Weekly Update 22 May 2020

Every asset category was mixed, but mostly higher this week. The largest gains were in crude oil, which rose 12.8%, and platinum, which gained 8.8%. The worst losses were in gold mining stocks, as the HUI index fell 3.9%.

Last week, many national currencies, including the Euro, Swiss Franc, Chinese Yuan, British Pound and Canadian Dollar closed at new all-time lows. This week, the Swiss Franc and Chinese Yen fell further to make new lows, then recovered along with the others. The Euro lead the way higher, finishing up 0.8%, followed by the British Pound (not in table) which gained 0.6%. The Chinese Yuan was the weakest currency, falling 0.8%. USD cash and short term notes rose 0.1%; long term bonds were off 0.6%.

Bitcoin rose to a high of 174.4 grams on Monday, then pulled back, finishing the week at 164.8, down 1.5%. Ethereum advanced to a high of 3.85 grams on Monday, but settled back to close at 3.72 grams, up 6.0%.

Gold stocks fell 3.9%, but all other major markets moved higher, led by the Euro STOXX 50, which closed up 5.8%. The UK FTSE 100 index (not in table) rose 4.0%, while the S&P 500 rose 3.3%, and the Japanese Nikkei gained 1.7%.

Crude oil continues to recover, rising 12.8% this week, but at 597 mg, it is still below its 2016 low of 660 mg. Platinum also performed well, gaining 8.8%. The largest commodity losses were in Coffee, which declined 2.9%.

I have had requests to update the long term chart of the S&P Composite based on Shiller's data from his book, Irrational Exuberance. I have done so, as a logarithmic chart that more clearly portrays price changes, especially for the earlier decades. You can view the chart here. On this log chart, each major division of the price axis represents a doubling (when rising) or a halving (when falling). This allows direct comparison of price movements in percentage terms, even at very different price levels.

Priced in Gold Weekly Summary

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