"The history of Eureka lies in its future." - Lambert Molinelli, 1878

DISCLOSURE

The author/editor of the Eureka Miner owns common shares of local mining stocks, McEwen Mining (MUX) and General Moly (GMO). Please do your own research, markets can turn on you faster than a feral cat.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Gold $1,558, "I love riding a horse that's running"; McEwen Reports

Before the BIG Store - Scott Raine & the ole Colonel
Eureka, Nevada (2011)

Friday, January 17, 2020 AM

Follow the ole Colonel on twitter @Eurekaminer

Next Week Target Gold Price: $1,580 per ounce, Target Silver Price: $18.31 per ounce.

My latest Kitco News commentary: Leading indicator for U.S./China trade - copper, gold & yuan (1/13/2020) [summary of recent commentaries given at the bottom of the blog]

An easy-to-understand overview on gold (32 slides, read explanation below each slide): History of gold and which countries have the most

Morning Miners!

I'll be celebrating 72 turns around the sun next Friday so no Eureka Miner report next week. I plan to tweet market news/events during the week so please follow me at @Eurekaminer

Checkout the Gold Bar production numbers for last year (see McEwen Reports). Also I've developed a China Indicator to track progress of U.S./China Phase I implementation and Phase II negotiations (see The Colonel's Latest Kitco News Commentaries).

My thoughts on gold, silver & copper this morning as input to the Kitco News Weekly Gold Survey:

With the Phase I U.S./China deal signed and Middle East turmoil off the front page, it appears that the sky is the limit for equities - at least in the short- term. As renowned hedge fund manager David Tepper said this morning, "I love riding a horse that's running." An exuberant domestic stock market is therefore the biggest headwind for gold and it is critical to monitor the gold-to-S&P 500 ratio (AUSP). The AUSP chart has maintained a trend of higher-lows since October, 2018. However, that bullish trend for the yellow metal has been challenged since late-December [see Chart to Watch].

Gold has bravely inched higher with stocks but barely. If the S&P 500 reaches 3,350 next week, gold must make $1,580 per ounce to stay above water. I'm optimistic that this is possible given residual uncertainty about the U.S. election, corporate earnings and 2019 growth. My vote is up with silver following that level to $18.31 per ounce.

From an interest rate perspective, even with a trend higher in global yields, a bullish environment remains for a non-interest earning asset like gold. Negative or near-zero interest rates for major countries and near-zero real rates in the U.S. remain in place.* 

* 10-year bonds: German Bund -0.22%, France +0.04% and Japan -0.01%; 10-year U.S. real rate +0.06%

McEwen Reports

McEwen Mining (MUX) reported out their production numbers this week:


Gold Bar produced 30,712 GEOs in 2019, within our revised full year production guidance of 30,000 to 33,000 GEOs. In Q4, production was 9,713 GEOs. Throughput at the crushing plant slowed in Q4 with the onset of winter, and we expect that to persist through Q1 2020. 

(Note: GEOs or 'Gold Equivalent Ounces' are calculated based on a 75:1 gold to silver price ratio for Q1 2019, 88:1 for Q2 2019, 87:1 for Q3 2019, and 85:1 for Q4 2019. 2019 GEO Guidance assumed a 85:1 ratio)

McEwen Inc. Mining (MUX):  $1.2000 per share

Go Gold Bar!

Weekly Summary

Here is a weekly summary chart of gold and my 16 favorite market variables. They are grouped in categories "Commodities", "Interest Rates", "Indexes" and "Currencies" of 4 variables each. Over time, each variable has played some part in the gold story. It is prudent to monitor all 16 to understand the key price drivers that are currently active for the yellow metal. Importantly, this is not a unique collection of variables but one that works well for the ole Colonel

Because The Eureka Miner is a morning report, Friday AM prices are compared with the closing prices of the previous week (click on charts for larger size):


This weekly chart of comparative value tracks the value of gold relative to key currencies, commodities and indexes :


Silver Watch

Comex silver is in $18 per ounce territory this week.

Please check this out if you get the silver bug:

How to Invest in Silver (Debbie Carlson, U.S. News & World Report, August 1, 2019)

How to smartly buy gold and silver:

How to Mine Physical Precious Metals for an IRA (Debbie Carlson, Barrons, Sept. 8, 2019)

The gold-to-silver ratio (GSR) set a new high July 11 at 91.3 ounce per ounce - a trend down from this top is bullish for silver if the Lustrous One rallies. 

At 86.3, silver is historically very cheap relative to gold!

The 10-year average GSR is much lower at 67.7 ounce per ounce.

The 3-month beta with gold fell again this week, currently 1.14 (i.e. on average the daily % rise or fall of silver price is beta times the % change in gold price).

