Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Gold and Silver Plummet as Dollar Rallies on EU Woes


The 'Helicopter Economics Investing Guide' is meant to help educate people on how to make profitable investing choices in the current economic environment. We have coined this term to describe the current monetary and fiscal policies of the U.S. government, which involve unprecedented money printing. This is the official blog of the New York Investing meetup.

The euro fell to a yearly low on December 14th as Italian interest rates at auction hit new highs. Collateral damage to the EU crisis is showing up not only in stock prices, but in the precious metals markets as well. 

The euro fell below the psychologically important 1.30 level in European trade and is testing support from last January. If it breaks that support (and it is pretty certain that it will), the 125 level is the next stop and 1.20 after that. The euro can be tracked through the ETF FXE. At the same time the euro is breaking down, the trade-weighted dollar has broken out. The dollar has been stuck at key resistance at 80 since September. It tested  this level both in September and in November. It traded as high as 80.67 in early morning trade. There is still strong resistance just under 82. A break above that will cause the dollar will head toward 88. The dollar can be tracked through the ETF DXY.

As the dollar rises, gold and other commodities fall. Spot gold was as low as $1562 an ounce in early New York trade. Gold plummeted after the New York open and was down as much as $68 an ounce.
Gold can be tracked through the ETF GLD. Gold decisively broke its 200-day moving average (which is very bearish) and this was the first time it has traded below this level since early 2009. The next level of support is the 65-week moving average, which is currently in the high 1400s.

While gold in general should go up during a crisis, this did not happen in the fall of 2008 -- gold was down around 30% at the time. During credit crises -- and the situation in Europe is a second global credit crisis -- it is reasonable for gold to decline. Central banks lease gold cheaply to banks and large hedge funds and they sell it on the market to raise quick cash (I have explained how this is done is some detail in my book "Inflation Investing"). This time around, there is the added danger that the IMF will sell some of its large hoard of gold to raise money for a eurozone bailout.

Gold's companion metal silver is much more volatile than the yellow metal and is influenced by the economy as well as financial market events. Silver traded as low as $28.47down $2.37 after New York trading opened. This was more than a 7% drop. Silver can be tracked through the ETF SLV. It has strong support around $26. If it breaks that, expect it to head toward the $21 level.

The EU debt crisis is not over and is likely to continue for a while longer and possibly for many more months. EU leaders have come up with one "solution" to the crisis after that has failed shortly after it was announced. Look to the markets to see whether or not their future gambits will create some viable end to their problems. So far the markets have made it very clear that the situation in Europe is continuing to deteriorate and it is dangerous to be on the long side of almost any investment except the U.S. dollar. 

Disclosure: None

Daryl Montgomery
Author: "Inflation Investing - A Guide for the 2010s"
Organizer, New York Investing meetup

This posting is editorial opinion. There is no intention to endorse the purchase or sale of any security.

1 comment:


Silver is more of a rick than gold.