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Precious Metals

Gold Holding Up as Cryptos Get Hammered

As Bitcoin made new all-time highs in recent weeks, an increasing number of investors referred to it as the “new gold.” Sure, Bitcoin and other digital…



As Bitcoin made new all-time highs in recent weeks, an increasing number of investors referred to it as the “new gold.”

Sure, Bitcoin and other digital currencies may have some of the same potential benefits as gold, being alternative stores of value that exist outside the banking system. Cryptos are a far cry from hard money, however, and recent price action may be indicative of why.

This last weekend, Bitcoin prices were hammered. Bitcoin declined from just under $57,000 to a swing low of just over $46,000. That is a $10k drop in a matter of days!

Now that Bitcoin has put together a slight rebound, speculators may be wondering if it is safe to jump back in.

The answer to that question is that crypto markets are inherently speculative.

While they likely still have significant upside potential, they also carry unlimited downside risk since they lack any sort of tangible utility that could provide a fundamental floor for demand.

Hard assets including gold will retain value over time regardless of which direction speculators may push or pull prices in the near term. Although the yellow metal has been beaten down over the past few weeks, its declines were nothing like those seen in Bitcoin.

This begs the question of why Bitcoin might fall so precipitously while gold is able to hold its own.

Gold has been used as money for thousands of years. The yellow metal has been considered a reliable store of wealth and protector of value for centuries. Treasured by kings and servants alike, gold is valued all over the world and speaks a common monetary language to its holders.

This is unlike Bitcoin, which has only been in circulation a few years now and has yet to really prove its reliability under stress.

Despite cryptos’ differences from traditional fiat currencies, they are still effectively unbacked assets.

Owning Bitcoin does not put anything in your hand. While cryptocurrency can be exchanged directly for something tangible at a retailer that chooses to accept it, most crypto holders simply hold (or “hodl”) in hopes of appreciation.

Were people to stop expecting Bitcoin to appreciate, then there may no longer be any compelling case for holding it and possibly little market left for it.

Despite what many Bitcoin enthusiasts may tell you, cryptos may also be seized, controlled, or even co-opted by the government if it should decide to do so. This makes cryptos vulnerable to rising political risk as broke, revenue-hungry governments become increasingly rapacious.

Gold and cryptos are unlikely to share a similar market path as the differences between them become more widely acknowledged and visible. While Bitcoin may offer tremendous short-term profit potential, it can be a roller coaster to ride and can shake the nerves of even the most fearless investors.

Gold, on the other hand, is unlikely to experience the extreme price swings of Bitcoin.

The relative smoothness of gold may make it a more viable portfolio diversifier for those looking to protect their wealth and hedge against rising inflation.

After all, isn’t the whole purpose of holding an inflation and economic hedge to eliminate much of the potential risks inherent in other asset classes? It is for this reason that precious metals are likely at some point in the economic cycle to outperform cryptos.

The extreme volatility exhibited by cryptocurrencies renders them unsuitable for the more conservative investor.



Author: Author

Precious Metals

Confessions of a Day Trader: Pump up the volume, this one’s in the bank

This week saw the day that APT traded with a 6 in the front. Amazing to think that once they … Read More
The post Confessions of a Day Trader: Pump up…

Each Monday, Stockhead’s resident day trader gives us a peek at the highs and lows of his trading diary and hints at what might be coming this week.

Platform used: Marketech
Round Trip: A round trip is $10 up to $25,000 and then above $25,000, commission is at 0.02% in and at 0.02% out.
Rules of engagement: Never hold any positions overnight (unless forced) and try to avoid any suspensions (if possible). No shorting.

Monday January 10

Mmmmm is all I can say about today. Mmmmmm!

Volumes very low. Hard to find anything, though CBA made a classic 11am move and everything else was just bland.

Both APT and FMG allowed me out with just a couple of minutes to go. The results of no profit and $12.00 profit sum up the day.

So, that’s $172 for the day and put in a bit of time and energy to produce that. Mmmmm. Off for a swim and a beer.

Image: Marketech

Bought 500 CBA @ 102.66
Bought 600 APT @ 72.27
Sold 500 CBA @ 102.98 ($160.00 profit)
Bought 2,500 FMG @ 20.63
Sold 600 APT @ 72.29 ($12.00 profit)
Sold 2,500 FMG @ 20.63 ($0.00 profit)

Got a text off a mate and this was my reply in blue:

Bitcoin (which I don’t trade but watch) hit $39,500 that night (inflation hedge vs gold, had gold up Bitcoin down) and Friday APT traded down to $69.03.


