U.S. consumer credit +$20.5 bln in Oct, above expectations of +$17.0 bln, vs revised +$19.2 bln in Sep.

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Posted in Economic Data |

North Korea: War is inevitable

The Hill/Mallory Shelbourne/11-07-17

North Korea has reportedly said that a nuclear conflict in the region is unavoidable, accusing CIA Director Mike Pompeo of provocation.

…“We do not wish for a war but shall not hide from it, and should the U.S. miscalculate our patience and light the fuse for a nuclear war, we will surely make the U.S. dearly pay the consequences with our mighty nuclear force which we have consistently strengthened,” the unidentified spokesperson said in remarks originally reported by the Korean Central News Agency.

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Posted in Economic Data, Geopolitical Risks, North Korea |

The Daily Market Report: Gold Falls to 4-Month Lows On Heightened Risk Appetite


USAGOLD/Peter Grant/12-07-17

Gold remains under pressure after dropping through the low end of the range in overseas trading. The yellow metal is being weighed by elevated risk appetite and a firmer dollar.

The market is optimistic that some deal will be struck this week to avert a government shutdown. While House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi declared that Democrats would not support today’s stopgap spending bill, GOP leaders say they have the votes to kick the can for two more weeks.

If a partial government shutdown is temporarily averted, there will be a full-court press by the GOP to reconcile the House and Senate tax bills and get something to the President’s desk by Christmas. While there is some concern about the increase in deficits surrounding tax reform, the market seems to be focused solely on wider profit margins for corporations.

The market is also expecting a decent NFP print tomorrow (+198k median), which will further reinforce expectations for a 25 bps rate hike next week. While inflation and wage growth continues to disappoint — and these were the primary concerns that prompted the September pause — the Fed may ‘bet on the come’ regarding tax cuts, hoping they provide some level of long-awaited fiscal stimulus.

It is worth remembering that gold has rebounded smartly after the previous two December rate hikes. What’s different this year is that gold has been relatively buoyant ahead of the December policy decision, as compared to previous years.

Weakness in the broader commodities complex, attributed to concern about slowing growth in China, may also be playing a role in the recent pressure on gold. Pretty much every commodity fund/index/ETF has a gold component and when these are sold, gold is sold as well.

However, softer commodities portend broader economic weakness and the likelihood that below target inflation will persist. This could end up warranting more dovish central bank policies that one might associate with weaker currencies and a higher gold price.

Offering an underpinning to the gold market are heightened geopolitical tensions. North Korea has said that war is inevitable. Meanwhile, the Trump administrations decision to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem has sparked heightened unrest in the middle east.

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Posted in Daily Market Report, Gold News, Gold Price, Gold Views |

The Gift of Gold – A simple thought for the holiday season

by Michael J. Kosares
Founder:  USAGOLD
Author:  The ABCs of Gold Investing – How To Protect and Build Your Wealth with Gold

Gold has a past. I suspect it has a future.

We live in a time when currencies and financial markets have become political enterprises – creations of the world’s governments and central banks. Since we have never seen times like these, when so much depends on the monetary largesse of the policy-makers, no one really knows where the future might lead us. Uncertainty reigns and, when that is the case, history teaches us that gold demand rises proportionally and at times impressively so.

Uncertainty reached a whole new level, though, toward the end of November when minutes of a recent Federal Reserve Open Market Committee meeting revealed a level of concern within the central bank not often expressed in the public venue. “In light of elevated asset valuations and low financial market volatility,” read the minutes, “several participants expressed concerns about a potential buildup of financial imbalances. They worried that a sharp reversal in asset prices could have damaging effects on the economy.” Blunt as it was, a good many took those words as a warning from on high about the prospects for 2018.

The gift of gold – the one passed from generation to generation in ancient times to present – is the protection it offers against an unpredictable economy. The gift of gold, in short, is peace of mind.

Wishing you and yours the very best for the holiday season and a prosperous New Year from all of us at USAGOLD.

On the ghosts of Decembers past

December, as it turns out, has been a humbug month for gold the past four years. In each of those years (2013 through 2016) December began poorly, but appropriately by Christmas-time things began to look brighter. By the end of January in the following year, the star over the gold market shone still more brightly. . .

–– On December 1, 2013 gold finished the day at $1220 per ounce. The low for the month came on the 19th at $1188, but by January 31, 2014, it traded at $1244 – up 4.7% from the December low.

–– On December 1, 2014 gold finished the day at $1212 per ounce. The low for the month came on the 24th at $1174, but by January 30, 2015, it traded at $1283 – up 9.3% from the December low.

