Both silver and gold had their weakest COMEX delivery months in several years.
Gold started July delivery with 937 contracts outstanding. This is the lowest level since November of last year and the second-lowest since the start of Covid (see figure 2).
The first month of Federal Reserve balance sheet reduction turned out to be a big dud. As it turns out, the balance sheet shrank by less than $1 billion in June during the first month of quantitative tightening.
As part of its vaunted inflation fight, the Fed announced in May that Quantitative Tightening (QT) was set to begin last month. From Reuters:
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell continues to insist that the economy is strong enough to withstand tighter monetary policy to fight inflation. But the economy seems to be saying otherwise. So, how will this play out? In this week’s Friday Gold Wrap podcast, host Mike Maharrey gazes into his crystal ball and speculates about what might happen over the next several months. He also tells the tale of two central bankers and discusses the current gold market.
Well-known investment advisor Rick Rule said the Fed will chicken out on its inflation fight.
Rule runs Rule Investment Media and formerly served as the president and CEO of Sprott US Holdings Inc. In a recent interview, Rule said that the Fed could get inflation under control with significantly tighter monetary policy for a sustained period of time. But he said he doesn’t think the central bank has the wherewithal to follow through when the economy starts to crash.
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe plans to issue gold coins as a way for investors in the country to store value as inflation runs rampant in the economy.
The United States isn’t the only country battling rapidly rising prices. The inflation rate in Zimbabwe spiked from 132% in May to 191.6% in June, and the Zimbabwean currency is quickly devaluing against other global currencies, particularly the US dollar.
Gold demand in India was strong in May with retail sales rebounding and imports up both month-on-month and year-on-year.
Even with rising interest rates and the dollar at multi-year highs, gold has held its ground. Nevertheless, we have yet to see a big spike in gold prices despite persistent inflation. Why not?
The perception is that rising interest rates are always bad for gold. But does perception match up with reality?
If history is any indication, the answer is no.
After a big miss on the Powell/Brainard nominations in November, the price analysis has been fairly accurate. Identifying the initial breakout above $1800, mentioning that $1900 was fragile support, and last month concluding that gold had found a bottom around $1800.
For the past month, gold has been consolidating within a tight range around $1850. The data suggests the next move is most likely up. Lots of indicators have bottomed, which leaves little downside remaining. The market has also priced in an extremely aggressive Fed and held up very well over that time.