Tuesday January 11

After yesterday’s effort, decide to be a bit more aggressive on size today. CBA broke down below $101.00 a few times today and gave me two opportunities.

Both times left sell limits at $100.98 because if they were going to push back above $101, they would need to take me out first, so for the sake of 2c it is a good strategy to have.

Just put sell limits below key breakout figures as sometimes they can reach that figure and fall back.

Then as I’m laying down with a nice sea breeze blowing through I noticed FMG getting sold down with not long to go. Made a 3c turn on 5000 and could have gone either way, so was a ‘heads or tails’ trade and heads came in!

Up $645 and spent a bit on brokerage but this allowed for smaller turns required to get a profit.

Image: Marketech
Image: Marketech

Bought 1,500 CBA @ 100.98
Sold 1,500 CBA @ 101.15 ($255.00 profit)
Bought 1,500 CBA @ 100.82
Sold 1,500 CBA @ 100.98 ($240.00 profit)
Bought 5,000 FMG @ 21.04
Sold 5,000 FMG @ 21.07 ($150.00 profit)

Wednesday January 12

Back to finding my ‘zone’ a bit today.

Working out that volumes are not as big as they could be but there’s still some volatility going on.

For example, CBA’s day range was $102.48 to $100.82 and FMG’s was not as dramatic at $21.20 to $20.68, but both have support(ish) levels. CBA $101.00 and FMG $21.00.

Doesn’t really mean anything in the real world but in the stock market world, they get sold down and bought back up.

FMG trade went on longer than I thought and CBA again gave me two opportunities. Go to bed thinking ‘should I up the size even more or will that bring me undone?’

Sipping a nice single malt as I type and contemplate my movements for tomorrow and asking my trading ‘God’ for guidance. Up $775 for the day.

Image: Marketech
Image: Marketech

Bought 5,000 FMG @ 20.90
Bought 1,500 CBA @ 101.57
Sold 1,500 CBA @ 101.73 ($240.00 profit)
Bought 1,500 CBA @ 100.99
Sold 1,500 CBA @ 101.18 ($285.00 profit)
Sold 5,000 FMG @ 20.95 ($250.00 profit)

Thursday January 13

Pre-market, the news that USA inflation was at a 40-year high got me thinking about gold.

Then out of the blue, CHN opened down and I lined up 4000 to buy and then chickened out and made my order 2000. I thought there maybe something fundamentally wrong as a reason for marking it down.

As it turned out my timing was good but my size was not. Then later on, CBA gave me another opportunity when it fell below $102.00.

Good result for not too much effort today. Plus $585.

Image: Marketech
Image: Marketech

Bought 2,000 CHN @ 8.34
Sold 2,000 CHN @ 8.55 ($420.00 profit)
Bought 1,500 CBA @ 101.98
Sold 1,500 CBA @ 102.09 ($165.00 profit)


Friday January 14

Well today was the day that APT traded with a 6 in the front. Can you believe it? Amazing to think that once they were par with CBA.

Just shows that a quality dividend payer will always win in the end. Not touching APT now until they become Block on the 20th.

Got a fix on CBA and also MFG. The range on CBA was $102.65 to $100.50. WTF is all I can say and today was all about patience.

Low volume and inflation scares and a Friday and an Australian holiday mode all adding to the volatility.

Up $2635 gross and $2089 net after brokerage (CBA the main culprit). Bring on Monday!

Image: Marketech
Image: Marketech

Bought 1,500 CBA @ 100.59
Bought 2,000 MFG @ 19.58
Sold 1,500 CBA @ 100.81 ($330.00 profit)
Sold 2,000 MFG @ 19.65 ($140.00 profit)

The post Confessions of a Day Trader: Pump up the volume, this one’s in the bank appeared first on Stockhead.

Author: Bottom Picker

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Precious Metals

Lundin Gold Sees BMO Reiterate $14 Price Target After Production Beat

On January 10th, Lundin Gold Inc. (TSX: LUG) announced its 2021 full-year production results. The company announced that it produced
The post Lundin Gold…

On January 10th, Lundin Gold Inc. (TSX: LUG) announced its 2021 full-year production results. The company announced that it produced 428,514 ounces of gold, beating their own high range of guidance, which was 420,000 ounces. The breakdown was 289,499 ounces of concentrate and 139,015 ounces of Doré. The company processed 1,415,634 tonnes this year with an average throughput of 4,121 tonnes per day and a recovery rate of 88.6%.

