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Some simple and basic 'Fundamental Analysis'

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I wanted to share some simple and basic 'Fundamental Analysis' with regards to my 'Long' Gold and Silver trades and 'Short' S&P 500 trade.

The Gold price is continuing to rise as equities around the world are declining. Gold is priced in USD and US Equities are in 'bear market' territory. US Federal Reserve has raised interest rates by 25 base points. There are a lot of 'risks' at the moment in terms of equities declining, Trump's Trade War with specifically China and monetary policy. These conditions are favourable for Gold going forwards. 

For those who may not be familiar let me explain when a market is in 'bear market' territory. It is when a market has declining by 20% or more from its highs. The biggest worry is any 'recessionary impact' that may come going forwards. A lot of people have obtained cheap credit whilst interest rates have been at all time lows. If interest rates begin to increase then if these people have not managed their risk properly then they could be in trouble as their repayments begin to increase. Business are effected by interest rate increases too so as their loan repayments increase their costs increase which could lead to job cuts.

On top of this major technology stocks have entered into a 'Death Cross' recently. Now for those not familiar with what the 'Death Cross' actually means then it is when a share's 50 day moving average goes below its 200 day moving average. This tends to signal a change in trend from upwards to downwards. I think it could take months or at least the first quarter of 2019 for this bear market to try and bottom if not longer. I have a 'feeling' that this is going to be a enormous downtrend and those who do not short such opportunities are going to miss some exceptional opportunities. These are just my personal thoughts based on my 'gut' and 'instincts'. So please do not take this as 100% likely or it is given. I could just as easily be wrong. 

Now in the past on IG Community traders have posted many threads and posts about 'Buy the Dips'. I would absolutely not buy the dips right now on such indices trending strongly downwards. What I would be looking to do is 'Sell The Rips'. This is the opposite of the buy the dips. During any prices rises during a downtrend one adds to their position and adds to their short position. It is being reported that indications are the more declines are likely to be seen in the weeks and months ahead. It seems the major indexes are producing new lows which gives me the impression that the worst is still to come. What makes it difficult for us traders is that volatility is increasing. This is great for day traders and shorter term traders but for anyone who holds long positions it becomes difficult with the risk of stop losses getting executed. 

The dynamics of the current scenario is fascinating. I never thought I would be 'Long' Gold and yet I am. Risk tolerance is declining and along with it the markets are declining. Now one could infer that the price action of Gold is making it look like a potential safe haven for investors. There is the potential of a weaker dollar which could lead to higher Gold prices. I have openly stated I am not a fan of Gold. However, I saw an opportunity to get in early on what seems to be a trending upwards movement based on price action.

We have the US Government shutdown which seems to be becoming a regular occurrence. For me this creates uncertainty in the market which is going to bad for stock markets and positive for the likes of Gold. When one adds the US Monetary Policy into the mix then one can see why things are unravelling the way they are. 

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Continuing with the fundamental analysis with the US in particular I would like to add that the US dollar has ended 2018 as one of the stronger currencies. It is after all the world's reserve currency. 

Now there is an expectation that the low interest rate period is behind us. One of the biggest issues is the US's national debt which is simply unsustainable on any level. This could rear its ugly head in 2019 and presents a major risk from a fundamental perspective on the markets. 

I shall be keeping a close eye on Bonds and Gilts in 2019 and see the price behaviour of those assets which may well help to give an indication of future price performance on equities. 

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As the country awaits the voting on the Brexit deal it will be rather interesting to see how the FTSE 100 and other UK indices behave as well as the safe haven 'Gold' in tomorrow's session and the overnight session throughout the night. 

 

 

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Well the US Government has ended albeit temporarily the shutdown. The markets which were expected to sharply fall have risen phenomenally, especially the US indices. I tried to short the US indices and clearly got the trades wrong. Right now based on price action one should be trading long as one should never go against the trend regardless of fundamentals, economics, news, etc.

Trends can be extremely powerful and if one trades solely based on fundamentals when there is a disconnect with the price action then it can be extremely dangerous. When you look at the US debt levels, potential interest rate rises in the US, US-China trade war, slowing down of the US economy with GDP figures possibly declining going forwards, potential company earnings declining and the potential unwinding of capital in US equities points towards a falling US stock market. 

