Gold

Source: 14kgoldteeth.com

Strangely, gold is the hottest commodity quickly and pervasively filtering not only into investment portfolios and central bank coffers, but also into peoples’ mouths and onto their teeth.

To wit, one of our posts about gold grillz — the technical name for gold-based jewelry custom made for the oral cavity — is the most-read post of the summer. Go figure.

The important thing is that we sometimes like to have fun with satire and silliness amidst our commentary on metals markets, sourcing strategies and macroeconomic issues and policies, and this next installment of MetalMiner’s Best Of Summer Series showcases just that. Enjoy!

1. Gold Grillz A Hedge Against Dental Monotony

2. A Thief’s Sourcing Guide to Stealing Scrap Part One

3. A Thief’s Sourcing Guide to Stealing Scrap — Part Two

4. Do War Dogs Have Titanium Teeth? No But They Have Some Sweet Metal Gear

–The Editors

Source: http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2009/03/robots.html

I came across a press release the other day for a mining automation conference in South Africa.

Now, now — I know what you’re thinking. Yawn. Snore. Boring.

Well, I thought that too, but as I drilled down and did a bit of follow-up reading, some major issues presented themselves and led to big questions. This is the sentence in the release (especially the final phrase) that got me thinking:

“The lack of skilled mining professionals is likely to be the one of the key drivers in next generation mining with mine workers trading in their steel-toed boots for a headset and computer mouse as leading mining companies embrace mine automation to help solve their labour shortages and ramp up output.

Here’s one question that we can explore in a For/Against format (like the one seen in the Economist’s digital pages):

Should investments in automated mining technology especially in Africa come at the expense of teaching and employing more workers? (i.e will automated technology “solve labor shortages as the quote above claims?)

Some arguments for:

  • Increased efficiency resulting in greater volumes of higher-quality ore and metal. Some gold mining companies, for example, are hoping to stop blasting entirely, “create people-less stopes, and mine around the clock.”
  • Fewer employees onsite, which improves overall safety. Since there’s a large push to further take advantage of mineral ore reserves in Africa, and so many countries on the continent are plagued with social and political strife that it would be unsafe to pursue mining projects otherwise.
  • We’ve automated the auto industry so why not?

Some arguments against:

  • It may not build up African mining infrastructure as sustainably as possible. In other words, will local workers have an opportunity to get jobs?
  • It may improve a mining company’s bottom-line exponentially more than creating a sustainable employment infrastructure. As in the auto-industry corollary, the efficiencies provided by nonhuman technology make vast percentages of human workers obsolete. For context, the FT recently reported that in the six months up to June, Freeport McMoRan sold its copper at prices that were on average 4.5 times more than its production cost per pound.”
  • If global growth especially in the emerging economies — tapers off for unprecedentedly long periods (long shot), the investment may be for naught.

Of course, this is a rather cursory and perhaps naive argument and one that will receive deeper investigation as these technologies become more common but what do you think?

Where do you stand on mining automation? For or against? Is it a good thing or bad?

Let us know!

–Taras Berezowsky

A review of the gold price written by Robin Bew, chief economist at HSBC Bank, proposes that the gold price is in danger of entering bubble territory and predicts a sharp correction by year-end. Determinedly, Robin examines the main drivers behind the price over recent months while acknowledging by use of this graph that the price has been on the rise for much of the last decade:

Source: The Economist

Courting controversy from a few sides, the bank states there is nothing special about the nature of gold that makes it an ideal safe-haven asset. Were it not for its widely perceived role as just that, gold would behave like most commodities”rising in value during good economic times, when demand for its industrial uses increases. Of course, gold has limited industrial uses and if that were the only source of demand, the price would behave exactly as he suggests.

The problem is this quasi-financial role that gold has — not quite a currency, but treated as if it were. This imparts it with a special status like all currencies, though, it can rise or fall depending on circumstances. Upon accepting that the world has somewhat arbitrarily assigned gold this role, we must review a number of factors that support gold’s price prior to predicting how these may develop in the year ahead.

First, its safe-haven status, as he points out; since Lehman Brothers collapsed on Sept. 15, 2008, the price of gold has more than doubled. Demand from investors rose from 692 tons in 2007 to 1,200 tons in 2009 and 1,487 tons in 2010, along with demand for other safe-haven assets like US treasuries and the Swiss franc. The yield on all such government debt US, German, Japanese — has been historically low for much of the last three years with the exception of early 2011, when the community went risk-on and moved out of safe havens and into commodities and other riskier assets.