(click on image for larger size)

Gold-to-Silver Ratio

Note that this week, the GSR is near long-term trend line of higher-lows established in April 2011 when silver flirted with $50 per ounce. A GSR falling below this trend is bullish silver.

Historical note:

In the past, when gold and silver were legal tender (see gold overview link below headline photo), it was important to set a value relationship between them. In 1792, the U.S. fixed its price at 15:1. This means that 1 troy ounce of gold was worth 15 troy ounces of silver. Over the years, as this ratio has changed, precious metal investors have used it as a signal of when to buy.

Stay tuned.

Inflation Watch

Inflation expectations made a high April 23, 2018 above trend lines of higher lows (dotted lines, click on chart for larger size). Those trend lines were broken dramatically to the downside. Expectations are modestly on the rise again from the October, 2019 low.

10-year Inflation Expectations

Note: In the above chart inflation expectations peaked April 23, 2018 at 2.18%. May 29 broke a trend line of higher-lows. This week, expectations  are 1.74% as of Thursday up from the October 3 low of 1.48%. 

Many believe, including the ole Colonel, that gold price is more sensitive to inflation expectations than other measure of inflation. My January Kitco News commentary explains the importance of tracking "real rates" which are a function of inflation expectations:


 Old Glory
Eureka, Nevada

Chart to Watch

Here's a chart to watch for 2020 (Click on the image for a larger size):

Gold-to-S&P 500 Ratio

An important gold ratio is gold-to-S&P500 or AUSP. The ratio bottomed in early-December of 2015 and reversed to a bullish trend, peaking February 11, 2016 (0.6849). It bottomed December 20, 2016 (0.4973) trended higher but then bearishly reversed into a downward channel bottoming again October 1, 2017 (0.4063). Currently this AM the AUSP is at 0.4687 and below the high of 0.5409 set at the close December 21, 2018. Importantly, the ratio has left the downward trending channel with a new trend of higher-lows starting with the October, 2018 low. That trend is now challenged (red arrow & circle). 

Six Things to Watch in 2020

The ole Colonel's beer bet (won on an intraday basis Tuesday, January 7th!):

Gold will break [a closing basis] $1,600 on per ounce before the 4th of July 2020

Let's keep the bet alive by looking at closing instead of intraday prices - what a sport!

My top six things to watch for 2020:
  1. Copper prices -  I'd like to see copper prices push us above $6,500 per tonne ($2.95 per pound). A fall below the $6,000-level ($2.72) would be a bad sign - for example, U.S./China trade Phase I in trouble or escalating geo-political unrest.
  2. Chinese yuan - strengthening below 7 USDCNY is a good sign that their economy and trade are on an improving track (Weekly Summary). Sustained weakening above the 7-level is a red flag. 
  3. U.S. dollar - will it remain strong or begin a period of decline? Foreign demand for Treasury debt has kept the dollar strong but rising U.S. deficits and countries trying to move away from dollar dependence (e.g., China, Russia) are countervailing forces not to be ignored. The U.S. Dollar Index (DXY) made its high September 30 this year and has been in a downtrend of lower-lows since (99.38 September high). This reports tracks the Invesco DB US Dollar Index Bullish Fund (UUP) (27.01 September high, see Weekly Summary below for latest price). Finally, overseas interest in Treasurys has been fueled by negative interest rates abroad. This report monitors the German 10-year bund (Weekly Summary) as a benchmark for foreign Treasury demand.
  4. Interest Rates - there is an almost uncanny relationship between the yield on the benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury and the copper-to-gold ratio (CGR, Weekly Summary). I've written about this extensively since 2017 ( see The Colonel's Latest Kitco News Commentaries below). Bottom line, a rising CGR signals higher interest rates for 2020.
  5. Real rates - The 10-year inflation adjusted Treasury yield, or real rate, is the difference between the nominal yield and inflation expectations (aka 10-year "break-even" rate). Since gold is a non-interest bearing assets it performs best when real rates are near zero or negative. This report tracks real rates (Weekly Summary) and inflation expectations (Inflation Watch). Since gold is often considered an inflation hedge it is prudent to track both. In 2020, inflation may pick up (gold bullish) but if interest rates rise faster, an increasing real rate dampens interest in in the yellow metal (gold bearish).
  6. Gold-to-S&P 500 ratio (AUSP) - Gold's relationship with equities is key to monitor. Gold lost value to the S&P 500 from Donald Trump's election until October of 2018. Since then it has regained value in a trend of higher-lows (see Chart to Watch below). We entered 2020 with that trend higher challenged. Falling below trend would be a very bearish sign for gold.
Predictions aside, 2020 will no doubt be an exciting year in the markets. Get ready for a roller-coaster ride, pardner. I remain bullish gold!

