Support for the Yuan lifts Gold

China’s PBOC stepped in with belated support for the Yuan, holding the line at 14.5 US cents.


The Dollar retreated, with the Dollar Index testing support at 95. Respect of support would confirm another advance, with a long-term target of 103 — if central banks like the Fed and PBOC don’t intervene.

Dollar Index

Gold rallied as the Dollar weakened, testing resistance at $1200/ounce. Respect of the descending trendline would warn of another decline with a long-term target of the 2015 low at $1050/ounce.

Spot Gold in USD

The Australian Dollar also rallied, reducing the benefit to local gold miners.

Australian Dollar/USD

The All Ordinaries Gold Index (XGD) continues its downward path, with a long-term target of 4000/4100.

All Ordinaries Gold Index

China is conserving its capital account as best it can, after losing $1 trillion in foreign reserves supporting the Yuan in 2015 – 2016.

China: Foreign Reserves excluding Gold

But failure to support its currency is sure to antagonize the Trump administration and elicit further trade tariffs.

….Trade is drying up and China is stuck with debt it can’t repay or rollover easily. This marks the end of China’s Cinderella growth story, and the beginning of a period of economic slowdown and potential social unrest.

~ Jim Rickards at Daily Reckoning

If that’s the case, expect the Dollar to strengthen and further gold weakness.

How QE reversal will impact on financial markets

The Federal Reserve last year announced plans to shrink its balance sheet which had grown to $4.5 trillion under the quantitative easing (QE) program.

According to its June 2017 Normalization Plan, the Fed will scale back reinvestment at the rate of $10 billion per month and step this up every 3 months by a further $10 billion per month until it reaches a total of $50 billion per month in 2019. That means that $100 billion will be withheld in the first year and $200 billion each year thereafter.

How will this impact on financial markets? Here are a few clues.

First, from the Nikkei Asian Review on January 11:

The yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note shot to a 10-month high of 2.59% in London, before retreating later in the day and ending roughly unchanged in New York. Yields rise when bonds are sold.

The selling was sparked by reports that China may halt or slow down its purchases of U.S. Treasury holdings. China has the world’s largest foreign exchange reserves — holding $3.1 trillion, about 40% of which is in U.S. government notes, according to Brad Setser, senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Chinese officials, as expected, denied the reports. But they would have to be pondering what to do with more than a trillion dollars of US Treasuries during a bond bear market.

Treasury yields are rising, with the 10-year yield breaking through resistance at 2.60%, signaling a primary up-trend.

On the quarterly chart, 10-year yields have broken clear of the long-term trend channel drawn at 2 standard deviations, warning of reversal of the three-decade-long secular trend. But final confirmation will only come from a breakout above 3.0%, completing a large double-bottom.

Withdrawal or a slow-down of US Treasury purchases by foreign buyers (let’s not call them investors – they have other motives) would cause the Dollar to weaken. The Dollar Index recently broke support at 91, signaling another primary decline.

The falling Dollar has created a bull market for gold which is likely to continue while interest rates are low.

US equities are likely to benefit from the falling Dollar. Domestic manufacturers can compete more effectively in both local and export markets, while the weaker Dollar will boost offshore earnings of multinationals.

The S&P 500 is headed for a test of its long-term target at 3000*.

Target: 1500 x 2 = 3000

Emerging market borrowers may also benefit from lower domestic servicing costs on Dollar-denominated loans.

Bridgewater CEO Ray Dalio at Davos:

We are in this Goldilocks period right now. Inflation isn’t a problem. Growth is good, everything is pretty good with a big jolt of stimulation coming from changes in tax laws…

If there is a downside, it is likely to be higher US inflation as employment surges and commodity prices rise. Which would force the Fed to raise interest rates faster than the market expects.

Gold breaks through $1250

10-Year Treasury Yields are testing support at 2.30%. Expect this to hold. Breach of the rising trendline would warn of a correction but this seems unlikely with the Fed intent on normalizing interest rates. Breakout above 2.50% would offer a target of 3.0%.

10-Year Treasury Yields

The Dollar Index rally remains muted since finding support at 100. Rising long-term yields would fuel the advance, with bearish consequences for gold.

Dollar Index

China’s Yuan is consolidating. Resistance on USDCNY at 7 Yuan is likely to be tested soon.