Recently though, sovereign debt has been very much back in the news and gold has benefited from its safe haven status as the Euro has seemed on the point of collapse and the US government seems unable to reach agreement on budget cuts.

The other major support for gold, which almost runs counter to fears about sovereign debt and another financial crisis, is the fear of inflation. Indeed in 2009/10 many were attracted to gold as a hedge against the potential for rising inflation as the global economies bounced back in an extremely low-interest and loose monetary environment.

HSBC’s opinion is the US will reach a deal that avoids default before Aug. 2 and that European leaders’ decisions this week will paper over the cracks, if not actually solve the indebted positions of Greece, Portugal, Spain and Italy such that they can continue to function within the Euro. The bank does not see any significant risk of a rise in inflation in the early stages of what will be a weak and prolonged recovery phase. They are expecting a gradual US recovery starting later this year and observe that Japan is already returning to some sense of normality after the natural disasters early this year. As interest rates do rise, the attractions of financing investments in gold will be reduced compared to other asset classes. As a result, the bank expects the price of gold to average $1,390/troy ounce in the fourth quarter of 2011 and to fall to $1,000/troy ounce by mid-2013.

Naturally the bank adds caveats that this is based on the recovery occurring as expected and inflation remaining subdued, but on the balance of probabilities — that is how the bank sees the next two years working out. As such, some may question if gold at $1600/oz really represents such great value, or if they would be better off taking profits while they can.

–Stuart Burns

As soon as we begin thinking that the Chinese government and industry couldn’t get any wackier, they surprise us once again.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Chinese oceanic administrations are undertaking a major push to explore deep-sea trenches for minerals. This exciting “treasure hunt began on July 1, when explorers shuttled a submersible named after a sea dragon out to the northeastern Pacific to begin some record-setting dives.

According to the article, Xinhua, the Chinese state-run news agency, quoted the director of the State Oceanic Administration as saying that “a Ëœmarvel’ of Chinese manned submergence would occur in the next 15 days.

Well, we’ll see about that.

Eastern Promises

There have been some pretty heavy indications that the Chinese are skilled at overstating their claims. Another Chinese “marvel, so to speak, is going on in the Western hemisphere right now and by that, of course, we mean the delays in the building completion of the San Francisco Bay Bridge.

While technically an American project (funded with taxpayer dollars), the metal and fabrications for the bridge were almost entirely sourced from China, which evidently made promises during the bidding process that it couldn’t keep, and now the endeavor is behind schedule and over-budget.

[Whether there’s a case to be made for sourcing from US producers to gain greater accountability at the cost of longer lead times remains to be seen¦that’s for a follow-up post on another day.]

Now China continues with more activity in its Bold Claims Department, and seeks to supplement its voracious demand for copper, gold, silver and zinc with tapping the ocean to give up its rich resources. To boot, the US blazed the deep-sea trail with Alvin in 1960, and it turns out the Chinese benefited from Alvin training dives through the US Navy.

The Deep-Sea Mineral Race

We’ve seen the same deep-sea rush with oil why not with minerals?

Maybe because, frankly: it’s kind of a pain.

Take the US, for example. They fell behind in deep-sea commodity exploration after leading the world in the 1960s and 70s, when commodity prices weren’t quite high enough in the 80s and 90s to merit the laborious process of exploration and extraction.

Notwithstanding the miles upon miles of water that a deep-sea mining operation would have to hurdle, there’s the sticking point of where the metal ores are located. According to the WSJ article, polymetallic sulphide deposits, each of which could contain 110 million tons of metal ore, are what explorers are after but these generally lie on oceanic ridges, only 5 percent of which have been explored so far.

Finding it is one thing, and creating the infrastructure necessary to suck it up to the surface and refine it is another altogether. That is not deterring China and Russia from applying for permits to explore these mineral-rich ridges all over the world’s oceans.

However, the US is not a member of the International Seabed Authority, the UN-based organization that grants oceanic exploration rights, and some are saying that the country could fall further behind in the race to get their hands on these raw materials.

Even though it may take China a while to gain any worthwhile ground, with metal prices reaching historical highs, now may be the time for the US to get in on the game.

