3… 2… 1… Let the Corrective Gold Rally Begin
In yesterday’s (Mar. 4) intraday Gold & Silver Trading Alert , I described briefly why I think that the very short-term bottom is already in (or is at hand), and in today’s analysis, I’ll illustrate my points with charts. Let’s start with gold.
Figure 1 – COMEX Gold Futures (GC.F)
Gold just reached its 61.8% Fibonacci retracement level (based on the entire 2020 rally), and it just bounced off the declining red support line based on the August and November 2020 bottoms.
Gold didn’t reach the previous 2020 lows just yet, but it moved very close to them and the two strong above-mentioned support levels could be enough to trigger a corrective upswing. After all, no market can move up or down in a straight line without periodic corrections.
I previously wrote that when gold moves $1,693 we’ll be closing any remaining short positions, and when gold moves to $1,692, we’ll automatically open long positions in the miners. Since gold moved below $1,690, that’s exactly what happened.
Yesterday (Mar. 4), gold futures were trading below $1,692 for about 10 minutes, so if you acted as I had outlined it in the Gold & Silver Trading Alerts, you made your purchases then. The GDX ETF was trading approximately between $30.80 and $31 (NUGT was approximately between $49.30 and $50) at that time – this seems to have been the exact daily bottom.
One of the bullish confirmations came from the silver market .
Figure 2 – COMEX Silver Futures
I previously wrote that silver is likely to catch up with the decline at its later stage, while miners are likely to lead the way.
While gold miners showed strength yesterday, silver plunged over 4% before correcting part of the move. Yesterday’s relative action showed that this was most likely the final part of a short-term decline in the precious metals sector, and that we should now expect a corrective rebound, before the medium-term decline resumes. If not, it seems that the short-term bottom is at hand and while silver might still decline somewhat in the very short term, any declines are not likely to be significant in case of the mining stocks. At least not until they correct the recent decline by rallying back up.
Speaking of mining stocks, let’s take a look at the GDX ETF chart.
Figure 3 – VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX)
Mining stocks showed strength yesterday. Even though gold moved visibly to new yearly lows, the GDX didn’t move to new intraday lows. The GDXJ did move to new intraday lows, but the decline was relatively small compared to what happened in gold and to what happened on the general stock market. The latter declined substantially yesterday and the GDXJ is more correlated with it than GDX – hence GDXJ’s underperformance was normal. Still, compared to both gold’s decline and stocks’ decline, the GDXJ and GDX declined very little.
The price level at which miners showed strength matters greatly too. Miners stopped their decline practically right in my target area, which I based on the 50% Fibonacci retracement and the 2020 highs and lows. Moreover, the proximity of the $31 level corresponds to the 2019 high and the 2016 high. Since so many support levels coincide at the same price (approximately), the latter is likely to be a very strong support.
Moreover, the RSI was just close to 30, which corresponded to short-term buying opportunities quite a few times in the past.
How high are miners likely to rally from here before turning south once again? The nearest strong resistance is provided by the neck level of the previously broken head and shoulders pattern, which is slightly above $34.
Also, let’s keep in mind the mirror similarity in case of the price action that preceded the H&S pattern and the one that followed it. To be precise, we know that the second half of the pattern was similar to its first half (including the shape of pattern’s shoulders), but it’s not yet very clear if the follow-up action after the pattern is going to be similar to the preceding price action. It seems quite likely, though. If this is indeed the case, then the price moves that I marked using green and purple lines are likely to be at least somewhat similar.
This means that just as the late-April 2020 rally was preceded by a counter-trend decline, the recent decline would likely be followed by a counter-trend rally. Based on the size of the April counter-trend move, it seems that we could indeed see a counter-trend rally to about $34 this time.
There’s also an additional clue that might help you time the next short-term top, and it’s the simple observation that it was relatively safe to exit one’s long positions five trading days after the bottom.
