Markets that are likely to outperform in 2021

There is no reliable benchmark for assessing performance of different markets (stocks, bonds, precious metals, commodities, etc.) since central banks have flooded financial markets with more than $8 trillion in freshly printed currency since the start of 2020. The chart below from Ed Yardeni shows total assets of the five major central banks (Fed, ECB, BOC, BOE and BOJ) expanded to $27.9T at the end of November 2020, from below $20T at the start of the year.

Central Banks: Total Assets

With no convenient benchmark, the best way to measure performance is using relative strength between two prices/indices.

Measured in Gold (rather than Dollars) the S&P 500 iShares ETF (IVV) has underperformed since mid-2019. Respect of the red descending trendline would confirm further weakness ahead (or outperformance for Gold).

S&P 500 iShares ETF/Gold

But if we take a broad basket of commodities, stocks are still outperforming. Reversal of the current up-trend would signal that he global economy is recovering, with rising demand for commodities as manufacturing output increases. Breach of the latest, sharply rising trendline would warn of a correction to the long-term rising trendline and, most likely, even further.

S&P 500 iShares ETF/DJ-UBS Commodity Index


There are pockets of rising prices in commodities but the broader indices remain weak.

Copper shows signs of a recovery. Breakout above -0.5 would signal outperformance relative to Gold.


Brent crude shows a similar rally. Breakout above the declining red trendline would suggest outperformance ahead.

Brent Crude/Gold

But the broad basket of commodities measured by the DJ-UBS Commodity Index is still in a down-trend.

DJ-UBS Commodity Index/Gold

Precious Metals

Silver broke out of its downward trend channel relative to Gold. Completion of the recent pullback (at zero) confirms the breakout and signals future outperformance.


Stock Markets

Comparing major stock indices, the S&P 500 has outperformed the DJ Stoxx Euro 600 since 2010. Lately the up-trend has accelerated and breach of the latest rising trendline would warn of reversion to at least the long-term trendline. More likely even further.

S&P 500 iShares ETF/Euro Stoxx 600

The S&P 500 shows a similar accelerating up-trend relative to the ASX 200. Breach of the latest trendline would similarly signal reversion to the LT trendline and most likely further.

S&P 500 iShares ETF/ASX 200

Reversion is already under way with India’s Nifty 50 (NSX), now outperforming the S&P 500.

S&P 500 iShares ETF/Nifty 50

S&P 500 performance relative to the Shanghai Composite plateaued at around +0.4. Breakout would signal further gains but respect of resistance is as likely.

S&P 500 iShares ETF/Shanghai Composite


Looking within the Russell 1000 large caps index, Growth stocks (IWF) have clearly outperformed Value (IWD) since 2006. Breach of the latest, incredibly steep trendline, however, warns of reversion to the mean. We are likely to see Value outperform Growth in 2021.

Russell 1000 Value/Growth


The S&P 500 has made strong gains against Treasury bonds since March (iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF [TLT]) but is expected to run into resistance between 1.3 and 1.4. Rising inflation fears, however, may lower bond prices, spurring further outperformance by stocks.

S&P 500 iShares ETF/Long_term Bond ETF (TLT)


The US Dollar is weakening against a basket of major currencies. Euro breakout above resistance at $1.25 would signal a long-term up-trend.


China’s Yuan has already broken resistance at 14.6 US cents, signaling a long-term up-trend.


India’s Rupee remains sluggish.

Indian Rupee/Dollar

But the Australian Dollar is surging. The recent correction that respected support at 70 US cents suggests an advance to at least 80 cents.

Australian Dollar/Dollar

Gold, surprisingly, retraced over the last few months despite the weakening US Dollar. But respect of support at $1800/ounce would signal another primary advance.

Spot Gold/Dollar


Silver is expected to outperform Gold.
Gold is expected to outperform stocks.
Value stocks are expected to outperform Growth.
India’s Nifty 50 is expected to outperform other major indices. This is likely to be followed by the Stoxx Euro 600 and ASX 200 but only if they break their latest, sharply rising trendlines. That leaves the S&P 500 and Shanghai Composite filling the minor placings.
Copper and Crude show signs of a recovery but the broad basket of currencies is expected to underperform stocks and precious metals.
The Greenback is expected to weaken against most major currencies, while rising inflation is likely to leave bond investors holding the wooden spoon.

