Goldman Sachs sees risk of U.S. dollar nearing a ‘messy top’

BNN Bloomberg/Austin Weinstein/12-11-2018

“Timing is the messy part. ‘You can’t say with great conviction that these variables are going to be moving quickly and linearly to a dollar-weaker outcome,’ Pandl said. The outlook only adds to a dour picture for dollar bulls. Analysts from Morgan Stanley, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and Citi all see a weaker dollar in 2019, as zesty U.S. growth converges with a more subdued global growth rate.”

USAGOLD note:  Over the past few years, dollar strength has equated to gold weakness.  If Goldman, BoAML and Citi are correct, we may see the opposite effect.

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Gold-Silver COT reports – Monday release

GoldSeek/12-10-2018

Last week’s report

This week’s full report


Silver speculators cut their bearish bets to lowest level in 17 weeks

Investing.com/Zachary Storella/12-10-2018

“Large precious metals speculators reduced their bearish net positions in the Silver futures markets last week, according to the latest Commitment of Traders (COT) data released by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) on Monday which was a delay due to former President George H.W. Bush’s funeral last week.”

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‘No one questions its value. . .’ – Alan Greenspan

“No one refuses gold as payment to discharge an obligation. Credit instruments and fiat currency depend on the credit worthiness of a counter-party. Gold, along with silver, is one of the only currencies that has an intrinsic value. It has always been that way. No one questions its value, and it has always been a valuable commodity, first coined in Asia Minor in 600 BC.” – Alan Greenspan, former chairman of the Federal Reserve


Image courtesy of the British Museum Collection/Lydia, croesid, ca 550 BC


Repost from 10/15/2018

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Better Business Bureau Five Star Review

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Recent Better Business Bureau Client Review

“In June, 2009, I decided to make gold ownership an essential part of my investment portfolio. Based on the recommendation of financial professionals, and because I liked that they had been in business for so long, I contacted USAGOLD. After a thorough review of my financial goals and budget constraints, they provided me with a comprehensive set of suggestions as to which gold coins, and what quantities, I should consider. That advice perfectly addressed my investment needs and I have been a customer ever since. Over my years with USAGOLD, I have completed several transactions, both buying and selling gold. Each one was handled with the highest integrity, and the advice I received was always reliable, based on their extensive awareness of current and projected market conditions for gold. I recommend them without reservation. Do not make a decision regarding gold ownership without contacting them.” – Jack D., 1-31-2017

Scorecard: 38 43 48 five star reviews. Zero complaints.
A+ rating. Accredited since 1991.

[Link]

USAGOLD Recommendation: The precious metals industry is unique in the financial industry in that it is not subject to oversight or regulation by third-party government entities like the SEC or CFTC. As such, marketplace forums and feedback sites often serve as a replacement for investors attempting due diligence. While several options can be found, by far the most impartial and least susceptible to vested influence is the Better Business Bureau. When looking at a company’s BBB profile, don’t focus solely on the rating. To be honest, pretty much everybody has an ‘A’ or ‘A+’ rating. What is far more important to assess is the number and nature of complaints, number and caliber of positive and negative reviews, longevity with the BBB, as well as the number of ‘stars’ given a company through the actual customer review system.

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Where does Russia keep its huge gold reserves?

Canton Caller/Staff

“Nearly two thirds of the nation’s gold is reportedly kept in a Central Bank repository in Moscow with the rest is stored in the country’s Northern capital of St. Petersburg and the Ural city of Yekaterinburg. Russia’s gold is reportedly kept in bullions weighing from 100 grams to 14 kilograms. “

USAGOLD note:  A fascinating quick overview on Russia’s “affection for gold [which] dates back to the Tsarist era.”


Image: Russia 20 ruble, Tsar Nicholas II
Repost from 10-18-2018

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Former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker thinks ‘we’re in a hell of a mess’

CNBC/Jeff Cox/10-23-2018

“When Volcker looks around now, he sees ‘a hell of a mess in every direction,’ including a lack of basic respect for government institutions, a current Fed that seems to be following a completely arbitrary benchmark and a ‘swamp’ in Washington run by plutocrats.”

