “safe haven” assets – are no exception. I would remind readers that in the global financial crisis gold fell 27% and silver fell 55% in nominal terms. Gold outperformed equities on a relative basis, but silver actually underperformed.
Fear or Greed?
The last two weeks have been extremely volatile in the markets, and for the first time in a long time my friends and family have called to inquire about “what is going on in the markets?” Coronavirus contagion fears, coinciding with all-time highs in the markets, has been the scapegoat for a rapid, deflationary decline across nearly all markets except bonds, which resiliently continued to fetch a bid. Even the US Dollar, traditionally a safe haven in deflationary swoons, declined.
Which Asset Class Will Outperform?
In advance of tomorrow’s Fed meeting and decision on interest rates, I am closely monitoring the S&P500 priced in gold. The S&P500 has broken out to all-time highs and has successfully retested the breakout, while gold has retreated ~$100 from its highs in August, either setting up a washout to a new near term bottom (possibly backtesting the entire breakout from $1380), or preparing for a rally to retest the $1580 level after a multi-month bull flag.
Mining Stocks Leading Gold Higher?
I produced this video on the gold and silver mining sector last night, and as of this morning gold is up significantly and all of the mining stocks continue to follow through. Gold (see chart above) just broke above horizontal resistance and is now looking to break up from the August downtrend channel. A move above $1495 would resume the uptrend from 4Q18, where channel support recently held. As presented in early November, I continue to believe this is a Wave 4 of 5, and that we will retest the highs at $1560-$1580. A close above $1495 would confirm it.
$GDX $GDXJ $ABX $NEM $XME $WPM $GOLD.V