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Gold Finds Support, May Bounce on Renewed Risk Aversion

Gold Finds Support, May Bounce on Renewed Risk Aversion

2010-05-20 06:28:00
Ilya Spivak, Sr. Currency Strategist

Commodities - Energy

Inventory Report a Nonevent, June WTI Ready to Expire

Crude Oil (WTI)       $69.89       +$0.02      +0.03%
There was little to surprise traders in this week’s EIA Petroleum status report (Crude +162K, Gasoline -294K, Distillates -979K, Total Petroleum +1.2MM). After initially falling below $68, prices managed to settle just shy of $70/barrel. More interestingly, despite another 900K build in Cushing inventories, spreads narrowed significantly. Inventories at the WTI physical delivery point now stand at almost 38 million barrels, a record high and not too far from the 41-46 million barrel operating capacity suggested by industry sources. Nevertheless, the Jun/Jul and Jul/Aug spreads settled at $2.61 and $1.30 respectively versus $3.29 and $1.69 in the prior session. The WTI-Brent discount also narrowed, from $1.72 to $1.21. Setting the tone Thursday will be the expiration of the June WTI contract. With regard to the flat price, crude will continue to take its cues from the broader financial markets, while bearish physical fundamentals will do little to stem any potential selling pressure. At the same time, it is hard to imagine spreads narrowing any further given the situation in Cushing. More likely, the Jul/Aug differential will widen as Cushing inventories approach capacity. Prompt month long positions in WTI will likely continue to under-perform as steep negative roll yields eat into any flat price gains (or exacerbate losses). From a technical perspective, crude has so far managed to salvage the horizontal support at $69.50, with near-term resistance at $72.44, the 23.6% Fibonacci replacement of the downturn from 5/3-5/19 downswing.

052010 1

Commodities - Metals

Gold Finds Support, May Bounce on Renewed Risk Aversion

Gold       $1182.65       -$11.10       -0.93%
Prices have pulled back to meet support at $1186.71, the intersection of a rising trend line set from the swing low in March and the 38.2% Fibonacci retracement of the 03/24-05/14 rally. The 21-day inverse correlation between the metal and a the Euro’s trade-weighted average value stands at a hefty -0.84 while that of gold to the MSCI World Stock Index stands at -0.73, hinting the landscape for risk appetite as set by the markets’ outlook on the EU debt crisis remains in focus. US equity index futures do not reveal a conclusive bias for the time being but cues coming out of Asia seem broadly negative, with the MSCI Asia Pacific regional benchmark index down 1 percent to hit the lowest level in over six months. On balance, this bodes well for the safety-linked yellow metal, with a bounce from current support opening the door for a move to the 23.6% Fib at $1210.67.

Silver       $17.92      -$0.30      -1.66%
Silver retreated to find support above the 38.2% Fibonacci retracement of the 02/05-05/13 rally at $17.86, with prices taking cues from their more expensive precious metal counterpart. Near-term resistance lines up at $18.60, the 23.6% Fib, while a break of current support exposes the 50% level at $17.23.

052010 2

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