The price action is telling us a different narrative right now which could change at any moment so one must follow the price action very carefully. Stock markets are a 'future price discounting mechanism'. So they are telling us what they think is going to happen around six months into the future. A lot of investors and traders forget this point. The key data to look at is the forecasts of say six months and twelve months ahead. What are the data expectations going forwards. 

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The forecasts for the US don't look too bad actually;

Interest rates Q4 2019 -  3%   

GDP Q3 - 4 2019  - 2.4%  to  2%   

Unemployment rate  Q4 2019  -  3.7%   

Dow index forecasts for Dec 2019  range anywhere between   24559 down to 21662 (which is only a revisit of the recent low)   

The current Debt to GDP for the US is historically high at 105.40 (debt was doubled under Obama) but compared to Japan's stonking  253.00 looks relatively tame.   

So certainly the forecasters aren't even looking to a recession let alone a depression.   

But of course forecasts are only forecasts. 

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@Caseynotes,

These forecasts could potentially change as Brexit implications are more clearer. Also countries like India are forecasting GDP of around 7% and Trump promised so much in putting America first that GDP in Q3 from 2.4% to 2% is certainly not what many in the US were expecting. 

I agree it is not actually that bad under the circumstances.

From what I am hearing (in my circle) and my circle could be wrong is that at some point significant capital from especially US equities has to unwind and will shift into another generating better returns and providing higher yield. When this happens which could be a year to two away or may have even began but many don't realise it, US equities could slowly grind lower with large and long rallies along the way distracting the views of many.

It will be interesting to see how the longest government shutdown in US's history affects the forecasts going forwards. I also think there is a fundamental shift of GDP growth from the west now to the east. Asia is fuelling this increase and the next decade I believe will belong to Asia in terms of GDP growth.

For long term investors it is worth bearing this in mind when it comes to portfolio allocation in your investment portfolios. Obviously the growth figures released will either support my view or reject it so please do not just accept my point blindly but let the figures confirm or reject such a notion. 

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The problem with the forecasts is that they are determined by computer modelling and the input data since July 2018 has been skewered by the US/China trade dispute. But the dispute could be brought to an end at very short notice, the computer models can't forecast if or when that might happen so don't, (nor can I).

The trade dispute is affecting the forecasting of most of the economic data sets for most countries and all the forecasts will need to be rewritten if the dispute is suddenly resolved.

True that the current forecast for the US is now lower that expected before the trade dispute became embedded and demonstrates how forecasts can easily get left behind by subsequent events (see first graph).  

Interesting contrasting graphs. The first is the old US GDP growth rate forecast before the trade dispute.

The second is a new China GDP growth rate forecast during the trade dispute.

image.png.9373cde6c15093bbed03bbd1ba530c47.png

image.png.ed8b3ceb7ad8dd5bc887d0eb131f6567.png

 

 

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@Caseynotes,

Those charts are very interesting.

What I am unsure about is whether Brexit is going to affect the rest of the world? If so then by how much? It possibly may not have any detrimental effect to other major economies around the world but this is the part which I am finding it extremely difficult to quantify even on an assumptive basis using predictive modelling. 

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@TrendFollower  that is truly a difficult one, who even knows what Brexit is going to be, currently it looks like a deal meaning Brexit in name only and not actually leaving the EU at all.

The other question is, if there is a true Brexit, who will it hurt the most and my guess is the EU. They are not going to be able to carry on as before after losing one of the top 3 economies. No wonder they are doing everything possible to block it.

What impact would France and Germany going into recession have on other major economies around the world?

Annual GDP growth rate forecasts for Germany, France and UK (in that order). 

image.png.70e6827e39728d44c3007bb8770ff7b7.png

image.png.9aeea380de1f37a466736a8471b271ed.png

image.png.55975641b0103a86fe10631ca8ed289e.png

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The UK is making a strong push in improving its trading relationship with China. It should be trading far more with China and India based on their growth performance and potential going forwards. Also the sheer size of their markets means the potential is there and the UK should be striving to provide goods and services to China and India as they are going to be serious players in the next 10-20 years if not a lot sooner.

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How will the current Brexit scenario and risks associated with the March 2019 deadline affect the markets?

How will the current delay in US-China trade talks and also the March 2019 deadline before the US puts up tariffs affect the markets?

These are two key questions facing both investors and traders at the moment. 

Usually the markets move prior to the 'big event' in both advance and anticipation. 

