China is the world’s largest producer of gold, but it has plenty of other precious metals and rare minerals as well. Some in the world are already worried about so much power concentrated in one place.
A Bloomberg Report this week stated that silver exports from China, one of the world's largest, may drop about 40 percent this year as domestic demand from industry and investors climbs. China is the third-largest producer after Peru and Mexico. It is expected that reduced exports will boost prices. Industrial applications for silver, including electrical conductors and batteries, represent about half the global demand. Silver has rallied 44 percent this year, outperforming gold and copper.
In addition, China, which has been blocking shipments of crucial minerals to Japan for the last month, has also halted some shipments to the United States and Europe. These rare earth minerals are crucial to manufacturing many advanced products such as radar, cell phones, high-powered magnets and mini-hard drives in laptop computers. China’s control of them and its willingness to flex its economic muscles seem certain to further intensify trade and currency tensions. The bad news is China mines 95 percent of the world’s rare earth elements. If restriction on exports of these minerals continues, it could force multinational companies to produce more of their high-technology goods in China.
Speaking of mining, let's take a look at the long-term XAU chart. The XAU (gold and silver stocks index) Index failed to break into new highs - as visible on the very-long-term chart above. Although we see it presently at a declining support level, we don't expect this level to hold given declining gold, silver and stock prices.
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Support levels such as the lower border of the trading channel, previous local tops, and multi-year support levels are also in play. The declining, short-term trend line has been broken recently most likely due to the USD Index rally. The area around the 170 level appears to be the probable bottom for the current decline.
(Click to enlarge)
In a recent Market Alert sent to our Subscribers, we discussed the possibility for Traders to bet on lower prices using options. Lower prices in mining stocks may be the way to go due to their lower volatility. Their close trading range has caused a decline in option premiums.
In the research section of Sunshine Profits website, Predicting and Taking Advantage of Corrections in Gold is an essay, which is perfect for our current situation. Options traders should be sure not to miss this instructive piece.
Summing up, it is likely that mining stocks will eventually rally but we will probably first see a corrective period. Lower prices are likely to be seen in the short-run with a rally to follow perhaps before the end of the year.
Disclosure: No positions