US dollar still has the green light
Kitco Commentaries | Opinions, Ideas and Markets Talk
Featuring views and opinions written by market professionals, not staff journalists.
The dollar looks poised for another rally, to gold's dismay. So, what's the price target for the greenback over the winter months?
While the consensus across the financial markets (especially at the beginning of the year) was that the U.S. dollar was destined for devaluation, I warned that the greenback would rise from the ashes. And with gold, silver, and mining stocks often moving inversely to the U.S. dollar, the latter's ascent helped make the precious metals one of the worst-performing asset classes in 2021.
Moreover, after more dollar doubters emerged in October – and the precious metals rallied hard – the USD Index eventually cut through 94, 95, and then 96 like a knife through butter. And with the precious metals reversing sharply once again, I expect another rally to push the USD Index to ~98 over the medium term. Perhaps quite soon. And the implications for the precious metals sector, are bearish.
On top of that, while overbought conditions elicited a short-term pullback, end-of-month turnarounds and / or rallies are commonplace for the greenback.
For context, I warned that a consolidation was likely overdue by highlighting the USD Index's overbought RSI (Relative Strength Index) readings with the red arrows above.
Conversely, the blue vertical dashed lines above demonstrate how the USD Index often bottoms near the end of each month, and rallies often follow. And while the current consolidation may need some more time to run its course, higher highs should materialize over the medium term.
To explain, after the USD Index recorded sharp rallies in June and July, consolidation phases unfolded before the uptrends continued. And while the secondary uprisings occurred at more moderate paces, the USD Index still managed to make new highs. As a result, ~98 should materialize during the winter months.
Furthermore, if the forecast proves prescient, the USD Index's strength will likely usher gold back to its previous 2021 lows.
Adding to our confidence (don't get me wrong, there are no certainties in any market; it's just that the bullish narrative for the USDX is even more bullish in my view), the USD Index often sizzles in the summer sun and major USDX rallies often start during the middle of the year. Summertime spikes have been mainstays on the USD Index's historical record and in 2004, 2005, 2008, 2011, 2014 and 2018 a retest of the lows (or close to them) occurred before the USD Index began its upward flights (which is exactly what's happened this time around).
Furthermore, profound rallies (marked by the red vertical dashed lines below) followed in 2008, 2011 and 2014. With the current situation mirroring the latter, a small consolidation on the long-term chart is exactly what occurred before the USD Index surged in 2014. Likewise, the USD Index recently bottomed near its 50-week moving average; an identical development occurred in 2014. More importantly, though, with bottoms in the precious metals market often occurring when gold trades in unison with the USD Index (after ceasing to respond to the USD's rallies with declines), we're still far away from that milestone in terms of both price and duration. Again, the recent move higher in the USD Index doesn't necessarily apply in the case of the above rule, as it was not the strength of the USD but weakness in the euro that has driven it.
Likewise, with the USD Index now approaching its long-term rising support line (which is now resistance), a rally above the upward sloping black line below would invalidate the prior breakdown and support a move back above 100.
Also, please note that the recent medium-term rally has been calmer than any major upswing witnessed over the last 20 years, where the USD Index's RSI has hit 70. I marked the recent rally in the RSI with an orange rectangle and I did the same with the second-least and third-least volatile of the medium-term upswings.
The sharp rallies in 2008 and 2014 were of much larger magnitudes. And in those historical analogies, the USD Index continued its surge for some time without suffering any material corrections.
As a result, the short-term outlook is more of a coin flip. However, the medium-term outlook remains profoundly bullish, and gold, silver, and mining stocks may resent the USD Index's forthcoming uprising.
Just as the USD Index took a breather before its massive rally in 2014, it seems that we saw the same recently. This means that predicting higher gold prices (or the ones of silver) here is likely not a good idea.
Continuing the theme, the eye in the sky doesn't lie. And with the USDX's long-term breakout clearly visible, the wind remains at the dollar's back. Furthermore, dollar bears often miss the forest through the trees: with the USD Index's long-term breakout gaining steam, the implications of the chart below are profound. And while very few analysts cite the material impact (when was the last time you saw the USDX chart starting in 1985 anywhere else?), the USD Index has been sending bullish signals for years.
Please see below:
The bottom line?
With my initial 2021 target of 94.5 already hit, the ~98 target is likely to be reached over the medium term (and perhaps quite soon), mind, though: we're not bullish on the greenback because of the U.S.' absolute outperformance. It's because the region is fundamentally outperforming the Eurozone, the EUR/USD accounts for nearly 58% of the movement of the USD Index, and the relative performance is what really matters.
In conclusion, gold, silver, and mining stocks have reversed sharply in recent weeks. And though the trio tried to ignore the USD Index's recent uprising, I wrote on Jul. 23 that the time-tested relationship of "U.S. dollar up, PMs down' will likely be a major storyline during the Autumn months. To that point, with the theme likely to continue over the medium term, lower lows should confront gold, silver, and mining stocks over the next few months.