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Brexit has been delayed and the media are reporting positive trade talks between US-China.

This has created the atmosphere for bearish price action.

At the same time major indices have been bullish which again has called for a bearish environment. 

 

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The German economy is estimated to be worth around $4.2 trillion in 2019. It is the forth largest economy in the world after the US, China and Japan. It is also larger than the next two EU countries combined in France and the UK. 

It is being reported that the German economy has returned to growth. Now unemployment still stands at around 3.2% and inflation is currently around the 2% mark so there is still plenty of work to do. 

The USA and China are both important export markets for Germany so the trade talks between US-China are having an impact. If reports are to be believed then the USA is also said to be considering raising tariffs against European car imports, which is of course a major export of the German economy.

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I posted the following on my Potential Gold trade thread but thought it sat nicely here too.

 

I had a 'gut feeling' that Trump and Kim Jong-un's get together over the weekend would cause Gold to continue falling. 

It is like the US controls the market behaviour through the release of news exactly at the time it wants to. Trump is very proud of the US stock market performance and I would call it 'indirect manipulation' or 'silent manipulation' which is not obvious to the normal public around the world. 

The US decides when it wants to arrange meetings and release certain information via media channels. The traders and general public have no control over the news flow and when it will be released so the US Government have the edge in terms of calling the market direction. They know what news will be released in the future. 

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Regardless of whether you like him or not, no one can argue that whilst Trump as been president of the US, its major stock markets have been making new highs. They have not crumbled and crashed under his leadership. 

The rest of the world with the likes of Russia and China are fed up with the reserve currency being US Dollars and the US (one country in the world) having so much power and control in the world. I think in the years to come there will be a shift away from the US Dollar (less reliance on it) and the US's power will diminish as countries like Russia, India, China, Germany and France all try and insert their own influence over the world. 

Trump understands that to get re-elected he needs to be able to demonstrate the he was good for business and how the stock market thrived under his tenure. If Trump gets re-elected then one must start thinking about what impact this will have on US stock markets. This is why though our brain may be telling us that a large drop in the US stock markets is looming, markets are future discounting mechanisms that look six months into the future and reflect the picture they see through current price levels. 

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A lot has been made of the US Fed Reserve cutting rates yesterday.

One must understand that economic conditions can strengthen or weaken and the US Fed Reserve has a role in taking appropriate economic action when necessary. There is no given rule that when a country is increasing interest rates, it occasionally cannot decrease them if economic conditions warrant it necessary and vice versa.

If growth is indeed slowing or showing signs of weakness in the US then does it not make sense to reduce interest rates? It has been increasing them for a while now so it certainly has more leeway and room to manoeuvre. I think this has been the first rate cut for around 11 years so not bad under the circumstances.

The US-China trade war has not helped and this is a specific problem which if it warrants an interest rate cut to help it continue on its growth trajectory then it actually makes economic sense.

If Trump had his own way then he would want further more aggressive US interest rate cuts but he is looking at it from a business friendly perspective rather than an economic perspective. Trump wants to join the aggressive interest rate cutting party that China and the EU have demonstrated over the previous years. 

The key thing to have come out of yesterday is the end of qualitative easing. This will be good for the US in the longer term.

The US has a 2% inflation target which is being set by the Central Bank but only time will tell if the US needs to cut interest rates further or go back to increasing them. A key indicator for the health of the US economy are Bonds as they have been providing a warning that the health is not as good as it seems going forwards. 

Some were calling for a 50 point cut in US interest rates. This may have given the markets a worry that things are worse than they seem and this could have spooked equity markets and may have been seen as too aggressive at this time. 

 

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US Dollar - The World's Reserve Currency:

The US Dollar as the world's reserve currency is an issue which causes mix reactions and thoughts. When the US Dollar  became the reserve currency there was no Euro or Chinese Renminbi. Since their introduction it has eaten into the US Dollar's world dominance and as a result has led to it declining from the 70%-80% range to the 60% range.

If one remembers, the UK Pound Sterling, once was the world's reserve currency but it now only accounts for around 4% at the moment. So things can change and it is not a given that the US Dollar will remain the world's reserve currency forever. It will have to earn that right which it may well do. 

The US Dollar’s share of global central bank reserves hit a 5-year low, according to the International Monetary Fund.

