Comm: Precious

(Houston)

Many investors are simply unfazed by the current trade war erupting between the US and China (just look at share prices for evidence). However, even those who may be bullish on equities need to be worried for oil. While the increasing sanctions on Iran are supportive of prices, a trade war would likely be very bad. The reason why is that increasing tariffs would likely cause an economic downturn in emerging markets, which would then heavily sap oil demand, leading prices lower.


FINSUM: The oil and other commodity markets are demand-driven (and realistic) in a way that stocks aren’t. Watch them for where the economy is actually headed.

(New York)

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.

(Houston)

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.

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