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Why Canada Sells Our Oil at a Discount


Posted by Michael Campbell

on Thursday, 15 February 2018 08:58

 

While the east coast of Canada imports 700,000 Barrels a day of World Prices, the rest of Canada sells 2/3 of its production of oil at prices that are $25 to $30 a barrel less than world prices. Natural gas sells at 60% of the World Price. Reasons why...

....also from Michael: Why Won't Canadians Scream ENOUGH!

fp0124 wcs vs wti

 



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Timing & trends

Peter Grandich: Blip or Warning Shot


Posted by Peter Grandich & Company

on Thursday, 15 February 2018 06:54

best-stocks-to-buy-now-1-300x214Must read: A report from someone who shorted this market and covered it right on the bottom February 9th. That is one hell of a trade.

Not only that but Peter Grandich has been correct being short the bonds and recently stated that he is as bullish as he has been in 34 years on Gold - Robert Zurrer

A Brief Look At The Markets by Peter Grandich

 Stock Market – I had noted in my February 10th observation, that I had covered my short position on the morning of the 9th. I stated,  “A significant reason for taking profits in my short positions was the personal technical work that I do, suggested the short-term selling was exhausted. Sure enough, the DJIA rallied 700 points from when I covered. I believe we can see the market rally back hard next week, as the first sell-offs in Parabolic Arc formations are almost always assumed to be buying opportunities.”
As I make this blog post, morning stock index futures indicate another 300 point rise to the already-huge rally since covering my shorts. I believe this qualifies as “rallying back hard”. The question is, was the previous sell-off just a blip or a true warning shot? If a picture is worth a thousand words, this photo should explain my answer:
IMGP8278-jrnl-1-300x199

  •  Bonds – While the stock market thinks it was just a momentary blip, the bond market has clearly viewed a major sea change and is acting accordingly. The POTUS has “joined the swamp” in insanely out-of-control spending and debt crisis, that just may make the can unable to be kicked down the road anymore. The warning shot will become this, if the 10-year T-Bond gets above (and stays) 3%


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Bonds & Interest Rates

No Bond Vigilantes: Just Record Short Futures Speculators


Posted by Mike Shedlock

on Wednesday, 14 February 2018 07:37

A reader asked me about 'Bond Vigilantes' after reading this article: 'Bond Vigilantes' are Saddled Up and Ready to Push Rates Higher.

  • There's reason to be concerned about bond vigilantes, who are no longer under "lock and key" and are free to push yields higher, Ed Yardeni told CNBC.
  • Yardeni coined the term "bond vigilantes" in the 1980s to refer to investors who sell their holdings in an effort to enforce fiscal discipline.
  • People are looking more at the domestic situation and saying, 'You know what, maybe we need a higher bond yield,'" Yardeni says.

This is complete silliness. There are no "Bond Vigilantes".

Fundamentally, there is no way to dump holdings to enforce "fiscal discipline" because someone has to hold every bond issued until it comes to term.

However, there is a record speculative building up against bonds in the futures market.

Hedge Funds Push Record Bets Shorting Treasuries

Hedge funds and other large speculators are more convinced than ever that the 2018 bond-market rout will resume in the days ahead.

The group, known for trading on momentum, boosted short bets in 10-year Treasury futures to a record 939,351 contracts, according to Commodity Futures Trading Commission data through Feb. 6. That means the violent market moves on Feb. 5, when the Dow Jones Industrial Average suffered an unprecedented drop and 10-year yields fell almost 14 basis points, weren’t enough to dissuade wagers that rates are headed higher. The next gut-check comes Wednesday, with the latest read on consumer prices.

Speculators’ positioning matters because it can push momentum to extremes, and can serve as a contrarian indicator since these traders are among the quickest to switch directions when prices turn against them. By contrast, longer-term holders like asset managers are seen as more likely to stay the course. Their net long in 10-year futures is the highest since October 2015.

30-Year Long Bond Positioning

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Timing & trends

Key Change That Nobody Talks About


Posted by Arkadiusz Sieron, Ph.D.

on Wednesday, 14 February 2018 06:22

Last week, everyone focused on the stock market sell-off. Reasonably enough, given the pace of the declines. But the analysts failed to pay enough attention to the very important shift. That change may be more important than Trump’s victory in the presidential election. Will the critical switch make gold shine – or dull?

