“That brings us to our call of the day from Citigroup analysts who say this ‘bullish gold fever is justified,’ and say the metal could reach between $1,500 to $1,600 an ounce in the next 12 months, and $1,500 by end-2019 in the most optimistic of their new predictions for the metal.”
USAGOLD note: A good many bank analysts will be adjusting their market forecasts based on events of the past week. Citigroup is among them. It has been bullish on the metal for some time now, but this forecast of $1500 to $1600 gold still comes as a surprise.
Repost from 6-21-2019
Bullion Star/Ronan Manly
“While the Chinese and Indian populations are well known for their insatiable appetite for importing, buying and hoarding physical gold, there is one market in the West that does likewise but which flies under the radar slightly, garnering less attention than China and India. That gold market is Germany. Although German citizens are known for their fondness for holding gold, the vast size of the German population’s gold holdings was clarified recently in a newly published survey commissioned by Reisebank, a bank active in the German precious metals market.
The survey, conducted by the Research Center for Financial Services (CFIN) on behalf of Reisebank, found that German adults currently own a staggering 8918 tonnes of gold, worth about € 330 billion at current Euro gold prices. Note, this figure is gold held by private citizens in Germany and does not include the gold reserves of the German central bank, the Bundesbank, which amount to an additional 3370 tonnes.”
USAGOLD note: When push comes to shove, those who own the gold make the rules.
Repost from 4-29-2019
(USAGOLD – 7/3/2019) – Fourth of July fireworks came early to the gold market yesterday with a nearly $45 price eruption and a quick return to last week’s highs of over $1435 per ounce. This morning, however, it is a different story with gold giving up a portion of those gains. It is down $11 in today’s early going at $1420. Silver is down 13¢ at $15.25. “Gold resumed its rally above $1,400 an ounce on a cocktail of positive drivers,” writes Bloomberg’s Ranjeetha Pakiam this morning, “with weak data feeding expectations for fresh easing from central banks, Treasury yields hitting a two-year low, and the U.S. president seeking to reshape the Federal Reserve board with two picks seen as doves.” To that “cocktail of positive drivers” we would add one more – White House trade advisor Peter Navarro’s announcement yesterday that the United States and China were “still a long way off” on a trade deal. Since the late May turnaround at $1277, gold is up $143 or 11.2%.
Quote of the Day
“But there is a real underlying risk that by deploying and using its economic weaponry so frequently the U.S. will, in the long run, drive others, friend and foe alike, away from its economic orbit. ‘These are not zero-cost options,’ says Robert Hormats, former under secretary of state for economic affairs and an adviser on international economics for presidents going back to Richard Nixon. Imposing tariffs on China and other nations trying to send their goods to the U.S. not only raises the prices of those products for Americans, it also gives targeted nations an incentive to develop markets, and long-term trade ties, in other countries.” – Gerald F. Seib, Wall Street Journal
Chart of the Day
Chart note: J.P. Morgan Asset Management released a report recently ranking investments over the past twenty years. It shows gold as the second best performer over the period at a 7.7% average gain annually. REITs were number one at a 9.9% gain. Stocks ranked fourth at 5.6%.
“India’s gold imports rose 12.6% in June from a year earlier to $2.69 billion amid a jump in global prices to six-year highs, a government source said on Tuesday.”
USAGOLD note: The strong gold demand in India runs against the tide of reports earlier in the year that investors would shy away from the metal the result of near record prices in rupee terms. That would be true under circumstances when the currency was steady, not at a time when the currency is depreciating against its competitors in international markets. That does not mean, however, that there will not be corrections along the way – and buying opportunities in the world’s largest market for physical gold.
Chart courtesy of Trading View
“President Donald Trump tweeted on Tuesday that he intends to nominate Judy Shelton, a prominent advocate of returning to the gold standard, and St. Louis Federal Reserve economist Christopher Waller to the U.S. central bank’s board. The selections come after two of the president’s earlier picks for the Fed board withdrew from consideration amid an onslaught of criticism from members of both parties. The choice of Shelton, which follows months of Trump pressuring the Fed to cut interest rates, may also spark a backlash from lawmakers because few economists share her view that the dollar should be pegged to gold prices.”
