This was a losing week for government-issued currencies as well as stocks and bonds, but mixed for commodities. The free market currency Bitcoin made the largest gains, rising 8.6%, while crude oil and gold stocks saw the largest declines, falling 4.8% and 4.7% respectively. Platinum bounced back, recouping almost all of the prior week's losses.
As mentioned above, while Bitcoin was surging, all of the government-issued currencies were falling, led by the Japanese Yen, which dropped 1.7%, and the Canadian Dollar, which fell 1.4%. The least weak currency was the Euro, which fell 0.3%. Bonds switched gears and showed a shorter time preference this week, with the long term TLT falling 2.7%, while SHY lost 0.6% and USD cash lost 0.5%.
Stocks were all lower, led by the HUI gold stocks, which fell 4.7%. The S&P 500 Index dropped 1.2%, while Europe and Japan had the least weakness; the Nikkei 225 was off 0.2%, and the Euro STOXX index was 0.3% lower.
Coffee and copper were very strong this week, rising 5.4% and 4.5% respectively. The weakest commodities were crude oil, which fell 4.8%, and palladium, which slowed it's rate of descent, dropping 1.0%. Silver ended the week unchanged.
As mentioned above, platinum bounced back after setting a new all-time low of 22.8 grams in the prior week, ending this week at 23.75 grams/oz. I continue to see this as an excellent buying opportunity for platinum, which is trading at a 24% discount to gold, as opposed to its historical average 43% premium.