You can’t tell if the forest is burning just by touching one tree and not looking around. The gold tree might feel cool now, but what about the rest?
Taking into consideration the recent quick upswing in gold, investors are asking: “Did gold really top on Jun. 1?” And gold stocks are replying: most likely yes.
The above is the essence of what the charts are currently saying, but let’s have look in more detail.
Look at the Bigger Picture
In short, gold recovered right after declining profoundly and reaching its rising support line. At this time – when looking at the above chart alone, and without considering any analogies to 2008 and 2012 – it seems that gold may move either way. Perhaps the next short-term move will be up since the rising short-term support line has held.
But this approach would be similar to saying that there is no fire in the entire forest just because the tree I’m touching right now is of normal temperature. And other key parts of the precious metals sector – gold stocks and silver – are providing us with extra insights, which are making the narrative decisively bearish.
Even without considering the invalidation of the breakout to new highs, the sell signal from the RSI and stochastic indicators, and even without noticing that the GDX corrected to its 61.8% Fibonacci retracement without invalidating it, one can clearly see that gold stocks refused to follow gold higher during the most recent rebound. This is bearish and quite profoundly so.
And silver? Has it maybe indicated something that gold hasn’t?
Of course it has. Silver is after a confirmed breakdown below its rising short-term support line, and this breakdown took place right after silver failed – for the fourth time – to break above its early-January high. And, more importantly, it happened shortly after silver outperformed gold on an intraday basis, just like it tends to do right at the tops.
The analogies to 2008 and 2012 in the case of gold are also quite clear:
For more context, I wrote on Jun. 4:
The analogies to how the situation in gold developed in 2008 and 2012, provides us with an extremely bearish price prediction for gold. Many other factors are pointing to these similarities, and two of them are the size of the correction relative to the preceding decline and to the previous rally. In 2012 and 2008, gold corrected to approximately the 61.8% Fibonacci retracement level. Gold was very close to this level this year, and since the history tends to rhyme more than it tends to repeat itself to the letter, it seems that the top might already be in.
In both years, 2008 and 2012, there were three tops. Furthermore, the rallies that took gold to the second and third top were similar. In 2008, the rally preceding the third top was bigger than the rally preceding the second top. In 2012, they were more or less equal. I marked those rallies with blue lines in the above chart – the current situation is very much in between the above-mentioned situations. Also, the current rally is bigger than the one that ended in early January 2021 but not significantly so.
Remember what happened when gold previously attempted to break above major long-term highs? It was in 2008 and gold was breaking above its 1980 high. Gold wasn’t ready to truly continue its bull market without plunging first. This downswing was truly epic, especially in the case of silver and mining stocks; and now even gold’s price patterns are like what we saw in 2008.
My previous comments on the analogies to 2008 and 2012 remain up-to-date:
Taking into consideration that the general stock market has probably just topped, and the USD Index is about to rally, then gold is likely to slide for the final time in the following weeks/months. Both above-mentioned markets support this bearish scenario and so do the self-similar patterns in terms of gold price itself.
What would change my mind with regard to gold itself? Perhaps if it broke above its January 2021 highs and confirmed this breakout. This would be an important technical indication on its own, but it would also be something very different from what happened in 2008 and 2012. If that happened along with strength in mining stocks, it would be very bullish. Still, if the above happened, and miners didn’t react at all or they declined, it would not be bullish despite the gains in the gold price itself.
The March 2021 low formed well below the previous low, but as far as other things are concerned, the current situation is similar to what happened in 2012.
The relatively broad bottom with higher lows is what preceded both final short-term rallies – the current one, and the 2012 one. Their shape as well as the shape of the decline that preceded these broad bottoms is very similar. In both cases, the preceding decline had some back-and-forth trading in its middle, and the final rally picked up pace after breaking above the initial short-term high.
Interestingly, the 2012 rally ended on huge volume, which is exactly what we saw also on May 19 this year. Consequently, forecasting much higher silver or gold prices here doesn’t seem to be justified based on the historical analogies.
The thing I would like to emphasize here is that gold didn’t form the final top at the huge-volume reversal on Sep. 13, 2012. It moved back and forth for a while and moved a bit above that high-volume top, and only then the final top took place (in early October 2012).
The same happened in September and in October 2008. Gold reversed on huge volume in mid-September, and it was approximately the end of the rally. The final top, however, formed after some back-and-forth trading and a move slightly above the previous high.
Consequently, the fact that gold moved a bit above its own high-volume reversal (May 19, 2021) is not an invalidation of the analogy, but rather its continuation.
Moreover, back in 2008 and 2012, gold corrected to its 61.8% Fibonacci retracement before sliding profoundly for the last time. That’s almost exactly what we saw on June 1. Gold was just about $4 away from the 61.8% retracement, which means that it was practically right at it given the long-term point of view.
On top of that, with the Fed’s confidence game won or lost by whether or not inflation proves “transitory,” wouldn’t the central bank appreciate lower gold prices? If you think about it, it would be awfully convenient for the price of gold to decline in order to prove the point of the transitory nature of inflation.
Now, as you know, I’m not a fan of all the conspiracy theories that are out there, and I’m not the first to shout gold manipulation or silver manipulation every time the yellow or while metal goes down, but I also know that being realistic is one of my strengths. With the situation being what it is, and since the communities of top investment bankers and the community of officials interlace, I think that we have yet another reason to expect that the gold price is going to slide in the following weeks/months.
In addition, while gold has reached its dashed rising support line, the implications of its triangle-vertex-based reversal points remain much more significant. To that point, even if the yellow metal rises to the 61.8% Fibonacci level, it doesn’t change the medium-term outlook. For context, gold rallied to the 61.8% Fibonacci level in 2012 before suffering a profound drawdown. The bottom line? While short-term strength is not my base case, if gold happens to bounce, it’s likely the last “hurrah!” before the yellow metal succumbs to the bearish reality.
Moreover, do you know what else happened in 2008 and 2012 when gold topped? Gold stocks had been underperforming gold, and they had actually started their decline sooner. That’s exactly what we are seeing right now, and that’s what the most recent lack of strength in gold stocks confirms.
The history is rhyming, and the next huge move in gold is not likely to be to the upside; we should rather prepare for a slide.
Thank you for reading our free analysis today. Please note that the above is just a small fraction of the full analyses that our subscribers enjoy on a regular basis. They include multiple premium details such as the interim targets for gold and mining stocks that could be reached in the next few weeks. We invite you to subscribe now and read today’s issue right away.
Przemyslaw Radomski, CFA