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Gold Consolidates Below $1200

by Peter A. Grant

December 19, AM
(from USAGOLD.com) --

Gold looks to be ending the week on a consolidative note, just below the $1200 level. Perhaps some uncertainty about the longer-term implications of the Fed's non-decision this week has the market temporarily befuddled.

Make no mistake though, the age of über-accommodative monetary policy is not going away any time soon. The stock market seems to love that news. The dollar remains firm as well, because there are still expectations that the Fed will start raising rates next year.

Those two factors could be viewed as negatives for gold, and yet the yellow metal remains underpinned. I think that is the result of a general sense of unease in the markets. Something just doesn't feel right...

The diverging monetary policy meme has been a primary driver of the dollar in the latter half of the year. The expectation is that the BoJ, ECB and PBoC will continue to ease, while the Fed moves toward tightening.

Like every other central bank though, the Fed does not want to see a stronger currency. With everyone else easing I think as hawkish as the Fed gets is to hold steady.

Jim Rickards seems to agree. He doesn't see the Fed raising rates next year. And he goes so far as to predict QE4 in early 2016!

The logic is pretty simple: Tightening is dollar favorable. Dollar strength is deflationary. The last thing the Fed wants is deflation. In fact, they and every other central bank have been desperately trying to manufacture INflation. Therefore, tightening while negative price risks remain would be counterproductive.

The recent plunge in energy prices further complicates things by putting additional downward pressure on prices. The Japanese have been fighting the "deflationary mindset" for more than two-decades now with little to show for it beyond a massive amount of debt and a huge central bank balance sheet.

Here in the States, we're now well past the midpoint of our first lost decade. The country is now $18 trillion in debt and the Fed's balance sheet stands at $4.5 trillion. And still we remain below targeted inflation.

Now the ECB seems to be prepping for a journey down the same path. There is growing expectations that the ECB will announce sovereign debt purchases at their January meeting, despite outstanding questions about the legality and persistent objections from Germany.

The only thing the BoJ, BoE and Fed QE programs have succeeded in doing is buying more time. It is expensive time indeed, which will still inevitably run out.

I will be out of the office the week of Christmas, therefore this page will not be updated.

Opinions expressed in commentary on the USAGOLD.com website do not constitute an offer to buy or sell, or the solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any precious metals product, nor should they be viewed in any way as investment advice or advice to buy, sell or hold. USAGOLD, Inc. recommends the purchase of physical precious metals for asset preservation purposes, not speculation. Utilization of these opinions for speculative purposes is neither suggested nor advised. Commentary is strictly for educational purposes, and as such USAGOLD does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy, timeliness or completeness of the information found here.

 

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