The gold trading Commitment of Traders (COT) report, released Friday, shows the peculiarly timed gold sell off and much needed wash out of speculative longs out of the gold futures market last week sets gold up for lower prices, prior to moving higher again.
The timing of the sudden sell off, when Chinese gold markets and the Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE) were closed for the five days of the Chinese Golden Week, has rightly raised a lot of eyebrows. China is now a powerful force in the gold market, and is influencing global gold prices through the physical gold exchange, the Shanghai Gold Exchange and indeed the Shanghai Futures Exchange. China also has four gold-backed ETFs that are growing in popularity.
Concerns that the sell off was manipulative in nature are again widespread. The sell off was once again another purely paper or electronic futures market sell off with little or no liquidations of actual gold bullion and no important gold data or news or wider market data. Indeed the sell off came at a time of very robust physical demand – especially in mainland Europe – due to concerns about Deutsche and other German banks, Italian banks and other European banks.
There is also very robust demand in the UK on concerns about the outlook for sterling which has seen sterling gold surge in recent months. Gold brokers in the UK, including GoldCore, saw significant demand after the sell off last week and the sterling flash crash led to a further spike in demand.
Our friend John Rubino in Dollar Collapse looked at the latest Commitment of Traders (COT) report and his latest note about this is an important one to consider:
This year’s recovery in precious metals prices – and the sudden spike in gold/silver mining stocks – convinced a lot of people that a new bull market had begun. Last week’s brutal smack-down scared the hell out of many of the same folks.
The latest commitment of traders (COT) report implies that we should all relax. Things are playing out pretty much according to a script that’s been in place for decades — and which points to happy times by early next year.
The quick and dirty COT story is that it’s a snapshot of what the big players in gold/silver futures contracts are up to. There are two main groups in this market: the commercials (mostly big banks and companies that buy metal to turn it into coins, jewelry and industrial products) and speculators who bet on price moves. The former consistently fool the latter into guessing wrong at turning points. That is, the speculators are usually way long at the top and very short at the bottom. So you can tell where prices are headed over next the six or so months by looking at what the speculators are betting on and assuming that if they’re excited, they’re wrong.
The following chart illustrates the point (see chart above). Ignore everything here except the red line, which represents the speculators. When it’s way up, they’re very long and prices are about to fall, and vice versa.
This year they’ve gone record long, which explains the fast recovery in metals prices and mining stocks: The speculators were piling in. This of course sets the stage for an eventual correction. So what happened last week was to be expected (though it was several months overdue, illustrating the point that the COT report is great for direction but dangerously unreliable for timing).
The full note can be read here
Gold and Silver Bullion – News and Commentary
Gold Prices (LBMA AM)
10 Oct: USD 1,262.10, GBP 1,016.62 & EUR 1,129.71 per ounce
07 Oct: USD 1,255.00, GBP 1,012.91 & EUR 1,127.62 per ounce
05 Oct: USD 1,274.00, GBP 1,001.11 & EUR 1,134.37 per ounce
04 Oct: USD 1,309.15, GBP 1,026.90 & EUR 1,172.21 per ounce
03 Oct: USD 1,318.65, GBP 1,023.40 & EUR 1,173.99 per ounce
30 Sep: USD 1,327.90, GBP 1,025.01 & EUR 1,187.67 per ounce
Silver Prices (LBMA)
10 Oct: USD 17.78, GBP 14.31 & EUR 15.92 per ounce
07 Oct: USD 17.33, GBP 14.01 & EUR 15.55 per ounce
06 Oct: USD 17.76, GBP 13.98 & EUR 15.88 per ounce
05 Oct: USD 17.80, GBP 13.99 & EUR 15.86 per ounce
04 Oct: USD 18.74, GBP 14.68 & EUR 16.78 per ounce
03 Oct: USD 19.18, GBP 14.89 & EUR 17.07 per ounce
30 Sep: USD 19.35, GBP 14.92 & EUR 17.33 per ounce
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