Leo Haviland provides clients with original, provocative, cutting-edge fundamental supply/demand and technical research on major financial marketplaces and trends. He also offers independent consulting and risk management advice.

Haviland’s expertise is macro. He focuses on the intertwining of equity, debt, currency, and commodity arenas, including the political players, regulatory approaches, social factors, and rhetoric that affect them. In a changing and dynamic global economy, Haviland’s mission remains constant – to give timely, value-added marketplace insights and foresights.

Leo Haviland has three decades of experience in the Wall Street trading environment. He has worked for Goldman Sachs, Sempra Energy Trading, and other institutions. In his research and sales career in stock, interest rate, foreign exchange, and commodity battlefields, he has dealt with numerous and diverse financial institutions and individuals. Haviland is a graduate of the University of Chicago (Phi Beta Kappa) and the Cornell Law School.


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GOLD AND GOLDILOCKS: 2017 MARKETPLACES © Leo Haviland, January 10, 2017

“I think I’ll go to sleep and dream about piles of gold getting bigger and bigger and bigger.” Fred C. Dobbs, in the 1948 movie, “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre” (John Huston, director)



The extent to which important financial playgrounds intertwine and their alleged trends converge or diverge (or, lead or lag) are matters of opinion, as are perspectives on and reasons for such relationships and movements. Apparent convergence/divergence and lead/lag patterns between currency, interest rate, stock, and commodity marketplaces nevertheless offer guidance to players seeking to explain, predict, or profit from financial price movements. Marketplace history need not repeat itself, either entirely or even in part. Thus these relationships can change, sometimes dramatically. Fundamental supply/demand factors and trends are not written in stone. And competing historians and clairvoyants do not necessarily share the same perspectives or tell the same stories regarding either a given financial playground or its relationships to other arenas.

The relationships between gold and the US dollar, as well as those between gold and other commodities and stock and interest rate marketplaces, are complex. Often, gold prices travel in roughly similar fashion to those of base metals in general and the overall petroleum complex. Yet sometimes substantial fears regarding financial meltdown (asset value destruction) or striking worries about political evolution or disruption also can influence gold’s supply/demand and price profile, and thereby gold’s interrelations with commodities as well as currency and securities marketplaces. In any case, significant gold price trend changes often precede or roughly coincide (or “confirm”) those elsewhere.

Gold probably established an important low not long ago, at $1124 on 12/15/16. Suppose this gold rally continues for at least the near term. The gold ascent probably warns of peaks in the broad real trade-weighted United States dollar (“TWD”) and the S+P 500. The current divergence between the S+P 500 and emerging marketplace nation stocks in recent months likewise warns of these trend shifts. Relevant to this viewpoint, the 10 year United States Treasury note yield established a major low at 1.32 percent on 7/6/16. In addition, suppose gold’s recent climb eventually coincides with a renewed slump in the LMEX base metals index (London Metal Exchange) from its 11/28/16 top at 2857, and at least a modest tumble in benchmark petroleum prices. That probably will interrelate with this scenario of US dollar weakness and erosion of S+P 500 and emerging marketplace stock prices.

The American political theater is relevant to this outlook for gold price and its relationship to the US dollar and other marketplaces. Trump’s remarkable Presidential victory and his likely policies probably have increased fears in both American and international domains regarding the quality of America’s political leadership and the consequences of its economic (political) philosophy. Moreover, the nation’s various sharp cultural divisions and related partisan political conflicts will not disappear anytime soon.

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Gold and Goldilocks- 2017 Marketplaces (1-10-17)

SHOWING THE WAY: BASE METALS © Leo Haviland October 15, 2013

Industrial metals such as copper and aluminum of course have different supply/demand fundamentals. They intertwine in diverse ways with significant movements in interest rate and currencies, especially the United States dollar. The overall base metals complex often travels in the same fashion (direction) as precious metals. Yet focus on global stock marketplaces in relation to base metals “in general”. Significantly, from the later stages of the glorious Goldilocks Era to its dreadful decline, from the ensuing worldwide recovery up to the present, trends in base metals “in general” very often show the way or confirm trends in key global stock marketplaces.

Price trends in base metals indeed have been closely tied to the China growth story. Yet significant marketplace trend changes in base metals also fit those in emerging stock marketplaces as a whole. The voyage of the base metals complex since roughly mid to late 2007 closely resembles that of emerging marketplaces “in general”. What about in relation to America’s S+P 500? Since its high on 2/14/11 at 4478, the London Metal Exchange base metal index (“LMEX”) has been in a massive bear trend, falling about 35.0 percent to its 6./24/13 low. In contrast, the S+P 500’s glittering advance has continued up to a 1730 high on 9/19/13. But as before 2011, the timing of the S+P 500’s turning points from 2011 to the present in its overall upward climb generally fit rather closely to those in the LMEX index.

The sustained decline in the base metals battleground “in general” since first quarter 2011 continues to signal slower growth in emerging marketplaces in general and in China in particular. Note the continued lowering of growth estimates for China in recent months. In addition, despite the overall directional price trend divergence between the LMEX and the S+P 500, the sustained base metal weakness warns that growth probably will be weak in advanced nations, and that the glowing strength in the S+P 500 will not be eternal.
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