Another week without much major price action, gold +$16 and silver +$0.12. At least if you look at the closing prices. However on Monday after New York market hours, there was quite a spike in silver. The close was $17.46. The price was up 10 cents by midnight in New York. By the morning before the open on Wednesday, the price was up another 20 cents, to $17.77.
We’re pretty sure that it had nothing to do with leaked emails from Hillary Clinton. However, it might have had something to do with the housing starts data release. Whatever the cause of this speculative wave, it was over by late Thursday.
The weak fundamentals reasserted themselves on silver, like gravity always does to Wile E Coyote when he runs off a cliff into thin air. Are those fundamentals changing?
Read on for the only true picture of the fundamentals of the monetary metals. But first, here’s the graph of the metals’ prices.
The Prices of Gold and Silver
Next, this is a graph of the gold price measured in silver, otherwise known as the gold to silver ratio. It rose this week.
The Ratio of the Gold Price to the Silver Price
For each metal, we will look at a graph of the basis and cobasis overlaid with the price of the dollar in terms of the respective metal. It will make it easier to provide brief commentary. The dollar will be represented in green, the basis in blue and cobasis in red.
Here is the gold graph.
The Gold Basis and Cobasis and the Dollar Price
Gold’s scarcity (i.e. red line, cobasis) is up this week, while the price of the dollar (i.e. green line, the inverse of the price of gold) is down. Not a lot, but a small sign of buying of metal as opposed to futures that has been the pattern for a while.
Further divergence, with falling dollar and rising gold cobasis would be bearish for the dollar (which most people equate to bullish for gold).
Now let’s look at silver.
The Silver Basis and Cobasis and the Dollar Price
Look at that. Big rise in the cobasis, while dollar falls slightly. Also, note the crossover of the basis and cobasis on Friday. Part of this is the approach of expiration. Both gold and silver contracts tend to move towards backwardation as they approach expiry (proof that it’s the longs, not the shorts, who are naked and must cover before First Notice Day). And silver does it more than gold, due to its inferior liquidity.
Still, this is something different than we’ve seen recently, as is readily apparent on the chart above. Premature to try to trade it, and the fundamental of silver is still well below market (though if you’re short silver against gold, you might close the position and take profits as we did on Friday at a gold-silver ratio of 72.4).
Our calculated fundamental prices: gold=$1247, silver=$15.69, ratio=79.5.
The big question this week: does the buying of metal remain strong, or is this just another flash in the pan?
The iShares Silver Trust ETF (NYSE:SLV) rose $0.05 (+0.27%) to $16.69 per share in Monday afternoon trading. Year-to-date, the largest ETF tied to the spot price of silver bullion has gained 26.5%.
This article is brought to you courtesy of Sprott Money.