USAGOLD note:  Volcker has always been known for speaking his mind plainly and usually with deep insight.  In that single sentence, though, he seems to have outdone himself. . . .and pretty much summed things up.


Image by European People’s Party (EPP Congress Bonn) [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons [Edited]

Repost from 10-24-2018

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No DMR today

Please check back.  We will update if anything of interest develops.

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Why the Fed could surprise the world next week with no rate hike

Yahoo/Heidi Chung/12-10-2018

“Though it is still widely expected that the Federal Reserve will be raising interest rates at their Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting next week, Neil Dutta, head of economics at Renaissance Macro Research, argued that it’s not completely out of the question to skip a hike this month.”

USAGOLD note:  Gold would likely view such a turn of events favorably. . . . . . .

 

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JP Morgan: Odds of a recession in next two years skyrocket to 70%

Money and Markets/J.T. Crowe/12-10-2018

“But with the Fed still raising interest rates while the prospect of an all-out trade war with China continues to grow, JPMorgan’s real-time quaint monitor now gives the U.S. a 30 percent chance of recession in the next year — up from just 16 percent last March — and a 70 percent chance of recession in the next two years.”

USAGOLD note:  It is precisely because of concerns about a recession, along with a multitude of other dangers too numerous to chronicle in this short note, that the Fed sent out feelers over the last two weeks about slowing down its rate-raising plans.  So why did the stock market tank instead of righting itself and heading higher when the Fed’s intentions became apparent?  In short, professional investors began moving out of stocks and into Treasuries. The beneficial effects in the gold market have been thus far restrained, but it did stage a minor rally that took it to the $1250 level.

 

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Fed supports gold

Degussa Market Report/Thorsten Polleit, Editor/12-10-2018

“That said, holding a part of one’s liquid means in the form of ‘gold money’ should provide an effective hedge against the vagaries of central bank monetary policies – especially so because gold does not appear to be dear at current prices. In other words: Gold can be viewed as portfolio insurance which has a considerable upward value potential – especially so when investor confidence in central banks starts to decline.”

USAGOLD note:  Degussa does a good job connecting the dots between the change in Fed policy – if indeed there has been a change – and the price of gold.

 

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Stock sell-off boosting gold price

Adam Hamilton/Gold Eagle/12-7-2018

“Gold has always been an essential asset class for prudently diversifying investment portfolios. Uniquely it tends to rally when stock markets weaken, offsetting some of the losses in typical stock-heavy portfolios. Gold acts like portfolio insurance, usually soaring when stock markets plunge on unforeseen news. All throughout history, wise investors have recommended everyone have 5% to 10% of their portfolios in gold.  But like insurance in general, the important role gold plays in portfolios is gradually forgotten when it isn’t needed.”

USAGOLD note: Adam Hamilton’s view of gold as portfolio insurance comprises the essential rationale for gold ownership and the one we have advocated for over forty years.

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South African gold industry enters final phase of slow death

Bloomberg/Felix Njini/12-9-2018

“The nation’s 130-year-old gold industry — which has produced half the bullion ever mined on earth — is locked in the final stages of a decades-long death spiral. Most of South Africa’s gold mines are unprofitable at current prices.”

USAGOLD note:  South Africa was once the leading gold producer in the world. The U.S. Geological Survey now ranks it number seven. . . .and sinking.  USGS ranks it second in the world for in-ground reserves. How viable, though, is that storehouse of gold if it cannot be mined economically?  Another aspect of South Africa’s gold mining problems are what they might portend for other producing countries dealing with similar circumstances but not yet to the degree suffered by South Africa.

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Short and Sweet

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Not a matter of if but when. . . . . .

