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Gold's Relative Strength and What It Means

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The real price of gold is trending bullish, which implies good times ahead for precious metals in the coming months.

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Longtime readers of my firm's editorials know that we are big fans of intermarket analysis as well as ardent believers in the real price of gold (real POG) or relative gold. No, this has nothing to do with the paper market versus the physical market. The real POG is essentially the POG relative to other assets and markets. There are two reasons why we track this. First, gold priced against the other currencies (specifically the euro) has been a leading indicator for gold in US dollar terms. Second, Gold's performance against commodities (in general) is a leading indicator for margins of the miners. We discussed this a few weeks ago (see Gold Mining Margins Will Expand Further). Over the weekend, I reviewed gold's performance in relative terms and it seems to have reasserted its uptrend.

In the chart below we graph gold against six other markets (foreign currencies, equities, oil, industrial metals, and bonds). Note that gold is in a steady uptrend against each market with the exception of bonds.



Gold priced in the inverse of the US$ basket is only 4% off its all-time high while relative to oil and industrial metals, it just reached a one-year high. Gold has turned down relative to bonds as they are close to testing their all-time high. Meanwhile, the yellow metal just matched a six-month high relative to the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX).

So why should we care about all of this?

First, it tells us that gold is in a healthy bullish position because its trending higher against all major markets with the exception of bonds. In other words, gold is showing broad strength and is only being held back by the strength in bonds, which happens to be the largest market by a mile. Thus, when we see bonds soften, gold should have a shot to retest its recent high.

The strength in the real POG usually reflects economic contraction or deceleration. After all, if things were going well we'd expect equities and economically sensitive commodities to outperform hold. A rise in the real POG is a negative signal for the economy and asset markets. That in itself is a catalyst for central bank action which gives liftoff to precious metals and also explains why the real POG is a trusty leading indicator.

The current interpretation of the real POG bodes well for the underlying cyclical or intermediate term trend which turned bullish in May. While we are here, here are a few quick thoughts on the gold and silver shares. In the chart below we plot the two support lines for Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (NYSEARCA:GDX), Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF (NYSEARCA:GDXJ) and Global X Silver Miners ETF (NYSEARCA:SIL). It appears these markets will test the lower support line.



Short-term breadth indicators (courtesy of sentimentrader.com) show only 15% of gold stocks trading above their 10-day moving average and only 23% trading above their 50-day moving average. The last time both these ratios were beneath 20% was July, in which a tremendous rebound began.



To conclude, the real price of gold is trending bullish which implies good times ahead for precious metals in the coming months. The poor outlook for oil and industrial prices is a good thing for gold and silver producers as their margins could expand even further in the quarters ahead. The correction that began at the end of September is likely within days of ending. Now, with mining equities trading off their highs is the time to do your research and find the companies that will lead the next leg higher and outperform the gold stock sector.

Editor's Note: See more from Jordan Roy-Byrne at The Daily Gold.
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No positions in stocks mentioned.

The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.

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