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Despite a Correction, Gold Sends a Signal About Currencies

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From Andrew Hecht

  • Gold reached highs in most currencies

  • The Swiss franc could be next

  • The 2011 high in dollars could be the last stand for currencies

At the end of last week, the gold and silver markets reminded us that markets rarely move in a straight line. The fantastic rallies in the precious metals came after gold broke out above its July 2016 high at $1377.50 per ounce. The prospects for lower interest rates in the US and around the world fueled the rallies. An escalation of the trade dispute between the US and China increased fear and uncertainty that propelled the precious metals higher. And, the potential of a hard Brexit on October 31 turbocharged gold sand silver prices.

The market got a bit of a wake-up call on Thursday, September 5. Positive news on trade and the UK Parliament’s move to stop a hard Brent caused a risk-on session which weighed on the two precious metals prices.

Meanwhile, the price action in gold over the past two decades, and the most recent appreciation is a signal that the corrective move could lead to a much higher low. A continuation of the elevator ride to the upside in the yellow metal is likely. GLD and SLV are two of the most liquid ETF products in the commodities asset class.

Gold reached highs in most currencies

On September 4, gold reached a high at $1566.20 on the December futures contract and just under the $1560 level on the continuous futures contract. The yellow metal rose to its highest price since 2013. As the price of gold climbed to levels not seen in over half a decade, it made new record highs in many currencies around the globe. Most recently, the precious metal moved above its all-time peak at 1376.87 in euros when it rose to over the 1417 level before the correction at the end of last week. The euro joined the Japanese yen, British pound, Australian and Canadian dollars, Russian ruble, Chinese yuan, and a host of other foreign exchange instruments that fell to new lows against gold.

The two currencies that did not join the devaluation party were the US dollar and the Swiss franc.

The Swiss franc could be next

The Swiss currency has a long history as a safe-haven during times of uncertainty in markets. The neutral nation attempts to be a model of stability for the world that has traditionally attracted capital into the tiny European country.

(Source: CQG)

The monthly chart dating back to the turn of this century highlights that the all-time peak for gold in Swiss currency terms came in 2012 at 1662.51 francs per ounce. The most recent high in the gold market took the price to 1534.21 francs, 8.4% below the record level.

Meanwhile, at the September 4 high in US dollar terms, gold rose to $1559.80, which was just over 23% below its record high at $1920.70 in 2011.

The next leg of the bull market in gold is underway. If the current correction gives way to higher highs, the Swiss franc price of gold is likely to be the next shoe to drop. If the Swiss franc joins the group of currencies that have declined to new lows against the yellow metal, it would be another in a series of bullish signs for the gold market. While short-term European interest rates are at negative forty basis points, the rates in Switzerland are even lower at the negative 75 basis point level. The rate environment in Switzerland could make the franc’s journey to a new low against gold inevitable.

The 2011 high in dollars could be the last stand for currencies

After gold broke out of the $331.30 range in dollar terms that had been in place since 2014 this June, the target for the metal is at the 2011 peak at $1920.70 per ounce. Gold has done the best against other world currencies as it has declined the least against gold. While gold was still over 23% below its record level at the most recent high, technical and fundamental factors, continue to point to a challenge of 2011 high and prices north of $2000 per ounce.

The US central bank has pivoted from tightening credit to accommodation when it comes to monetary policy. The trade war with China is likely to continue to stoke periods of fear and uncertainty. Moreover, the Presidential election of 2020 could be the most contentious and divisive in history. These factors and more are likely to keep the bullish fuse in the gold market burning after it settles down at a higher low and resumes its ascent in the coming weeks and months.

The bull market in gold is more about the devaluation of foreign exchange instruments around the world than the strength of the yellow metal. While the US dollar may still be the king of currencies, gold’s price action makes it the monarch of money.

The SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) was trading at $140.89 per share on Wednesday morning, up $0.71 (+0.51%). Year-to-date, GLD has gained 13.94%, versus a 12.59% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.

GLD currently has an ETF Daily News SMART Grade of B (Buy), and is ranked #1 of 33 ETFs in the Precious Metals ETFs category.

This article is brought to you courtesy of

About the Author: Andrew Hecht

andrew-hechtAndrew Hecht is a sought-after commodity and futures trader, an options expert and analyst. He is a top ranked author on Seeking Alpha in various categories. Andy spent nearly 35 years on Wall Street, including two decades on the trading desk of Phillip Brothers, which became Salomon Brothers and ultimately part of Citigroup. Over the past decades, he has researched, structured and executed some of the largest trades ever made, involving massive quantities of precious metals and bulk commodities. Aside from contributing to a variety of sites, Andy is the Editor-in-Chief at Option Hotline.

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