The lesson is one as old as the gold market itself:  The best time to buy is when the market is quiet – a strategy that requires both discipline and conviction.  As an old friend and client used to say (he passed away years ago):  “It is not a question of if but when.” He accumulated a large hoard of the metal in the 1990s and early 2000s between $300 and $600 per ounce, and lived to see his prediction come true.  His estate though was the ultimate beneficiary of his wisdom. He was not one to sell gold once he had acquired it.  We chatted regularly on the phone back then and I told him that I had used the story just told in one of my newsletters.  He was in his late 80s at the time. “Tell them,” he said resolutely, “that I bought my first ounce of gold at $35.”

The possession of gold has ruined fewer men than the lack of it.”
– Thomas Bailey Aldrich –

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Favorite web pages

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What you need to know before you buy
your first ounce of gold

Some initial guidelines from one of America’s top gold experts

New to the idea of including gold in your investment portfolio?
If so, you might have questions.

This page is for you.

If you are new to the concept of gold ownership, you might be looking for a little guidance. We, at USAGOLD, have been in the gold business for a good many years and the one thing that stands out to us in working with so many over the years is how often investors, for one reason or another, get off to a bad start.

That is why we developed a question and answer page many years ago that delves into the subject of GETTING OFF TO THE RIGHT START. We update it regularly as things can change rapidly in the gold and silver markets. The page is linked above and we recommend that newcomers spend the few minutes it takes to get through it. . . .

This page receives considerably high-ranking from Google on a number of important searches and we like to think it’s because of the cause it serves – providing some positive direction to investors trying to get off to a solid start in their pursuit of gold ownership.

If you would like to talk with a real, live gold expert about your needs, try this phone number or drop us an e-mail:

1-800-869-5115
Extension #100

– or–

orderdesk@usagold.com

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Gold industry sees prices rising to $1,532/oz over 12 months

Reuters/Peter Hobson

 “The price of gold is expected to rise to $1,532 an ounce by October next year, delegates to the London Bullion Market Association’s annual gathering predicted on Tuesday.”

USAGOLD note:  The annual consensus prediction from the LBMA is usually a low number, so the $1532 an ounce comes as a surprise.  In a separate report, Kitco quotes Ruth Crowell, the LBMA’s chief executive as saying “this is the most bullish forecast since 2012.”  Neither article mentions just what might have prompted the unusually high number.  The membership of the London Bullion Market Association consists of key players in the gold market – banks, financial institutions, refiners, miners, etc.


Repost from October 30, 2018

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Huge cosmic explosions that produce platinum, silver and gold may be more common than previously thought

Newsweek/Aristos Georgiou

“‘A kilonova is a flash of light produced by the radioactive debris of a neutron star collision,’ Troja said. ‘During the collision a lot of neutron-rich stuff is spewed into space at a velocity that is 20-30 percent the speed of light. In these extreme conditions something very special happens: neutron star matter turns into gold, silver, platinum, uranium… all the metals heavier than iron are forged in these cosmic collisions.'”

USAGOLD note:  I would not be surprised to see the Wall Street anti-gold crowd use this discovery as a justification to short gold on the COMEX [smile].


NASA image, Spitzer Space Telescope Cassiopeia A – supernova remnant, public domain/WikiMedia Commons


Repost from 10-18-2018

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DMR–Gold encounters resistance at $1250 mark in overnight trading, a possibly tumultuous week directly ahead

DAILY MARKET REPORT

Gold encountered what appears, at least for now, to be minor resistance at the $1250 mark with a tumultuous week for markets behind us and a new and perhaps even more imposing week looming ahead.  I say imposing because the markets face a minefield of reports and events this week any one of which could dish out a fair share of damage in financial markets.  Today we have the auction of short-term Treasury bills (3- and 6-month).  Tomorrow we have the producer price index and crude oil stocks.  Wednesday we have the core inflation rate, jobless claims and another bond auction (30-year).  If the markets are looking to get a reading of the economy, the coming week will provide plenty of statistical fodder.

As it is, gold is down $3 on the day at $1245.50 after nudging the $1250 mark in overseas trading.  Silver is down 3¢ at $14.61.

