It wasn’t a fun week for gold. By the close on Friday, the metal was down 6.7% (based on London PM fix prices), the biggest weekly decline since September. It got downright irritating when the mainstream media seemingly rejoiced at gold’s decline. Economist Nouriel Roubini poked fun at gold bugs in a Tweet. Über investor Dennis Gartman said he sold his holdings. CNBC ran an article proclaiming gold was no longer a safe-haven asset (talk about an overreaction).
While the worry may have been real, let’s focus on facts. Have the reasons for gold’s bull market changed in any material way such that we should consider exiting? Instead of me providing an answer, ask yourself some basic questions: Is the current support for the US dollar an honest indication of its health? Are the sovereign debt problems in Europe solved? How will the US repay its $15 trillion debt load without some level of currency dilution? Is there likely to be more money printing in the future, or less? Are real interest rates positive yet? Has gold really lost its safe haven status as a result of one bad week?
And one more: What is the mainstream media’s record on forecasting precious metals prices?
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Our take won’t surprise you: not one fact relating to the trend for gold changed last week. We remain strongly bullish.
So why did gold, silver, and related stocks fall so hard?
The reasons outlined in this month’s BIG GOLD are still in play (the MF Global fallout, a rising dollar, year-end tax-loss selling, and the need for cash and liquidity to meet margin calls or redemption requests). Last Wednesday’s 3.5% fall took on a life of its own, selling begetting selling, fear adding to fear (especially the case with gold stocks). None of these reasons, however, have anything to do with the fundamental factors that ultimately drive this market. Once those issues shift, then we’ll talk about exiting.
So, should we buy now? Is the bottom in?
Let’s take a fresh look at gold’s corrections and compare them to the recent one. I’ve updated the following chart to include the recent selloff.
[How do I calculate the data? I look for the periods in every annual gold chart that represent a distinct fall greater than 5%, then measure the highs and lows.]