Saturday, January 11, 2020

A 2020 commodity review

Preface: Explaining our market timing models
We maintain several market timing models, each with differing time horizons. The "Ultimate Market Timing Model" is a long-term market timing model based on the research outlined in our post, Building the ultimate market timing model. This model tends to generate only a handful of signals each decade.

The Trend Asset Allocation Model is an asset allocation model which applies trend following principles based on the inputs of global stock and commodity price. This model has a shorter time horizon and tends to turn over about 4-6 times a year. In essence, it seeks to answer the question, "Is the trend in the global economy expansion (bullish) or contraction (bearish)?"

My inner trader uses a trading model, which is a blend of price momentum (is the Trend Model becoming more bullish, or bearish?) and overbought/oversold extremes (don't buy if the trend is overbought, and vice versa). Subscribers receive real-time alerts of model changes, and a hypothetical trading record of the those email alerts are updated weekly here. The hypothetical trading record of the trading model of the real-time alerts that began in March 2016 is shown below.

The latest signals of each model are as follows:
  • Ultimate market timing model: Buy equities*
  • Trend Model signal: Bullish*
  • Trading model: Bullish*
* The performance chart and model readings have been delayed by a week out of respect to our paying subscribers.

Update schedule: I generally update model readings on my site on weekends and tweet mid-week observations at @humblestudent. Subscribers receive real-time alerts of trading model changes, and a hypothetical trading record of the those email alerts is shown here.

A commodity bull market ahead?
It is time for a commodity review, which is timely for two reasons. First, gold bulls got excited when prices had broken out of a multi-year base last summer. They then paused and traced out a bull flag. Gold then staged an upside breakout out of the bull flag, and rose to test resistance as geopolitical tensions spiked. More importantly, the inflation expectations ETF (RINF) staged an upside breakout out of a downtrend.

The second reason is China, which has been a strong source of demand for commodities. Bloomberg reported that the market is getting excited about the prospect of a Phase One trade deal and a rebound in Chinese growth.
Investors are snapping up Chinese financial assets, encouraged by progress on trade and signs that the world’s second-largest economy may be stabilizing.

Improving confidence helped stoke a 0.5% rally in the yuan Tuesday, pushing it to its strongest level since early August. The currency punched past the key 6.95-per-dollar level, and traded on the strong side of its 200-day moving average for the first time since May. The CSI 300 Index of stocks closed at an almost two-year high as volume jumped.

The return of risk appetite in China comes amid growing optimism that Beijing and Washington may sign an initial deal on trade as soon as next week. Momentum is also improving in China’s economy, with recent data showing a recovery in the nation’s manufacturing sector continued in December.

“Risk sentiment is strong onshore,” said Tommy Xie, an economist at Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. “There are signs of bottoming out in the economy and a more flexible monetary policy.”
Indeed, the offshore yuan has been steadily strengthening as news that a Chinese delegation is expected to visit Washington January 13-15 to sign the trade deal.

Is it time to turn bullish on gold, and commodities?

The full post can be found here.

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