Gold Steady

Posted: Mar 13, 2012 12:01 AM

We’ve seen this weekly pattern before:  Gold starts down early in the week, then comes charging back.  While prices were lower yesterday morning, gold is still holding near $1,700 an ounce.

Gold and silver prices are down in early trading, with gold off $14.20 to $1,698.80 and silver down $0.49 to $33.79, leaving the silver/gold ratio near where it was Friday at 50.3. 

Commodities are down early on news that hedge fund managers have reversed earlier bullish bets in commodities, but I’m skeptical of that report.  The pricing so far today looks more like a currency correction as the dollar gains ground against the euro, with the possible exception of copper.  The Chinese cut their growth target for manufacturing and, since China uses 40 percent of the world’s copper, laying off seems like a good play. 

Monday is rarely a good day to try and call the week ahead.  There’s so much manipulation in markets by big players it’s hard to say if a dip is real or just someone trying to set up their options.  I’ve learned to be wary of Monday morning price dips. 

Overall the economic news is brighter but it’s still too early to be popping the champagne.  At best this is an uneven recovery with one slim segment of the economy benefiting more than the whole.  Without a sustained growth in consumer wages and buying power it’s hard to see where sustainable demand is going to come from in the market. 

Optimism is breaking out in Europe over the upcoming Greek bond auction where current bond holders are warmly invited to participate, or else.  Coupled with that the European Central Bank is pumping cash into banks in an attempt to spur liquidity. 

Taken together this seems like a oil slick rally; it’s 10 miles wide but only a millimeter thick.  I’m just not seeing any substance to today’s price action; it’s the kind of situation that can reverse on merest whiff of news. 

The long-term trends for gold are still solid.  The world’s biggest economies are drowning in debt and the up and coming markets are getting tired of the big players manipulating currency to their advantage.  At least one of them has gone on record by saying they’re planning on hitting back.

The precious metals market tends to be one place hedge fund managers get bruised and that’s fine with me.  Their lumps are your gain. 

Chris Poindexter, Senior Writer, National Gold Group, Inc