That rule marked the exact bottom in November 2020, but it was also quite useful in early February 2021. In early December 2020, it would take one out of the market only after the very first part of the upswing, but still, let’s keep in mind that it was the “easy” part of the rally. The same with the October 2020 rally. And now, since miners are after a confirmed breakdown below the broad head and shoulders pattern, it’s particularly important not to miss the moment to get back on the short side of the market, as the next move lower is likely to be substantial. Therefore, aiming to catch the “easy” part of the corrective rally seems appropriate.
So, if the bottom was formed yesterday, then we can expect to take profits from the current long position off the table close to the end of next week.
Finally, let’s take a look at the USD Index.
Figure 4 – USD Index
While the medium-term breakout continues to be the most important technical development visible on the above chart (with important bullish implications for the following months), there is one factor that could make the USD Index decline on a temporary basis.
This factor is the similarity to the mid-2020 price pattern. I previously commented on the head and shoulders pattern that had formed (necklines are marked with dashed lines), but that I didn’t trust. Indeed, this formation was invalidated, but a bigger pattern, of which this formation was part, wasn’t invalidated.
The patterns start with a broad bottom and an initial rally. Then it turns out that the initial rally is the head of a head-and-shoulders pattern that is then completed and invalidated. This is followed by a sharp rally, and then a reversal with a sizable daily decline.
So far, the situations are similar.
Last year, this pattern was followed by a decline to new lows. Now, based on the breakout above the rising medium-term support line, such a bearish outcome doesn’t seem likely, but we might see the pattern continue for several more days, before they disconnect. After all, this time, the USD Index is likely to really rally – similarly to how it soared in 2018 – and not move to new lows.
What happens before the patterns disconnect? The USD Index could decline temporarily.
Back in November 2020, the second top was below the initial one, and we just saw the USD Index move to new yearly high. Did the self-similar pattern break yet? In a way yes, but it doesn’t mean that the bearish implications are completely gone.
In mid-2020, the USD Index topped after moving to the previous important intraday low – I marked it with a horizontal line on the above chart.
Right now, the analogous resistance is provided by the September 2020 bottom and at the moment of writing these words, the USD Index moved right to this level.
Consequently, it could be the case that we see a decline partially based on the above-mentioned resistance and partially based on the remaining self-similar pattern. The latter would be likely to lose its meaning over the next several days and would be decisively broken once the USD Index rallies later in March. The above would create a perfect opportunity for the precious metals sector to correct the recent decline – and for miners (GDX ETF) to rally to $34 or so.
Please note that if gold rallies here – and it’s likely to – then this will be the “perfect” time for the gold and stock market permabulls to “claim victory” and state that the decline is over and that they were right about the rally all along. Please be careful when reading such analyses in the following days, especially if they come from people that have always been bullish. If someone is always bullish, the odds are that they won’t tell you when the next top is going to be (after all, this would imply that they stop being bullish for a while).
Just because anyone can publish an article online, doesn’t mean that they should, or that others should follow their analyses. The internet is now replete people who claim to have expertise in the markets, and we all saw what happened to the profits of those who bought GameStop at $300. It’s the same thing that happened to the profits of those who were told since the beginning of this year that gold is going to rally – they turned into losses. What we see as well are internet echo chambers, where you are more likely to only read articles that express what you already agree with, instead of being exposed to differing viewpoints that shed light on other critical factors.
Gold is likely to rally from here, but it’s highly unlikely that this was the final bottom, and that gold can now soar to new highs. No. The rally in the USD Index has only begun and while it could pull back, it’s likely to soar once again, similarly to how it rallied in 2018. And gold is likely to respond with another substantial wave lower. This doesn’t mean we’re permabears either or that we want to see gold fail. On the contrary, gold has a bright future ahead, but not before it goes through a medium-term decline after this corrective rally is over.
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Przemyslaw Radomski, CFA
Sunshine Profits: Effective Investment through Diligence & Care
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