USAGOLD note: We are a hundred miles from returning to the gold standard. The Federal Reserve does not have the legal authority to enact a gold standard, although it would likely serve as an advisor in such a transition. Such a change, if it were to be, would most likely come from either legislative action or presidential order. President Richard Nixon’s ended gold convertibility in 1971 by executive order.
Recent Better Business Bureau Client Review
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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.
The naughty boy who blurts out unpleasant truths
“In the first place, the ‘classic’ writers, without neglecting other cases, reasoned primarily in terms of an unfettered international gold standard. There were several reasons for this but one of them merits our attention in particular. An unfettered international gold standard will keep (normally) foreign-exchange rates within specie points and impose an ‘automatic’ link between national price levels and interest rates. The modern mind dislikes this automatism, as much for political as for economic reasons: it dislikes the fetters this automatism clasps on government management of the economic process – dislikes gold, the naughty boy who blurts out unpleasant truths. But most of the economists of the period under survey liked it for precisely the same reasons. Though they compromised in practice as in theory and though they admitted central-bank management, the automatism – a phrase beloved by Lord Overstone [Samuel Jones Loyd, 1st Baron Overstone] – was for them, who are neither nationalists nor etatistes, a moral as well as an economic ideal.” –– Joseph Schumpeter, History of Economic Analysis (1954) Published posthumously
Dr. MoneyWise says. . . .And to Dr. Schumpeter’s well-considered discourse on the practical merits of the gold standard, I will add a simple thought of my own: Absent the gold standard, the prudent investor who stores gold benefits in concert with the blurting of those unpleasant truths.
Kyle Bass says Wall Street investors should ignore G-20 and brace for a fresh round of Trump tariffs
“Bass says ‘I don’t imagine anything getting done,’ and tells investors to buy gold, real estate. Investors are laser-focused on this weekend’s G-20 meeting in Japan, but famed hedge-fund manager Kyle Bass predicted that nothing of importance will be achieved there, and that investors should prepare for President Donald Trump to slap tariffs on every last dollar of Chinese imports.”
USAGOLD note: Kyle Bass gets a lot of attention in the media because he is often right about economic and political events and good places to put money to capitalize on the outcome. Bass has long been an advocate of gold ownership for defensive purposes.
Gold’s Century – While stocks dominated headlines, gold quietly performed
Repost from 6-26-2019
“I have been a gold agnostic – occasionally concerned about the effects of monetary expansion but not convinced that hoards of a largely useless metal are the correct way to gauge excesses. . .That said, it is not surprising that global investors faced with obvious financial aberrations, and strong indications of more unconventional monetary policy ahead, are increasingly opting for the traditional wealth-preserving vehicle of gold.”
USAGOLD note: We are trying to reconcile a paragraph that begins with a reference to “hoards of a largely useless metal” and ends with “the traditional wealth-preserving vehicle of gold.” Where the smart money goes, we observe, the crowd eventually follows.
Repost from 6-26-2019
“U.S.-China trade talks may have restarted, but a potential deal is still a long way off, White House trade advisor Peter Navarro told CNBC on Tuesday.”
USAGOLD note: Just released at about 9:15am(MDT) . . . Gold is now trading at $1405 and up $19 on the day. It has regained everything it lost yesterday. We all bemoan the outsized influence of computerized trading on markets including gold, but one thing the past two days has made crystal clear is the inability of algorithms (artificial intelligence) to function beyond very restricted linear thinking. Algos, in short, are not all that multi-faceted or perceptive. That could be the market’s saving grace. It could also be its downfall. It certainly benefits entities not stuck in that linear framework and can take advantage of it – for example, those non-silicon-based entitities who read through the events of this past weekend and bought the dip. . .