Footsie falters

Sterling continues to test primary support at 1.13 against the Euro. Twiggs Trend Index peaking below zero warns of selling pressure. Breach of support is likely and would signal a test of the 2016 low at €1.10.


The FTSE 100 breached medium-term support at 7400 and the long-term rising trendline, warning that momentum is slowing. Bearish divergence on Twiggs Trend Index warns of rising selling pressure. Test of primary support at 7100 is likely.

FTSE 100

* Target: 7400 + ( 7400 – 7100 ) = 7700

Footsie hesitates as Sterling tests support

Brexit uncertainty is likely to continue for an extended period, with Sterling testing primary support at 1.13 against the Euro. Breach would signal a test of the 2016 low at 1.10.


The FTSE 100 retraced to test support at 7400, with bearish divergence on Twiggs Money Flow indicating medium-term selling pressure. Respect would confirm the target of 7700*. But breach of the rising trendline is as likely, and would warn of a test of primary support at 7100.

FTSE 100

* Target: 7400 + ( 7400 – 7100 ) = 7700

Footsie stalls as Pound weakens

Sterling continues to test primary support at 1.140 Euro. Breach would signal a decline to the 2016 low at 1.100.


The FTSE 100 advance stalled, signaled by a doji on the weekly chart, with bearish divergence on Twiggs Money Flow indicating medium-term selling pressure. Retracement that respects support at 7400 would re-affirm the target of 7700*.

FTSE 100

* Target: 7400 + ( 7400 – 7100 ) = 7700

Footsie stalls as Pound strengthens

Pound Sterling is strengthening against the US Dollar as well as the Euro (mentioned last week). Recovery of the Pound above 1.27 (GBPUSD) completes a triple bottom, suggesting that a base is forming. Crossover of 13-week Momentum above zero indicates a primary up-trend.

Pound Sterling (GBPUSD)

Breakout above 1.20 against the Euro (GBPEUR) would strengthen the signal.

The FTSE 100 continues to test support at 7100. Declining Twiggs Money Flow indicates medium-term selling pressure. A rising Pound is likely to result in a Footsie test of primary support at 6700.

FTSE 100

Cable drags Footsie lower

Pound Sterling strengthened this week on news of an early election. Despite Brexit fears the Cable, as it is commonly referred to by traders, has been strengthening for several months. Crossover of 13-week Momentum above zero suggests a primary up-trend. Breakout above 1.20 against the Euro would confirm the signal.

Pound Sterling (GBPEUR)

The FTSE 100 retreated from resistance at 7400. Rising troughs on Twiggs Money Flow indicate long-term buying pressure but reversal below 7100 would warn of a correction.

FTSE 100

* Target: 7400 + ( 7400 – 6700 ) = 8100

Why BREXIT matters

From The Guardian, June 14th:

Support for leaving the EU is strengthening, with phone and online surveys reporting a six-point lead, according to a pair of Guardian/ICM polls.

Leave now enjoys a 53%-47% advantage once “don’t knows” are excluded, according to research conducted over the weekend, compared with a 52%-48% split reported by ICM a fortnight ago.

….Prof John Curtice of Strathclyde University, who analyses available referendum polling data on his website, noted that after the ICM data, the running average “poll of polls” would stand at 52% for leave and 48% for remain, the first time leave has been in such a strong position.

If the UK votes to LEAVE, we can expect:

  • A sell-off of UK equities. GDP is expected to contract between 1% and 2%. A Footsie breach of support at 6000 would signal a test of 5500, while breach of 5500 would offer a target of 5000 (5500 – [ 6000 – 5500 ]).

FTSE 100

  • UK housing prices fall.
  • A sharp sell-off in UK banks in response to falling GDP, equities and housing — threatening contagion in financial markets.
  • BOE rate cuts to support the UK economy.
  • A sharp fall in the Pound due to uncertainty, lower interest rates and lower capital inflows.


