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Gold & Precious Metals

All Signs Point To Upside For Copper, Goldman Sees Outperformance Vs. Oil

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Posted by Sumit Roy

on Friday, 27 April 2012 09:17

Written by Sumit Roy 

We examine the latest developments in the copper market.

Copper prices are on the rebound in recent sessions after tumbling throughout the first half of April. The industrial metal has shown a high correlation with other risk assets such as stocks, which have together been influenced by macroeconomic developments.

The heart of recent concern lies in the U.S. labor market. Today we learned that the number of people filing for unemployment claims in the U.S. fell by only 1,000 to 388K last week, leaving them near the highest level of the year.

In aggregate, the data this year has been positive; fluctuations in the data are normal and to be expected. That is the view the market seems to be taking given the recent rebound in prices. We tend to agree, although continued volatility until there is more clarity on the labor market is possible.

COPPER

coppertechnicalchart20120426

As always, however, the outlook for China is the most important with regard to copper. After all, almost 40 percent of global demand for the industrial metal comes from the Asian giant.

Recent data indicate that growth in the country may be picking up. The PMI Manufacturing gauge hit the highest level in a year in March. April’s figures will be released on Monday.

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Gold & Precious Metals

Equities Will Catch Up to Higher Gold Price: Matt Badiali

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Posted by Brian Sylvester of The Gold Report

on Wednesday, 25 April 2012 18:49

Brian Sylvester of The Gold Report 

Matthew Badiali Ongoing inflation pressures and China's investments in the African gold supply chain point to a higher gold price, according to Matt Badiali of Stansberry & Associates. Bullion in all its forms belongs in every portfolio and when it comes to equities, investors have their choice of business models—dividend payers, prospect generators and royalty companies. In this exclusive Gold Report interview, Badiali outlines companies whose equities should catch up to the higher gold price.

Companies Mentioned: ATAC Resources Ltd. - Barrick Gold Corp. - Endeavour Silver Corp. - Franco-Nevada Corp. - Keegan Resources Inc. - MAG Silver Corp. - Newmont Mining Corp. - Pretium Resources Inc. - Riverside Resources Inc. - Royal Gold Inc. - Seabridge Gold Inc. - Silver Wheaton Corp.

The Gold Report: Matt, in the February 2012 edition of Stansberry's Investment Advisory, Porter Stansberry predicted gold would hit $9,600 an ounce (oz) someday. How should investors protect themselves from this coming crisis?

Matt Badiali: In general, I agree with Porter's thesis. Bullion—gold, silver coins or bars—should be part of everyone's portfolio. It is one of the best anchors against inflation. Gold and gold stocks also are important holdings because as the value of paper money falls, the value of gold rises.

TGR: Stock prices have not gone up as much as the gold price. Will that trend continue?

MB: We have been in an odd scenario. If gold miners were T-shirt makers and the price of T-shirts went up, the market would buy the company to match the earnings. That has not happened for gold stocks.

Last year, the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX:NYSE.A) was down 25% while the price of gold was up 15%. Looking at just the last three years, stocks were up 40% while the gold price rose 90%. So, in the short term, the Gold Miners ETF has underperformed gold.

Gold miners' earnings have climbed dramatically, but their share prices have not followed suit. I believe gold miners will outperform the metal just because they have to rebalance.

TGR: What does the volatility in gold tell us?

MB: Generally speaking, the market wants a stable U.S. dollar. It rallies to dollars for all sorts of reasons. I think that is false faith.

So many new dollars have been printed that the value of all tangible things has to increase in response. For example, we all think $110/barrel oil is crazy expensive. But, relative to gold, oil has been less expensive over the last couple of years. The price of oil is falling in terms of real money, but going up in terms of dollars. That is a good indicator of how much new paper money has been printed.

TGR: What effect would higher interest rates have on junior miners? Can the increase in the gold price offset the greater cost of raising capital?

To Read More CLICK HERE

MatthwBadiali rev



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Gold & Precious Metals

Is Gold Still Cheap?

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Posted by Steve Saville

on Tuesday, 24 April 2012 08:14

By: Steve Saville
Below is an excerpt from a commentary originally posted at www.speculative-investor.com on 22nd April 2012.

We addressed the above question last year and arrived at the answer: no, gold left bargain territory long ago. We remain bullish on gold not because we think gold is still cheap, but because we expect it to get a lot more expensive.