(USAGOLD – 7/2/2019) – Gold regained some of yesterday’s lost ground in early U.S. trading today. It is now up $7 on the day at $1393 as the after-effects of the Trump-Xi agreement to restart talks begin to fade. Silver is level at $15.16. In a client note distributed yesterday and included in Reuters’ afternoon gold market report, Commerzbank summed up what many were thinking. “We do not expect gold to fall significantly further,” it said. “In our view, it is above all the upcoming European Central Bank and Fed rate cuts, and the political risks, that argue against any pronounced and lasting price slide.”
Continuing with that theme, Financial Times‘ Lex columnist offers this strongly-worded take on current gold market dynamics: “These days it is not dollars that emerging countries feel they have to hold. They want gold, and plenty of it. Since the first quarter of 2015, central banks in China, Russia, India and Turkey have boosted their gold holdings by two-thirds to 4,960 tonnes. Diplomatic and trade rows with the US explain some of this buying. There is a move to avoid buying dollars for their foreign exchange reserves. . . US interest rates are probably headed down. That move should depress the dollar against other currencies. Expect markets to keep singing gold’s praises.” [Emphasis added]
Quote of the Day
“Well, my recommendation is, since we came off the gold standard in ’71, put yourself on the gold standard. So, I’m a very simple man. I save gold and silver coins. I have no ETFs. I don’t have savings. I keep my money out of the banking system. So, I’m on the gold standard. I operate outside the banking system. And I’m accountable. I am responsible for my own life. Trump’s my friend. I don’t expect him to take care of me, my God. All these people, Social Security we know is going bust. It’s got no money. I think 78 cents of every dollar collected in taxes now goes to entitlement programs or the debt. We can’t keep functioning like this.” – Robert Kiyosaki, Rich Dad Poor Dad
Chart of the Day
The biggest foreign holders of U.S. debt
Chart note: “The total amount of treasury securities issued to foreign countries is $6.433 trillion,” says HowMuch.net. “China currently holds the most U.S. debt due to a variety of factors, including China’s desire to keep the yuan weak compared to the dollar. Most of the treasury securities held by other countries are in the form of treasury notes and bonds, rather than treasury bills. The top five countries in the visualization (China, Japan, Brazil, United Kingdom, and Ireland) account for almost half of the treasury securities held by foreign countries.”
(USAGOLD-May 1, 2019) – The U.S. Mint reports sales of American Eagle silver bullion coins running well ahead of last year’s pace at the end of June – up 46.88% over the same period last year. The Mint sold a robust 1,035,000 one-ounce coins sold in June as opposed to 435,000 sold in June of last year. Gold Eagle sales were up 25% from May but down 10.29% through June when compared to first six months of 2018.
Many analysts consider bullion coin sales a bellwether for overall interest in the precious metals among investors. This year’s uptick over last year indicates increased activity among American investors interested in including gold and silver in their holdings as safe-haven hedges and an underpriced asset class with that latter motivation particularly striking in the Silver Eagle category.
“‘The fed shouldn’t be independent of the administration. Never should be. None of those people were elected. They were appointed. And there’s no reason for them being appointed. It’s a policy tool that should be in the hands of the Congress and the President to make our country better,’ Laffer told John Catsimatidis in an interview that aired Sunday on AM 970 New York.”
USAGOLD note: The former Reagan administration official and the economist for whom the famed Laffer Curve is named doesn’t pull any punches in this interview.
“’As things stand, we lack clarity on whether real progress was achieved on the sticking points that caused talks to break down in the first place,’ Morgan Stanley chief economist Chetan Ahya said in a note to clients on Sunday.”
USAGOLD note: That says it all. . .in one short sentence.
Repost from 7-1-2019
“Dual-listed Barrick Gold and Newmont Goldcorp have successfully concluded the transaction to establish Nevada Gold Mines. Barrick holds 61.5% of the new company and is also the operator, while Newmont Goldcorp owns 38.5% of Nevada Gold Mines. Barrick said in a statement issued on Monday that the new joint venture (JV) will rank as the largest global gold producing complex by a wide margin, as it owns three of the world’s top ten tier one gold assets – Goldstrike/Carlin, Cortez and Turquoise Ridge/Twin Creeks – and potentially another one in the making, being Goldrush.”
