Displaying items by tag: metals
Gold has been in the doldrums for a long time (and we mean long). The shiny metal is still down over 35% from its peak in 2011, and it has lost 8% this year. However, Barron’s is arguing that it is time for gold to shine. They argue that since gold is currently very cheap relative to other asset classes and inflation is increasing, the metal is poised to make a comeback. Gold has historically been a good hedge against inflation, which may drive its renewed appeal as inflation rises. The metal is currently trading around $1,200 per ounce.
FINSUM: The problem with this argument is that gold also tends to weaken as rates rise (because it has zero yield). So, how much will that offset any gains?
All precious metals have been in a tough bear market for several years. Rising rates and a strengthening Dollar have effectively blocked any recovery. The question then is when do they get cheap enough that it is a no-brainer buy? Perhaps right now. Gold’s ratio to silver just hit its highest point since 2008, making silver a buy. Silver has fallen 16% this year, almost double gold’s fall, making it the cheapest in a decade. Gold currently trades at over 80x silver, compared to a ratio of just above 30x in 2011.
FINSUM: The big question here is a catalyst. What would spark a rally? We are not specialists in precious metals, so we won’t comment, but we are sure it will take something significant to break a 6-year slump like this one.
(Rio de Janeiro)
The outlook for emerging markets appears to be dimming. While Turkey’s troubles are well-know, widespread weakness in EM currencies is rattling the markets. EM equities are flirting with a bear market and metals prices have dropped sharply, with the latter hurting EM economies in particular. The worries over EM stocks are now seeping into Eurozone banks, where fears for lending losses are rising. One research analyst sums it up this way, saying “The combination of stronger currencies, lower commodity prices, and potentially weaker bank credit creation is a disinflationary headwind for developed markets in the near term”.
FINSUM: There are many factors which seem to be dragging emerging market economies downward, and that may be a bad sign for the global economy as a whole.
Most sources, including FINSUM, have been concluding that the emerging markets flare up centered on Turkey, would not develop into a correction or financial crisis for developed markets. Today that position is looking weaker, as stocks fell sharply across the world yesterday, and commodity markets got routed. Emerging market stock indices have fallen back into a bear market. While EMs fell big, global markets saw share plunges exacerbated by a dismal earnings report for one of China’s big tech companies, which then seeped into tech shares globally.
FINSUM: The narrative here is that Turkey sparked a big selloff and now fears over China will continue to drag EMs down. This could be the start of a global recession, but perhaps it will not be accompanied by huge losses in developed markets.
For those paying attention, the metals market is sending some very worrying signs. Copper and other metals have been going through a rough patch, but yesterday seemed to really spell doom. Copper plunged into a bear market, zinc plummeted, and even gold took a big hit despite the panic across markets. Industrial commodities are a good bellwether for economic activity, and while the markets are partly plunging on worries over the Chinese economy, the big drops signal that the whole world could be in for a recession.
FINSUM: We are growing increasingly concerned about the message that metals markets are sending. The big drop across the board in industrial commodities is quite worrying. Hopefully it is a short-term overreaction to the trouble in emerging markets.