Now is this the beginning of a significant change here? Is the US, the world superpower it once was? There is no doubt it is the mightiest country in the world at this moment in time in terms of economics but imagine if the US Dollar lost its reserve currency status. This would have a large impact on the economics within the US. 

I do not envisage the US losing its status anytime soon but if things continue to get worse and other countries find ways to conduct international transactions / transfers / payments without the need to hold US Dollars, and an alternative arises then who knows. 

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So the oil price has spiked. This is amongst the backdrop of US-China trade war. One could not write a more riskier script. Singapore's data yesterday was weak. China is looking a bit shaky at the moment. UK is all over the place with Brexit and Germany is heading towards recession if it is not careful.

Now for me it is a question of whether there will be a sustained increase in the price of oil because if there is then this could have inflation implications just at at time when the major world economies are looking at reducing interest rates.  A higher oil price means higher costs for businesses that need to acquire oil. 

It made me chuckle when Trump suggested that the US did not need Middle Eastern oil. We all know that the US has plenty of oil and gas reserves and is sitting next to Canada which is huge reserves of natural resources. However, the US in the past have been exceptional at using other nations commodities whilst keeping their resources in ample supply and tact. 

India and Pakistan have been bogged down in political turmoil over Kashmir and other matters. When one looks at the global scenario then there is so much economic and political risk around. Yes the UK has demonstrated some unexpected growth recently but that is nothing to be excited about long term. I have no idea how the markets will react to the UK leaving the EU on 31st October or if the EU grants any extension or even if Boris Johnson asks the EU for an extension.

From a fundamental perspective, I feel that the markets are going to be extremely volatile and one must not let any short term noise influence their long term vision of how they see the next year, five years and even ten years playing out. 

We all have car insurance just in case we are involved in a car accident. Investors and traders should have some small exposure to Bonds and Gold just in case there is a market crash (insurance for investing and trading). Depending on how likely you think this is going to be should determine the amount you allocate to Bonds and Gold. Some of us will have had an exposure to Bonds and Gold for a while now and the price has seen huge rises over the past year or so. Therefore one must also be careful that most of the bad news is not already priced in. Getting the amount your allocate to Bonds and Gold is important and this will depend on what your outlook is for the markets going forwards.

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I came across this which is rather interesting.

image.png.0a9816323c5c32c1d6b976b3e69e88e6.png

The purchasing power of the US Dollar has been in sharp decline since 2008 as you can clearly see from the chart above. Now this is rather interesting. Do the wealthy really want their wealth in US Dollars? It looks like the US and other more developed countries are debasing their currencies. It is well documented that they have gone through QE programmes and as a result increased the supply of their currencies. 

The question for me now is where do the wealthy in this world want their money situated? Which currency? Which assets? The answer will play an important driver in future upcoming trends. We have already seen Bonds and Gold move up in price significantly over the past year or more. We could see that trend continue. We have also seen Bitcoin outperform all other assets in 2019. That trend could also continue. 

Can it be deduced that the wealthy have allocated some of their capital to Bonds, Gold and Bitcoin to diversify and manage their risk should there be any financial, economic or political disaster looming?

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Brexit uncertainty after yesterday's Supreme Court judgement adds to political risk in the UK and EU markets right now. 

US - China trade war continues. I suppose it is getting a bit boring and dragging on just like Brexit in the UK. Why don't US and China set strict deadlines? They can't. Because both countries know the damaging impact of the wrong trade agreements for their countries. So there is a game of cat and mouse going on with the US and China. This political and economic uncertainty is creating volatility around the markets. 

I think if the economic figures start to deteriorate for some countries and begin to deteriorate for other countries then this could be reflected in a sell off in equities and capital flooding into Bonds and Precious Metals. We have already seen this is the last year or two but equities markets have remained high. The capital allocation in equities has not moved into Bonds and Precious Metals yet in my personal opinion. When that begins to happen then we know there is big trouble looming!

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The question I am asking is whether there really is a US Dollar crisis that is being reported in some sections of the media? I do not know for sure. 

I mean is there really a shortage of Dollars in the global financial system? Apparently China which badly needs US Dollars (it is the world's reserve currency after all) as international transactions are processed in USD. If reports are to be believed then China has been boosting its Gold reserves over the past year. 

Apparently the US Federal Reserve has been pumping USD into the Repo Market. It is being reported that the Fed's balance sheet has grown again. Amongst the protests in Hong Kong have a look at what is happening. People in Hong Kong are already rushing to the banks to take their money out. Now this could be exaggerated and 'fake news'. A bit of scaremongery. I don't know. 

