I want to apologize for the rash of junk emails sent out last week, and thank you for your kindness and patience. Due to a change of server configuration, another site began sharing my server's IP address, and all of his posts were echoed out as emails by my list server. My site also became unavailable as Cloudflare, my DDOS prevention service, could not access the underlying web server properly. This is all sorted out now, and hopefully will stay that way for many years to come!
Server issues aside, this was a good week for most asset classes, with only gold stocks moving significantly lower (the HUI was off 1.8%). The strongest gains were in the cryptocurrencies, as Ethereum rose 14.5% and Bitcoin gained 3.4%, following a week of volatility caused by concern over the Bitcoin hard fork that occurred on August 1st. Bonds, major stock indexes, and commodities were all higher.
The Euro was the best performing national currency this week, rising 1.5%. The Chinese Yuan and Canadian Dollar were the only falling currencies, and they only dropped 0.2% and 0.3% respectively. Bonds continued to favor the longer maturities, as the 20+ year TLT rose 1.4%, while the 1-3 year SHY gained 0.5% and USD cash (notes of zero maturity) added 0.6%.
Bitcoin rose early in the week, hitting 70.5 grams on July 31st, just prior to the hard fork, but fell about 5% following the fork, closing at 66.7 grams on August 2nd. Since then it has rallied, reaching 71.3 grams on Friday the 4th, and has continued to rise strongly since, trading at a new all-time high of 85.1 grams on August 8th. Ethereum followed a similar pattern, ending the week at 5.5 grams, up 14.5%.
Gold stocks fell 1.8% this week, but all the major market indexes were higher. The Euro STOXX was the strongest index, adding 2.0%. The DJIA was up 1.8% while the S&P 500 rose 0.8%.
Commodities were all higher, as platinum surged 4.8%, while palladium gained 1.6% and silver rose 1.4%. Cotton and coffee also made strong gains, rising 3.2% and 2.3% respectively.
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