–– On December 1, 2015 gold finished the day at $1069 per ounce. The low for the month came on the 17th at $1051, but by January 31, 2016, it traded at $1118 – up 6.4% from the December low.

–– On December 1, 2016 gold finished the day at $1171 per ounce. The low for the month came on the 22nd at $1128, but by January 31, 2017, it traded at $1210 – up 7.3% from the December low.

So the lesson imparted is to buy in December and enjoy the holidays. January is the start to a wholly new year.


Here we are in December, chugging along toward the end of the year.  In the recently released December issue of News & Views, we concentrate on the gold market itself with a variety short but informative reports with the upcoming year in mind:

• On the ghosts of Decembers past (See reprint above)
• End-of-year gold and silver price predictions
• U.S. Mint makes a mint selling gold coins at a 25% mark-up
• Gold’s mysterious waterfall drops
• The gold/quality man’s suit ratio

• And a long run of “Notable Quotables” for your reading pleasure

If you are not already a subscriber, we invite you to sign-up for free immediate access to the December issue, as well as future issues of our newsletter.  We think you will enjoy the subject matter and gain from our take on recent events in the gold market.


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Gold slides to 4-month low as dollar edges up

Reuters/Apeksha Nair/12-07-17

Gold prices dropped to their lowest level in four months on Thursday as the dollar rose underpinned by optimism surrounding tax reform in the United States.

…The dollar on Thursday inched up against its peers, as optimism over U.S. lawmakers making progress on tax legislation continued to grow.

Hopes that U.S. tax reforms would boost economic growth have dented demand for safe-haven assets such as gold.

…INTL FCStone analyst Edward Meir said gold could move slightly lower heading into next week’s Federal Reserve meeting as investors would be jittery about the Fed’s policy wording going forward.

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Posted in Gold News, Gold Price, Gold Views |

Morning Snapshot: Gold Drops to 4-Month Lows

USAGOLD/Peter Grant/12-07-17

Gold is down in early U.S. trading, having definitively breached the low end of the range at 1260.10 overseas. That puts the yellow metal at a 4-month low amid a firmer dollar and ongoing optimism that a tax bill will get to the President’s desk before year-end.

Tomorrow is the deadline for at least a temporary spending measure to avert a government shut down. Congressional leaders are slated to meet with President Trump at the White House today in a last ditch effort to kick this can once again.

Then the Fed will make their final policy decision of the year next week. There is plenty of evidence to suggest they should remain on pause, but the market remains convinced that a 25 bps rate hike is in the cards.

U.S. initial jobless claims fell 2k to 236k in the week ended 02-Dec, below expectations of 240k. Later this morning we’ll get October Consumer Credit and M2 for last week.

Tomorrow is jobs Friday. Nonfarm payrolls are expected to rise by 198k. The jobless rate is expected to hold steady at 4.1%.

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Posted in all posts, Gold News, Gold Price, Gold Views, Snapshot |

U.S. initial jobless claims -2k to 236k in the week ended 02-Dec, below expectations of 240k.

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Posted in Economic Data |

Gold lower at 1255.70 (-8.69). Silver 15.85 (-0.15). Dollar higher. Euro lower. Stocks called mixed. U.S. 10-year 2.34% (unch).

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Posted in Gold Price, Markets, Silver Price |

JP Morgan says $1300 barrier will be breached in 2018

LATE REPORT

Gold was down marginally today at $1263, but since reversing in its latest attempt to breach the $1300 barrier, it is down about $31 (from $1294).  Silver has followed along though with a greater percentage loss.  It finished today $15.93, down about 15¢ on the day and $1.09 from it’s recent high water mark of $17.27 (11/17).  JP Morgan, however, believes that the $1300 mark will be breached by the second half of 2018 saying “As we believe gold rallies on the back of US real yields potentially stagnating in 2H18, we see even greater upside potential in silver given its historical tendency to outperform gold during outsized rallies.”  Not sure what they mean by “outsized”, but they think gold will be trading in $1340 range by 2018 year end.

Quote of the Day
“We’re in a stage where if nothing is changed, we’re about to go from stagnation to stagflation, with a significant rise in inflation and a wholly significant imbalance in the economy, which is very difficult to anticipate at this stage. But the outlook is not exactly terrific.” – Alan Greenspan (12/6/2017)


Here we are in December, chugging along toward the end of the year.  In the recently released December issue of News & Views, we concentrate on the gold market itself with a variety short but informative reports with the upcoming year in mind:

• On the ghosts of Decembers past
• End-of-year gold and silver price predictions
• U.S. Mint makes a mint selling gold coins at a 25% mark-up
• Gold’s mysterious waterfall drops
• The gold/quality man’s suit ratio

• And a long run of “Notable Quotables” for your reading pleasure

If you are not already a subscriber, we invite you to sign-up for free immediate access to the December issue, as well as future issues of our newsletter.  We think you will enjoy the subject matter and gain from our take on recent events in the gold market.