The Colonel's Latest Kitco News Commentaries

Please checkout my latest Kitco News columns on the stunning relationship of copper and gold prices with interest rates:







Here is my China Indicator updated through this morning (see above 1/13/2020 Kitco column). A low number is good. Last Friday made a bottom after the signing of the Phase I deal of 0.3011. This AM the indicator sits at 0.5333 - all is good unless we see the indicator moving above its 5-year average of 0.77 (click on chart for larger size).

China 2-rho Divergence Indicator



Cheers,

Colonel Possum & Mariana



Photos by Mariana Titus if not otherwise noted

Friday, January 10, 2020

Gold Rockets to $1,613, Now $1,560; Missiles, Jobs & China

Talking Silver with Johnny Brown (2012, silver was $33+)
Eureka, Nevada

Friday, January 10, 2020 AM

Follow the ole Colonel on twitter @Eurekaminer

TUESDAY EVENING (1/7/20): Comex gold touched $1,613.3 per ounce after Iran launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles at U.S. forces in Iraq.

Next Week Target Gold Price: $1,525 per ounce, Target Silver Price: $17.67 per ounce.

My latest Kitco News commentary: Leading indicator for U.S./China trade - copper, gold & yuan (1/13/2020) [summary of recent commentaries given at the bottom of the blog]

An easy-to-understand overview on gold (32 slides, read explanation below each slide): History of gold and which countries have the most

Morning Miners!

The roller coaster ride continues. The U.S. and Iran step back from the brink of war, the U.S./China Phase I deal is still on track for signing next week and today's monthly jobs reports disappoints but remains solid. Other than stocks breaking new records, markets have returned to about where they were last Friday. Go figure.

Make sure you check my twitter feed for updates between reports (@Eurekaminer). I was busy as a bird tweeting this week!

My thoughts on gold, silver & copper this morning as input to the Kitco News Weekly Gold Survey:

What a crazy week. Gold soars above $1,600 per ounce as Iranian missiles fly towards U.S. forces in Iraq then plunges $72 after cooler heads prevail and now trades only a dollar or two from where it closed last Friday.* [Note: gold did move up a bit after the Pompeo/Mnuchin Iran sanctions press conference, now around $1,560-level].China and copper rolled through the Middle East drama unfazed with the later trading with very low currency-like volatility - a penny or two per pound from a week ago.

There appears to be a steady-state component to commodities currently superimposed by transient spikes in safe-haven gold and conflict-sensitive oil. This is supported by a strong one- and three-month correlation with the U.S. Dollar Index for both gold and the Bloomberg Commodity Index (BCOM). Compared to record-breaking domestic stocks, the yellow metal is just barely holding its value relative to an uptrend of higher-lows established since early-October 2018, a key trend to monitor [see Chart to Watch below].

With this backdrop, unless there is another geo-political shock, it is likely gold will remain above the $1,500-level next week but not by much. I think equilibrium is somewhere around $1,525 per ounce with silver following at $17.67 per ounce.

From an interest rate perspective, even with a trend higher in global yields, a bullish environment remains for a non-interest earning asset like gold. Negative or near-zero interest rates for major countries and very low real rates in the U.S. are still in place.**

* Comex February gold high/low range $1,613.3 (1/8), $1,541.0 (1/9)
** 10-year bonds: German Bund -0.19%, France +0.05% and Japan -0.01%; 10-year U.S. real rate +0.07%

If you are wondering why oil didn't reach for the sky this week here is is a terrific analysis by commodity journalist Debbie Carlson:


The monthly Employment Situation Summary reported an addition of 145,000 jobs (160,00 expected) in December with a headline unemployment rate unchanged at 3.5%. 2.1 million jobs were added in 2019 compared to 2.7 million in 2018. Solid, pardner.

Weekly Summary

Here is a weekly summary chart of gold and my 16 favorite market variables. They are grouped in categories "Commodities", "Interest Rates", "Indexes" and "Currencies" of 4 variables each. Over time, each variable has played some part in the gold story. It is prudent to monitor all 16 to understand the key price drivers that are currently active for the yellow metal. Importantly, this is not a unique collection of variables but one that works well for the ole Colonel

Because The Eureka Miner is a morning report, Friday AM prices are compared with the closing prices of the previous week (click on charts for larger size):


This weekly chart of comparative value tracks the value of gold relative to key currencies, commodities and indexes :


Silver Watch

Comex silver is in $18 per ounce territory this week.

Please check this out if you get the silver bug:

How to Invest in Silver (Debbie Carlson, U.S. News & World Report, August 1, 2019)

How to smartly buy gold and silver:

How to Mine Physical Precious Metals for an IRA (Debbie Carlson, Barrons, Sept. 8, 2019)

The gold-to-silver ratio (GSR) set a new high July 11 at 91.3 ounce per ounce - a trend down from this top is bullish for silver if the Lustrous One rallies. 