Lundin Gold currently has 9 analysts covering the stock with an average 12-month price target of C$13.69, or a 36% upside to the current stock price. Out of the 9 analysts, 8 have buy ratings and 1 analyst has a hold rating. The street high sits at C$15.50, or a 54% upside from Stifel-GMP. While the lowest 12-month price target is C$11.75.

In BMO Capital Markets’ note, they reiterated their C$14.00 12-month price target and Outperform rating on Lundin Gold, saying that the company had strong fourth-quarter production.

For the fourth quarter Lundin Gold produced 107,900 ounces, beating BMO’s 104,600 ounces, and they note that the companies throughput and recovery rates have been steadily increasing each quarter in 2021.

Though the full year beat was unexpected by many, BMO believes that this was expected due to the strong production at Fruta del Norte with their throughput increasing 4,200 tonnes per day. Additionally, they expect Lundin Gold to come in at their own guidance for all-in sustaining costs.

Lastly, BMO believes that Fruta del Norte has started to accumulate high-grade stockpiles, which has only started in the last quarter or two. They believe that the building “of modest stockpiles as a positive for the mining operation.”

Below you can see BMO’s updated fourth quarter, 2021, and 2022 estimates.

Information for this briefing was found via Sedar and Refinitiv. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

The post Lundin Gold Sees BMO Reiterate $14 Price Target After Production Beat appeared first on the deep dive.

lundin gold inc

Author: Justin Young

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Precious Metals

When the Fed is between a rock and a hard place, got gold?

Inflation is one of the best determinants of gold price movements, because investors buy precious metals (gold, silver, platinum and palladium)…


Inflation is one of the best determinants of gold price movements, because investors buy precious metals (gold, silver, platinum and palladium) as an inflation hedge when the prices of goods and services are rising faster than interest rates.

Although gold offers neither a yield (bonds, GICs) nor a dividend (stocks and mutual funds), it is considered a smart investment when inflation diminishes an investor’s principal or erodes the purchasing power of a currency.

Gold is even more popular when real interest rates, typically the yield on the US 10-year Treasury note minus the inflation rate, are below zero, like currently.

The reason for this is simple, when real interest rates are at or below 0%, cash and bonds fall out of favor because the real return is lower than inflation. If you are earning 1.6% on your money from a government bond, but inflation is running 2.7%, the real rate you are earning is negative 1.1% — an investor is actually losing purchasing power. Gold is the most proven investment to offer a return greater than inflation, by its rising price, or at least not a loss of purchasing power.

Bond market and gold market observers keep a close eye on US Treasury yields, particularly the benchmark 10-year, because it serves as a proxy for other financial products, such as mortgage rates, and it also signals investor confidence. When there is low confidence in the economy, people want safe investments, and US Treasuries are considered among the safest. Demand for Treasuries bids up their prices and yields fall. Conversely, when confidence returns, investors dump their bonds, thinking they do not need to play it safe. This causes bond prices to sink and yields to climb.

The current 10-year Treasury note yields 1.74% and the December CPI rate of inflation is 7%, making real interest rates minus 5.26% — an ideal environment for gold prices.

Spot gold on Friday climbed to $1,816/oz, at time of writing, corresponding with a lower US Dollar Index (DXY has fallen from 96.32 at the start of January to 95.17 currently) and following the release of December inflation figures.

1-month spot gold. Source: Kitco
1-month US Dollar Index DXY. Source: MarketWatch

Those hoping for a reprieve from the highest US inflation in decades, which many, wrongly imo, attribute to pandemic-related supply chain disruptions (there are in fact a number of reasons why current higher prices are likely to be with us for a long time) were disappointed.

The US Labor Department said that its Producer Price Index (PPI) rose 0.2% from November to December, bringing producer prices to a record-high 9.7%, the biggest calendar-year increase since data was first calculated in 2010, the Labor Department report said.

The same report said US consumer prices increased solidly in December, led by gains in rental accommodation and used cars, culminating in the largest annual inflation rise in 40 years. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) surged 7% in the 12 months through December, which is the biggest year on year increase since 1982.