–Taras Berezowsky

The rise and fall of the silver price this year had much more to do with speculative exuberance than any fundamental change in supply or demand. With a foot in both the industrial and investment markets, silver has always lived a dual life. Either pulled up or depressed by a rising or falling gold price and likewise supported by improving global macro economic trends suggesting industrial demand improvement. Sometimes this pushes silver counter cyclically to gold. Occasionally both factors coincide to encourage a high level of speculative interest in the metal.

Source: ETF Securities

This scenario occurred in the run up to silver’s $50 peak in late April. In 2009, investment demand soared but industrial demand plummeted. Last year both industrial and investment demand coincided. Speculators thought a bonanza at hand what with silver supply from mines and scrap sales growing only slowly, on average 2% and 4% respectively. And that bonanza existed for a while, but reality kicked in as the gold-silver ratio pushed 31.   Would a correction ensue?

Source: ETF Securities

The current ratio around 40-45 seems reasonable with industrial demand gradually recovering and with elevated gold prices making silver a more attractive metal for the small investor to hold. Bloomberg reports Australian Mint sales hit a record with the rising silver price. The FT reports the UK’s Royal Mint has seen the same surge in sales, as have other mints around the world. And India’s state trading company, MMTC announced in Reuters it will almost double its silver purchases this fiscal year to 1,500 tons. On average, India buys some 4,000 tons of silver per year. If MMTC double their purchases the more ‘fleet of foot’ private importers will do so likewise. A portion of this will go into jewelry which along with photographic use has trending lower over the last ten years. But in India demand remains strong particularly as the price increased. Silver became a more desirable store of value.

In addition, Exchange Traded Funds have sucked up considerable quantities of physical silver this year. Following the Comex silver restriction based sell off in May, many sold their ETF position but since that time, have made a comeback in late June-July.

Going forward much will depend on some key issues. First, perceptions of industrial growth both in China and the west. China, currently undergoing progressively tighter credit conditions in an effort to stifle inflation but has just posted some impressive export numbers suggesting the economy remains far from constrained by steps taken so far. In the west, recent PMI numbers suggest European manufacturing demand may slow. Naturally enough the Silver Institute appears very optimistic. They predict industrial demand for silver will increase to 666 million ounces by 2015, a 36% increase from 487 million ounces in 2010. In addition, much will depend on Asia and global growth generally. Second, the strength of the US dollar, which as the European debt crisis has worsened over recent days has strengthened considerably. Gold has reached record highs in Euros and Pounds but remains off peaks in dollars because of the currency’s relative strength. We see that unlikely to continue unless the European situation deteriorates further. Finally inflation which has remained benign in most mature markets has become a problem in many developing ones. If inflation fears surface in developed markets, expect gold and silver to move higher again.

We have never considered ourselves bullish on precious metals, as we tend to prefer markets that move based on more solid supply demand fundamentals and less on speculative pressures such as inflation or currency hedges. But short term volatility aside, we would leave readers with the view that for silver to reach the heady heights it scaled in April it swung to an unprecedented gold-silver ratio of 31. At a more comfortable ratio around 40 gold would have to hit over $2000/oz for silver to see $50 again.

–Stuart Burns

Last week we caught up with our friends at Elm Consulting Group International (you may recall a series of posts published on MetalMiner written by Lawrence Heim of Elm Consulting relating to the conflict minerals provision recently enacted under the Frank-Dodd banking reform bill) to hear about the progress made by SEC in terms of publishing the final rules (and hence requirements) for companies sourcing tin, tantalum, gold and tungsten. Lawrence Heim attended the EICC Extractives Supply Chain Workshop VI (EICC “promotes an industry code of conduct for global electronics supply chains to improve working and environmental conditions.) The organization has also developed an audit program for companies that need to comply with the legislation.

Heim suggests via his blog that a rift exists between policy-makers that include governmental and quasi-governmental organizations and the companies that need to implement the legislation. Not surprisingly, industry has raised concerns around several issues that policy-makers do not appear to have considered. The primary issues involve industry not accepting the recommendations of the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict Affected and High-Risk Areas and the Supplement on Tin, Tantalum and Tungsten specifically for its lack of “actionable, specific implementation steps/detail and the uncertainty about how the Guidance will comply with SEC requirements, and from a sourcing perspective, companies remain concerned about the confidentiality of supplier information as well as the fact that the supply chain for gold appears quite distinct from the other metals. Industry has raised concerns that compliance with Frank-Dodd will require a customized solution for that supply chain.

