There’s a thing about records. They continue until, they don’t. A string of record weather continues until it changes. Similarly, markets can be continually propelled until they aren’t. Such is the case with the current silver market. Speculators in the silver futures market have set net long and total position records in each of the last three weeks. This has led to a significantly overbought market that is due for a correction. Once a catalyst is provided, whether it be an FOMC announcement or some other data point, the speculative washout should be substantial.
We’ve discussed at length over the last two weeks that commercial producers in most of the commodity markets have come out in force to unload their future production on the first quarter commodity rally. Fore example, we’ve noted that gold producers haven’t been this bearish since 2013 and that the crude oil glut would take more than a year to work through. See, “Gold, Oil, Grains – Was that It?” for the background we discussed last week. Last night’s tragedy in Brussels has added a bit of a boost to the precious metals as expected. If this boost is insufficient to force short covering or, attract new buyers, it’s over until prices decline.
Our trading philosophy is based on short to medium term swing trading. It’s rare that we hold a position for more than a week or, two. Our thesis has always been to side with the commercial traders when recent price action disagrees. In other words, commercial traders have sold the heck out of the recent silver rally. This means that the commercial miners expect prices to fall even though the market in general has rallied substantially. This is the type of tension we talk about all the time. While we’ll review the current situation in more detail, the macro outlook is what we’re after, today.
We’ve been bearish on on gold, platinum, copper and silver the entire fall. So far, so good. However, as we approach the lows for the year in these markets, it seems a prudent time to evaluate our positions, specifically, the silver futures market.
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.
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 began this week by revisiting the sugar futures market. We started talking about it a couple of weeks ago for Equities.com in, “Time to Sweeten on Sugar.” We updated this outlook Monday for TraderPlanet.com. This trade finally triggered on Thursday and currently sits above the $.1310 level that we believe will induce some speculative short covering. See, “Sugar Prices on the Decline.”