News - Prospector's Diary

Instability caused by last week’s rise in U.S. bond rates remained the dominant theme on financial markets this week with iron ore and copper the pick of the commodities sector while gold struggled to recover lost ground.

Instability caused by last week’s rise in U.S. bond rates remained the dominant theme on financial markets this week with iron ore and copper the pick of the commodities sector while gold struggled to recover lost ground. More of the same can be expected in future weeks until a clear picture emerges of the post-pandemic world and investors learn to live with the aftershocks of the wild ride on markets over the last 12-months.

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Feeding frenzy or supercycle? That is the question which dominated the thinking of seasoned market watchers this week as everything (well, almost everything) went up and the rotation out of precious metals into industrial commodities gathered pace.

Feeding frenzy or supercycle? That is the question which dominated the thinking of seasoned market watchers this week as everything (well, almost everything) went up and the rotation out of precious metals into industrial commodities gathered pace. Management moves, often seen at this stage of a sea-change in the commodity sector, also caught the eye of investors, especially the planned shift of Northern Star’s executive chairman, Bill Beament, for something smaller and presumably more fun.

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Copper up. Gold down. Those seemingly disconnected events are really part of the same trend that can be traced to accelerating global growth (more copper, please) which is helping lift official interest rates (less gold, thank you).

Copper up. Gold down. Those seemingly disconnected events are really part of the same trend that can be traced to accelerating global growth (more copper, please) which is helping lift official interest rates (less gold, thank you). Whether what happened on financial and commodity markets this week can continue for the rest of 2021 is the question for investors to consider because if it does, then portfolio adjustments are required, if it hasn’t already happened.

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It doesn’t get much better for investors in Australian resources as surging global demand drives prices to multi-year highs with the promise of more to come as confidence rises in vaccines taming the spread of Covid-19.

It doesn’t get much better for investors in Australian resources as surging global demand drives prices to multi-year highs with the promise of more to come as confidence rises in vaccines taming the spread of Covid-19. Dr Copper, the metal used in almost everything and a widely quoted prophet of future economic growth, is leading the way, rising to a nine-year high of $US3.77 a pound. Platinum, the forgotten precious metal, is trading at a six year high of $US1215 an ounce. Most other commodities, bar gold, are also trading at multi-year highs, especially battery metals.

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Silver shone brightly on financial markets for a few days this week as speculators played games while serious investors were drawn to another white metal, lithium.

Silver shone brightly on financial markets for a few days this week as speculators played games while serious investors were drawn to another white metal, lithium. The silver frolic was fun to watch as a new breed of tech-savvy day traders bid up the price of a commodity which has a track record of destroying more wealth than it creates. There are reasonable supply and demand fundamentals underpinning silver but whether they are strong enough to support a price above $US30 an ounce seems unlikely.

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Separating reality from speculative share trading has probably never been harder but if you look through the dust stirred up by day-traders and this week’s stock market correction you will see the start of the world’s seventh great resources boom.

Separating reality from speculative share trading has probably never been harder but if you look through the dust stirred up by day-traders and this week’s stock market correction you will see the start of the world’s seventh great resources boom. Recent events highlight those points because on one hand there was a feeding frenzy in the U.S. of online traders using mobile phone apps to stir the market, while on the other hand there was growing confidence that supply shortages will drive commodities higher for at least the next decade.

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Gold got a Joe Biden bump after his inauguration as the U.S. President yesterday

Gold got a Joe Biden bump after his inauguration as the U.S. President yesterday, but the battery-metals sector is (so far) proving to be the more significant winner as the new man in the White House brings with him a range of tough environmental protection policies. A clearer look of what’s to come can be seen in China where there is a market for trading in obscure commodities such as neodymium, a rare earth favoured by makers of the long-life batteries used in electric cars.

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“Follow the money.” What better time to remind investors of that advice than when a U.S. President heads for the exit and financial “flows” appear to be priming the world for a fresh commodity boom.

“Follow the money.” What better time to remind investors of that advice than when a U.S. President heads for the exit and financial “flows” appear to be priming the world for a fresh commodity boom. Back in 1972 it was Richard Nixon departing, aided by that famous “follow the money” comment attributed (perhaps incorrectly) to Deep Throat, the source of leaks against him published in the Washington Post newspaper.

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