This isn't a "greater fool" game that we are playing, in that our belief that gold will become a lot more expensive over the years ahead isn't based on the expectation that people will be silly enough to pay a much higher valuation in the future for an asset that is already over-valued today. It is, instead, a position based on the observation that the world's most important central banks and governments remain committed to a course that ends in catastrophe for their economies and currencies. To put it another way, gold may well be expensive relative to the current economic backdrop, but it is cheap relative to what the economic backdrop will be 5 years from now if the current policy course is maintained. And at this stage there are no signs that the current policy course will not be maintained.

Evidence that gold is no longer in the bargain basement is provided by the following long-term monthly chart of the gold/commodity ratio. Relative to commodities in general, gold hit a 50-year high late last year. In fact, last December's peak in the gold/commodity ratio could have been an all-time high. This tells us that the gold market has fully discounted the bad policies of the past several years. As an aside, it also tells us that the fabled gold market manipulators are doing a lousy job and should be fired (gold's excellent performance over any reasonable investment timeframe is no doubt why promoters of gold-suppression theories tend to focus on timeframes that could only be of interest to daytraders).

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Gold & Precious Metals

Why I'm Excited About This Gold Market

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Posted by Rick Rule

on Monday, 23 April 2012 12:52

Rick Rule, Senior Market Strategist

After a reasonably long period of sustained and occasionally dramatic escalations, commodity markets in general, and precious metals markets in particular, have declined. This is normal and healthy behavior, even if it is uncomfortable for some market participants. Readers with a long memory will remember the 1970s gold bull market, where the gold price advanced from $35 to $850 per ounce – though in 1975, in the middle of that epic bull market, the gold price declined by 50%. While a 50% decline is a near-religious event for many market participants, particularly those on margin, it is instructive to note that at the bottom of the retrenchment the gold price was up threefold from its $35 low, and that gold went on to increase eightfold in price after the bull market resumed. It is thus important to recognize that cyclical retrenchments are a normal and healthy feature of a secular gold bull market.

Readers should consider whether the reasons for the gold market are intact. Has gold's decline made it more likely that sovereign debts can be serviced or that unfunded obligations can be met? Does it mean that insolvent banks are now healthy? Does it mean that creating trillions of unbacked dollars and euros and renminbi will have no consequences? Of course not. We are simply uncomfortable with volatility.

Gold's Current Weakness

Let's examine some factors that may have contributed to gold's current weakness and think about the probabilities of those factors contributing to further weakening in the gold price.

For the past ten or twelve years, the gold price has been in a steady state of advance. In the near term, some participants probably took some profits, and high prices also probably contributed to demand destruction in industrial fabrication and jewelry demand. A softening of the gold price is likely to reverse the effects of price-induced conservation and substitution, even while investment demand, measured by gold funds and the ETF industry, continues to be strong.

Equity and debt markets appear to be stabilizing as a consequence of quantitative easing in Europe, the US, and China, and the apparent easing of concerns in Greece. This flood of liquidity has forced interest rates down as well as bond and deposit yields, pushing savers into longer durations and riskier instruments – including equities – and lowering servicing costs for debtors, which in turn has lowered perceptions of default risk. The markets appear more confident, and hence gold's attractiveness as insurance is fading. Some of us believe that the root word of confidence is "con," just as I believe the correct phrase for quantitative easing is "counterfeiting." It would appear that in excess of $4 trillion of new currency units have been introduced into the system, with no concurrent increase in underlying wealth in the form of goods or services. This does not make me find gold less attractive relative to fiat currencies or sovereign debt. How about you?

Physical demand in India and Vietnam has been constrained by excise and import taxes on gold in the case of India, and increased regulation in Vietnam. The constraints on physical demand in India has had an important impact on overall gold demand, and has become a hot political issue in India. Gold merchants were on strike concerning the excise tax, further constraining demand. It is worthy to note that South Asian societies have a deep-seated, cultural attraction to gold, and that the fairly recent removal of the taxes they just reinstated was a consequence of widespread smuggling and informal trading in gold. I suspect that central government interference in the Indian gold market will be ineffective and ultimately inconsequential.

Small, commodity-oriented institutions such as hedge funds have experienced strong outflows of equity capital and constrained access to debt financing, which has caused them to engage in forced liquidation of precious metals holdings. This is true, and in my opinion will continue. I believe, however, that if black swan style events destabilize other markets, the gold ETF industry and gold trusts like Sprott Physical Gold will easily absorb the remaining institutional bullion hoards. Further, Sprott has firsthand knowledge of the strong interest among sovereign wealth funds in increasing their bullion holdings.

