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Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Trump trade in trouble

Trumped

If there's one thing that almost everyone seemed sure about, it was that a Trump election victory would leave to a surge in gold prices.


In fact, back in July, it was even said that gold prices could be sparked into a huge boom if Trump was successful, perhaps up to US$1850/oz and beyond.

Since the surprise election result - which a lot of people now appear to be arguing wasn't that big a surprise - the gold price has shunned previously strong technicals, and instead retraced to well below $1200, before staging a recent fightback.



The price closed at a 10-month nadir of $1180 a few days ago following a batch of stronger economic data (including positive spending by US companies and decent labour reports), well down from a pre-election high of $1337.

Bullish gold price predictions had assumed volatility, unpredictability, and ultimately weaker economic growth over time due to Trump's parochial nature. 

It's still very early days, of course, with the election result only a matter of weeks old, and disruption to trade and the economy remains in play.

But why have markets reacted this way initially?

In part, perhaps, because markets are now assuming that the Federal Reserve will still hike in December (100 per cent priced in) and again in 2017. 

And market participants are also assuming that the Trump effect will include an infrastructure spending splurge plus rising inflation, with the US dollar surging to a 14-year high. 

I've read various arguments about where the technical support points are for gold, but they mostly sounded like BS. 

The implicit assumption is that higher inflation and rates are a negative for gold, which does not pay a yield. 

That's a valid point, but it's also worth noting that US stock market valuations are at perilously stretched levels too. 

With the price way below its 2011 high of above $1900 gold will be an interesting one to watch if political events in Europe tee off, or if the new year in the US gets off to an unpredictable start once Trump hits his straps. 

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A relatively quiet start to the week, but there's a blitz of Australian news due out across the next four days, so stay tuned.