USAGOLD note: An update for those who do not keep up with news on the gold mining industry . . . Based on 2018 stats, the new complex will produce roughly 125 tonnes of gold in 2019.
“Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Richard Clarida said many U.S. central bankers see a stronger case for easier monetary policy relative to the outlook just two months ago. . . He cited mounting uncertainty for global trade and growth, and investment plans by U.S. businesses.”
USAGOLD note: Clarida, it would seem, is flocking with the doves. . . . .
“I reckon that puts us in a very interesting position for the next 18 months. Trade wars will remain a major distraction and concern – whatever happened in Osaka over the weekend, about the only thing we can confirm is nothing is really fixed! Instead, the dominant factor in coming months could be the US Federal Reserve – and how it is likely to come under increasing pressure from Trump, who is now in full electioneering mode. That puts a whole new complexion on the Game of Markets.“
USAGOLD note: We agree with Bill Blain on this. Not much happened in Osaka. Attention now shifts to the Federal Reserve and what it intends to do about interest rates under the watchful eye of the president of the United States.
The inverted yield curve as a harbinger
of higher gold prices
(Grey vertical bars indicate recessions.)
During the course of the past several weeks, we have heard much about the inverted yield curve in three-month and ten-year Treasuries as a harbinger of recessions. Missed in the press reports is the fact that it has also been a harbinger of higher gold prices. In the chart above, please note the upward surges in the price of gold in the five-year periods following the two most recent yield inversions in 2000 and 2006. The first occurred with gold trading in the $300 range. It subsequently rose to the $600-650 level in 2006. The second occurred with gold priced in the $600-650 range. It subsequently rose to over $1900 per ounce in 2011 – its all-time high.
“Ominously,” writes Robin Wigglesworth and Joe Rennison in a recent Financial Times editorial, “the US yield curve has now inverted once again, with the 10-year Treasury yield on March 22 dipping below the three-month T-bill yield for the first time since 2007. Combined with the length of the post-crisis expansion — this summer it will become the longest growth spurt in US history — and deteriorating economic data, the inverted yield curve has stirred fears that the countdown to the next downturn has already begun.”
Peter Fisher, formerly head of fixed income at BlackRock and currently a professor at Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, puts it succinctly in that same Financial Times editorial. “The mistake,” he says, “is to think it [an inverted yield curve] is a predictor of recessions. I think it causes recessions.” The rise in the price of gold following the two prior instances of yield inversion, it is now well understood, came in response to aggressive central bank monetary easing and the sudden emergence of credit-related systemic risks.
Published originally in the April 2019 edition of News & Views – Forecasts, Commentary & Analysis on the Economy and Precious Metals. You can sign up for e-mail notification of future newsletter releases HERE.
“In modern times the lessons of Zimbabwe and Venezuela point to the catastrophic effects that can follow when a corrupt or incompetent government finances its lavish spending by printing more of its currency. The Gold Standard favors the countries that have gold deposits, but it has the advantage of making it difficult for governments to inflate prices by expanding the money supply. It engenders long-term price stability because the money supply can only grow at the rate at which gold is produced. Inflation can come, though, if a major new source of gold is developed, as happened with Spanish gold from the New World, or with various ‘gold rushes.'”
USAGOLD note: As we have said here so many times over the years, the best recourse for the average investor in the absence of a gold standard is to put one’s self on the gold standard through physical ownership of gold coins and bullion.
Repost from 3-15-2019
“President Donald Trump has already given the global economy trade wars. Now there are signs he may be gearing up for a currency war, too. With a series of tweets on Tuesday aimed at the European Central Bank and an announcement by Mario Draghi, its president, that he was prepared to cut interest rates further below zero in response to Europe’s slowing growth, Trump made a rare American presidential intervention into another economy’s monetary policy.”
USAGOLD note: We mentioned yesterday that the series of tweets directed at Mario Draghi was also aimed indirectly at the Federal Reserve. We would not be surprised if the trade war morphed to a trade/currency war. The Trump administration is many things to many people, but the one thing it is not is naive enough to allow its adversaries to use currency depreciation as a means to circumvent the sting of tariffs. For that to occur, though, it will need the co-operation of the Fed hence the heavy pressure for easy money policies.