Quote of the Day
“I spoke to bankers at the time who said that what happened was supposed to be impossible, it was like the tide going out everywhere on Earth simultaneously. People had lived through crises before – the sudden crash of October 1987, the emerging markets crises and the Russian crisis of the 1990s, the dotcom bubble – but what happened in those cases was that capital fled from one place to another. No one had ever lived through, and no one thought possible, a situation where all the credit simultaneously disappeared from everywhere and the entire system teetered on the brink. The first weekend of October 2008 was a point when people at the top of the global financial system genuinely thought, in the words of George W. Bush, ‘This sucker could go down.’ RBS, at one point the biggest bank in the world according to the size of its balance sheet, was within hours of collapsing. And by collapsing I mean cashpoint machines would have stopped working, and insolvencies would have spread from RBS to other banks – and no one alive knows what that would have looked like or how it would have ended.” – John Lanchester, After the Fall

Chart of the Day

Chart note:  Rate convergence, or the flattening of rates in the popular financial parlance, is the subject of much concern on Wall Street and this chart, drawn in log scale, tells the reason why in a glance.  In pulling together the data for these charts, we could not help but take special note of the two previous occasions in which there was a similar convergence – in 2000 just before and during the bursting of the dotcom bubble and in 2007-2008 just before and during the Bear Sterns/Lehman Brothers’ implosions and the launch of the global financial crisis.  When the financial press bemoans the flattening of rates as a portent for a future recession, it is telling only part of the tale.  Beyond the threat of recession lies a much deeper concern  – the threat of another all-out financial crisis.

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The bear market is here, and stocks will plunge at least 20 percent, Ned Davis Research warns

CNBC/Stephanie Landsman/12-9-2018

“‘If you take this as a typical bear market, not associated with a recession, it’s going to take you down around 20 percent — maybe a little bit more,’ the firm’s chief U.S. market strategist told CNBC’s ‘Futures Now’ last week. ‘That’s what we need to be thinking about over the next several months.'”

USAGOLD note: Ned Davis Research’s Ed Clissold joins the bear market chorus.

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Higher silver prices ahead

ABNAmro/Georgette Boele/12-10-2018

“We think that silver prices have seen the low and we expect higher prices from now. For a start, we expect the US dollar to weaken and US Treasury yields to decline in our forecast horizon. Silver prices tend to rally when the US dollar and US Treasury yields are lower. Moreover, we expect a recovery in the Chinese yuan and also a recovery in the Indian rupee. This will brighten the demand outlook for silver prices.”

USAGOLD note:  The 85-1 ratio to gold adds to silver’s appeal at this point in time.  Silver tends to rise faster than gold in up markets and fall faster than gold in down markets. The American silver eagle (pictured above) is a high-volume alternative popular with U.S. investors.  You can purchase this item either at our Online Order Desk or by phone at 1-800-869-5115 x100.

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Markets predictions: 2019 to bring new level of uncertainty

Financial Times/Robin Wigglesworth/12-9-2018

“Danish physicist and Nobel laureate Niels Bohr famously quipped that ‘prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future’. But as 2018 enters its final stretch, Wall Street’s analysts are once again dusting off their crystal balls and attempting to map out what the coming year will look like.”

USAGOLD note:  Includes a positive assessment for gold in 2019 referencing JP Morgan and Bank of America. “A renaissance is coming.”

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Global political backlash spreads against central banks

Financial Times/Chris Giles and Sam Fleming/12-9-2018

“The technocratic tribe of central bankers is facing political scrutiny of an intensity not seen in decades. President Donald Trump ramped up his war of words with the US Federal Reserve, accusing it of having ‘gone crazy’ by raising interest rates and expressing public regrets over his choice of Jay Powell as its chairman.”

USAGOLD note:  The article goes on to point out that the U.S. central bank is not the only one facing political and public scrutiny, but one among many in the era of rising populism.  What they face now is mild compared to what is in store if the global economy takes a turn for the worse as some are predicting.

