Recently I have gotten wordy about the decline in ‘inflation expectations’ beginning on June 2, right on through yesterday’s update of the TIP-TLT ratio and TLT in essence, attaining their targets. The implication would be that the mini deflation whiff is coming to its limits.
As often happens at potential limit points, the market’s crosscurrents are strong. As noted yesterday, USD, gold, silver and the gold miners all did in-day reversals as items that had been risk ‘off’ got hammered. ‘What, USD and gold in lockstep? What is the meaning of this?!?’ think inflationists. See yesterday’s in-day post Strange Bedfellows.
The meaning is that these items, along with the VIX and US Treasury bonds have been plays for a risk ‘off’ market as it got the jitters over deflation. Gold miners had been, however fleetingly, rising in line with their counter-cyclical fundamentals and this is the mirror image to the reasons why I so often parrot that if you are a gold miner bull, at least realize that fundamentally at least, the sector is done no favors in an inflationary backdrop (price, for long stretches of time, can be something else all together).
 Please see a new post with more perspective on a would-be ‘inflation trade’ and its limitations.
The following excerpt is the opening segment from this week’s edition of Notes From the Rabbit Hole, NFTRH 398…
Last week’s opening paragraph: “If we are going to highlight improving fundamentals, which we did as gold out performed commodities and stock markets, then we also have to highlight and respect eroding fundamentals; no ifs, ands or buts.”
This week’s opening paragraph: If we are going to highlight eroding fundamentals, which we did as gold under performed commodities and stock markets and Semi Equipment made an early positive economic indication, then we also have to highlight and respect improving fundamentals; no ifs, ands or buts.
Gold is about the economy, the market risk profile, implied confidence in policy makers and above all, the state of money and the perceptions of billions of people who hold this ‘money’ issued by governments with “Legal Tender” or other wording to give the holder a feeling of confidence in its origin, its backing.
I don’t write the title because the precious metals took off Friday on the bad jobs report. Far from it. That is what gold is supposed to do under such circumstances as its fundamentals got a boost and the perceptions of a hawkish Fed got repelled.
I write the title despite the fact that the inflation barometer, TIP/TLT, tanked and commodities were moderate, post-jobs. Yesterday we noted: Inflation Expectations Sagging, including a declining TIP/TLT and a bullish looking TLT (each a form of non-inflationary signaling). Friday they got bearisher and bullisher, respectively.
This is the opening segment from the May 15 edition of Notes From the Rabbit Hole, NFTRH 395. I am releasing it for public viewing because it seems, the title’s question has come roaring to the forefront this week. So the information (including the charts) is slightly dated, but becoming intensely relevant as of now.
We anticipated an ‘inflation trade’ or Anti-USD asset market bounce and this has been going on since mid-February. That was when silver wrestled leadership from the first mover, gold (which bottomed in December and turned up in January), and a whole host of other global asset markets began to rise persistently.
 The post began as a simple view of the inflationary dynamics in play within the precious metals market but as sometimes happens it, err… expanded. Please excuse the wordiness. But I would rather be wordy and try to make points backed in facts and data than backed only by my biased ego.
Not that I have proof (re: the title), but I do have some charts to help make the point that people who bought gold and gold stocks due to inflation fears have been driving the gold sector higher since March.
Back in January and February HUI rammed upward amid much doubt and skepticism because the general market backdrop was bearish and even more importantly, the commodity focused ‘inflation trade’ was nowhere to be found. At that time we were calling the deflation story “long in the tooth”.
On March 4 we reviewed the technical reasons why the gold sector was launching as opposed to blowing off. This, after articles began appearing calling the rise to that point a doomed parabolic blow off using daily charts. Those calling it a blow off were confused; silver in spring 2011 was a blow off in the terminal sense. But when a parabolic move comes off a bottom, it is an impulsive thrust to change the trend, possibly ending the bear market.
We have long noted that gold is the first mover to a new inflationary phase, as the previous deflationary backdrop gets played out. That is exactly what happened, even though the silver miners have made stunning strides in leading the exciting up move in silver that is currently in process. Silver, in taking over leadership from gold would confirm an inflationary phase. Gold is monetary and silver is an industrial commodity with monetary aspects as well; i.e. it is more positively correlated to inflated economies making the silver-gold ratio a sensitive indicator to inflation.
Very simply, the weekly moving average that contained silver through its bear market has been broken to the upside. That is another booster of our assertion from earlier in the year that any coming blow off would not be terminal (ref. early 2011) but rather the completion of a launch phase off the bottom. This will be the case as long as silver is above the weekly EMA 55.