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Gold as a “Go To” Asset Class

Commodities / Gold & Silver 2009 Nov 20, 2009 - 01:22 AM GMT

By: HRA_Advisory

Commodities

We believe there is room for more gold price gain, near term.   A “true” gold market in which the yellow metal is being treated as an asset class in its own right is building around the uncertainties in other markets.  That is different from recent warehousing cycles when gold moved most strongly during the final up stage of a resource/economic cycle.  This time around gold is being treated as a market and currency hedge, not as a goody bag being handed out at the end of a party.  The most interesting note on that score of late is news from India that October saw a large uptick for buying gold in forms such as bars that are used to invest. 


This is rather than as jewellery (which often has a low manufacturing premium in India by western standards at any rate) that is bought this time of year for the festival season.  India’s gold and silver traders are amongst the world’s best and it is prudent to note when they stop buying or selling as sign of a top or bottom.  However, India’s is also the world’s biggest physical market for precious metals, so they do come back in to buy if they appear to have misjudged a top.  The early year buyer’s strike in India was quite real as its jewellery market was damaged like others by the credit crunch. In fact Indians were big sellers early year as should be expected of a hedge during a crisis, so there was no misjudgement.  We nonetheless view a large uptick of buying from India at historic high prices (in both $ and Rupee terms) as positive, with the caveat that we need to watch for a reversal of that trade.     

While there is a real enough scent of change in the air, this doesn’t have to be viewed as a large shift from the norm.  A subject we rarely deal with is whether gold is a “commodity” or “money”, for the simple reason that doing so sharpens our sense of the market very little.  In fact, we have little problem with either concept since we view copper and most other metals as a bit of both too, and focus on which is the better choice to deal with at a given moment.  Certainly copper is acting the part of money these days.  The inverse relationship between gold and the US$ can never be worked out of the equation, and should be borne in mind both for holders of the metal and for shareholders.  The two most important off-site variables for a gold mine, or any mine, are energy costs and the interplay between the Dollar and the mine’s local currency and the company’s accounting currency in which operating costs are borne and recorded. 

In a rising price environment almost all producers will see gains, but the better choices will be companies undergoing expansion and those in friendlier cost environments.  Asset holding companies with large deposits of low grade should also being doing well in this environment, and it’s wise to consider why they aren’t if they appear to be going nowhere.  Asset expansion companies still in exploration phase have been seeing mixed results, with some darlings bounding ahead while others seemed fixed in place.  So long as the latter group are relatively undervalued based on current data, they should have their day again as profit-takings take place for the darlings.  Now through the year end, and especially into next year, is typically when that takes place.  Our top producer pick from the Gold Mining Stock Report list has had a +25% uptick since we noted it as such in last month’s Dispatch.  Now that most Q3 reporting is now out, it’s time to update it and some others.  It’s also important to keep in mind that a portfolio winnowing process can and often should also get underway in a rising market.     

(Famous in the sector, the Gold Mining Stock Report (“GMSR”) was published by Robert Bishop until 2007.  When Bob decided to retire from newsletter publishing he honoured us by passing his subscribers on to HRA with the agreement that we would continue to follow his active company list and update his former readers for at least a year. We added GMSR subscribers to the HRA list at the SD Alert level and continue to send them periodic updates on GMSR companies, along with the full compliment of HRA news services. – Editors)


Gain access to potential gains of hundreds or even thousands of percent! From March to June, HRA introduced four new gold explorers to subscribers. Those four companies have generated an average gain of 205%, to date! SPECIAL HRA OFFER: For a limited time only, HRA is offering free reports and a subscription savings. Click here for more information: http://www.hraadvisory.com/sh2009.html

By David Coffin and Eric Coffin
http://www.hraadvisory.com

    David Coffin and Eric Coffin are the editors of the HRA Journal, HRA Dispatch and HRA Special Delivery; a family of publications that are focused on metals exploration, development and production companies. Combined mining industry and market experience of over 50 years has made them among the most trusted independent analysts in the sector since they began publication of The Hard Rock Analyst in 1995. They were among the first to draw attention to the current commodities super cycle and the disastrous effects of massive forward gold hedging backed up by low grade mining in the 1990's. They have generated one of the best track records in the business thanks to decades of experience and contacts throughout the industry that help them get the story to their readers first. Please visit their website at www.hraadvisory.com for more information.

    © 2009 Copyright HRA Advisory - All Rights Reserved
    Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.

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