Miners Sector 2015 Forecast :Dumping Assets At Fire-sale Prices

Senior mining companies are still holding many unnecessary and troubled assets on their books. So it would not be a surprise to see a few more dirt-cheap deals in 2015.

Scott Douglas/Riversdale Mining Ltd.Senior mining companies are still holding many unnecessary and troubled assets .

The junior mining sector is in such brutal shape right now that most companies are unwilling to even pay for booths at conferences that are geared to them.

 

Mr. Dethlefsen’s firm, Corsa Coal Corp., was approached this year about buying coal assets in Pennsylvania from Russian steel giant OAO Severstal, which was bailing out of the United States.

Severstal had bought these operations for $900 million in 2008, when steelmaking coal prices were hitting all-time highs. Mr. Dethlefsen would not pay anything close to that in today’s awful coal market, but he didn’t have to. Corsa bought the operations for a grand total of US$60 million, or less than 8% of what Severstal paid.

“It’s a tough market. We have our work cut out for us with this business and it’s not going to be easy,” said Mr. Dethlefsen, Corsa’s chief executive.

“But we’d rather start by paying US$60 million than US$500 million.”

Indeed. It used to be that when mining companies put assets up for auction, they wouldn’t actually sell them unless they got a very full price. That could be because their commodity price assumptions were too optimistic, or they were just too attached to them and convinced they could extract more value. Dozens of interesting projects were put up for auction in recent years and never changed hands because sellers demanded too much money.

We have our work cut out for us with this business and it’s not going to be easy

That changed in 2014, especially at the low end. This will go down as the year when miners were happy to dump their troubled assets. They just wanted to get them off the books and make them someone else’s problem.

The Corsa-Severstal deal was one such example. Rio Tinto Ltd., another, sold coal assets in Mozambique for US$50 million, just three years after paying US$3.7 billion for them. Kinross Gold Corp. dumped Fruta del Norte, possibly the world’s richest undeveloped gold project, for US$240 million, or less than a quarter of what it paid six years ago.

A Billion Dollar Loss – and more of these stories to be written in 2015

And then there was the unfortunate tale of Alberta coal miner Grande Cache Coal Corp. A pair of Asian commodity traders (Marubeni Corp. and Winsway Enterprises Holdings) paid $1 billion for the company in 2011. But coal prices turned dramatically against them. So in October, they agreed to sell their Grand Cache stakes for a buck. Each.

These fire-sale prices generated some laughs across the industry. Yet the deals have an undeniable logic in the current volatile market conditions.

Handout/Grande Cache Coal

Handout/Grande Cache CoalA pair of Asian commodity traders (Marubeni Corp. and Winsway Enterprises Holdings) paid $1 billion for Grande Cache Coal in 2011. But coal prices turned dramatically against them. So in October, they agreed to sell their Grand Cache stakes for a buck. Each.

During the mining bull market (roughly 2002 to 2011), the industry was undergoing massive consolidation as miners rode the wave of rising metal prices. Senior mining companies like Rio Tinto and Vale SA snapped up almost everything in sight, piling up a lot of debt and unnecessary assets in the process. As long as commodity prices were high, who cared? They were just happy to get bigger.

It took a steep drop in prices — and an embarrassing wave of writedowns — to force them to reconsider their strategy. They realized too much management time was being wasted on non-core assets that deliver minimal or no return. They also recognized that low commodity prices may last for a while and that they needed to shed these assets to get as lean as possible.

It has helped that almost every major mining company replaced its CEO over the last couple of years. These guys have no emotional attachment to the assets their predecessors overpaid for, and are happy to do whatever it takes to get value out of them.

“Everyone is looking at rationalizing their portfolios to their best core assets,” said Melanie Shishler, a partner and mining specialist at Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP. “In furtherance of that, I think people are being quite unrelenting in what they’re prepared to do to reach that goal.”

And there was nothing CEOs wanted to divest more than their problem assets. These assets were unloaded for bargain-basement prices after they backfired in spectacular ways.