It should come as no surprise that the early interpretations of the legislation have lacked specificity. In fairness to the policymakers, the final rules have yet to be released by the SEC. Regardless, consulting firms and software providers will need to ensure the right balance of cost-to-comply, risk mitigation and actionable solutions.

We will continue to provide updates on this legislation, particularly when the SEC announces the final rules later this summer.

–Lisa Reisman

 

 

As the resident fashion blog reader here at MetalMiner, I’ve noticed a shiny trend: metallic is back, and not just in makeup, fabric, or statement jewelry. Designers are ditching the jewelry for statement … shoes! According to The Moment, the NYT fashion blog:

“Copper, silver and gold have taken a recent hiatus from the wrist and settled near the sole. Silver ankle cuffs are the newest way to dress up a pair of sandals, but they’re hardly the only golden opportunity. Many of the season’s best sandals look like they’ve been dipped in 24-karat gold dust ” a glimmer, not to mention a shimmer, of what’s ahead for fall. From Altuzarra’s silk sheath dresses dripping in metal  fringe to Balenciaga’s asymmetrical tunics with silver panels and Givenchy’s gold patent pumps, designers are smitten. Meanwhile, take a step in a right direction.

My favorites are from Lanvin and Giambattista Valli:

On the more functional (and, ahem, less expensive) side of the equation, Boing Boing featured something I need pretty badly. You see, I have a collecting problem. This is (just one) of my many bookshelves:

So imagine my delight when I saw these:

Designers Xin-Hung Lin, Pei-Yi Chiu, Chia-Rung Shu, & Wung-Bing Lin of Yanko Design came up with this “curled, tensioned metal shelf overlaid with plastic to hold the books in place. Plus, the ends have secret compartments to hold pens, trinkets, or whatever you want. Now any surface in my house can become a bookshelf!

Stay trendy, and stay organized this summer. And happy weekend.

–Sheena Moore

Just as we finally began wondering when the commodity bubble would burst, some troubling signs in the precious metals market namely silver and gold are pointing to potentially big selloffs in other industrial metal and non-metal commodities. Reuters reported that silver suffered its biggest one-day drop in 29 months on Monday, down to $42.58 an ounce, and gold also slipped from its high perch. But yesterday, silver tumbled even further. The metal finished down $3.50, or 7.6 percent. That means it lost more than 12 percent over two days, according to the Wall Street Journal. Sell orders began spreading through the Asian market. ETF holdings of silver have also dropped almost 4 million ounces last week, Reuters said. Ultimately, could this isolated drop be a harbinger of a more commodity-wide tumble?

Let’s take silver first, for instance. The drop basically can be attributed to three things: inflation, interest rates, and by extension, the strength of the US dollar. The Wall Street Journal reported that George Soros’ investment firm, which has been buying up silver and gold over the past couple of years, has begun selling more quickly due to less concern over deflation now that the threat seems minimized, those metals are not as valuable to hold. Most of the rest of the crowd buys as a hedge against inflation, which many, including Alan Fournier of Pennant Capital and Keith Anderson, who runs Soros’ firm, seem less afraid of these days. That’s mainly because the US Federal Reserve, they think, will imminently raise their interest rates, making the US dollar pricier and lessening the inflation threat.

Others are not so optimistic as far as the dollar’s concerned. “The U.S. dollar is significant in the price development of the precious metals,” said Quantitative Commodity Research analyst Peter Fertig to Reuters. “With the divergence of monetary policy in the U.S. and the euro zone in particular, I expect the dollar is going to weaken further in the medium term,” he said.

Rhiannon Hoyle, writing in another Journal piece, says that the sell-off has been “largely attributed to a hike in trading deposit requirements, or margins, by CME Group Inc, which operates the New York Mercantile Exchange and took action on speculative trade precisely because of the volatility. Essentially, it’s costing a lot of money in collateral (at least $16,200) to trade silver futures contracts; just one contract runs $212,880, according to the WSJ.

From this, Hoyle also brings up a very important point: the trading of silver is not acting upon the fundamentals. Hoyle writes that there is a surplus of silver, and that speculative activity has singlehandedly accounted for the highest prices we’ve ever seen. With all the drivers out there sovereign debt in Europe and political uncertainty in the Middle East, as just two examples the implicit point could be that we haven’t looked beyond traders making bets on where world economies and their currencies will go.

