Best of the Week
Most Popular
1.Putin’s World: Why Russia’s Showdown with the West Will Worsen - John_Mauldin
2. Stocks Bull Market Grinds Bears into Dust, Is Santa Rally Sustainable? - Nadeem_Walayat
3. Gold and Silver 2015 Trend Forecasts, Prices to Go BOOM - Austin_Galt
4.Gold Price Golden Bottom? - Toby_Connor
5.Gold Price and Miners Soar on Huge Volume - P_Radomski_CFA
6.Stock Market and the Jaws of Life or Death? - Rambus_Chartology
7.Gold Price 2015 - EWI
8.Manipulated Stock Market Short Squeezes to Another All Time High - The China Syndrome - Nadeem_Walayat
9.Gold, Silver, Crude and S&P Ending Wedge Patterns - DeviantInvestor
10.Is the Gold And Silver Golden Rule Broken? - Michael_Noonan
Last 5 days
Ruble Takedown Exposes Cracks in Putin’s Defense - 20th Dec 14
Oil Drilling Our Way Into Oblivion - 20th Dec 14
Stocks Bull Market Resumes - 20th Dec 14
Gold And Silver Nothing Is Ever As It Seems And No Respite For PMs - 20th Dec 14
What Are Technical Indicators Saying About the Stock Market? - 20th Dec 14
Here’s How You Can Still Make 27% With Apple Even if You Buy Now - 20th Dec 14
Gold Stocks to Shine in 2015 - 19th Dec 14
Why Alibaba Stock Shares Are a Screaming Buy - 19th Dec 14
China, Dollar, Japan, Europe Burning Questions for 2015 - 19th Dec 14
U.S. Economy is in a Sweet Spot! - 19th Dec 14
US Dollar and the Gold Fairy Tale - 19th Dec 14
Show Me The Money (Flow)! Tracking Money-Flow Through Value Shifts In Stock Markets - 19th Dec 14
The Commodities Market Is Not Dying, It’s Just Hibernating - 19th Dec 14
The Price Of Gold And The Art Of War - 18th Dec 14
Euro Succumbs to ECB QE Expectations and FOMC - 18th Dec 14
John Williams: A Downhill Run for the U.S. Dollar in 2015 - 18th Dec 14
Outrage at Taliban Islamic Fundamentalists Massacre of 132 Pakistani School Children in the Name of God - 18th Dec 14
How Inflation Changes Retirement Benefit Choices - 17th Dec 14
The Real Reason It's Tough to Beat the Stock Market - 17th Dec 14
Russian Currency Crisis and Debt Defaults Could Create Contagion in West - 17th Dec 14
How to Profit From Russia's Stock Market Crash - 17th Dec 14
Russia Crisis - If You Put Your Money in the Bank Will You Get it Back? - 17th Dec 14
Crude Oil Price Crash, U.S. Employment and Economic Growth - 17th Dec 14
Opposing Forces At Play In Gold and Silver Precious Metals Complex - 17th Dec 14
Wall Street Will Always Find An Excuse For Not Raising U.S. Interest Rates - 17th Dec 14
Torture, Terror And Elite Schizophrenia In The UK - 16th Dec 14
Eurozone Conflict Will Bring a Major Stocks Buying Opportunity - 16th Dec 14
Viewing Russia From the Inside - 16th Dec 14
Gold and Silver Stocks Bottom - Are We There Yet? - 16th Dec 14
The Financial Industry Pigmen Win Again - 16th Dec 14
Crude Oil Price Epic Blowout - 16th Dec 14
Asian Stocks Markets: Sand In The Gears Of The Bull Market - 16th Dec 14
U.S. Dollar Trend Forecast 2015 - Video - 16th Dec 14
Silver Price Bottom? - 15th Dec 14
Gold Price Base Building Bullish Pattern - 15th Dec 14
Stock Market Probable Pop-n-Crash Today - 15th Dec 14
Stock Market Time for a Bounce - 15th Dec 14
Stock Market Euphoria: The Mother of All Ponzi Schemes - 15th Dec 14
Gold - The Weight of Time as Trend - 15th Dec 14
U.S. Dollar Collapse? USD Index Trend Forecast 2015 - 14th Dec 14
The Rushing Stocks Bear Market and How to Prepare - 14th Dec 14
Gold and Silver Dreaming of a White Christmas - 14th Dec 14

Free Instant Analysis

Free Instant Technical Analysis


Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Dramatic Stock Market Selloff

Rusty Old Tin Can of Gold

Commodities / Gold and Silver 2013 Feb 26, 2013 - 11:41 PM GMT

By: Adrian_Ash

Commodities

Gold has turned, apparently. Leveraged speculators in the futures market said so...

