19 February 2010

Gold and Silver Weekly Charts - Explosive Silver Situation Intensifies

Gold Weekly

Gold held against two determined bear raid this past week, centered around 'announcements.' The first was the re-announcement of the IMF gold sale, and next was the largely symbolic gesture by the Fed in raising the Discount Rate to 75 basis points, without touching the target rate. That announcement was made AFTER the bell, rather than before as is more usual. There was noticeable front running of the miners before each announcement.

There is likely to be another bear raid, since this coming week is metals options expiration, and there is a cluster of contracts around 1100. There is also something brewing under the surface which is creating tension on the tape, with a violent back and forth motion in the spot price of gold. We can only speculate for now, but choose to wait and see what is revealed.

The most interesting speculation is that metals bears target is not gold, but rather silver.

Silver Weekly

Silver is in a potential inverse H&S formation that targets $30 per ounce. There are two or three big bullion banks that are massively short silver, that cannot possibly cover their short positions without significant pain, including a risk of default if a higher price fuels demand and breaks the confidence of the paper market.

If this is true, it is a big problem for the US government, because unlike gold, the central banks have no ready store of silver to sell into the markets, having exhausted their strategic stores some years ago.

If silver explodes because of a paper default, gold will follow. The central banks view that as a very risky development since several of the banks are already breaking ranks with the ECB, BofE, and the Fed over this issue of the de facto dollar reserve currency regime.

We do not anticipate a resolution of this quickly. DO NOT try and trade this for the short term. The 'beta' of the silver market could be terrific. The forces aligned around this market are determined and not easily moved. The small specs can get crushed if the titans start shoving.

These sorts of big changes tend to drag out over long periods of time. But we are aware of the situation. The breakout is at 19.50 and the pattern is negated with a drop below 12.

Look for more old arguments of the metals to resurfaces, and nonsensical arguments to be put forward by those banks and funds talking their books through contacts in the media and analyst community.

I cannot stress enough that if there is an all out stock market crash and liquidation both gold and silver will get deeply sold off, with everything which is what happens in a general liquidation of assets. Then we would begin to look for opportunities to buy in as the dust settles.

Miners 'Gold Bugs Index' Weekly

If silver breaks the paper shorts, the miners will break out, targeting 600 on this index. The silver plays would be remarkable.

What could trigger this? We suspect it would have to be a strong indication from the nations of the developing world for a bi-metallic content in the proposed SDR replacement for the dollar reserve currency.

Since central banks currently do not hold any significant silver bullion positions, the resulting buying panic could rival that of the 'Hunt corner' in the silver market. Therefore we would expect a maximum effort to control it ahead of time. A default on paper positions is certainly within the realm of probability.

Keep an Eye on the Long End of the US Bond Curve

This has been a long trend change as can easily be seen from this chart. The trend is bottoming and may be starting a reversal. Again, these things tend to play out over long periods of time. Don't expect to start day trading this next week.

Disclosure: I added initial positions in the gold and silver miners last week. I expect to add to them if the markets confirm. I have been hedging them against a 'market crash' in US equities such as the panic selloff in late 2008 which took us into the market lows.