Even after five years of the Fed’s most aggressive accommodative policy in history, there is still a lack of hoped for quality credit creation in the economy, which could be a sign that the greatest deleveraging of the U.S. economy since the Great Depression is still not complete. The Fed’s unrelenting dovish policy appears to support this concern.
In December the Federal Reserve saw enough evidence of economic strength to begin tapering its Quantitative Easing (QE3) program and markets are adjusting to this new reality. So far it has been a tough pill to swallow with emerging markets being the first to feel the pains of withdrawal.
Provided the economy performs as well as Federal Reserve policymakers expect, the Fed will phase out large-scale asset purchases within the next 10 months. That’s a big “if” of course. The Fed has been projecting a stronger recovery each of the last four years, only to see growth average around a tepid 2%.
We believe these commodities are seen as attractive investments now not only because of their relatively low price compared to their prices last year, but also as a potential safe haven investment instead of shaky currencies around the world.
As governments try to boost growth with a weaker currency, low inflation may eventually turn into higher inflation when monetary debasement continues. When a local currency devalues, gold prices in local currencies typically shoot up as local citizens scramble for an alternative currency to protect their wealth.
Equity index futures are slumping Friday as investors digest the impact of emergency rescue measures by emerging market central banks whose priority it is to alleviate pressures on domestic currencies.
The market has continued to consolidate higher this morning as it searches to test resistance at 1780-82.25. Yesterday's close was 1771.25, the market must hold this level and truly close above the pivot at 1775.75-1776.25 to keep sentiment positive.
In the petroleum markets it was better than expected demand for products due in part to weather but also a surprising increase in gasoline demand that kept the market from falling apart after a much larger than expected increase in crude supply.
U.S. stocks fell, with the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index headed for a one-month low, while Treasuries and the yen gained as the Federal Reserve said it would make further reductions in economic stimulus and as emerging-market currencies weakened. Gold and natural gas climbed.