Three Important Legacies of Yellen’s Fed Tenure

A crucial change is behind us. Powell is the new boss. Yellen is out. For better or worse, she doesn’t serve as the Fed Chair any longer. Although economists rated Yellen’s tenure very highly, President Trump didn’t renominate her for the position. Rightly or not? We don’t care. Let journalists debate endlessly – we will analyze the crucial Yellen’s imprints on the Fed, which could affect the gold market in the future.

First, Yellen focused mostly on the labor market, not without some successes. We don’t attribute it solely to her, but the unemployment rate fell from 6.7 to 4.1 percent under her tenure. As a reminder, the Fed has a dual mandate: maximum employment and stable prices. Although many Fed officials used to worry about high inflation, she was different. Yellen didn’t fear the uptick in inflation as long as there was a slack in the labor market. She, thus, believed that ultra low interest rates could and should stay near zero for far longer than previously thought to combat unemployment. Yellen hiked them not earlier than in December 2015. Since then, she gradually raised them to the range of 1.25 percent to 1.5 percent, which is still very low. The gradual tightening was positive for gold, which would have likely struggled more, had monetary policy been more aggressive. If Jerome Powell continues this cautious policy, gold may shine, despite rising interest rates.

Second, Yellen managed to start the unwinding of the Fed’s massive balance sheet, without triggering stock market turmoil. After unconventional actions of Bernanke, she had to get back to normal monetary policy, but not too fast. She definitely succeeded. If anything, the Fed is behind the curve. This is why gold wasn’t strongly hit by the Fed’s tightening. The U.S. central bank raised interest rates a few times, but the financial conditions remained easy.

Third, Yellen mastered communication with the public. She held quarterly news conferences and smoothly telegraphed the Fed’s moves well in advance. Thanks to well-planned expectations guidance, Yellen – contrary to Bernanke who triggered a taper tantrum by his unexpected remarks in 2013 – avoided any major stumbles. The clear communication transformed gold’s reaction function. The yellow metal now reacts more to the changes in the rate hike expectations than to real monetary policy decisions. Sell the rumor, buy the fact – as one can see in the chart below.

as1

Chart 1: Gold prices under Yellen’s Fed tenure

Jerome Powell – Great Continuator or Game Changer?



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Gold & Precious Metals

Peter Schiff on the Bond Market & Gold


Posted by Peter Schiff - SchiffGold.com

on Wednesday, 14 February 2018 06:16

The Babylon Bee captured the current state of the Republican Party in all of its hypocritical glory. The satirical website proclaimed “Republicans announce plan to pretend to be fiscally conservative again the moment a Democrat takes office.”

The GOP said it would begin to decry deficit spending and the $20 trillion debt in order to win votes as soon as political power swung back to the opposing party.

“‘The second a Democrat is back in the White House, we will once again start yelling about fiscal responsibility,’ Speaker Paul Ryan said in an address to the House of Representatives Friday. ‘For now, we will continue to vote for unsustainable and irresponsible budgets that your children’s children’s children will pay for for centuries to come.’”

The Bee was poking fun at the budget passed by the GOP Congress last week – the budget that added some $300 billion in deficit spending and raised the mythical debt ceiling. According to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, $300 billion in additional spending will ensure the annual budget deficit will exceed $1 trillion in 2019.

In his podcast Friday, Peter Schiff made the exact same point.

If you really were against the deficits when Obama was president, then why aren’t you doing something to rein them in when Trump is president? Why are you actually voting in even bigger deficits now than the ones you opposed when you were the minority? And this is all hypocrisy. I’ve said this all along – that the Republicans are only fiscal conservatives when they’re in the minority and they can’t do anything about it. But the minute you turn over government to Republicans, they can run up the debt even faster than the Democrats.”

Peter noted that the US Treasury Department plans to auction off about $1.4 trillion in Treasuries this year to finance all of this spending. That raises an interesting question: Who is going to buy all this paper? The last time the Treasury sold more than $1 trillion in bonds, the Federal Reserve was buying. Supposedly, the Fed is now in the process of shrinking its balance sheet. In fact, the Fed plans to allow billions in bonds to mature and fall off its books. That means the government will have to sell even more Treasuries to make up that difference.



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The Dollar-Commodities See-Saw!

If you are interested in commodities, which has been a hated and neglected asset class since 2008, you will like the following chart I shared...

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