If the US Fed pumps more money and there is another round of QE then it is going to be ridiculous. This could potentially lead to an increase in the demand for Gold and Precious Metals. It could also see Bitcoin rise with such a narrative. 

The US is going to play an important role and more specifically the US Federal Reserve in terms of how things play out in the coming future globally. 

 

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Posted (edited)

I lack the vocab to put it all into words here, but a New Gold Standard is on the cards I reckon.  Some believe this is the reason for Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and soon to be Iran, with Russia, China, Pakistan etc.  all wanting a Gold standard of Trade.  China been buying it up by the boat load.  They've been harvesting all old tech for Gold for over 30 years.

All challenge the USD.  It's coming to an end.  We believe what we choose to, or have no choice to.  Personally I see Gold returning, but Crypto to control the wealth.  We are truly entering a New Era of financial governance.  scary times ahead.  We will all have RFID implants before 2050, maybe even sooner.

Unless something happens to stop it.  So far, nothing has.  It's been talked about since the 80's.  A cashless society.  So far what has been suggested has all come to pass, but Trump seems to have thrown a spanner in the works.  I really can't see his end game.


The entire world is in debt.  There's no way at all it can be repaid.  Private companies control a nations wealth thru Debt.  Your national Insurance number is basically a Debt Guarantee.  We are Capital that allows the Gov to borrow.  There's more to this than recession.  We facing a paradigm shift in control.

Edited by nit2wynit

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@nit2wynit,

Interesting view. I personally do not think the Gold standard will come back again but who knows as it is just my personal opinion. 

I do think we are moving ever closer to a cashless society. Cheques are being used less and less as are bankers drafts. The use of card payments and online payments are increasing significantly. 

I think at the moment both the US and UK are dragging the narratives behind China trade war and Brexit and it is only a matter of time before their citizens start getting bored and annoyed with how long the same story is dragging on. I think the US-China trade war is a strong government controlled narrative. I mean all the Trump and North Korea stories have been put to one side. North Korea apparently do not agree with the current US stance. 

Trump is supposed to be a strong negotiator but even he is struggling to conclude a trade deal with China. Deadlines!

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6 hours ago, TrendFollower said:

Trump is supposed to be a strong negotiator but even he is struggling to conclude a trade deal with China. Deadlines!

First let me be clear in saying, I'm not a Trump fan, but neither am I not.

On the surface we focus on Figure Heads i.e Scapegoats to the Machine.  Individuals that we can blame for success or failure.  It would be naive to assume these single individuals control it all.  Maybe look to the money that controls the country and not it's 'Leaders'.  The world is an intricate business and the Private Banking Cartel are running the show.  They fabricate wars for profit and arm both sides of the conflict.  Then when it's over, offer Democracy and a Centralised Bank at the heart of the new nation.  Sure, they want the oil,  but it's the territory and it's workforce they want the most.  Global Slave Culture.

Tell me Trend, you've heard of the Euro of course.  Have you ever heard of the Amero?  It's actually Old News now and not sure where it might fit into today's climate.
 

 

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@nit2wynit,

I would say that I am not totally opposed or against everything Trump does. One must put aside what we think of him as a person and look at the actions he has taken. He is good for business in the US. He has taken on China and North Korea when others before him sat on the fence. He is decisive and makes decisions whether we like them or not. Of course there is a lot about him and his professionalism that beggars belief at times but this is another topic altogether.

He is merely the face of the decision makers in the US but he may not be the ultimate decision maker himself. 

I did not realise or could not remember it was called the Amero but I had read about rumours and murmurs in relation to this. I do not envisage this to be a reality any time soon. I think a Digital currency is more likely but that is my own personal opinion. 

Trump is anti Euro and pro Brexit so it would be go against his personal views if he supported the Amero. Also when putting America first, he does not need to collaborate with Canada and Mexico in relation to a joint borderless currency. If the USD goes digital then it could be fine just by itself. However, I appreciate that Russia, China and others do not want the world to rely on the USD as the reserve currency and the international currency on which international transactions take place on. 

It is going to be an interesting few years ahead that is for sure. In the current climate I think it will be important to see if Trump get re-elected for a second term and what happens with the trade war with China and how the US deals with North Korea. 

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