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Nadeem Walayat Financial Markets Analysiis and Trend Forecasts

Hedge Funds Re-evaluate Gold’s Potential

Commodities / Gold and Silver 2012 May 23, 2012 - 02:16 AM GMT

By: Clif_Droke

Commodities Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleGold’s biggest problem since February has been one of relative weakness. This weakness in turn has kept the market-moving hedge fund players away from gold. But as we’ll see in the latest commentary, that may be about to change.

In late February when the gold price rallied sharply to its highest level of the year at $1,793 it looked, on the surface, like gold was finally about to break out of its holding pattern since last September when the metal took a sharp dive. The February rally proved to be a “head fake” however. The yellow metal took another plunge within days of making its late February high at $1,793 and fell to a low of $1,538 on May 16.



Although the gold price made a series of higher peaks in the month of February, the relative strength indicator for gold told a completely different story. Instead of confirming the new high in the gold price, the relative strength line made a conspicuously negative divergence. Notice the lower high in the chart shown below, which plots the daily relative strength reading for the iShares Gold Trust (IAU), our favorite gold proxy.



This lower high in February in the relative strength chart warned that gold was under distribution and almost immediately the gold price collapsed, making a continuous series of lower highs and lower lows until only a few days ago. Relative strength is the key to understanding not only gold’s underperformance since the late February sell-off, but also the lack of interest in hedge fund traders for gold. See the IAU chart shown below.



In an earlier commentary I also pointed out the technical significance of the longer-term 60-week (300-day) moving average for gold and the gold ETF. This is signified by the yellow line in the above chart. In breaking down below the $1,650 level earlier this month, gold violated its 60-week MA for the first time since the 2008 credit crisis. This served as additional confirmation that the bear market that began last summer when CME Group raised gold’s margin requirements had reached a critical point. It also served as a wake-up call for the big market players and forced them to re-evaluate their holdings in the metal.

Hedge fund traders were heavy liquidators of gold last summer after the series of margin requirement increases. Many hedge funds operate using a momentum-chasing system and the consecutive margin increases was a huge disincentive for fund managers to be heavily long gold. When the big players aren’t allowed to heavily leverage their trades they tend to look elsewhere for excitement.

The latest fears over the Greek debt crisis and the possibility that it may withdraw from the euro-zone hasn’t helped gold, either, and has caused a further evaluation of gold’s performance as a monetary safe haven. Gold has been pressured in recent days on the latest outbreak of fears over the euro-zone situation as concerned investors have liquidated stocks and commodities and fled to the dollar as a safe haven instead of gold.

Yet there is now reason for investors and hedge funds alike to begin re-evaluating gold’s intermediate-term potential in a more positive light. The preliminary case for gold was first made visible the week of May 14-18 when the S&P 500 Index (SPX) fell out of bed and declined every day last week. Meanwhile gold and the iShares Gold Trust (IAU) showed relative strength versus the SPX for the first time this year. This is noteworthy in that the relative strength line shown below not only refused to confirm the lower low made in the gold price and the IAU earlier this month, but also the relative strength line made a higher high above its previous peak in April. This by itself doesn’t qualify as a buy signal for gold, but it does serve as a “heads up” that relative strength is gradually returning to gold. This indicator is closely watched by hedge fund traders and you can bet it hasn’t escaped their notice.


Another event that should bode well for gold beginning in June is an improvement in gold’s 10-month price oscillator. This indicator measures the rate of change in the gold price by comparing the gold price on the last day of each month with that closing price from 10 months ago. Over the last several years this indicator has given us some reliable buy and sell signals from a longer-term investment standpoint (although the indicator has little value from a short-term timing standpoint). Here’s what the latest indicator reading looks like as of April 30 the last time it was updated.

We examined this indicator earlier several weeks ago and saw that this important longer-term indicator was telling us gold was still “overbought” and in need of further correcting. The rate of change for this indicator strongly suggests, however, that by the beginning of June we could have not only a return to a normal, healthy reading in this indicator but likely even an “oversold” reading. This would be a huge improvement for the gold market as an “oversold” reading in the 10-month oscillator hasn’t been seen in years. If the return to a normal reading in the 10-month oscillator is accompanied by further improvement in the relative strength line the odds will increase that gold will see a summer turnaround.



The other important factor weighing in gold’s favor in June is a seasonal consideration. Unlike August, which has a distinctive bullish bias, June doesn’t have a clear bias for gold one way or the other. Since the year 2000, gold had an up June in 5 cases, was down in 6 cases and unchanged in one case. The one constant over this 12-year period, however, has been gold’s technical condition entering the start of June. Each time that gold entered June in an “oversold” condition as defined by the price oscillators, gold has rallied in June. Coming off a major sell-off in May – and with the 10-month price oscillator set to flash its first oversold reading since May 1, 2009 – gold is in prime condition for a summer rally.

For now we continue to wait for a confirmed immediate-term buy signal from the gold ETF as it remains under its dominant immediate-term 15-day moving average. The evidence suggests that by June we could finally have our long-awaited first confirmed breakout signal since January.

Gold & Gold Stock Trading Simplified

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Not surprisingly, many traders and investors are looking for a reliable and easy-to-follow system for participating in the precious metals bull market. They want a system that allows them to enter without guesswork and one that gets them out at the appropriate time and without any undue risks. They also want a system that automatically takes profits at precise points along the way while adjusting the stop loss continuously so as to lock in gains and minimize potential losses from whipsaws.

In my latest book, “Gold & Gold Stock Trading Simplified,” I remove the mystique behind gold and gold stock trading and reveal a completely simple and reliable system that allows the small-to-mid-size trader to profit from both up and down moves in the mining stock market. It’s the same system that I use each day in the Gold & Silver Stock Report – the same system which has consistently generated profits for my subscribers and has kept them on the correct side of the gold and mining stock market for years. You won’t find a more straight forward and easy-to-follow system that actually works than the one explained in “Gold & Gold Stock Trading Simplified.”

The technical trading system revealed in “Gold & Gold Stock Trading Simplified” by itself is worth its weight in gold. Additionally, the book reveals several useful indicators that will increase your chances of scoring big profits in the mining stock sector. You’ll learn when to use reliable leading indicators for predicting when the mining stocks are about o break out. After all, nothing beats being on the right side of a market move before the move gets underway.

The methods revealed in “Gold & Gold Stock Trading Simplified” are the product of several year’s worth of writing, research and real time market trading/testing. It also contains the benefit of my 14 years worth of experience as a professional in the precious metals and PM mining share sector. The trading techniques discussed in the book have been carefully calibrated to match today’s fast moving and volatile market environment. You won’t find a more timely and useful book than this for capturing profits in today’s gold and gold stock market.

The book is now available for sale at: http://www.clifdroke.com/books/trading_simplified.html

Order today to receive your autographed copy and a FREE 1-month trial subscription to the Gold & Silver Stock Report newsletter. Published twice each week, the newsletter uses the method described in this book for making profitable trades among the actively traded gold mining shares.

By Clif Droke
www.clifdroke.com

Clif Droke is the editor of the daily Gold & Silver Stock Report. Published daily since 2002, the report provides forecasts and analysis of the leading gold, silver, uranium and energy stocks from a short-term technical standpoint. He is also the author of numerous books, including 'How to Read Chart Patterns for Greater Profits.' For more information visit www.clifdroke.com


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