US inflation rate (CPI)

The US Federal Reserve, whose job is to keep unemployment in check and inflation (the Federal Funds Rate) in the “Goldilocks” zone of 2%, is telegraphing three interest rate increases of 0.25% each (1% at the high end of the range) this year.

The US government produces two main inflation indices, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and the Personal Consumption Expenditures Index (PCE), and two “core” variations that exclude certain “volatile” goods. All have risen faster and more persistently than the Fed expected.

It’s important to note, the Federal Reserve doesn’t count food and fuel in its regular inflation forecasts, preferring the “PCE inflation” metric. As the name suggests, the Personal Consumption Expenditures price index measures changes in the prices of consumer goods and services. Thus the Fed is deliberately understating the real inflation rate, how they can exclude food and gas prices is beyond comprehension, we all eat, and we all use transportation.

The problem with the Fed’s game plan of a 1% increase in each of the next two years, is it is too dovish for what is required. 

Arguably, rate adjustments of 2% will have little to no effect on skyrocketing inflation.

Yet herein lies the dilemma — anything beyond that could have a very negative impact on the US economy, because each interest rate rise means the federal government must spend more on interest, reflected in the annual budget deficit, which keeps getting added to the national debt, currently at $29 trillion and climbing.

A 0.75% interest rate hike would increase the interest costs per household by $1,400. That will hit the consumer right in the pocketbook, as will higher mortgage rates, car loans and credit cards, which will all go up following the rise in the Federal Funds Rate.

Corporations will also feel the squeeze. The interest on their loans will increase, forcing them to hike prices. Again the consumer pays. In the worst cases, companies will lay off staff, hurting workers and pushing the most vulnerable into severe economic hardship.

The US has borrowed about $6 trillion over the past 2.5 years to fight covid, placing a heavy burden on its finances.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that interest costs were $331 billion in 2021. 

According to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, each 1% rise in rates would increase interest costs by roughly $225 billion at today’s, end of 2021, debt levels.

We know that the Fed is planning a 1% rate increase this year. We also know that the federal deficit hit $2.8 trillion in 2021, the highest ever, except for 2020, an outlier due to massive coronavirus pandemic spending. For easy math, let’s call it $3T.

2022’s interest costs are calculated as follows: $331B (from 2021) + $225B (+1% rate hike) = $556B. This is without the debt increasing, but we know it’s going to increase, by at least $3T (2021 budget deficit).

The Fed is planning another 1% rate increase in 2023. 2023’s interest costs are calculated as follows:

$556B (from 2022) + $225B (+1% rate hike) = $771B. This is the interest payment due at the end of 2023. But again, this is without any new debt. Let’s add it.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB) — both reliable sources — project a deficit of $1.3T in 2022, and every year until 2031. This is the amount per year that will be added to the national debt, currently sitting at $29T.

Here are the total interest costs in 2023: 

If we take the $29T debt and add $3T (2021 deficit) + $2.6T (deficits to end of 2023) = $34.6T, we are increasing the debt by ~20%. 20% of $781B is $156B. $781B + $156B = $937B. So at the end of 2023, interest payments will be almost $1T.

This to me is a very conservative figure. It doesn’t include Biden’s trillion-dollar infrastructure spending package that has been passed, nor additional covid-19 relief measures which are probable, with no sign of the pandemic letting up, two years in.  

Inflation plays a big role here. Consider: even if the supply chain issues get ironed out (a big “if” given that covid appears to have taken on new life as the omicron variant), and that takes care of half the current 7% rate of inflation, there will still be another 3-4% inflation (food, energy transition, wage spiral, and climate crisis) left to deal with.

Let’s suppose the Fed wants to get serious about fighting inflation. Does it really think it can raise rates by a factor of 4, to match 4% inflation?

In 2023, interest costs could amount to $937 billion.

But that only brings rates up to 2%. Doubling the Federal Funds Rate to 4% would mean interest costs of nearly $2 trillion. Where is the government going to find the money?

There are only three choices: issue bonds, raise taxes, or print money. Higher taxes hit the poor and the middle class hardest, and in the United States, 70% of the economy is consumer spending. US household debt is reportedly on the rise, with families across the country more than $15 trillion in the red, according to personal finance app Nerd Wallet, via Twitter. The average household owes a whopping $155,622. 