For industrial silver buyers, of course, the lower prices could be a good thing (even though overall volume of silver usage cannot really compare with other industrial metals); however, the price drop may portend more trouble for those in other metal industries.

Copper, for example, has been suffering a bit as well, but for industrial demand and supply reasons rather than investment demand. China’s PMI has fallen overall in April, according to Reuters, even though the property sector index indicated growth for the seventh straight month. The copper price stood at $9194.75 per ton on Tuesday, its lowest since mid-March, and hit a seven-week low on Wednesday at $9,155 a ton.

Even oil has taken a hit. Light sweet crude futures (June delivery) settled down 2.2 percent, to $111.05 a barrel on the NYMEX, while Brent crude fell 2.1 percent to settle at $122.45 a barrel. Several analysts attributed this drop directly to the fall in silver. “When I saw silver just plummet toward the end of the day, I knew we were going to follow it,” said Raymond Carbone, president of oil brokerage Paramount Options, in a WSJ article. Peter Donovan, vice president at Vantage Trading in New York, agreed. “It’s almost like this silver [market] has turned into a little bit of an indicator for some guys,” he was quoted as saying.

Overall, big banks and analysts (UBS, Barclays, etc.) are generally either neutral or bullish on the precious metal sector, especially silver and gold, because the pressing macro issues like debt imbalances and civil strife are not going away anytime soon. Stepping back to look at the big picture, we also don’t expect overly huge corrections for silver for the rest of 2011 as long as gold keeps rising.

–Taras Berezowsky

We know that 2011 began with a rocky start the Middle East uprisings in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya turned the status quo upside down, the sovereign debt of European nations such as Portugal, Ireland and Greece continues to stoke concerns, and the Japanese earthquake and tsunami in early March caused immense devastation and spawned global supply chain havoc, not to mention the huge debates on the future of nuclear energy

So where will the year go for specific metals? We took a survey of stories by metal to try and figure out what’s important and why:

Aluminum: Output’s up in China and US while prices stay afloat

According to Reuters, China’s daily aluminum production was up 12 percent in February compared to the year before. An official of the China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association also said earlier in March that China will continue to see an aluminum surplus in the next five years production will likely rise 24 percent in 2011 to 25 million tons. Meanwhile, the Aluminum Association reported that US production rose 10.5 percent last month compared to March of last year, and was up 4.8 percent from February’s annual production rate.

Why this is important: Although output looks to continue rising, prices should remain steady or even increase — because of Middle East concerns and worries about power supply in China. (Prices were up to $2720 by April 11, the highest since August 2008.)

Copper: Will China’s demand pullback affect Dr. Copper?

Key developments in the copper world over the last month or so included a number of moves by BHP Billiton (approving a $554 million investment at the world’s No. 1 copper mine in Chile to improve access to better ore grades, and intending to expand Australia’s Olympic Dam mine), according to Reuters.

Why this is important: The International Copper Study Group (ICSG) said at the end of March that “annual copper mine production capacity is expected to reach 24.1 million tons in 2014, rising at an average rate of 4.9 percent a year in the 2011 to 2014 period. So even though the short term demand in China looks uncertain, there is plenty of room for growth in the years to come. Prices should continue to be strong.

Steel: Apparent demand on the up and up

The World Steel Association is rather bullish on global steel demand in the next few years. According to Xinhua, the association says a record demand of 1.4 billion tons will hit in 2012, and its short-range outlook indicated increases in steel use by around 6 percent for both this year and next.

Why this is important: Steel prices may continue their upward momentum after down years after the crash in 2008, especially if the US housing market improves to augment Chinese consumption of the metal.

Gold: $1500 bucks an ounce??

Yep, the benchmark is here.

Why this is important: Stock markets are down all over the world, and S&P just downgraded the US’ debt rating, pushing gold higher if anything, gold’s activity serves as the counterpoint to where industrial commodities could be going. (It may not be pretty, but at least it may be able to tell us something.)

And finally, Silver: Quote of the Week

Perhaps just as astounding as gold’s rise is silver’s meteoric increase. At the CME Group Gold and Silver Dinner, Guy Adami, well known as the original Fast Money Five on CNBC, made it known that anyone betting against gold or silver in this extremely bullish market would lose out big time. He started off his keynote with this: “Anyone who is short silver is going to get their face ripped off.