For Severstal, it was a combination of a deteriorating coal market and Vladimir Putin. When Severstal bought the U.S. assets in 2008, coking coal prices were soaring above US$300 a tonne. Supply was so tight that steelmakers were terrified they would not be able to source product, so they started snapping up coal mining operations.

Today, that strategy seems absurd. Benchmark prices have plunged to US$117 a tonne, due to soaring supply and uncertain Chinese demand. Steelmakers no longer see any need to be vertically integrated.

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Kinross – Poster Child For Mining Sector Errors

For Toronto-based Kinross, the central issue was also politics. The problem with the Fruta del Norte (FDN) project is that it is in Ecuador, a country with no history of large-scale gold mining. Kinross paid $1.2 billion for FDN in 2008 even though Ecuador did not have a firm mining law at the time. It was a reckless gamble, and it backfired after the government demanded outrageous windfall profits taxes. (Kinross owns equity in FDN’s new owner, so it could still benefit if the mine is built.)

Rio Tinto fell victim to a lack of good due diligence. It paid billions for the Mozambique coal assets without having a firm transportation plan in place. The transportation constraints were far bigger than anticipated, making the coal assets almost worthless in Rio’s eyes.

Handout/Kinross

Handout/KinrossKinross paid $1.2 billion for the Fruta del Norte mine in 2008 even though Ecuador did not have a firm mining law at the time. It was a reckless gamble, and it backfired after the government demanded outrageous windfall profits taxes.

 

In the two-dollar Grande Cache deal, the Asian sellers decided the assets definitely worthless to them at these prices. Experts said the sellers were facing potential cash outflows in the short term, something they clearly wanted to avoid.

Senior mining companies are still holding many unnecessary and troubled assets on their books. So it would not be a surprise to see a few more dirt-cheap deals in 2015.

One notable thing about these transactions is they usually involved a large company selling to a very small one. Sometimes it takes a small company to give a problem asset the attention it needs to create value. If they can’t get the assets turned around, then these deals are not such a great bargain.

“I’ve always said one company’s non-core asset is the cornerstone asset of another one,” said Jack A. Bass, managing partner at Jack A. Bass and Associates.

That is certainly the case with Corsa, which transformed into a serious player overnight with the Severstal deal. But now that the excitement has worn off, the company has to prove it can generate actual value out of these operations in a miserable coal market. If Corsa pulls that off and prices rebound, it could turn out to be one of the best mining deals in decades.

“We took the opportunity to come in and buy at what we think is the trough,” Mr. Dethlefsen said.

“To do that, you’ve got to have a pretty strong stomach. Over the next 12 months, it’s going to be a knife fight.”

You Have Options:

What To Do ?

Here is our recent letter:

Managed Accounts Year End Review and Forecast

November 2014 – 40 % cash position
Gold and Precious MetalsThe largest gains for our clients came from the exit from the gold producers at $18oo an ounce and continuing until we hold no gold and no gold miners . This from the author of The Gold Investors Handbook.2015 – We continue to be on the sidelines for this sector – regardless of the gnomes of Switzerland . As a safe haven gold simply wasnot there for investors despite turmoil in the Middle East, Africa and Ukraine.How much more frightening can the prospect for peace be than to have wars in multiple locations? Secondly the spectre of inflation – on which I have given numerous talks – simply failed to materialize. In fact economists and portfolio managers such as myself are now more concerned about deflation – and the spectre is a Japanese style decades long slide in the world economy.
Shipping Sector / Bulk ShippersYou can review our stock market letter athttp://www.amp2012.com to follow our profits in the shipping sector before our retreat as overcapacity has yet to effect continued overbuiding. In 2008-9 rates-  illustrated by the Baltic Dry Index – were at their peak. The BDI hit over 10,000. Today it is roughly 10 % of that benchmark and the sector slide continues. We have an impressive watchlist of former ” darlings” – but we are content to watch and wait.
Oil/ Energy I am very happy for the call in natural gas prices – out at $12 and into oil. When oil was above $100 we lessened positions and that is our saving grace in the past two weeks. We are not bottom feeders and will wait for a turn in the market before reentering drillers or producers.On Friday November 27th, crude oil prices dropped to below $72 and the slide has continued into the weekend, with Brent crude oil at $70.15 as I write this post. Shares of major oil companies traded down on Friday. Our former energy sector holdings are down another between 4% and 11%, including SDRL, which dropped another 8% following Wednesday’s 23% plunge…

Have you avoided these sectors – you would have been better off to follow our advice in 2014 and now you have to decide for 2015.
No one – and I am not being humble here – can project the future with great accuracy but our clients continue to do very well and we offer that experience to you.

