Weekly Update 7 Dec 2018
Very few asset classes made gains this week. The short list was headed by gold stocks, as the HUI rose 4.0%, and crude oil, which added 1.2%. The largest losses were once again in cryptocurrencies, as Ethereum fell 19.3% and Bitcoin dropped 16.6%.
National currencies were all lower, led by the US and Canadian Dollars, which declined 2.1% apiece. The Chinese Yuan fell the least, dropping 0.4%. US bonds did better than USD cash, as the short term SHY fell 1.8% and the long term TLT gained 0.8%.
The declines in crypto just keep coming! Bitcoin declined 16.6%, taking it right to the exponential uptrend line in place since 2015. Bad as that was, Bitcoin still fared better than most of the altcoins, including Ethereum which dropped 19.3%. Both are substantially lower than they were 12 months ago (when they were near their all-time highs) but they are both substantially higher than they were 24 months ago – in the case of Ethereum, about 10 times higher (2.3 grams vs 0.23 grams). It's certainly too early to call a bottom, but with good fundamentals remaining in place for the top-tier coins, many are starting to look attractive at these prices.
As mentioned above, gold stocks were the strongest of all assets this week, rising 4.0%. All the major indexes were lower, however, led by the S&P 500, which dropped 6.5%, the largest decline outside of the cryptos. The Dow industrials did little better, falling 6.4%. The Japanese Nikkei did the "least worst", declining 4.3%.
Commodities were also lower, with the sole exception of crude oil, which posted a 1.2% gain. Coffee fell the most, dropping 5.2%, followed by platinum, which dropped 4.0% to a new all-time low of 19.7 grams. Palladium rose to a new multi-year high, trading above parity with gold on Tuesday and Wednesday, then slid to end the week at 30.2 grams, down 1.8%. Silver was down slightly, off 0.4%.
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