Repost from 6-20-2019
“Even if the U.S. and China come to some sort of an agreement at this week’s G-20 summit, the world’s two largest economies will still be fighting for much longer, conservative economics writer Stephen Moore told CNBC on Wednesday. ‘This trade dispute isn’t going to be solved in the next year or two. This is going to be the epic battle of our times,’ said Moore. . .”
USAGOLD note: Moore offers an opinion a far-cry from the market-comforting portrait being painted ahead of the Trump-Xi meeting on Saturday. . . . .
Repost from 6-27-2019 [New note: . . . . with a fresh coat applied over the weekend.]
“The question is not whether there will be a crisis, but when? In the past 50 years, we have seen more than eight global crises and many more local ones, so the likelihood of another one is quite high. Not just because of the years passed since the 2007 crisis, but because the factors that typically lead to a global crisis are all lining up.”
USAGOLD note: The author goes on to talk about “zombification of global economies. . . .” – a very interesting approach to the problem of cyclical crises and their causes.
Repost from 11-8-2019
“The government thus has a good reason not to let debt spiral out of control. And the easiest way to keep that from happening is for the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates to zero and keep them there. As the government replaces its old, higher-interest debt with new, lower-interest debt, its yearly interest payments would go down, until finally they dwindle to nothing at all. Doing this would stabilize the deficit, and even open up fiscal space for big new spending initiatives on issues like climate change.”
USAGOLD note: Well, now. . .Let’s ponder the possibilities for a moment. On the one hand, the federal government will keep interest expense to a minimum and eventually go to “nothing at all.” On the other hand, will there be anyone out there in the wide, wide world who will want to buy U.S. Treasuries that offer zero to sub-zero return.
Repost from 6-28-2019
(USAGOLD – 7/1/2019) – Gold is down $15 at $1394 in early U.S. trading after being down more than $25 in Asia overnight as financial markets attempt to sort out the implications of the Trump-Xi agreement to re-open trade talks. Silver is down 11¢ at $15.21. “The setback [for gold] might be temporary,” reports Bloomberg this morning, “as investors now train their focus on U.S. jobs data due Friday for clues on the Federal Reserve’s next move on policy.” Sharps-Pixley’s Ross Norman, also quoted in that Bloomberg article, was philosophical about the sell-off: “Gold was well overdue a period of consolidation and gold bulls should welcome it. This provides a welcome entry point.” Adding some credence to the notion that the downside might be short-lived, other items in the commodity complex – oil, palladium and platinum – bolted higher even as gold and silver prices declined. The dollar, at the same time, is up but not convincingly. In short, this morning’s markets are a mixed bag sending mixed signals.
Quote of the Day
“[Y]ou should have it [gold] because you never know what our political leaders are going to do. . . Gold keeps its intrinsic value better than anything else. When you see the nominal price change, that’s not the value of gold changing, that’s the value of the dollar or whatever currency you’re talking about, changing in value. Gold is the constant, like the North Star. Yes, you should have it, a piece of it, just for peace of mind.” – Steve Forbes, Forbes magazine
Chart[s]of the Day
At mid-year, we thought it appropriate to post a quick run-down on gold’s performance in a select group of currencies over the past twelve months as of Friday’s closing prices.
European euro + 15.7%
Chinese yuan + 17.1% Japanese yen + 10.2%Indian rupee + 13.6%British pound + 16.3% United States dollar + 12.8%
Charts courtesy of BullionStar.com
A sure sign that a major precious metals’ sector bull market is starting
“Many silver investors are manic-depressive and fanatical, which is a reality that we can turn to our advantage, for if we can figure when they are just starting to emerge from the depths of despair, it is the time to move into the sector in a big way. They are just starting to emerge form the depths of despair right now as it happens, which graphically is shown by the silver to gold ratio, the basis of which being that when investors in the sector are at their most risk averse, they tend to favor gold over silver, which is hardly surprising as gold conjures up images of solidity and security to a much greater extent than silver, which is also known as ‘poor man’s gold’.
