I have some good news for International Speculator subscribers today: Inter-Citic Minerals (T.ICI) has received a buyout proposal from Western Mining Group, a resources-development company in Qinghai Province, China. The stock is up 35% as I write – another win for our readers.
Meanwhile, gold and silver have made an impressive move over the past couple of weeks. Is the window to buy gold below $1,700 closing soon? Check out our timely article by BIG GOLD editor Jeff Clark and draw your own conclusions. Either way, our advice is to make sure you own enough bullion to withstand the monetary fallout that we're convinced is headed our way.
Senior Metals Investment Strategist
|Rock & Stock Stats|
One Month Ago
One Year Ago
|Gold Producers (GDX)||47.57||40.72||59.96|
|Gold Junior Stocks (GDXJ)||22.02||18.02||34.25|
|Silver Stocks (SIL)||21.14||17.08||25.70|
|TSX (Toronto Stock Exchange)||12,062.51||11,466.95||12,343.81|
By Jeff Clark, Senior Precious Metals Analyst
Some investors lamented that gold prices had been stuck in a rut for a long time. Others were confused. A few bailed. And some, including me, have been stocking up because we're convinced prices won't stay down forever.
In fact, based on the data I chart below, I believe the window of time to buy gold for less than $1,700 an ounce is very limited.
Here's why. I examined gold's three largest corrections since the bull market began in 2001, including how long it took to recover from those corrections and establish new highs. The conclusion that emerged is that the current lull in gold prices will almost certainly end soon, if it hasn't already.
Gold set a record on September 5, 2011 at $1,895 an ounce (London PM Fix) and to date has fallen as low as $1,531 (December 29, 2011), a decline of 19.2%. Gold has tested that level several times since but never broke below it. In order to determine how long it might take to breach $1,895 again, I measured the time it took to mount new highs after big corrections in the past.
The following chart details the three largest corrections since 2001, and calculates how many weeks it took the gold price to a) breach the old high, and b) stay above that level.
(Click on image to enlarge)
In 2006, after a total decline of 22.6%, it took a year and four months for gold to surpass its old high. After the 2008 meltdown, it was a year and six months later before the metal hit a new record. The 16.2% drop in 2003 lasted seven months, and another two months before the price stayed above it.
You can see that our correction has lasted just shy of a year. If we matched the recovery time of 2006, gold would hit a new high on Christmas Eve (Merry Christmas!).
But here's the thing: that's how long it would take gold to breach $1,900 again – it will take a couple months or more for the price to work up to that level, meaning the remaining time to buy gold under $1,700 will likely be measured in days or weeks, not months. This is bolstered by the fact that the price moved up strongly last week, and also that we're on the doorstep of the seasonally strongest month of the year.
This is an educated guess, of course, but what the data make clear is that all corrections eventually end – even the bloodbath in 2008. The current lag will come to an end too, and we're certainly closer to the end of this corrective period than the beginning.
This has direct investment implications.
First, once gold breaches its old high, you'll probably never be able to buy it at current prices again in this cycle.
That's a rather obvious statement, but let it sink in. The next few days or weeks will likely be the very last time you can buy gold below $1,700. You'll have to pay a higher price from then on.
And think about this: it's entirely possible that by this time next year you will never again be able to buy gold for less than $2,000 an ounce – unless maybe it's in "new dollars" or some other currency that circulates with fewer zeros on the notes.
Second, the data can help you ignore the noise about gold's bull market being over and other nonsense spewed from mainstream media types. If gold doesn't hit $1,900 until December, you'll know this is simply normal price behavior and that they're overlooking basic patterns in the data. And when the price nears that level again and they're caught off guard by it, you'll already be positioned.
Regardless of the date, we're confident that a new high in the gold price will come, because many major currencies are unsound, overburdened with debt, and being actively diluted by governments. Indeed, the ultimate high could be frighteningly higher than current levels. As such, we suggest taking advantage of prices that won't be available indefinitely. I think we all need some of nature's cure for man's monetary ills.
The window of time to buy gold at current prices is closing. I suggest taking advantage of the sale while you still can (which is taking place in select gold equities as well).
China announced that it will increase its export quota for rare earths by 2.7% in 2012, the first increase since 2009, raising the full-year total to 30,996 tonnes.
This small increase shouldn't have a significant impact on the REE market. Since the introduction of quotas and tariffs, the global rare earths market (excluding China) has contracted, and exports have dropped.
According to the China Customs Statistics Center, in the first seven months of this year REE exports fell 36.7% to 21,729 metric tons.
China hosts 23% of world REE reserves, but it is responsible for 90% of supply. Several years ago the country imposed quotas that were much smaller than demand, which led to higher REE prices outside the country.
In June 2012, United States, Japan and the European Union complained about China's REE tariffs and quotas to the World Trade Organization. Some analysts think the quota increase may be attributed to this complaint and that China may reconsider its REE policy in the future.
The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) voted 2-1 on August 22 to adopt an anti-corruption rule. Beginning in 2014, public US-listed oil, gas, and mining companies will be required to reveal payments they make to foreign governments, including those for drilling or exploration licenses.
"The rules have proved controversial, with humanitarian groups accusing the SEC of dragging its feet in carrying out the reforms, and industry associations arguing they will be too costly and give rivals sensitive business information," Reuters reports.
By official estimations, the total industry-wide cost to companies of implanting the new rules would be around $3 billion to $4 billion.
The Republican Party announced that it plans to create a commission that will look into restoring a link between the US dollar and gold.
The proposal to create this commission, as well as a call for an audit of Federal Reserve monetary policy, will be included in the drafts of Republican Party platform. The platform will be discussed this week at the Republican National Convention.
Ronald Reagan created a similar group – his "Gold Commission" – in 1981. It ended up supporting the status quo, and the dollar remained unpegged from gold. We shall see if this initiative is any different.