Displaying items by tag: metals
If you are a gold bull, this has been a really rough period. While gold has been weakening for years (relative to the market), the last several weeks has been particularly concerning. Despite all the turmoil in global markets that has come alongside Turkey’s financial crisis, gold just hit its weakest level since March 2017. Further, despite many panics in markets this year, gold has fallen 9% and has not gained from its reputation as a safe haven. The rising strength of the US Dollar has not helped gold’s prospects.
FINSUM: Gold is down to around $1,200 an ounce despite all that has happened this year. If the bear market had not been going on so long, it would almost seem like a buying opportunity, but rising rates and a rising Dollar are strong headwinds even if fundamentals changed.
Those hoping the current turmoil in the technology sector may turn around the fate of gold will be upset by new data. Gold has suffered its worst start to a year in almost a decade despite the fact that the US equity market was in a correction for much of it. Now, economic data shows that demand for the shiny metal is at its lowest since 2009. The big drop in drop demand did not stem from industry, but instead from investment markets, with ETFs buying ~60% less gold in the last year than the year prior.
FINSUM: Gold is in a tough and interesting spot. On the one hand, it is easy to see why rising rates have depressed gold prices. But on the other, it seems gold have should have benefitted from all the geopolitical and market instability of this year.
The commodities market is taking a wallop across the board today. It seemed to start earlier this week with oil dropping on fears over weakening Chinese GDP. Weaker growth would mean less demand for oil. Now, those fears have spread across most of the commodities market, with metals currently selling off strongly on the same fears. The renewed selling follows losses nearing 20% in industrial metals over the last month.
FINSUM: Remember that commodities markets are often a leading recession indicator, so this data does not bode well. Though in this case, it seems to be GDP data leading commodities, which is a bit back-to-front.
President Trump has been leading a tumultuous trade war with the US’ largest trading partners. So far his efforts have put tariffs on many different goods, but with metals being the single most notable materials. However, a new interview with the President suggests that the metal tariffs were just an opening act to a much bigger area: autos. In an interview with Fox News yesterday, Trump said “You know, the cars are the big one … We can talk steel, we talk everything. The big thing is cars”. Trump is reportedly planning a 20% tariff on all imported cars as part of a national security measure.
FINSUM: We believe this would be a major line in the sand to the US’ trading partners. Both our Nafta partners and the EU, and maybe Japan, would be furious about this, but it is a major source of leverage for the US.
It might be a great time to buy gold, or at least that is what one of the top gold funds on the street is saying. VanEck International Investors Gold fund, which has routinely outperformed peers, says Gold is finally likely to break out its narrow trading range. Gold suffered a terrible bear market from 2011 to 2015, and prices are low and there is little selling pressure. This, coupled with heightened geopolitical risk and inflation, mean that gold seems likely to find a catalyst for strong performance.
FINSUM: We do agree that prices are low and there is little selling pressure, but there have been plenty of other times there were geopolitical catalysts, so it is hard for us to get behind that notion.