It is thus most illuminating to observe a long-term 20-year chart of the silver to gold ratio, on which we see that the rare occasions on which it has dropped to the sort of extremely low levels it is now at, have always preceded a major sector bullmarket except early in 2016 which preceded a big rally. What is remarkable right now is that this ratio has even exceeded its earlier record lows, which makes a new sector bullmarket even more likely, and this indicator, just by itself, is a strong sign that this is what’s brewing.”
Make the Libra as good as gold
“Your consultants, like most economists today, will be vociferously opposed to the yellow metal, burdened as they are by ignorance and countless myths and superstitions. This widely shared skepticism will actually be an advantage, as it will keep away well-capitalized imitators.”
USAGOLD note: Advice delivered with tongue firmly in cheek . . .
“It’s a new twist in the broader pressure campaign the president has brought to bear on Powell to cut interest rates to energize the stock market and fuel growth. Trump’s focus on the dollar surfaced last week after the European Central Bank said it might ease policy, prompting the euro to drop against the dollar. Trump seized on the move to say on June 18 that the Fed’s failure to lower rates was putting U.S. exporters at a competitive disadvantage. He later mused on June 26 he’d rather have ECB President Mario Draghi running the Fed.”
USAGOLD note: We all know that the Fed can override any dollar policy the White House would like to advance. The value of the dollar comes down to a matter of interest rates and, in this day and age, the central bank’s balance sheet initiatives (either printing or not printing money). The Treasury Department has nothing to do with either of those processes. As such, it has very little real power over the value of the dollar except what it can muster rhetorically, i.e., talking up either a “strong” or “weak” dollar. At the same time, the Fed has not done anything in our estimation to undermine the Trump administration’s weak dollar policy . . . In fact, it seems to be promoting it, and that is what the markets are reacting to.
‘It’s a temporary timeout’: Trump and Xi agree to negotiations, but offer no clear path to end US-China trade war
“And if history is any guide to the future, the gentlemen’s agreement struck between the leaders of the world’s two largest economies over the weekend in Osaka offers no clear path to rolling back tariffs and ending a trade war that threatens to tip the global economy into recession.”
USAGOLD note: This article lays out some less than enthusiastic early reaction to the Trump-Xi meeting on Saturday . . . Goldman Sachs says “no substantive progress was announced.”
“And what about the possible impact of a positive G20 and momentum toward a U.S./China trade deal? Stocks, no surprise, are readily excitable. For global safe haven bonds, however, it’s of little consequence. How can this be? Because even a trade deal would at this point have minimal impact on what has become deep and rapidly worsening structural impairment. Trade deal or not, Chinese exports to the U.S. will decline, right along with capital investment. Even with a deal, the Chinese financial system faces the consequences of years of rapid expansion as economic prospects deteriorate. Sure, 6% growth as far as the eye can see. That implies a further surge in consumer debt and even more dangerous mortgage finance and apartment Bubbles. Unparalleled overcapacity and maladjustment.”
USAGOLD note: For Noland, it’s all about China’s internal economy rhyming with the U.S.-based sub-prime debacle of 2007-2008. . . “China’s crisis clock,” he says, “began ticking no later than with last month’s takeover of Baoshang Bank.”
Gold Trading Hours
Whenever the gold market gets active, we have a large increase in visitors at our Gold Trading Hours page. Investors want to see which markets – Asian, European or American – are the focal point for price movement. They also want to know when a particular market is going to open or close in areas where gold might experience an influx of buyer or seller interest. That is why we designed this popular page with market hours and a live clock showing the local time in that particular market and all the other major gold markets. Gold Trading Hours is one of the quiet pages at USAGOLD that garners significant global interest particularly when the market is moving or breaking news warrants more than average interest. We also invite you to return here regularly – to this Live Daily Newsletter page – for up-to-the-minute gold market news, opinion and analysis as it happens.
Gold Trading Hours
London – New York – Sydney – Hong Kong – Shanghai – Tokyo – Zurich