Our trading is focused on the thesis; “No one knows the value of his markets like those who pull it from the ground.” While individual companies or operations may be prone to mismanagement or other bad decisions, the collective actions of the companies within a given sector are rarely wrong. The tug of war between those who pull it from the ground versus those who process it determines true price discovery within the commodity markets. These are the elephants bulldozing the macro moves while the speculators compete for the remnants with the dung beetles. Recently, large speculators have been stocking up on gold futures at a record pace and the gold miners are selling all the forward production they can lock in above $1,220 an ounce. This could lead to quite the washout as speculators are forced to take losses under $1,280.
We’ve been writing about the metal markets quite a bit, having recently published articles at Futures Magazine, Equities.com and TraderPlanet. We’ve seen major churning by the commercial traders which is indicative of a broader change in sentiment. Obviously, when it comes to the metals markets like gold, silver, platinum and copper, the major questions on everyone’s mind is, “Have we bottomed?” We’ll review the current setups in these markets and attempt to answer just that question.
Much has been written recently regarding the record speculative short position in the gold futures market. Markets move in trends followed by periods of consolidation, sideways action and reversals. Most speculative trading is trend trading due to several factors outside the scope of this piece. Commercial traders on the other hand are swing traders. This is also referred to as value trading or, mean reversion trading. Their decisions are based on the perceived value they see between the commodities they need or produce and how current market prices impact the forward outlook of their businesses that use or, produce the commodity in question. The commercial traders in the gold market have just established their most bullish position since December of 2001.
The silver market has been remarkably quiet in the wake of China’s destruction of the gold market. This week, we’ll touch on a couple aspects, specific to silver that show while commercial traders have been buying this decline, it may be prudent to wait a bit longer before stepping in. Normally, I take a bottom up approach to putting these pieces together beginning with macro issues and finishing with trade details. This week, we’ll set the stage and then move from myopically focusing on the current setup before discussing the potential dangers of this viewpoint.
We only published twice this week as my attention was focused on bringing a new Commitment of Traders trading program online. The primary improvement in this version is its ability to lock into large moves and score the occasional big win as opposed to the statistically based days past entry exits we’ve employed for the last few years. I’ll share more after some time trading it on my own account to examine its behavior.
Back to the independent research that separates us from 80% of the commodity trading population. We began this week with a look at the consolidation in the gold futures market for TraderPlanet. We said, “We believe the recent shift towards a more bullish stance by the commercial traders could provide the spark for this market to breach the $1,225 resistance and….”(Yesterday’s high was $1227.7)
I’ve posited several times that the commercial trader group in the Commodity Futures trading Commission’s weekly Commitment of Traders report are the best predictors of medium term moves in the market. Their models are better. Their information is better. Their access is better. These statements apply to everything from their weather models to the latest in artificial intelligence to having ears in all the right places. Before this is dismissed as a cynic “hating” the game, remember that we can put the commercial traders’ actions in the markets to use for our own benefit. That is the basis behind our research at COT Signals.