At 86.3, silver is historically very cheap relative to gold!

The 10-year average GSR is much lower at 67.7 ounce per ounce.

The 3-month beta with gold is fell again this week, currently 1.26 (i.e. on average the daily % rise or fall of silver price is beta times the % change in gold price).

(click on image for larger size)

Gold-to-Silver Ratio

Note that this week, the GSR is right at the long-term trend line of higher-lows established in April 2011 when silver flirted with $50 per ounce. A GSR falling below this trend is bullish silver.

Historical note:

In the past, when gold and silver were legal tender (see gold overview link below headline photo), it was important to set a value relationship between them. In 1792, the U.S. fixed its price at 15:1. This means that 1 troy ounce of gold was worth 15 troy ounces of silver. Over the years, as this ratio has changed, precious metal investors have used it as a signal of when to buy.

Stay tuned.

Inflation Watch

Inflation expectations made a high April 23, 2018 above trend lines of higher lows (dotted lines, click on chart for larger size). Those trend lines were broken dramatically to the downside late last year. Expectations are on the rise again from the October, 2019 low.

10-year Inflation Expectations

Note: In the above chart inflation expectations peaked April 23, 2018 at 2.18%. May 29 broke a trend line of higher-lows. This week, expectations  are 1.74% as of Tuesday up from the October 3 low of 1.48%. 

Many believe, including the ole Colonel, that gold price is more sensitive to inflation expectations than other measure of inflation. My January Kitco News commentary explains the importance of tracking "real rates" which are a function of inflation expectations:


 Old Glory
Eureka, Nevada

Chart to Watch

Here's a chart to watch for 2020 (Click on the image for a larger size):

Gold-to-S&P 500 Ratio

An important gold ratio is gold-to-S&P500 or AUSP. The ratio bottomed in early-December of 2015 and reversed to a bullish trend, peaking February 11, 2016 (0.6849). It bottomed December 20, 2016 (0.4973) trended higher but then bearishly reversed into a downward channel bottoming again October 1, 2017 (0.4063). Currently this AM the AUSP is at 0.4746 and below the high of 0.5409 set at the close December 21, 2018. Importantly, the ratio has left the downward trending channel with a new trend of higher-lows starting with the October, 2018 low. That trend is now challenged (red arrow & circle). 

Six Things to Watch in 2020

The ole Colonel's beer bet (won on an intraday basis Tuesday, January 7th!):

Gold will break [a closing basis] $1,600 on per ounce before the 4th of July 2020

Let's keep the bet alive by looking at closing instead of intraday prices - what a sport!

My top six things to watch for 2020:
  1. Copper prices -  I'd like to see copper prices push us above $6,500 per tonne ($2.95 per pound). A fall below the $6,000-level ($2.72) would be a bad sign - for example, U.S./China trade Phase I in trouble or escalating geo-political unrest.
  2. Chinese yuan - strengthening below 7 USDCNY is a good sign that their economy and trade are on an improving track (Weekly Summary). Sustained weakening above the 7-level is a red flag. 
  3. U.S. dollar - will it remain strong or begin a period of decline? Foreign demand for Treasury debt has kept the dollar strong but rising U.S. deficits and countries trying to move away from dollar dependence (e.g., China, Russia) are countervailing forces not to be ignored. The U.S. Dollar Index (DXY) made its high September 30 this year and has been in a downtrend of lower-lows since (99.38 September high). This reports tracks the Invesco DB US Dollar Index Bullish Fund (UUP) (27.01 September high, see Weekly Summary below for latest price). Finally, overseas interest in Treasurys has been fueled by negative interest rates abroad. This report monitors the German 10-year bund (Weekly Summary) as a benchmark for foreign Treasury demand.
  4. Interest Rates - there is an almost uncanny relationship between the yield on the benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury and the copper-to-gold ratio (CGR, Weekly Summary). I've written about this extensively since 2017 ( see The Colonel's Latest Kitco News Commentaries below). Bottom line, a rising CGR signals higher interest rates for 2020.
  5. Real rates - The 10-year inflation adjusted Treasury yield, or real rate, is the difference between the nominal yield and inflation expectations (aka 10-year "break-even" rate). Since gold is a non-interest bearing assets it performs best when real rates are near zero or negative. This report tracks real rates (Weekly Summary) and inflation expectations (Inflation Watch). Since gold is often considered an inflation hedge it is prudent to track both. In 2020, inflation may pick up (gold bullish) but if interest rates rise faster, an increasing real rate dampens interest in in the yellow metal (gold bearish).
  6. Gold-to-S&P 500 ratio (AUSP) - Gold's relationship with equities is key to monitor. Gold lost value to the S&P 500 from Donald Trump's election until October of 2018. Since then it has regained value in a trend of higher-lows (see Chart to Watch below). We entered 2020 with that trend higher challenged. Falling below trend would be a very bearish sign for gold.
Predictions aside, 2020 will no doubt be an exciting year in the markets. Get ready for a roller-coaster ride, pardner. I remain bullish gold!

