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Gold level after hitting lowest level since early May on Friday

(USAGOLD – 5/20/2019) – Gold is level this morning still trying to make up its mind about the latest volleys fired between the two sides in the US-China trade dispute. It is trading early in the US session at $1276.50 – its lowest level since early May.  Silver has added modestly to its price – up 5¢ at $14.43. The yellow metal ended last week in a slump that most analysts traced to a sharp drop in China’s yuan.  Questions abound about China’s willingness to defend its currency.  Like gold, it is trading sideways this morning. The stand-out market this morning is stocks – down 172 as this posted.

Over the weekend Bloomberg asked Granite Shares’ Will Rhynd a question on the mind of a good many investors. Why has gold failed to rally in the face of the present uncertainty? “The trade talks,” he responded, “and the kind of breakdown in trade talks at the moment is negative in the sense that it is manifesting itself in a more stronger dollar. The late cycle trade right now is still positive for gold and we see investors as positioning themselves that way – being more defensive and being more defensive typically means an allocation to gold.”  He went on to say that a physical gold ETF fund his firm offers has increased by well over one-third this year as a result of investors “being more defensive, adding gold to the portfolio – people looking for uncorrelated asset classes.  Since the beginning of the year, we have seen a big uptick in gold interest.”

Quote of the Day
“I’m not opposed to a new Bretton Woods conference, and if it takes place at Mar-a-Lago, I’m fine with that. But anything the U.S. does because we print the international reserve currency, unilateral action would almost instantly be accommodated by other countries. In terms of gold being involved, some people may think of that as a throwback, but I see it as a sophisticated, forward-looking approach because gold is neutral and it’s universal. It’s a well-accepted monetary surrogate that transcends borders and time. If you look at the foreign reserves of the most important countries, they keep them mostly in gold. I don’t want to read too much into it, but it proves that gold is not some barbarous relic.” – Dr. Judy Shelton, economic advisor to President Donald Trump (said to be on the inside track for appointment to the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors)

Chart of the Day

Chart courtesy of TradingEconomics.com

Chart note:  The Trump administration introduced tariffs on selected Chinese imports in March 2018 and the China yuan immediately turned south.  After stabilizing somewhat beginning in late 2018, it again dropped sharply beginning in April 2019 as talk began to break down.  Since the March 2018 interim peak, the yuan has dropped about 10%.  Since April 2019, it has fallen about 3.5%.  There is a direct correlation between the imposition of tariffs and depreciation of the yuan.  The outstanding question at this point in time is if Chinese authorities will step back and watch or take measures to halt the decline.

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