Gold and commodities fall as bonds rise

Gold is testing short-term support at $1450. Breach would be likely to penetrate the rising trendline, indicating another test of primary support at $1320. Reversal below $1400 would warn of a further down-swing. Breach of $1320 would confirm, with the next major support level at the 2008 high of $1000.

Spot Gold

* Target calculation: 1550 – ( 1800 – 1550 ) = 1300

The Gold Bugs Index, representing un-hedged gold stocks, is falling rapidly. The index behaves like a leveraged gold instrument. Fixed costs of extraction make miners extremely sensitive to relatively small fluctuations in the gold price — which is why many miners hedge. The index is headed for a test of its 2008 low, which equated to a spot price of $700/ounce. I am not predicting that gold will fall below its cost of production, variously estimated at between $900 and $1150 per ounce, but expect further weakness.
Gold Bugs Index
My bullish outlook for gold is fading (into the future) as deflationary pressures faced by central banks grow.

Treasury Yields

Money continues to flow into bonds — reflecting a lower inflation outlook — and further outflows from gold are likely. Ten-year treasury yields broke support at 1.70% — prior to 2012 the lowest level in the 200 year history of the US Treasury — and a test of the all-time low at 1.40% is likely.

Dollar Index

Crude Oil

Brent Crude is headed for a re-test of its former support level at $106/barrel. Respect is likely and would offer a target of $92*. Nymex WTI recovered above $90/barrel, but further weakness is expected. Reversal below $90 would warn of a swing to the lower trend channel around $84 . Falling crude prices are a healthy long-term sign for the economy, but indicate falling demand and medium-term weakness.

Brent Crude and Nymex Crude

* Target calculation: 99 – ( 106 – 99 ) = 92

Peter Glover and Michael Economides in The Coming Arab Winter write:

Within just a few years of it taking off, the US shale gas and oil industry is enabling America to become increasingly self-sufficient with imports from the Middle East greatly reduced. The US is closing in on eclipsing Saudi energy production capacity. The 2012 edition of the IEA’s World Energy Outlook says America will surpass Saudi as the world’s biggest oil producer by 2020; such is the rate of current US oil development it could well be before then.

According to one recent report, the dramatic expansion of US production could push global spare oil capacity to exceed 8 million barrels per day. At that point OPEC could lose its ability to set or influence prices and global oil prices could drop sharply. While that would take a heavy toll on many Western energy producers, it would prove disastrous for OPEC’s member states.

The peak oil myth is discredited. Expect long-term weakness in crude prices as the US, China, Australia and elsewhere ratchet up shale gas production.


Commodity prices continue to diverge from stocks, with the Dow Jones – UBS Commodity Index headed for primary support at 125. Breach would warn of a decline to the 2008 low of 100. Declining 13-week Twiggs Momentum, below zero, warns of a down-trend; reversal below the 2012 low of -15% would strengthen the signal. Stock prices are precariously high in relation to commodities. Recovery of US housing is unlikely to drive a massive construction boom as there must still be significant over-supply of existing units.

Dow Jones UBS Commodities Index