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Gold & Precious Metals

How to Speculate Your Way to Success: Doug Casey

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Posted by JT Long of The Gold Report

on Saturday, 21 April 2012 09:31

JT Long of The Gold Report 

So far, 2012 has been a banner year for the stock market, which recently closed the books on its best first quarter in 14 years. But Casey Research Chairman Doug Casey insists that time is running out on the ticking time bombs. Next week when Casey Research's spring summit gets underway, Casey will open the first general session addressing the question of whether the inevitable is now imminent. In another exclusive interview with The Gold Report, Casey tells us that he foresees extreme volatility "as the titanic forces of inflation and deflation fight with each other" and a forced shift to speculation to either protect or build wealth.

The Gold Report: You told us about two ticking time bombs last September—the trillions of dollars owned outside the U.S. that could be dumped if the holders lose confidence and the trillions of dollars in the U.S. created to paper over the 2008 liquidity crisis. It's been six months since then. Have we averted the disaster or are we closer than ever?



Doug Casey: Things are worse now. The way I see it, what's going to happen is inevitable; it's just a question of when. We're rapidly approaching that moment. I suspect it will start in Europe, because so many European governments are bankrupt; Greece isn't an exception, it's the norm. So we have bankrupt governments trying to bail out the European banks, which are bankrupt because they've loaned money to the bankrupt governments. It's actually rather funny, in a perverse way. . .

If it were just the banks and the governments, I wouldn't care; they're just getting what they deserve. The problem is that many prudent middle class people are going to be wiped out. These folks have tried to produce more than they consume for their whole lives and save the difference. But their savings are almost all in government currencies, and those currencies are held in banks. However, the banks are unable to give back all the euros that these people have entrusted to them. It's a very serious thing. So European governments are trying to solve this by creating more euros. Eventually the euro is going to reach its intrinsic value—which is nothing. It's the same in the U.S. The banks are bankrupt, the government's bankrupt and creating more dollars so the banks don't go bust and depositors don't lose their money.

I'm of the opinion that if it doesn't blow up this year, the situation is certainly going to blow up next year. We're very close to the edge of the precipice.



TGR: Is the problem the debt, or all of the currency that has been pumped in?


DC: It's both. We have to really consider what debt is. It's the opposite of savings because savings means that you've produced more than you've consumed and put the difference aside. That's how you build capital. That's how you grow in wealth. On the other side of the balance sheet is debt, which means you've consumed more than you've produced. You've mortgaged the future or you're living out of past capital that somebody else produced. The existence of debt is a very bad thing.

In a classical banking system, loans are made only against 100% security and only on a short-term basis. And only from savings accounts that earn interest, not from money in checking accounts or demand deposits, where the depositor (at least theoretically) pays the banker for safe storage of his funds. These are very important distinctions, but they've been completely lost. The entire banking system today is totally corrupt. It's worse than that. Central banking has taken what was an occasional local problem, a bank failing from fraud or mismanagement, and elevated it to a national level by allowing fractional banking reserves and by creating currency for bailouts. Debt—at least consumer debt—is a bad thing; it's typically a sign that you're living above your means. But inflation of the currency is even worse in its consequences, because it can overturn the whole basis of society and destroy the middle class.



TGR: What happens when these time bombs go off?



DC: There are two possibilities. One is that the central banks and the governments stop creating enough currency units to bail out their banks. That could lead to a catastrophic deflation and banks going bankrupt wholesale. When consumer and business loans can't be repaid, the bank goes bust. The money created by those banks out of nothing, through fractional reserve banking, literally disappears. The dollars die and go to money heaven; the deposits that people put in there can't be redeemed.

The other possibility is an eventual hyperinflation. Here the central bank steps in and gives the banks new currency units to pay off depositors. It's just a question of which one happens. Or we can have both in sequence. If there's a catastrophic deflation, the government will get scared, and feel the need to "do something." And it will need money, because tax revenues will collapse at exactly the time its expenditures are skyrocketing—so it prints up more, which brings on a hyperinflation.

We could also see deflation in some areas of the economy and inflation in others. For example, the price of beans and rice may fall, relatively speaking, during a boom because everybody's eating steak and caviar. Then during a subsequent depression, people need more calories for fewer dollars, so prices for caviar and steak drop but beans and rice become more expensive because everybody is eating more of them.

Inflation creates all kinds of distortions in the economy and misallocations of capital. When there's a real demand for filet mignon, there's a lot of investment in the filet mignon industry and not enough in the beans and rice industry because nobody is eating them. And vice-versa. And it happens all over the economy, in every area.

To Read More CLICK HERE

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