Fees : 1 % annual set up and a performance bonus of 20 % – only if we perform.

You can withdraw your funds monthly if you require an income stream.

Alternate Guaranteed Income Payments

Private client funds Minimum $10,000 Maximum Loan $500,000

Our client is seeking funds to expand their tanker fleet .

Interest 12 % compounded – paid 1% per month

Floating charge of the full $500,000 against the fleet – valued at  more than $ 1 M

 

Contact information:

To learn more about portfolio management ,asset protection, trusts ,offshore company formation and structure for your business interests (at no cost or obligation)

Email

jackabass@gmail.com OR

info@jackbassteam.com  OR

Call Jack direct at 604-858-3202

10:00 – 4:00 Monday to Friday Pacific Time ( same time zone as Los Angeles).

Similar to wise buying decisions, exiting certain underperformers at the right time helps maximize portfolio returns. Selling off losers can be difficult, but if both the share price and estimates are falling, it could be time to get rid of the security before more losses hit your portfolio.

Tax website  Http://www.youroffshoremoney.com

2014 Commodity Review – Record Losing Run

Oil Set for Biggest Slump Since 2008 as OPEC Battles U.S. Shale


Photographer: Ty Wright/Bloomberg

Rig hands work at a Knox Energy Inc. oil drilling site in Knox County, Ohio, U.S. OPEC… Read More

Oil headed for the biggest annual decline since the 2008 global financial crisis as U.S. producers and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries cede no ground in their battle for market share amid a supply glut.

Futures slid as much as 1.1 percent in New York, bringing losses for 2014 to 46 percent. U.S. guidelines allowing overseas sales of ultralight oil without government approval may boost the country’s export capacity and “throw a monkey wrench” intoSaudi Arabia’s plan to curb American output, according to Citigroup Inc. U.S.crude inventories are forecast to rise to the highest level for this time of the year in three decades.

Oil’s slump has roiled markets from the Russian ruble to the Nigerian naira and squeezed government budgets in producing nations including Venezuela and Ecuador. It’s also boosted China’s emergency crude reserves and helped shrink fuel subsidies in India and Indonesia. OPEC has signaled it won’t cut supply to influence prices, instead preferring to defend market share amid an unprecedented U.S. shale boom.

“For this year, the biggest factor driving down oil prices was U.S. shale production followed by a price war,” Hong Sung Ki, a commodities analyst at Samsung Futures Inc. in Seoul, said by phone today. “The possibility of U.S. curbing output will be the only booster but nothing has been done, so we’re seeing a continuation of the price decline.”

West Texas Intermediate for February delivery dropped as much as 57 cents to $53.55 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $53.75 at 12:04 p.m. Singapore time. The contract climbed 51 cents to $54.12 yesterday, gaining for the first time in four days. Total volume was about 68 percent below the 100-day average.

U.S. Condensate

Brent for February settlement fell as much as 72 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $57.18 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. Prices have decreased 48 percent this year. The European benchmark crude traded at a premium of $3.62 to WTI, compared with $12.38 at the end of last year.

President Barack Obama’s administration opened the door for expanded oil exports by clarifying that a lightly processed form of crude known as condensate can be sold outside the U.S.

The publication of guidelines by the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security is the first public explanation of steps companies can take to avoid violating export laws. It doesn’t end the ban on most crude exports, which Congress adopted in 1975 in response to the Arab oil embargo.

“While government officials have gone out of their way to indicate there is no change in policy, in practice this long-awaited move can open up the floodgates to substantial increases in exports by end-2015,” Citigroup analysts led by Ed Morse in New York said in an e-mailed report.