The Colonel's Latest Kitco News Commentaries

Please checkout my latest Kitco News columns on the stunning relationship of copper and gold prices with interest rates:







Here is the latest model of U.S. Treasury yields based on the copper-gold ratio (click on image for larger view):
10-year U.S. Treasury Yield based on Copper-to-Gold Ratio

For the above chart, model coefficients are calculated every Friday. 

Cheers,

Colonel Possum & Mariana



Photos by Mariana Titus if not otherwise noted

Friday, January 3, 2020

Gold $1,554 on U.S. Airstrike; Oil Pops, Stocks Drop

Up the Down Staircase (January 2011)
Eureka, Nevada

Friday, January 03, 2020 AM

Follow the ole Colonel on twitter @Eurekaminer

UPDATE TUESDAY EVENING (1/7/20): Comex gold touched $1,613.3 per ounce after the Iran launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles at U.S. forces in Iraq.

UPDATE SUNDAY EVENING (1/5/20): Brent crude oil above $70; Comex gold $1,581; Comex copper $2.79; e-mini S&P 500 futures down more than 1% at 3,222 - could be a rocky week ahead.

Next Week Target Gold Price: $1,540 per ounce, Target Silver Price: $18.02 per ounce.

My latest Kitco News commentary: Is Jeffrey Gundlach right about copper, gold & interest rates? (12/23/2019) [summary of recent commentaries given at the bottom of the blog]

An easy-to-understand overview on gold (32 slides, read explanation below each slide): History of gold and which countries have the most

Morning Miners!

Last week I said 2020 could be a market roller coaster but didn't expect the wild ride would start this soon.

Yesterday, stocks soared as the S&P 500 notched a new record (3,258.14). Then around 4:00 pm Eureka time, news hit the wires that top Iranian General Qassem Soleimani had been killed by a U.S. airstrike near the Baghdad airport. Gold and crude oil popped as S&P 500 futures dropped. Comex February gold scored a high of $1,554 per ounce in the wee hours and is trading at $1,547.8 as I write this report. Stock markets did open lower but have recovered some ground, down less than 1%. Comex copper (March) took a dive to $2.7595 per pound but then recovered to trade at $2.79. Importantly, the red metal never dipped below this report's key $6,000 per tonne-level (or $2.72 per pound, see Six Things to Watch in 2020 below). 

[Update: Comex February gold touched $1,556.6 per ounce later in the day, closed at $1,552.4]

We've been here before and it is impossible to gauge the long- or even near-term effect this strike will have on the markets. The good news is that the U.S. is much less dependent on foreign oil so the impact of Middle East unrest is muted to some degree. In 2011, such an event would have pushed oil towards or above $100 per barrel. Brent crude, the global crude benchmark, failed to break $70 and is now trading only 1% above last Friday's price; WTI crude is up 3% (see Weekly Summary below). Going forward, much depends on the extent and nature of Iranian retaliation for Soleimani's death followed by possible further U.S. action.

The positive for gold miners is that the yellow metal has been on a upwards trend of higher-lows since mid-November with solid gains in the last several weeks. It also seems to be holding its own relative to stocks (see Chart to Watch). So far, so good. 

The next planned market event of major significance is the monthly jobs report delayed until next Friday due to the closeness of the New Year's holiday. Economic activity in the manufacturing sector did contract in December but the overall economy grew for the 128th consecutive month as reported in today's Manufacturing ISM Report On Business®.

Weekly Summary

Here is a weekly summary chart of gold and my 16 favorite market variables. They are grouped in categories "Commodities", "Interest Rates", "Indexes" and "Currencies" of 4 variables each. Over time, each variable has played some part in the gold story. It is prudent to monitor all 16 to understand the key price drivers that are currently active for the yellow metal. Importantly, this is not a unique collection of variables but one that works well for the ole Colonel

Because The Eureka Miner is a morning report, Friday AM prices are compared with the closing prices of the previous week (click on charts for larger size):


This weekly chart of comparative value tracks the value of gold relative to key currencies, commodities and indexes :


Silver Watch

Comex silver is in $18 per ounce territory this week.

Please check this out if you get the silver bug:

How to Invest in Silver (Debbie Carlson, U.S. News & World Report, August 1, 2019)

How to smartly buy gold and silver:

How to Mine Physical Precious Metals for an IRA (Debbie Carlson, Barrons, Sept. 8, 2019)

The gold-to-silver ratio (GSR) set a new high July 11 at 91.3 ounce per ounce - a trend down from this top is bullish for silver if the Lustrous One rallies. 

