Commodities & Metals

Gold and Silver Both Became Devil's Metals in May, Value in Miners?

Gold and silver investors are probably glad to see the month of May come to an end. The drop in the price of gold and in the price of silver continues and the metals are now officially in bear market territory. Gold finished down about 6% in May alone, compared to a loss of more than 8% for silver. A downward move on the last day of the month may have been consistent with month-end transactions, but the SPDR Gold Shares (NYSE: GLD) closed down 2% at $133.91 and the iShares Silver Trust (NYSE: SLV) closed down almost 2.5% at $21.44 on the last day of the month.

Gold is now down almost 18% in ETF terms so far in 2013. To prove that silver lives up to the name the Devil’s Metal we have silver down about 27% in ETF terms so far in 2013. Kitco’s late-day pricing showed gold at about $1,388 per ounce and silver at $22.24 per ounce.

By now, any sensible investor will likely admit that trying to call an absolute top or an absolute bottom in any of the metals market is a fool’s game. That being said, 24/7 Wall St. wrote this week about the value that is starting to develop in the gold mining sector. We have seen that the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (NYSE: GDX) fell by almost 2% to $29.50 on Friday alone, but this was down “only” by about 3% in the month of May. On a longer-term basis the GDX is down over 36% so far in 2013 and is down over 46% from its 52-week high of $55.25.

gold 10 year


Again, there is no need to try to call a bottom in metals, nor in mining. If you look at the chart we ran earlier this last week (see below, from Yahoo! Finance) you will see that the miners have basically ignored the move in gold on a relative basis. At least that was the case for the upside, but the downside has been far worse. Many mining stocks are trading at levels not seen since shortly after the worst part of the trading in 2008 and 2009.

We would also go back to another period for some analysis in case things get really bad for the gold bugs. Gold fought the $1,000 hurdle throughout 2008 and 2009 before finally breaking out to the upside. We have not seen many calls for the $1,000 mark to be tested on the downside, but the metals markets can be crazy and every trader knows that markets overshoot on the way up and on the way down.

The 10-year gold chart from Kitco does not offer any great hopes for gold bugs. There may not even be any real hard support down to $1250 or even a bit lower.

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