"To hoarders and speculators," says Time magazine, "gold lately has had about as much luster as a rusty tin can."

Rings true here in Feb. 2013. But this clanging bell - entitled The Great Gold Bust, and drowned out as a signal to fill your boots only by the New York Times' infamous Who Needs Gold When We Have Greenspan? of May 1999 - was rung back in Aug. 1976, right at the bottom of a 50% pullback in the 1970s' long bull market in gold.


the Great Gold Bust

"In three chaotic days last week, gold fell $14 on the London market," Time explained almost 37 years ago, noting gold's plunge from $198 per ounce at the start of 1975.

Gold's new 31-month low of $105.50 an ounce "[was] a dismal figure for goldbugs," the magazine went on, "who not long ago were forecasting prices of $300 or more."

Spooky, no? "This is a commodity that people thought was going to $2000 an ounce and beyond," gasped a MarketWatch video at the WSJ just last week. "This was a commodity that was rising almost parabolically, exponentially...

"[Gold] has turned."

Well, perhaps. Gold's 21st century bull market has certainly lost its milk teeth. It was 10 years ago this month, in fact, that the number of bullish gold futures on the US Comex market held by professional speculators first broke above 100,000 contracts.

And to celebrate that anniversary, last week the number of bearish contracts held by that same group - professional speculators - leapt above 90,000 for the first time since mid-1999...

Betting Against Gold

Coinciding with the New York Times' praise for Alan Greenspan versus gold, mid-1999 was in fact the only other time when speculative betting against the gold price reached last week's size.

Back then, as die-hard gold bugs will recall, Gordon Brown squished the price to 20-year low beneath $255 per ounce, announcing in advance that he would dump half the UK's gold reserves just as the Swiss voted to sell huge chunks of their massive gold reserves too.

Gold has come a long way since its Brown Bottom. But gold speculators and hoarders?

"Investors display lowest optimism about gold since end of 2008," says Commerzbank, looking at the net balance of bullish minus bearish bets held on the US futures market by Non-Commercial traders (aka hedge funds and other "managed money" traders). And no fooling...

Betting Less on Gold

The reasons for gold's new-found bearishness? In truth, it's been coming for 18 months, as analysts from Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs will tell you, pointing to the price peak of - umm - 18 months ago a mere year-and-a-half after the, umm, peak. But what with gold prices failing to make new highs, the Eurozone crisis must be as near-to-finished as the broader global financial crisis. The US Fed is also about to start raising interest rates much sooner than anyone expected, driving a stake into the heart of the case for gold as cash-in-the-bank starts to pay a real return once again.

Or so runs the fast-rolling bandwagon. You can measure its momentum in the Net Long position of professional traders on the gold futures market. It shrank dramatically over the last 3 months, down 43% to its smallest level since just after Lehman's collapsed. That rate of change has been outpaced only 10 times in the last decade.

The average change in the gold price over the 3 months that followed? A tasty 7.8% on BullionVault's analysis today, with only 3 of those 10 occasions failing to deliver a positive 3-month return (and even then managing only a 2.1% drop).

Still, a gold bull market gripped the last decade, of course. And whether the recent bearishness will run deeper or turn tail, time will tell (or not. According to its online archive, Time magazine has given few column inches over to gold investing since the Sept. 2011 highs). Meanwhile, the bearish bandwagon may already have lost a wheel. Italy's elections and the Fed chairman's latest speech today don't quite fit that consensus.

Straws in the wind maybe. But they don't quite fit a long-term drop in gold prices either. Which may be too bad for long-term gold buyers hoping for a proper pullback in prices, such as 1975-1977 offered.

By Adrian Ash
BullionVault.com

Gold price chart, no delay   |   Buy gold online at live prices

Formerly City correspondent for The Daily Reckoning in London and a regular contributor to MoneyWeek magazine, Adrian Ash is the editor of Gold News and head of research at www.BullionVault.com , giving you direct access to investment gold, vaulted in Zurich , on $3 spreads and 0.8% dealing fees.

(c) BullionVault 2013

Please Note: This article is to inform your thinking, not lead it. Only you can decide the best place for your money, and any decision you make will put your money at risk. Information or data included here may have already been overtaken by events – and must be verified elsewhere – should you choose to act on it.

Adrian Ash Archive

© 2005-2014 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

Free Report - Financial Markets 2014