With the recent addition of our brand new Online Order Desk, we offer a secure portal to buy gold and silver at great prices day or night at your convenience.  We encourage you to visit and look around. . . .

 

 

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For Christmas this year, give the gift of gold

Lucky French Angels

Coins, pendants and buyer incentives. . . . .

Review our seasonal offer here.

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US yield curve flattens at fastest pace since financial crisis

FT/Joe Rennison/12-06-17

The difference between short-dated and longer-dated US Treasury yields has narrowed at its fastest pace since 2008, as investors anticipate a quicker rate of policy tightening from the Federal Reserve next year.

The difference between two- and 10-year yields has fallen 33 basis points to just 52 basis points over the past 30 days, while the difference between five- and 30-year yields has fallen 34 basis points, surpassing declines prompted by the European sovereign debt crisis in 2011 and reaching a pace last seen during the financial crisis, according to analysts at Citi.

It marks a pronounced “flattening” of the yield curve, with investors receiving decreasing returns for holding longer-dated bonds compared to shorter-dated notes — typically a harbinger of economic recession.

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Posted in Economy, Markets |

The Daily Market Report: Gold Defensive at Low End of Range


USAGOLD/Peter Grant/12-06-17

Gold is consolidating at the low end of the range. While the yellow metal did set a new 4-month low yesterday, the breach of support was just by a dime.

The market is now awaiting developments on the government funding front, which has reportedly met some opposition from conservative Republicans. In addition, the opposing sides of aisle continue to spar over the inclusion of DACA. Republicans are saying there is no way DACA will be in a funding bill, while Democrats are saying they will not vote for any legislation without it. Tick-tock; the government faces a shutdown on Friday.

One thing is for certain, the debt ceiling is going to have to be raised (or suspended). That is a fact both as a prerequisite to any new funding and to accommodate whatever version of tax reform ultimately gets signed into law.

It is widely conceded that the tax cuts will reduce federal revenue by $1.3 trillion to $2.0 trillion over 10-years. Even when scored dynamically — taking into consideration expectations for higher growth — revenue is expected to fall by $0.5 trillion to $1.7 trillion. That’s going to require more borrowing, resulting in a higher national debt.

There seems to be some skepticism about the magnitude of GDP growth attributable to the tax plan. Ongoing flattening of the yield curve actually portends recession.

That’s likely to be a topic of conversation at the FOMC meeting next week. Additionally, today’s revisions to Q3 productivity are troubling; particularly the negative revision to unit labor costs. Q3 ULCs were revised to -0.2%, from +0.5% previously and -1.2% in Q2 (was 0.3%). Real compensation declined 1.1% y/y, the fourth consecutive quarterly decline.

These data undermine the hopes that compensation was on the rise and would have a positive impact on inflation. This is something else the Fed is going to have to rationalize if they really intend to hike rates next week. It looks like below target inflation is going to remain “transitory” for a while longer.

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Posted in Daily Market Report, Gold News, Gold Price, Gold Views |

Remember What Happens To Gold In December

SeekingAlpha/Andrew McElroy/12-06-17

…Since 2013, every sell-off in December has led to a sizable rally in Q1 of the next year.

In 2015 and 2016 the December low also happened to line up with a Fed rate hike. The extended sell off into the hike combined with overly bearish sentiment led to significant reversals.

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Posted in Gold News, Gold Price, Gold Views |

Gold recovers from two-month low as dollar weakens


Reuters/Zandi Shabalala/12-06-17

Gold prices held near a two-month low on Wednesday, ahead of a vote over the U.S. tax reform plan but a potential government shutdown lent support.

…”A shutdown in the government should be positive for gold but that could be temporary because no one really expects the U.S. to default,” said Capital Economics commodities economist, Simona Gambarini.

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Posted in Gold News, Gold Price, Gold Views |

U.S. third-quarter unit labor costs revised sharply down

Reuters/Lucia Mutikani/12-06-17

U.S. unit labor costs were much weaker than initially thought, declining both in the second and third quarters of this year, suggesting that inflation could remain benign for a while.

The Labor Department said on Wednesday that unit labor costs, the price of labor per single unit of output, dropped at a 0.2 percent annualized rate in the last quarter instead of increasing at a 0.5 percent pace as reported last month.