At 85.47, silver is historically very, very cheap relative to gold!

The 10-year average GSR is much lower at 67.7 ounce per ounce.

The 3-month beta with gold is falling this week but still a reasonable 1.67 (i.e. on average the daily % rise or fall of silver price is beta times that of gold).

(click on image for larger size)

Gold-to-Silver Ratio

Note that this week, the GSR is right at the long-term trend line of higher-lows established in April 2011 when silver flirted with $50 per ounce. A GSR falling below this trend is bullish silver.

Historical note:

In the past, when gold and silver were legal tender (see gold overview link below headline photo), it was important to set a value relationship between them. In 1792, the U.S. fixed its price at 15:1. This means that 1 troy ounce of gold was worth 15 troy ounces of silver. Over the years, as this ratio has changed, precious metal investors have used it as a signal of when to buy.

Stay tuned.

Inflation Watch

Inflation expectations made a high April 23, 2018 above trend lines of higher lows (dotted lines, click on chart for larger size). Those trend lines were broken dramatically to the downside late last year. Expectations are on the rise again from the October, 2019 low.

10-year Inflation Expectations

Note: In the above chart inflation expectations peaked April 23, 2018 at 2.18%. May 29 broke a trend line of higher-lows. This week, expectations  are 1.77% as of Tuesday up from the October 3 low of 1.48%. 

Many believe, including the ole Colonel, that gold price is more sensitive to inflation expectations than other measure of inflation. My January Kitco News commentary explains the importance of tracking "real rates" which are a function of inflation expectations:


 Old Glory
Eureka, Nevada

Chart to Watch

Here's a chart to watch for 2020 (Click on the image for a larger size):

Gold-to-S&P 500 Ratio

An important gold ratio is gold-to-S&P500 or AUSP. The ratio bottomed in early-December of 2015 and reversed to a bullish trend, peaking February 11, 2016 (0.6849). It bottomed December 20, 2016 (0.4973) trended higher but then bearishly reversed into a downward channel bottoming again October 1, 2017 (0.4063). Currently this AM the AUSP is at 0.4781 and below the high of 0.5409 set at the close December 21, 2018. Importantly, the ratio has left the downward trending channel with a new trend of higher-lows starting with the October, 2018 low. That trend is now challenged (red arrow & circle) but moving in the right direction this Friday.

Six Things to Watch in 2020

The ole Colonel's beer bet (might be an easy one given the way the year has started!):

Gold will break $1,600 per ounce before the 4th of July 2020

UPDATE TUESDAY EVENING (1/7/20): Comex gold touched $1,613.3 per ounce after the Iran launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles at U.S. forces in Iraq.

My top six things to watch for 2020:
  1. Copper prices -  I'd like to see copper prices push us above $6,500 per tonne ($2.95 per pound). A fall below the $6,000-level ($2.72) would be a bad sign - for example, U.S./China trade Phase I in trouble or escalating geo-political unrest.
  2. Chinese yuan - strengthening below 7 USDCNY is a good sign that their economy and trade are on an improving track (Weekly Summary). Sustained weakening above the 7-level is a red flag. 
  3. U.S. dollar - will it remain strong or begin a period of decline? Foreign demand for Treasury debt has kept the dollar strong but rising U.S. deficits and countries trying to move away from dollar dependence (e.g., China, Russia) are countervailing forces not to be ignored. The U.S. Dollar Index (DXY) made its high September 30 this year and has been in a downtrend of lower-lows since (99.38 September high). This reports tracks the Invesco DB US Dollar Index Bullish Fund (UUP) (27.01 September high, see Weekly Summary below for latest price). Finally, overseas interest in Treasurys has been fueled by negative interest rates abroad. This report monitors the German 10-year bund (Weekly Summary) as a benchmark for foreign Treasury demand.
  4. Interest Rates - there is an almost uncanny relationship between the yield on the benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury and the copper-to-gold ratio (CGR, Weekly Summary). I've written about this extensively since 2017 ( see The Colonel's Latest Kitco News Commentaries below). Bottom line, a rising CGR signals higher interest rates for 2020.
  5. Real rates - The 10-year inflation adjusted Treasury yield, or real rate, is the difference between the nominal yield and inflation expectations (aka 10-year "break-even" rate). Since gold is a non-interest bearing assets it performs best when real rates are near zero or negative. This report tracks real rates (Weekly Summary) and inflation expectations (Inflation Watch). Since gold is often considered an inflation hedge it is prudent to track both. In 2020, inflation may pick up (gold bullish) but if interest rates rise faster, an increasing real rate dampens interest in in the yellow metal (gold bearish).
  6. Gold-to-S&P 500 ratio (AUSP) - Gold's relationship with equities is key to monitor. Gold lost value to the S&P 500 from Donald Trump's election until October of 2018. Since then it has regained value in a trend of higher-lows (see Chart to Watch below). We enter 2020 with that trend higher challenged. Falling below trend would be a very bearish sign for gold.
Predictions aside, 2020 will no doubt be an exciting year in the markets. Get ready for a roller-coaster ride, pardner. I remain bullish gold!

