Is Gold Ready To Move Higher?

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Is Gold Ready To Move Higher?

The simple answer to that question is: who knows, eventually it will. I like to look at the Commitment of Traders report for signals. I think the COT offers better information than looking at charts, although I like to use my COT analysis in conjunction with charts. My fund partner keeps a database of COT gold and silver data going back to May 2005. Over this time, there’s been a strong correlation between the direction of gold, the net long position of the hedge funds, the net short position of the banks and the total open interest in gold (silver) futures.

Over this time period (Since May 2005), the total open interest in Comex gold futures has averaged 429k contracts. The hedge fund net long position in gold futures has averaged 142.8k and the bank net short position has averaged 168.1k contracts. Since 2015, we’ve had two price cycles starting with the low in December 2015. At the December 2015 low in gold, the hedge fund net long position was 9,750k contracts and the bank net short was 2.9k contracts.  The December hedge fund net long was an extraordinary low net long position and the bank net short was extraordinarily low. This makes sense given that mid-December marked the bottom of the nearly 6-year bear cycle within the secular gold bull market.

If we go back July 2016, the open interest in Comex gold has declined 206k contracts – a staggering 26 million ozs – 737 tonnes (25% worth of gold produced annually).   The Comex banks were short an eye-popping 340k contracts – 34 million ounces, or 964 tonnes of paper gold. This represents an undeniably enormous effort by the Fed via the Comex banks to cap the price of gold.

As of the last COT report (Dec 12th, the hedge fund net long was 107k and the bank net short was 119k. The overall open interest was 446k, about 20k contracts above the average open interest since May 2005.  In a “horsehoes and handgrenades” context,  we should have seen the bottom a week ago.

The open interest report thru Tuesday (Dec 19th) showed 446k open interest. Assuming most of that drop in o/i was decline in the hedge fund net long and bank net short, we should start to head higher, but don’t expect this happen continuously, in parabolic crypto-coin fashion.  The gold bubble is yet to occur.   I can’t promise that gold will move higher from here.  The best we can do is assess probabilities based on historical data relationships as they apply currently.

I want to mention briefly that Dennis Gartman has exited the long position in gold in his theoretical portfolio. Gartman’s market calls have a spectacular track record as a reliable contrarian indicator. I kid you not. This would suggest that the gold market is at or near a bottom.

Back in the September, I advised my Mining Stock Journal subscribers that I suspected the coming sell-off in gold – manipulated sell-off, of course – would take gold down to mid-$ 1240 area.   It hit $ 1241 on December 12th.  Sometimes the coin does indeed land on “heads” when I call “heads.”  I also discussed the hedge we were implementing on our mining stock portfolio and provided details on the my opinion of best way for subscribers  to hedge a junior portfolio.  The hedge easily saved us at least 7% (700 basis points) of performance this quarter.

The stock I presented in the last issue (Dec 14th) is up 12% and it’s still highly undervalued, especially given that it will start producing in late 2018.  You can learn more about this stock and subscription details using this link:  Mining Stock Journal.

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Dave Kranzler

Dave Kranzler spent many years working in various Wall Street jobs. After business school, he traded junk bonds for a large bank. He has an MBA from the University of Chicago, with a concentration in accounting and finance, and graduated Oberlin College with majors in Economics and English. Dave has nearly thirty years of experience in studying, researching, analyzing and investing in the financial markets. Currently he co-manages a precious metals and mining stock investment fund in Denver and publishes the Mining Stock and Short Seller Journals.