  • The Euro falls in sympathy, as confidence in the EU dwindles.
  • The US Dollar strengthens, causing the Fed to back off on further interest rate rises.
  • Volatility surges across all markets.
  • Gold spikes upward.

Hat tip to The Coppo Report

A currency war has begun….

Spot Gold

The Federal Reserve, Bank of England, European Central Bank and Bank of Japan all expanded their balance sheets (commonly referred to as quantitative easing or QE for short) post-2008 to counteract a contracting money supply and prevent a deflationary spiral. These actions also have the beneficial effect of weakening the currency and improving international competitiveness.

China was considered immune because of its persistent current account surplus and $4 Trillion in foreign reserves. But the recent sharp contraction in Chinese exports to the EU suggest otherwise.

The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) responded by effectively devaluing the Yuan. So far the “one-off adjustment” has been repeated on three consecutive days.


The Euro appreciated considerably against the US dollar as CNY carry trades are unwound.


Gold broke out of its narrow rectangle between $1080 and $1100 per ounce as investors scuttled to the safety of bullion.

Spot Gold

* Target calculation: 1100 – ( 1200 – 1100 ) = 1000

The Yen displays little net gain or loss.


The Dollar Index does not include China’s Yuan and is falling primarily because of the Euro. The Broad Trade-Weighted Index which includes the Yuan is calculated weekly; so it will take a few days before we can assess the impact.

Dollar Index

Competing devaluations are likely to continue as each state (or trading block) attempts to maintain an export surplus. This is a zero sum game, so each action will inevitably elicit an equivalent response from major trading partners. Currency markets are awash with vast sums of liquid capital and an estimated $9 Trillion in carry trades (where hedge funds borrow in a low-interest-rate currency and invest in another at higher rates). Any beggar-thy-neighbor escalation is likely to destabilize financial markets and the precarious balance may prove difficult to restore.

During the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis George Soros called for international regulation of financial markets to prevent a reoccurrence.

It is time to recognize that financial markets are inherently unstable. Imposing market discipline means imposing instability, and how much instability can society take? …. To put it bluntly, the choice confronting us is whether we will regulate global financial markets internationally or leave it to each individual state to protect its interests as best it can. The latter course will surely lead to the breakdown of the gigantic circulatory system, which goes under the name of global capitalism.

~ George Soros: The Crisis of Global Capitalism (1998)


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Aussie & Euro rally, but for how long?

The Aussie Dollar continues to pressure primary support at $0.8650. 13-Week Twiggs Momentum below zero indicates a primary down-trend. Respect of resistance at $0.89 would strengthen the signal. Breach of primary support would confirm, offering a target of the 2010 low at $0.80.

Aussie Dollar

* Target calculation: 87 – ( 94 – 87 ) = 80

The Euro retraced to test its new resistance at $1.28. Declining 13-week Twiggs Momentum (below zero) confirms a strong down-trend. Respect of resistance would warn of another decline, while breach of medium-term support at $1.25 would target the 2010/2011 lows of $1.20.


* Target calculation: 1.28 – ( 1.40 – 1.28 ) = 1.16

Aussie Dollar & Yen break support

Dollar strength is affecting not only gold and commodities, but even the strongest of the currency crosses.

The Aussie Dollar broke support at $0.92 against the greenback, warning of a correction. Expect support at $0.89. Reversal of 13-week Twiggs Momentum below zero, however, suggests a primary down-trend — confirmed if primary support at $0.87 is penetrated. Recovery above $0.925 is unlikely, but would indicate a false break.

Aussie Dollar

The greenback similarly broke through resistance at ¥105.50 against the Japanese Yen. Rising 13-week Twiggs Momentum above zero signals a primary up-trend. Reversal below ¥105 is unlikely, but would warn of another test of ¥104.


* Target calculation: 105.5 + ( 105.5 – 101 ) = 110

The Euro is already in a primary down-trend against the Dollar. Declining 13-week Twiggs Momentum, below zero, confirms a strong down-trend. Expect support at $1.2750/$1.2800, but a rally is unlikely to break the descending trendline and resistance at $1.31.


* Target calculation: 1.35 – ( 1.40 – 1.35 ) = 1.30