PG View: With compensation declining into year-end, hopes for resurgent inflation are dimmed. The Fed should take this into consideration when they meet next week.

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Posted in inflation |

U.S. Q3 productivity steady at +3.0%, below expectations of +3.3%, vs +3.0% previously and +1.5% in Q2; ULCs revised down to -0.2% from +0.5%.

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Posted in Economic Data |

U.S. ADP employment survey +190k in Nov, above expectations of 188k, vs 235k in Oct.

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Posted in Economic Data |

Gold steady at 1266.26 (-0.04). Silver 16.08 (-0.05). Dollar steady. Euro easier. Stocks called lower. U.S. 10-year 2.32% (-3 bps).

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Posted in Gold Price, Markets, Silver Views |

Gold edging higher in late trading, after slightly exceeding the range low at 1260.10 earlier in the session.

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Posted in Gold News, Gold Price |

The Daily Market Report: Gold Drops to Challenge Low-End of Range


USAGOLD/Peter Grant/12-05-17

Gold is down, challenging the low end of the range that has dominated for the past two-months. The yellow metal is being weighed by persistent optimism that tax reform is going to get passed this year, the impending government shutdown will be averted and the Fed will raise rates next week.

The current continuing resolution to fund the government expires on Friday. It’s a given at this point that a new budget will not be passed, but there is an expectation that another temporary spending measure will be reached in order to prevent a government shutdown. Of course another kick of the can does nothing to resolve the underlying problems, not the least of which is the massive and growing debt burden.

That debt burden is expected to grow significantly if the current version of tax reform is ultimately signed into law. The University of Chicago recently asked a panel of economic experts to react to the following statement:

If the US enacts a tax bill similar to those currently moving through the House and Senate — and assuming no other changes in tax or spending policy — the US debt-to-GDP ratio will be substantially higher a decade from now than under the status quo.

Not a single participant disagreed with that statement. When asked whether “US GDP will be substantially higher a decade from now than under the status quo,” a mere 2% agreed that it would. The rest were either uncertain or disagreed.

The Fed really needs to ask themselves during deliberations next week, how confident they are that tax reform is going to provide a fiscal jolt to the economy; to the point where they can continue removing monetary accommodations. If confidence is low — similar to the UC survey — then staying on hold seems the logical policy decision.

The continued absence of inflation and the flattening of the yield curve seem to be also in favor of leaving the Fed funds rate unchanged. However, with the pre-FOMC FedSpeak blackout underway, at this point it’s too late to try and change the market’s mind.

I also think the central bank is disinclined to surprise the market. If the Fed is worried about any of these factors, they may go ahead and hike rates, but issue a dovish policy statement.

With jobs data out on Friday as well, the next week or so has the potential to be pretty interesting. Gold sold off into year-end in both 2016 and 2017, only to rally back after the December FOMC. What’s different this year is that the year-end action has been more consolidative than an an actual sell-off.

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Posted in Daily Market Report, Gold News, Gold Price, Gold Views |

Gold Looks Like a Bargain Just in Time for Christmas


Forbes/Frank Holmes/12-03-17

…As of my writing this, gold is trading around $1,280, up 11 percent in 2017. That’s off 5 percent from its 52-week high of $1,351 set in September. If it stays at its present level until the end of the year, the metal will end up logging its best year since 2010, when it returned 30 percent.

…Considering it’s faced a number of strong headwinds this year—a phenomenal equities bull run that’s drawn investors’ attention away from “safe haven” assets, lukewarm inflation and anticipation of additional rate hikes, among others—I would describe its performance in 2017 as highly respectable.

…What this means is that, compared to domestic equities, gold is highly undervalued right now. The gold-to-S&P 500 ratio, a time-tested trading indicator, is near 50-year lows. I see this as a strong buy signal, especially now as we await the Federal Reserve’s decision to lift rates this month.

PG View: Two days after this story initially appeared at Forbes, gold is now closer to 1260 than 1280.

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Posted in Gold News, Gold Price, Gold Views |

These Factors Helping Gold Hold Up Near Bottom Of Range

USAGOLD/Allen Sykora/12-05-17

Gold prices are near the bottom end of their two-month-old trading range, but analysts say the precious metal does have a number of factors preventing a further breakdown through chart support, at least for now.

This includes uncertainty about how quickly Congress will reconcile differing versions of U.S. tax reform, the impact of this upon the federal deficit, along with ongoing geopolitical and political issues.

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Posted in Gold News, Gold Price, Gold Views |

U.S. ISM services fell to 57.4 in Nov, below expectations of 59.0, vs 60.1 in Oct. Prices fall to 60.7 from 62.7 in Sep.

