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What We Read Today 19 February 2014

Econintersect: Every day our editors collect the most interesting things they find from around the internet and present a summary "reading list" which will include very brief summaries of why each item has gotten our attention. Suggestions from readers for "reading list" items are gratefully reviewed, although sometimes space limits the number included.


Today the focus 'behind the wall' is on gold. There are 13 articles discussed.


Chinese demand for gold bars, coins and jewelry soared by 32% to record levels in 2013, even as the price of gold slumped 28%.

The surge in buying saw China overtake India as the world's top consumer of physical gold, importing 1,066 metric tons of the metal to India's 975 metric tons in 2013, according to new data from the World Gold Council. (A metric ton is equal to about 2,240 pounds.)

Click on graph for larger image at Money and Markets.

"Uncertainty is growing over China's ability to sustain the rapid rates of economic growth it has seen over the past decade."
  • Gold Prices Have Rebounded — but for the Wrong Reason (Douglas Davenport, Money and Markets) Davenport observes that the holdings of the gold EFT SPDR Gold Trust (NYSE:GLD) have only risen by a tiny amount (less than 0.1%) during the recent 8% price advance. He uses that observation to reach the conclusion that the rally is largely short-covering. However, he does not discuss that the rest of the demand for gold is historically more than 4 times larger than that from GLD. See article preceding and the one following.


  • Why Gold Will Outperform Stocks This Year (Josh Arnold, Seeking Alpha) Someone who was long the S&P 500 with half of their portfolio last year and short gold with the other half doubles their money. The Econintersect short-form version of Josh Brown's thinking is: It's payback time.


  • How far can gold run? (Houses and Holes, Macro Business) Article says gold is rising on the possibility that Yellen will slow the taper. Key resistance levels are identified.



More good measures of gold and silver market sentiment in the U.S. are the premiums paid for Sprott gold and silver ETFs. As shown below per their website, premiums for the Sprott Physical Gold Trust (PHYS) have recently moved back into positive territory for the first time since last summer.

The premium for the Sprott Physical Silver Trust (PSLV)
(sic) recently, topping four percent last week for only the second time since 2011.

Sprott Physical Gold Trust

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