We’ve discussed the first quarter commodity rally in detail over the last two weeks. Our general opinion has been that these rallies are temporary as commodity producers use this opportunity to hedge forward production at decent prices for the first time in over a year. This week, we’ll discuss the metal markets – gold, silver, platinum and copper. We’ll detail how we used the Commitment of Traders report to pinpoint the market’s bias as well as how to factor external shocks into the current picture. Finally, we’ll provide some support levels as we look to take profits on the current decline.
Many markets have created key points due the increased volatility over the last few weeks. While some of these appear to be opportunities to sell into existing downward trends like the Yen or silver market, we’ll focus on the possible new shoots of a sustainable move in the copper market. We’ll examine the actions of the large and small speculators along with the commercial traders to determine where we are in the current cycle as well as how these cycles typically play out, using the last several years worth of Commitment of Traders data in the copper futures market.
The most heavily anticipated Federal Reserve meeting in the last seven years turned out to be a non-event. No change. The ticker flashed across the bottom of the screen, “The Federal Reserve Board has left interest rates at 0. No change.” There are lots of variables factored into their decision but the end result is that they simply didn’t feel our economy was ready strong enough to withstand even the slightest of interest rate increases. Assuming they’re right, what do we make of copper’s recent rally? Clearly an expanding economy will need more copper. Apparently, the commercial traders weren’t too keen on this idea as they’ve been net sellers in each of the last four weeks. Furthermore, the Commitment of Traders report reveals a unique imbalance that bodes poorly for copper’s future prices.
Another week of good calls with two out of three trades well in the money and the third is still hanging on.
We began the week by sending our COTSignals discretionary customers a sell signal in the Australian Dollar on Sunday evening. The market opened Sunday night at $.8026 to the U.S. Dollar and hasn’t looked back. It’s currently pushing $.7800, accumulating more than $2,000 per contract thus far. We detailed this trade for TraderPlanet on Monday in, “Aussie Dollar: A Commercial Trader’s Perspective.”
This morning’s unrevised Q4 GDP number at 2.2% on declining corporate profits provides just the right ambiance for a what has been a gloomy week. While we had a completely separate trade looking at multi-year lows in , “Time to Sweeten on Sugar,” most of our focus was on the financial markets.
We’ve been discussing the turmoil in the financial markets for the last three weeks both literally and figuratively. We’ve discussed the massive flow of money headed into the short-term rates in, “Expected Turbulence in the Financial Markets.” We noted the rotation from industrial to precious metals in, “Re-shuffling the Metals Markets.” We’ve caught both sides of the equity market volatility between, “Equity Rally Waves a Caution Flag” and “Hidden Strength in the S&P 500.” The final piece of the confusion was addressed timely enough in, “Bottoming Action in the Euro Currency” which we wrote the night before the Dollar turned. The point of all this review is that today’s action in the copper market further reinforces the increasingly negative attitude that the commercial traders are taking towards global output. Taken in total, the signs are negative. Taken individually, they are good trading opportunities.
This was a busy week. We began on Monday with an exclusive follow up on last week’s “Equity Rally Waves a Caution Flag”, for TraderPlanet in, “Commercial Traders Turn Negative Towards Equity Rally” which focused specifically on the Dow.
Meanwhile, our main piece for the week focused on, “Copper Traders Bailing Out of Record Position.” Specifically, what was going on with the record commercial net long position in the face of a market that appears to be rolling over.
Finally, the equity curve for our commercial live cattle trading program has been updated to show its recent success.