After a mad dash to the upside for gold and a similar dash to the downside for the U.S. dollar, investors are getting their bearings once again. April's disappointing jobs report refocused everyone on the potential economic slowdown and a still-dovish Fed. Brien Lundin of Gold Newsletter paints the big picture of how speculation over the Fed's actions to raise interest rates is affecting gold and gold equities, and he discusses two companies that have not appreciated as much as their peers but are likely to soon catch up.
Gold and gold stocks have maintained their gains since early May. And it's largely due to a significant downside miss in the nonfarm payrolls report for April: Against consensus expectations of 205,000 jobs created in the month, April's number came in at just 160,000 jobs. It wasn't quite as bad as the headline number may indicate: Average hourly earnings rose by 8 cents (0.3%), while the average work week added 0.1 hour.
"Gold and gold stocks have maintained their gains since early May."
Still, in an interview recently on CNBC, Atlanta Federal Reserve President Dennis Lockhart volunteered a 200,000-job benchmark as a level that would be conducive to further Fed rate hikes. The miss on jobs, combined with dismal, 0.5% GDP growth for the first quarter, should put a stake in the heart of hopes for a rate hike at the Fed's mid-June meeting. Continue reading "Two Companies Poised To Catch Up To Gold Peer Group"→
The Gold Report: In your latest newsletter, you advocate that gold investors pay close attention to the Federal Reserve meeting taking place on June 18. What are you looking for out of that meeting?
Brien Lundin: The main driver for gold right now is quantitative easing (QE). An investor trying to figure out where the gold market is heading in the near to intermediate term needs to focus on QE. Investors should look for clues to the future prospects of the Fed's QE programthat's what's going to drive gold in the short and intermediate term. The question really is: To QE or not to QE? The next Fed meeting will be a prime indicator of that, and the one after that and the one after that.
My general view is that the reports of a resurgent U.S. economy are way ahead of themselves and some data points are indicating that the recovery is not that robust and may even be in danger. The jobs numbers will shed some light on this. If such a scenario develops, then the snap back for gold would be pretty dramatic. A weakening U.S. economy would be bullish for gold because it's bullish for continued QE, and that's the real factor for gold going forward.
The Gold Report: We just had a third round of bond buying in quantitative easing (QE). Will QE3 help the economy?
Brien Lundin: It will not help the economy, but it will help Wall Street. It will help elevate the stock market, including precious metals and resource stock prices. Although that was not the Fed's stated goal, it will be the ultimate result.
As I have written lately, we now have "QE as far as the eye can see." There is no end to it. The Federal Reserve will use QE until it works. If it does not work, the Fed will ratchet up the program and print more money until it does work.
The Fed is using the brute force of money creation to eliminate the U.S. unemployment problem, but that is not a foundation upon which a sustainable recovery can be built. At the same time that the Fed is trying to build a towering economy, it is eroding the very foundation of that economy by issuing vast pools of liquidity. Continue reading "Gold Will Break Previous High in Near Term: Brien Lundin"→