Real-time Monetary Inflation (last 12 months): 2.9%

Mornings around here are fragrant: We all wake up to smell the coffee brewing. There's something brewing in the gold market, though, that might not be so pleasant.

Lease rates in the London bullion market have risen precipitously. Well, it's not so much that lease rates are rising - they're pretty cheap compared with their year-ago levels - it's more that forward rates are at historic lows.

Forward rates determine the pricing of bullion transactions in the over-the-counter market. A decline in forward rates implies one of two things: There's either a scarcity of metal available for swap or lease transactions, or there's heavy forward selling.

So, which is it? Well, we can gather some clues from the COMEX market. The latest Commodity Futures Trading Commission data show commercial accounts engaging in heavy selling and long liquidation. To boot, money managers have built their largest short position since August 2009 (and, if you're a contrarian, small speculators have taken up their strongest long position in a year and a half).

Given all that, the aroma wafting from the gold market seems to be a harbinger of a sell-off. Technically, gold's stalled now. Key support for the February COMEX contract sits at $1,120 after bulls backed off from a test of the halfway point for the contract's December swoon. A close below that level makes the sell-off case.

If February's price closes below the $1,111 level, the December low at $1,075 then becomes the bears' target.

No guarantees, of course, but at that point, bulls will have to consider how much they're in love with a four-figure gold price. How's that smell?

source HERE

Posted by Mr Thx Friday, January 22, 2010


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Sekapur Sirih Seulas Pinang

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Alor Gajah, Melaka, Malaysia
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