Why this is important: Silver futures are trading at higher numbers (pushing 81,000 contracts the other day) than ever before, causing quite a stir in the investment community. Also, we must look to inflation control measures to see where metals positions may end up.

–Taras Berezowsky

Following our two-part article on the price of oil and the consequences for global growth posted April 12, it was interesting to see a Reuters article that reported Goldman Sachs’ recommendation to clients to exit oil positions. Specifically, Goldman Sachs warned clients on Monday to lock-in trading profits before oil and other markets reverse, with the bank’s estimates suggesting speculators are boosting crude prices as much as $27 a barrel. Oil prices promptly dropped 3 percent as speculators anticipated Goldman’s clients would liquidate positions. Goldman’s advice came after US oil futures have risen some 20 percent this year and the bank was advising clients they should close their CCCP basket positions, taking profits on a trade that has returned 25 percent since first recommended in December. The Goldman “CCCP basket” trade encompassed a basket of commodities weighted 40 percent toward U.S. crude oil, 20 percent toward copper and 20 percent toward the S&P GSCI platinum index, with 10 percent in both cotton and soybeans.

Since the CCCP basket covers certain specific metals, oil and agricultural commodities, it can’t necessarily be taken as a call that all commodities have peaked, but a closer examination of Goldman’s advice on the leading constituents suggests the bank expects all metals to be impacted by what it sees as a short-term correction in the long-run bull market. Quoted in the Telegraph, Jeffrey Currie, head of the banks commodities team, said with reference to the oil price, “Not only are there now nascent signs of oil demand destruction in the US, but also record speculative length in the oil market, elections in Nigeria and a potential ceasefire in Libya that has begun to offset some of the upside risk owing to contagion, leaving price risk more neutral at current levels. According to Reuters, Goldman estimated in a research note on March 21 that every million barrels of oil held by speculators contributed to an 8-to-10-cent rise in the oil price. As unrest spread in North Africa and the Middle East, investors accumulated the equivalent of almost 100 million barrels of oil between mid-February and late March on top of their existing positions, confirming our Monday article view that this was adding approximately $10 to the ‘risk premium.’

Source: Reuters

The article went on to say the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission had advised hedge funds and other financial traders to hold total net-long positions in U.S. crude contracts equivalent to a near-record 267.5 million barrels, as the above Reuters graph illustrates. According to the bank, that indicates the total speculative premium in U.S. crude oil is currently between $21.40 and $26.75 a barrel, or about a fifth of the price.

The bank believes there is still near-term upside in soybeans, but it noted that copper and platinum prices faced “headwinds,” not just because high prices were cutting demand for the metals, but also that they were exposed to supply chain problems resulting from the earthquakes in Japan. This is particularly the case for platinum, given its large exposure to global automobile production. Goldman Sachs was quite specific about other commodities, saying they recommend clients hold positions in ICE gas, oil, gold and — confusingly — soybeans. Of the five items in the basket, only soybeans justifies holding onto, in the bank’s opinion.

No mention is made of the prospects for aluminum, zinc, nickel, lead or tin as these aren’t in the CCCP. The case against copper and platinum is fairly specific in each case; copper due to substitution and platinum due to automotive demand in Japan. Arguably the same could therefore be said of tin consumption in electronics, Japan’s other major industrial output, but the figures don’t suggest that electronics globally have been sufficiently impacted to dent tin consumption, added to which the supply market is going to remain tight for the foreseeable future, supporting prices. Lead, however, has been riding at least in part on the back of strong automotive growth and could arguably be impacted, as could zinc, used in galvanizing car bodies, although demand from other sectors outweighs automotive. Neither metal, though, has enjoyed a strong speculative element to its price position. Aluminum is probably the most exposed to a drop in the oil price. The metal has been a power hedge rising as the oil price has risen due to the high energy content in the primary smelting process. Of all the other metals outside of the CCCP, we could see the greatest likelihood of corrections to the aluminum price if the speculative energy premium the metal has enjoyed of late is removed.

Goldman Sachs has many detractors and critics in the market, although notably not among its investors, who tend to do well by its advice. Love them or hate them, you have to admit in the pursuit of profit they are second to none, and whether their advice to clients proves correct because of prescience or simply because it becomes self-fulfilling is of less importance than buyers taking note of the advice.

–Stuart Burns

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