The Colonel's Latest Kitco News Commentaries

Please checkout my latest Kitco News columns on the stunning relationship of copper and gold prices with interest rates:






Here is the latest model of U.S. Treasury yields based on the copper-gold ratio (click on image for larger view):
10-year U.S. Treasury Yield based on Copper-to-Gold Ratio

In the above chart, model coefficients are calculated every Friday. 

Cheers,

Colonel Possum & Mariana



Photos by Mariana Titus if not otherwise noted

Friday, December 27, 2019

Gold $1,520, Silver $18.1, Copper $2.85 Giddy-up! Happy New Year Miners!

Main Street Eureka (December 2010)
Eureka, Nevada

Friday, December 27, 2019 AM

Follow the ole Colonel on twitter @Eurekaminer

Next Week Target Gold Price: $1,510 per ounce, Target Silver Price: $17.92 per ounce.


An easy-to-understand overview on gold (32 slides, read explanation below each slide): History of gold and which countries have the most

Happy New Year Miners!

We're closing the year with our favorite metals catching a gear higher. Earlier this morning Comex February gold touched $1,519.9 per ounce, March silver scored $18.05 per ounce and the red metal came within a whisker of yesterday's high of $2.8565 per pound. The  S&P 500 and other major stock indexes remain in record-breaking mode (today's new intraday high 3,247.93). We'll see how the markets close but things are looking up as we enter a new decade next week.

Kitco News did not conduct a survey today, so I'll leave you some thoughts for 2020. I believe there is more than a good chance that gold will break $1,600 by mid-year. Let's make it a beer bet:

Gold will break $1,600 per ounce before the 4th of July 2020

You may ask why I'm not even more optimistic about gold's level - some experts are a predicting prices north of $1,600. The yellow metal can't escape the headwinds of rising equity markets (see Chart to Watch below) but is also buoyed by residual U.S./China trade issues, next steps in the Brexit saga, new threats from North Korea and escalating  tensions in the Middle East (enough booger bears for now!). So far, the coming election year and Washington impeachment drama have not affected gold prices...yet. 

I'm betting the push-pull of bearish and bullish forces will bring higher gold prices in the first-half of 2020.

My top six things to watch for the New Year (this list was five things when I sent out my mailer, I added a sixth Saturday morning):
  1. Copper prices -  I'd like to see the current rally push us above $6,500 per tonne ($2.95 per pound). A fall below the $6,000-level ($2.72) would be a bad sign, U.S./China trade Phase I in trouble perhaps.
  2. Chinese yuan - strengthening below 7 USDCNY is a good sign that their economy and trade are on an improving track (today 6.9954). Sustained weakening above the 7-level is a red flag. 
  3. U.S. dollar - will it remain strong or begin a period of decline? Foreign demand for Treasury debt has kept the dollar strong but rising U.S. deficits and countries trying to move away from dollar dependence (e.g., China, Russia) are countervailing forces not to be ignored. The U.S. Dollar Index (DXY) made its high September 30 this year and has been in a downtrend of lower-lows since (99.38 September high, 97.71 today). This reports tracks the Invesco DB US Dollar Index Bullish Fund (UUP) (27.01 September high, 26.10 today, Weekly Summary below). Finally, overseas interest in Treasurys has been fueled by negative interest rates abroad. This report monitors the German 10-year bund (Weekly Summary) as a benchmark for foreign Treasury demand. The bund yield is currently -0.26% compared to a Treasury yield of 1.87% giving the U.S. debt still an attractive 2.13% differential.
  4. Interest Rates - there is an almost uncanny relationship between the yield on the benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury and the copper-to-gold ratio (CGR, Weekly Summary). I've written about this extensively since 2017 ( see The Colonel's Latest Kitco News Commentaries below). Bottom line, a rising CGR signals higher interest rates for 2020.
  5. Real rates - The 10-year inflation adjusted Treasury yield, or real rate, is the difference between the nominal yield and inflation expectations (aka 10-year "break-even" rate). Since gold is a non-interest bearing assets it performs best when real rates are near zero or negative. This report tracks real rates (Weekly Summary) and inflation expectations (Inflation Watch). Since gold is often considered an inflation hedge it is prudent to track both. In 2020, inflation may pick up (gold bullish) but if interest rates rise faster, an increasing real rate dampens interest in in the yellow metal (gold bearish). Presently, real rates are near-zero (+0.13%) and inflation expectations are a modest 1.74%.
  6. Gold-to-S&P 500 ratio (AUSP) - Gold's relationship with equities is key to monitor. Gold lost value to the S&P 500 from Donald Trump's election until October of 2018. Since then it has regained value in a trend of higher-lows (see Chart to Watch below). We enter 2020 with that trend higher challenged. Falling below trend would be a very bearish sign for gold.
Predictions aside, 2020 will no doubt be an exciting year in the markets. Get ready for a roller-coaster ride, pardner. I remain bullish gold!

