Gold News

Gold-Commodity Ratio Falling

Gold Prices have been slipping since June in terms of the broad CRB commodities index...

GOLD was, for a long time, the leading edge of the commodity bull market, writes Brad Zigler at Hard Assets Investor.

Note the word "was". Now, I'm not saying Gold Bullion is finished after its decade-long bull market. But clearly, gold's been overtaken in the Great Commodity Race of late.

Witness the ratio of gold's price to that of the Thomson-Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index, a benchmark that originally dates back to 1957 when it was launched as the Commodity Research Bureau Index.

The current TRJ/CRB Index covers 19 commodities, including gold. And the Gold Price trajectory relative to that of the broad-based TRJ/CRB Index has been on the wane since June, but it recently broke sharply to the downside of a wedge pattern, pointing to even lower ratio values.

Two things could account for gold's diminishing impact on TRJ/CRB: Gold's price could be flagging and/or the price trajectory of the index's other components may be accelerating.

Recently, both factors have played out. Gold peaked in the first week of December and has been ratcheting lower while other commodities have been ascendant.

Bullishness in the petroleum sector – the index's heaviest-weighted sector – has certainly driven TRJ/CRB higher. Since the beginning of June, spot crude oil's climbed 21.3%, gasoline's motored 16.4% higher and heating oil's temperature has risen 24.8%.

The real fire, though, has been lit under the softs. A quick look at the soft commodities tracked by exchange-traded securities products reveals three out of four – cotton, sugar and coffee – are technically overbought. Cocoa has more recently snapped into overdrive  but hasn't yet been worked up to a froth.

The soft sector is tracked – collectively and individually – by iPath exchange-traded notes. The net asset value of the broad-based iPath Dow Jones-UBS Softs Subindex Total Return ETN (NYSE Arca: JJS) is, more or less, equally weighted in cotton, sugar and coffee, and has risen an eye-popping 95.6% since June 1.

Softs will eventually come in for a, um hard  landing, but further spikes are likely before the fever's broken. In the meantime, value-minded commodity investors might want to consider taking a sip of cocoa if they think the Gold Price ascent will continue to retreat in terms of commodities.

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