Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Francoise Boufhal in a bikini is mind altering
With global stock markets heading for the best monthly performance since last July, gold has found it increasingly difficult to hold onto recent gains.
The MSCI World index which monitors stocks from around the world rose more than eight percent during July as better economic and corporate data helped sentiment. Consumer confidence readings are still on the low side which continues to indicate a bumpy recovery ahead. Robert Schiller, a well known professor at Yale University, sees the risk of a US double dip recession as being above 50 percent.
The positive sentiment from stocks, where more than 77 percent of companies in the S&P 500 Index reported earnings above expectations, helped drive the yield on corporate bonds to a six year low. This according to Bloomberg triggered a record USD 85.7 billion issuance of debt in July with investors snapping up the relative high yield compared to governments bonds.
The Reuters Jefferies CRB index rose 1 percent on the week and returned 4 percent in July, the best monthly performance since May 2009. Gains were recorded across different sectors. The best performing markets were sugar, coffee, wheat, natural gas and palladium with losses in other energies and gold pulling in the opposite direction.
The price of gold dropped below the May low and has come close to the important 200 day moving average support at 1,150. This is the level that many long term investors view as the level that needs to hold. The speculative long position on Comex has been reduced by 27 percent over the past three weeks and another reduction is expected this week. Meanwhile Gold held in Exchange Traded Funds also saw a reduction albeit only by one million ounces, a mere 1.5 percent of total known holdings.
The next couple of weeks will be very important as to the near term direction of gold. The worry is that a move below 1,150 could trigger a much larger correction than the 100 dollars seen so far. Supportive news this week was a pick-up in physical demand with jewelers taking advantage of the recent drop in the price of both gold and the dollar. The strength of the global recovery is still debatable as the Yen, often viewed as a safe haven, strengthen against the dollar and the euro.