Happy New Year!!!


The Colonel's Latest Kitco News Commentaries

Please checkout my latest Kitco News columns on the stunning relationship of copper and gold prices with interest rates:






Here is the latest model of U.S. Treasury yields based on the copper-gold ratio (click on image for larger view):

10-year U.S. Treasury Yield based on Copper-to-Gold Ratio

In the above chart, model coefficients were calculated at last Friday's close (12/20). Note how well the model and actual yields track for this morning's data (within 0.6 basis points). New coefficients will be computed next Friday.

Weekly Summary

Here is a weekly summary chart of gold and my 16 favorite market variables. They are grouped in categories "Commodities", "Interest Rates", "Indexes" and "Currencies" of 4 variables each. Over time, each variable has played some part in the gold story. It is prudent to monitor all 16 to understand the key price drivers that are currently active for the yellow metal. Importantly, this is not a unique collection of variables but one that works well for the ole Colonel

Because The Eureka Miner is a morning report, Friday AM prices are compared with the closing prices of the previous week (click on charts for larger size):


This weekly chart of comparative value tracks the value of gold relative to key currencies, commodities and indexes :


Silver Watch

Comex silver returned to $18 per ounce territory this week.

Please check this out if you get the silver bug:

How to Invest in Silver (Debbie Carlson, U.S. News & World Report, August 1, 2019)

How to smartly buy gold and silver:

How to Mine Physical Precious Metals for an IRA (Debbie Carlson, Barrons, Sept. 8, 2019)

The gold-to-silver ratio (GSR) set a new high July 11 at 91.3 ounce per ounce - a trend down from this top is bullish for silver if the Lustrous One rallies. 

At 84.26, silver is historically very, very cheap relative to gold!

The 10-year average GSR is much lower at 67.7 ounce per ounce.

The 3-month beta with gold is an attractive 1.83 (i.e. on average the daily % rise or fall of silver price is 1.83 times that of gold).

(click on image for larger size)

Gold-to-Silver Ratio

Note that this week, the GSR is right at the long-term trend line of higher-lows established in April 2011 when silver flirted with $50 per ounce. A GSR falling below this trend is bullish silver.

Historical note:

In the past, when gold and silver were legal tender (see gold overview link below headline photo), it was important to set a value relationship between them. In 1792, the U.S. fixed its price at 15:1. This means that 1 troy ounce of gold was worth 15 troy ounces of silver. Over the years, as this ratio has changed, precious metal investors have used it as a signal of when to buy.

Stay tuned.

Inflation Watch

Inflation expectations made a high April 23, 2018 above trend lines of higher lows (dotted lines, click on chart for larger size). Those trend lines were broken dramatically to the downside late last year. Expectationsaree on the rise again from the October, 2019 low.

10-year Inflation Expectations

Note: In the above chart inflation expectations peaked April 23, 2018 at 2.18%. May 29 broke a trend line of higher-lows. This week, expectations  are presently 1.74% as of Thursday up from the October 3 low of 1.48%. 

Many believe, including the ole Colonel, that gold price is more sensitive to inflation expectations than other measure of inflation. My January Kitco News commentary explains the importance of tracking "real rates" which are a function of inflation expectations:


 Old Glory
Eureka, Nevada

Chart to Watch

Here's a chart to watch for 2019 (Click on the image for a larger size):

Gold-to-S&P 500 Ratio

An important gold ratio is gold-to-S&P500 or AUSP. The ratio bottomed in early-December of 2015 and reversed to a bullish trend, peaking February 11, 2016 (0.6849). It bottomed December 20, 2016 (0.4973) trended higher but then bearishly reversed into a downward channel bottoming again October 1, 2017 (0.4063). Currently this AM the AUSP is at 0.4677 and far below the high of 0.5409 set at the close December 21, 2018. Importantly, the ratio has left the downward trending channel with a new trend of higher-lows starting with the October, 2018 low. That trend is now challenged (red arrow & circle).

Cheers,

Colonel Possum & Mariana



Photos by Mariana Titus if not otherwise noted