Gold Probing the $1550 Level

Gold has continued to see further selling in today’s session with traders once again exiting “RISK” trades in favor of the “Growth Off” or RISK AVERSION trades. Long commodity positions, along with long equities, are getting liquidated with money flows heading towards US Treasuries in general. This can be seen in the CCI, the Continuous Commodity Index, which is moving lower while bonds move higher, taking interest rates down even further as the yield on the Ten Year is now down below the 1.80% level. Remember, there has not been a week yet during which this yield ENDED BELOW that critical level.

Gold’s move down towards $1550 has in the past attracted very substantial Central Bank gold buying. Hopefully this will remain the case as the market is now pushing towards the lower band of an eight month long trading range. If speculative selling of the metal is not absorbed down here and the market were to break below $1520 and fall to recover quickly, it will more than likely drop below $1500.

My own thinking on this is that the markets are moving so quickly away from risk and out of basically everything except Treasuries or cash, that the Fed is going to have a major problem on their hands if they do not soon give some sort of signal that they are preparing to act to stem the deflationary decline. JP Morgan’s $2 Billion credit derivatives-based loss has spooked the banking sector and that is the one sector that the monetary officials do not want to see going from bad to worse. Keep in mind that back in 2008, once Lehman went under with Bear Stearns following, it was the woes of the financial sector that pulled the rug out from under the entire US economy and the US equity markets. The Fed is well aware of this and I suspect will not want to wait too long before beginning to make some noise to keep the markets from becoming too roiled.

The bank shares might be the first thing to watch for some signs of further monetary accomodation as one can be assured that there are lots of phone calls and discussions underway even now. If they were to show some signs of bottoming, it might be a hint of things to come.

Meanwhile gold will need to get at least back above $1600 to give the bulls some breathing room. With the Commitment of Traders report showing the NET LONG position of the big hedge funds at a 42 month low, there remains plenty of room for them to come back into this market and juice it higher but they need some sort of signal to tell them to do so. Right now they are not getting it; if anything, some hedge funds are now moving to the short side of gold along as well as a host of various other commodity markets.

Incidentally, China is lowering their bank reserve ratio requirements, a sign that they are responding to slowing growth there as their export markets are impacted by the woes in the Eurozone and the anemic growth in the US. This is one of the signals that copper has been sending for a while now as it descends in price. Were copper to finally show some signs of a bottom, that would be constructive for silver which is testing chart support down near the $28 level once again.

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