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Silicon Valley may not be ready for dangers ahead

CreditBubbleBulletin/Doug Noland/12-9-2018

“There are many aspects of the unfolding downturn that go unappreciated. I worry about deep economic structural maladjustment. How many thousands of uneconomic enterprises have propagated from all the easy finance and surging asset prices? I have deep concern for Silicon Valley. If the unfolding trade and cold war with China wasn’t enough, they’re about to get the rug pulled out from under them by the financial markets. How much perceived wealth will be lost in a bursting Bubble of inflated technology shares and private business equity, compounded by a deflating Bubble in wildly inflated real estate prices surrounding the tech hubs? I fear a complete lack of understanding and preparation.”

USAGOLD note:  Noland runs through a litany of concerns in conjunction with the credit bubble of which Silicon Vally based enterprises are just one.  Needless to say, problems in Silicon Valley would likely spread to Wall Street.

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Short and Sweet

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Gold in six easy lessons

1. Don’t buy it because you need to make money; buy it to protect the money you already made.

2. Don’t look at price as a barrier; look at it as an incentive.

3. Don’t buy the paper pretenders; buy the real thing in the form of coins and bullion.

4. Don’t fall prey to glitzy TV ads; do your due diligence instead.

5. Don’t allow naysayers to divert your interest; allow yourself the right to protect your interests as you see fit.

6. Don’t forget the golden rule: Those who own the gold make the rules!

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Why central bank buying has the gold market guessing

Bloomberg Businessweek/Rupert Rowling/10-28-2018

“The gold market was caught by surprise when two of eastern Europe’s biggest economies, Poland and Hungary, made rare purchases in recent months. Why central banks buy gold is often a major topic of market speculation. Were Poland and Hungary signaling worries about economic conditions? Were they cutting exposure to the dollar? Or maybe hedging against potential European Union sanctions?”

USAGOLD note:  How about “all of the above”. . . plus a few incentives not mentioned.  The image is from a Hungary central bank information release on its recent 28-tonne acquisition during the first two weeks of October.  Central bank gold acquisitions are rarely, if ever, announced in advance, so there is no way to know how much of this sort of thing is going on around the world at any given point in time.


Repost from 10/28/2018

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Goldman predicts commodities will soar in 2019

Bloomberg/Ranjeetha Pakiam/11-26-2018

“’Given the size of dislocations in commodity pricing relative to fundamentals — with oil now having joined metals in pricing below cost support — we believe commodities offer an extremely attractive entry point for longs in oil, gold and base,’ analysts including Jeffrey Currie said in a report.”

USAGOLD note:  Currie believes the rebound could begin as early as this week at the G-20 conference in Buenos Aires. Oil moved higher in overnight trading following last week’s declines.


Repost from 11/26/2018

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A telephone call from an old client and friend

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‘Gold shone with the placid certainty of received tradition’

“I had the happy occasion recently of receiving a telephone call from an old client and friend – a physician safely retired near the sea and alongside one of the South’s oldest golf clubs. It was good to hear from this student of the markets – one of life’s steady and thoughtful practitioners.  Back at the turn of the century, Doc foresaw much of what would happen economically in the United States and purchased what he considered enough gold to see him through it.”

[For the rest of Doc’s story we invite you to visit this link.]

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DMR-Jobs drop, gold pops; stocks face ‘psychological and algorithmic leverage’ and ‘computer herding’

DAILY MARKET REPORT

The jobs number dropped and gold popped in early Friday trading – up $7 at $1245.  Silver is up 9¢ at $14.60.

Gold’s recent stability – we hesitate to call it strength at this juncture – should be traced directly to dovish remarks emanating from the Fed. A perceived agreement on oil production among members is also adding to gold’s appeal today as are concerns about the trade negotiations between the U.S. and China – particularly in light of the arrest of Huawei’s chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, daughter of the company’s founder. “After Ms. Meng’s arrest,” says Financial Times this morning, “the deadline for progress looks like a timebomb.” Meanwhile, the president, as if nothing unusual just happened, tweets this morning that the trade talks with China “are going very well.”