Next let’s consider the possibility of issuing more bonds. In a previous article we identified the trend of foreign buyers slowing their US Treasury purchases. Instead of foreigners buying T-bills, it is increasingly Americans, including consumers, banks and the biggest buyer of them all, the US Federal Reserve. From 2008, when the Fed balance sheet was ‘just’ $1 trillion, four rounds of quantitative easing, where the Fed engaged in monthly asset purchases of government bonds and mortgage-backed securities, to stimulate the economy, has raised the balance sheet to over $8 trillion. Since the fourth round of QE started in the spring of 2020, the Fed’s total assets have more than doubled.

Fed balance sheet. Source: US Federal Reserve

Again the inflation problem is paramount. The incentive for buying a US Treasury bill or bond is gone, the buyer’s purchasing power eroded by inflation. Wolf Street gives us a good explanation.

The current Federal Funds Rate is .08%, but CPI inflation is 7%, giving a real (after inflation) Effective Federal Funds Rate (EFFR) of -6.94%. This is the most negative EFFR since 1954. The real interest rate on savings accounts and Certificate of Deposit (CD) accounts, and the real yield on short-term Treasuries, is similarly -7%. The 10-year yield, which pays better interest, is -5.3% in real terms.

Even junk bonds, considered highly risky compared to Treasuries, have real yields below 0%. As Wolf Richter points out, You have to go to CCC-rated junk bonds – “substantial risk” of default – to get a yield above the rate of CPI inflation. 

It really does beg the question, when foreign countries, individuals and corporations stop buying Treasuries, and Americans finally realize they are losing their T-bill purchasing power to inflation, who is going to buy US debt?

That leaves only one option available to the US government, and that is printing money — which of course, is inflationary — especially if the printing is “helicopter” style as in direct stimulus payments to consumers, which is responsible for a good percentage of the current CPI increase.

The Fed (and the Treasury) is between a rock and a hard place, the Fed can’t raise rates to combat high inflation because doing so will wreck the economy, and imo, the Treasury will soon struggle to find enough buyers for US government bonds because the yields are so low, in all cases negative.

Historically, the way the Fed has handled economic crises is to lower interest rates. We see this in the chart below by Real Investment Advice.

Source: Real Investment Advice

The 10-year rate started out at 4% in 1965 and hit a 57-year peak of >14% during the 1982 Latin American debt crisis. Almost every crisis, including the 2000 dot-com crash, the 2007 sub-prime mortgage debacle, and covid-19, has been followed by an interest rate cut.


In two years time will we look at this chart and see the black line rising, reflecting higher interest rates powering the US economy out of the covid-19 recession? Seems unlikely.

With 7% US inflation climbing faster and it being “stickier” than anticipated, the Fed has few policy options at its disposal. The horrendous yields on US Treasuries make them a poor investment, something foreign investors have already realized and US bond-buyers will surely cotton onto soon as well.

This practically guarantees the continuation of Fed bond buying (QE) despite the much-ballyhooed taper. As for raising rates, we have just proven that the Fed can’t do it, at least not at the levels required to beat 4% inflation, which may be charitable. We are talking about interest costs nearing a trillion dollars per year, when the deficit is accounted for. 

In a recent article, Peter Schiff maintains that the government is using cooked CPI data that understates inflation. If it was using the formula it used in 1982, inflation would be higher in 2021 than it was then, he writes, just over 15%.

The fact is nobody is going to want to buy US debt at 7% inflation, let alone 15%. The Fed will continue to print money, buy bonds and keep interest rates below 1% for as long as it can — probably hoping that inflation will magically melt away — all of which is extremely positive for gold.

Rising geopolitical tensions continue to add to gold’s allure. There are a number of hot spots in the world today that could easily flare up into a conflagration that escalates into a shooting war or even the nightmare scenario of missiles being launched.

They include the ongoing threat of war between North and South Korea that would draw in the United States; tensions between the US, China and its neighbors over Taiwan; and a migrant crisis in Belarus that Ukrainian officials believe is a ruse invented by Russia to stage an invasion of Ukraine, similar to what happened in 2014 when Russian forces annexed Crimea.

There are 100,000 Russian troops on Ukraine’s border and on Friday photos were released showing its forces on the move. An alleged Russian cyberattack hit around 70 internet sites including the security and defense council, Reuters reported. Talks between Moscow and Western allies ended Thursday with no breakthrough.

When market participants see Fed rate increases as the hollow threats they are, amid rising and currency-debasing inflation, we expect many will see the light and return to gold.

Richard (Rick) Mills
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