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Posted in Economic Data |

Morning Snapshot: Gold Weaker At The Low End of Range

USAGOLD/Peter Grant/12-05-17

Gold is down within the well defined range, weighed by intraday dollar gains and firm stocks. The low end of the range at 1260.10 is protected by an intervening tier of support at 1263.00.

Risk appetite remains elevated as tax reform makes its way through the process. Additionally, it looks like Congress is going to kick the can yet again on funding for the government and the debt ceiling, averting a partial government shutdown at the end of the week. “There’s not going to be a government shutdown,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

There still some political wrangling to be done, both on the funding measure and on the tax bill, and there’s not a heck of a lot of time. However, markets seem optimistic that both are going to get done.

The U.S. trade deficit widened to -$48.7 bln in October, outside expectations of -$46.6 bln. What’s interesting is that the deficit is nearly as wide as it’s been in 5-years, despite the fact that the dollar has been under pressure for most of the year.

While the greenback was on the rise from September through early-November, at the end of October the dollar index was down 7.3% YTD. If President Trump really wants to improve the trade balance, it seems a much weaker dollar is going to be needed.

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Posted in Gold News, Gold Price, Gold Views, Snapshot |

U.S. trade deficit widened to -$48.7 bln in Oct, outside expectations of -$46.6 bln, vs revised -$44.9 bln in Sep (was -$43.5 bln).

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Posted in Economic Data |

Gold lower at 1272.77 (-3.93). Silver 16.24 (-0.11). Dollar higher. Euro lower. Stocks called higher. U.S. 10-year 2.39% (+2 bps).

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Posted in Gold Price, Markets, Silver Price |

Economist Jim Rickards on gold versus bitcoin — intrinsic value is meaningless for both but the bitcoin prices aren’t real

BusinessInsider/Jacqui Frank & Kara Chin/12-03-17

Jim Rickards is the editor of Strategic Intelligence and the author of Currency Wars: The Making of the Next Global Crisis. He believes gold can go to $10,000 an ounce but he is much more skeptical about bitcoin. Rickards doesn’t trust the bitcoin price action and doesn’t believe the cryptocurrency will fare well in a financial crisis.

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Posted in Cryptocurrency, Gold News, Gold Price, Gold Views |

Dovish Fed Prompts Hedge Funds To Buy Gold – Analysts

KitcoNews/Neils Christensen/12-04-17

…“The return of a low inflation narrative, as the minutes revealed many policymakers are concerned that inflation may remain weak for longer than expected, prompted dollar weakness and a flattening of the yield curve,” said Melek. “This saw the opportunity and carry costs of holding the zero-yielding assets reduced, leading to increased interest in the yellow metal.”

Looking ahead, Melek added that he expects to see gold well supported in the near term as hedge funds look for safe-haven investments to protect against escalating geopolitical risks and ongoing drama in Washington D.C

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Posted in Gold News, Gold Price, Gold Views |

The Daily Market Report: Gold Consolidates Within Range


USAGOLD/Peter Grant/12-04-17

Gold is maintaining a consolidative tone in the lower half of the well defined range. Heightened risk appetite is limiting the upside for gold, as optimism over the tax overhaul boosts stocks.

The question now becomes, how quickly can Congress reconcile the House and Senate versions of the legislation? And what will that final version look like?

With the Christmas recess just a couple weeks away, the window did get something to the President’s desk before year-end is pretty small. Further complicating matters is the need to get at least a temporary spending measure in place before December 8.

Democrat leaders have reportedly agreed to a White House meeting on December 7, which again doesn’t give them much time to reach an arrangement. A similar meeting was scrubbed last week after President Trump chided Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi via Twitter for some of their alleged demands and then said he didn’t “see a deal.”

The market is already looking ahead to Friday’s release of November jobs data and next week’s FOMC meeting. Median expectations for nonfarm payrolls is +198k, with the unemployment rate holding steady at 4.1%. Expectations for a rate hike continue to hover around 90% probability.

St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said last week that “there is a material risk of yield curve inversion over the forecast horizon if the FOMC continues on its present course of increases in the policy rate.” An inverted yield curve is a reliable indication of an impending recession so the implication here is that the Fed might want to stay on pause to prevent that from happening.

The market doesn’t seem to care; perhaps because Bullard is not a voter this year. However, there are other doves on the committee that do get a vote.

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Posted in Daily Market Report, Gold News, Gold Price, Gold Views |

U.S. factory orders -0.1% in Oct, above expectations of -0.3%, vs positive revised +1.7% in Sep. Inventories +0.2%.

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Posted in Economic Data |