On another page in the Financial Times, columnist Gillian Tett makes an attempt to explain the wild swings in financial markets, a trend that seems to be snowballing.  She passes along an interesting observation from Seth Klarman, founder of the Blaupost hedge fund. “In 2008,” he says, “we had massive disguised [debt] leverage.  Now we have less financial leverage, but there is psychological leverage.”  Is that another way of saying that the markets are on the verge of panic?

Klarman goes on to warn about “algorithmic leverage” and “computer herding” – problems we have written about on these pages for years. [Link to the full editorial] Ms Tett, who has written with distinction about the markets and their tendency toward crisis for a good many years, ends with the observation that the propensity toward wild swings rather than a sudden, full-out crash gives “seasick investors opportunity to jump ship.” That is a course of action worth pondering as we head deeper into what could be an eventful closing month to the year.

Jumping ship, we will point out, is one thing, establishing a solid portfolio hedge is another.  The first without the second may turn out to be an empty exercise.

Quote of the Day
“Our central bank monetary-led boom has made debt replace wealth for a long time. That’s not sustainable, of course. (We are ‘mining’ our soil for short-term gain.) We’ll see a return to the significance of productive stuff again I think, and that even includes farming – maybe especially farming. And the Midwest has a pretty good track record with productive stuff. Hard assets will matter again. But of course, I sound ridiculous even saying such things. Like a grumpy old grandpa.” – Mark Spitznagel, Universa Investments (as quoted by columnist, P.J. O’Rourke)

Chart of the Day

Chart note:  After all is said, as of yesterday, gold is down just less than 2% on the year.  The last twelve months have been a struggle for the yellow metal but not as much the annus horribilis some would have us think. Predictions for 2019 have begun to show up in the financial media and most surprisingly strike a positive chord. Recently published observations from ABN-Amro’s Georgette Boele are a case in point.  “Gold prices,” she says, “have declined so far this year. But 2019 and 2020 should be positive again because we expect a lower dollar, lower US Treasury yields, a recovery of the Chinese yuan and higher jewellery demand. Speculators are expected to cut their substantial short positions and gold prices should rise to above the 200-day moving average. We keep our year-end target for 2019 at USD 1,400 per ounce.”

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US becomes net oil exporter for first time in decades

Financial Times/Gregory Meyer/12-6-2018

“The US exported more petroleum than it imported for the first time in decades last week, marking an astonishing if momentary reversal from its longtime status as the world’s largest oil importer.”

USAGOLD note:  Whoudathunk? That’s the good news.  The bad news is the U.S. ran its largest trade deficit in a decade despite exporting more oil than it imported.

Chart courtesy of TradingEconomics.com

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Dovish Fed hike seen by J.P. Morgan as markets flash ‘slowdown’

Bloomberg/Cecile Gutscher/12-6-2018

“I would expect a dovish rate hike” at the Dec. 18 to 19 meeting, Michele said. “I would expect some clarity that we’re near the end” of the indicative tightening trajectory.”

USAGOLD note: I read an update yesterday that suggested we might have zero rate increases in 2019.  Any indication the Fed is leaning in that direction would likely have a profound effect on markets, including gold.

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Why buy gold now? Because I don’t know

SovereignMan/Simon Black/12-5-2018

“And right now, banks are buying up gold hand over fist. Central banks currently hold 20% of all the gold ever mined—33,000 metric tons. And JPMorgan Chase says they’ll buy another 650 tons this year and next. Why? Gold is for the I don’t knows. And right now, there are a LOT of I don’t knows.”

USAGOLD note:  For all of life’s uncertainties, particularly those involving financial markets – for all the I don’t knows – a stash of gold and silver coins and bullion covers many bases. Simon Black offers a solid, quickly-read rationale at the link above.

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