The PBOC has been burning through its foreign reserves to slow the rate of depreciation against the Dollar, to create a soft landing. A sharp fall would destabilize global financial markets and fuel capital flight from China.

China Foreign Reserves

Spot Gold broke through resistance at $1250, signaling an advance to $1300.

Spot Gold

Gold surges on BREXIT fears

Long-term interest rates continue their decline, with 10-year Treasury yields breaking support at 1.65 percent. Breach signals a test of the all-time (July 2012) low of 1.40 percent.

10-year Treasury yields

Gold broke resistance at $1300/ounce on fears of a BREXIT vote on June 23rd and expectations that the Fed will need to soft-pedal on interest rates. Breakout offers a long-term target of $1550*.


* Target calculation: 1300 + ( 1300 – 1050 ) = 1550

Chinese buying of gold has been relegated to secondary status, at least for the next week. Sale of foreign reserves appear to have resumed, with the USDCNY running into resistance at 6.60. PBOC sale of foreign reserves weakens the Dollar, boosting demand for Gold.


Disclosure: Our Australian managed portfolios are invested in gold stocks.

Rising inflation, Dollar weakens

The consumer price index (CPI) ticked up 1.14% (year-on-year) for April 2016, on the back of higher oil prices. Core CPI (excluding energy and food) eased slightly to 2.15%.

CPI and Core CPI

Inflation is muted, but a sharp rise in hourly manufacturing (production and nonsupervisory employees) earnings growth (2.98% for 12 months to April 2016) points to further increases.

Manufacturing Hourly Earnings Growth

Despite this, long-term interest rates remain weak, with 10-year Treasury yields testing support at 1.65 percent. Breach would signal another test of the record low at 1.50% in 2012. The dovish Fed is a contributing factor, but so could safe-haven demand from investors wary of stocks….

10-year Treasury Yields

The Dollar

The US Dollar Index rallied off long-term support at 93 but this looks more a pause in the primary down-trend (signaled by decline of 13-week Momentum below zero) than a reversal.

US Dollar Index

Explanation for the Dollar rally is evident on the chart of China’s foreign reserves: a pause in the sharp decline of the last 2 years. China has embarked on another massive stimulus program in an attempt to shock their economy out of its present slump.

China: Foreign Reserves

But this hair of the dog remedy is unlikely to solve their problems, merely postpone the inevitable reckoning. The Yuan is once again weakening against the Dollar. Decline in China’s reserves — and the US Dollar as a consequence — is likely to continue.

USD: Chinese Yuan

Gold unlikely to benefit as China loosens Dollar peg

Long-term interest rates remain soft despite the anticipated Fed rate hike. 10-Year Treasury yields respected support at 2.0 percent and breakout above 2.50 percent would indicate a test of primary resistance at 3.00 percent.

10-Year Treasury Yields

Two factors have been driving US interest rates lower over the last decade: Fed monetary policy and PBOC purchases of US Treasuries. China built up $4 trillion of foreign reserves, a substantial amount in US Treasuries, to suppress appreciation of the Yuan against the Dollar and maintain a trade advantage.

China Foreign Reserves

China’s foreign reserves declined over the last year as the country struggled to maintain its peg against the strengthening Dollar, with large capital outflows. The shift from a strict peg to the Dollar to a basket of currencies may take immediate pressure off the PBOC. But a weakening Yuan is likely to encourage further capital outflows. And borrowers with USD-denominated loans are likely to suffer losses, increasing capital outflows through hedging or early repayment. So relief may be temporary.


Retreat of the greenback is unlikely to continue now that the PBOC has announced it will loosen its peg against the Dollar. Dollar Index breakout above 100 and recovery of 13-week Twiggs Momentum above its descending trendline would both signal a fresh advance. Target for the advance is 107*.

Dollar Index

* Target calculation: 100 + ( 100 – 93 ) = 107


Gold’s down-trend continues. Breach of (short-term) support at $1050 per ounce would confirm a test of (long-term) support at $1000/ounce*. 13-Week Twiggs Momentum peaks below zero indicate a strong primary down-trend. A stronger Dollar is likely to further weaken demand for gold.

Spot Gold

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

China hemorrhages reserves

China has chewed through close to half a trillion dollars of its foreign currency reserves (excluding gold) over the last year, supporting the Yuan.

China Foreign Reserves ex-Gold

But the Yuan continues to sink against the US Dollar.


When people don’t have a say in how the country is run, their capital tends to vote with its feet.