A report from The Chart Seminar
Comment of the Day

November 26 2012

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

A report from The Chart Seminar

Eoin Treacy's view 2012 is the 43 rd year of The Chart Seminar and we are looking forward to the 44 th year in 2013. Last week's event in London was as animated as ever. There was a great deal of discussion focused on just about every asset class but the longest discussions were on gold, the Autonomies and US Treasuries. The Dollar, Euro, Yen, Wall Street, Europe, oil, BRIC and ASEAN stock markets were all examined and discussed. Here is a summary:

Following a poll of the delegates approximately 60% own gold in one form or another which is slightly higher than at previous seminars. One repeat delegate said that he recalled our bullish stance on the metal from his last attendance in 2009 but has only recently begun to invest in the metal. The number of delegates espousing a strongly bullish attitude is also increasing. This was observable at the New York seminar earlier this year. Within the context of the more than decade long bull market, gold entered another lengthy consolidation in September 2011 following a very persistent advance over the previous two years. The fact that it has sustained a progression of higher reaction lows since May and found support in the region of the 200-day MA two weeks ago bolsters the view that gold has entered the accumulation phase of this congestion area. A sustained move below $1650 would be required to begin to question medium-term scope for additional upside.

One of the delegates was from the German energy trading sector. When the conversation turned to natural gas he testified that although the European market is dominated by agreements linking gas prices to oil, he is aware of industrial customers that are now negotiating directly with suppliers for market based pricing. This is particularly interesting in the context of discussions on US energy exports. Once they begin, it will put additional pressure on European fixed pricing agreements and suggests that the arbitrage which is currently so alluring might not persist for as long as some expect. The evolution of unconventional gas supplies globally is a true game changer for the energy sector. As new supplies continue to be developed the potential for prices to contract over time remains a considerable possibility.

US Treasuries have delivered some of the best risk-adjusted returns for more than 30 years but the most important question is whether this makes it more or less likely that the situation will persist. The support of governments has been an integral ingredient in performance over the last few years and will likely represent a significant influence for the foreseeable future. When the Merrill Lynch 10yr+ Total Return Index loses uptrend consistency we will have incontrovertible evidence that the bubble has burst. However, until that occurs the benefit of the doubt will have to be given to the upside.

The MSCI Emerging Markets Index is heavily weighted by China, India, Brazil and Russia. However, China has maintained a tightening bias over the last few years, the supply of Brazilian equities has increased substantially as capital is raised to develop its massive offshore energy resources, Russia continues to have issues with governance and India has only begun to demonstrate renewed improvements in governance over the last couple of months. Meanwhile somewhat smaller markets such as Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand continue to trend higher and remain leaders.

Wall Street has been largely rangebound since 2000 and is close to the upper boundary following a volatile uptrend since 2009. It found support last week in the region of the 200-day MA and 1350. A sustained move below that level would be required to question current scope for some additional higher to lateral ranging. In order to demonstrate that the generational process of valuation contraction is over, the Index will need to sustain a move above 1600.

The US Dollar stabilised against the Japanese Yen more than a year ago and rallied to break the 5-year downtrend in February. It has since found support at a progressively higher level, ranged above the 200-day MA from October and rallied rather impressively last week. While somewhat overbought in the very short term, a sustained move below ¥78 would be required to question medium-term scope for continued upside.

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