Shale Oil

The U.S. oil boom has been driven by a combination of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, which has unlocked supplies from shale formations including the Eagle Ford and Permian in Texas and the Bakken in North Dakota. Production accelerated to 9.14 million barrels a day through Dec. 12, the fastest rate in weekly data that started in January 1983, according to the Energy Information Administration.

Crude stockpiles probably expanded by 900,000 barrels to 387.9 million in the week ended Dec. 26, based on the median estimate of nine analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News before today’s report from the Energy Department’s statistical arm.

“What we’re seeing is that supplies from North America have really outpaced worldwide demand growth and as a result, we have a supply glut,” Andy Lipow, the president of Lipow Oil Associates LLC in Houston, said by phone. “And that of course has put pressure on prices over the last several months.”

OPEC Policy

Global markets are oversupplied by 2 million barrels a day, according to Qatar’s Energy Minister Mohammed Al Sada. Saudi Arabia, which is leading OPEC to resist production cuts, has said it’s confident that prices will rebound as global economic growth boosts demand.

OPEC, which pumps about 40 percent of the world’s oil, decided to maintain its output quota at 30 million barrels a day at a Nov. 27 meeting in Vienna, ignoring calls for supply reductions to support the market. The 12-member group produced 30.56 million a day in November, exceeding its collective target for a sixth straight month, a separate Bloomberg survey of companies, producers and analysts shows.

Saudi Arabia this month offered the widest discounts in more than 10 years to sell crude to Asia, a move followed by Iraq, Kuwait and Iran. That prompted speculation that Middle East producers are protecting market share amid increased shipments from Latin America, North Africa and Russia.

Economic Fallout

Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro vowed an economic “counter-offensive” to steer the OPEC member out of recession as it struggled with the world’s fastest inflation. Ecuador, which relies on crude for about a third of its revenue, may cut next year’s budget by as much as $1.5 billion and seek additional financing if prices don’t stabilize, the Finance Ministry has said.

Oil’s collapse has also threatened to push Russia, the world’s second-largest crude exporter, into recession as its currency headed for its steepest annual slide since 1998. The economy, which relies on crude sales for almost half its budget, may shrink as much as 4.7 percent next year if oil averages $60 a barrel, according to the central bank. Russia must adapt to the reality of prices that could drop to as low as $40, President Vladimir Putin said on Dec. 18.

In China, a factory gauge for December fell to a seven-month low today, adding to signs of slowing growth in the world’s second-biggest oil consumer. The Purchasing Managers’ Index from HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics was at 49.6, down from 50 in November, indicating a contraction.

The Asian nation will account for about 11 percent of global demand in 2015, compared with 21 percent for the U.S., projections from the International Energy Agency in Paris show.

Commodities Head for Record Losing Run on Oil’s Rout, Dollar

The Bloomberg Commodity Index (BCOM), which tracks 22 products from crude to copper, traded at 106.0552 points at 11:45 a.m. in Singapore from 106.1031 yesterday. It’s lost 16 percent this year, with crude, gasoline and heating oil as the biggest decliners. The gauge fell to 105.7551 yesterday, the lowest level since March 2009, and a fourth year of losses would be the longest since at least 1991. A breach of 101.9986 in 2015 would bring the measure to its lowest since 2002.

Energy prices collapsed in 2014 as a jump in U.S. drilling sparked a surge in output and price war with OPEC, which chose to maintain supplies to try to retain market share. The dollar climbed to the highest level in more than five years as a U.S. recovery spurred speculation that the Federal Reserve will start to raise borrowing costs next year. Commodities are set for a volatile year in 2015, with crude oil poised to extend its slump, according to Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd.

“What we’re seeing is that supplies from North America have really outpaced worldwide demand growth and as a result, we have a supply glut,” Andy Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates LLC in Houston, said by phone. “And that of course has put pressure on prices over the last several months. And as a result, it’s dragging down commodities indexes as well.”

Brent Slumps

Brent for February settlement traded at $57.48 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange, with front-month prices 48 percent lower this year. West Texas Intermediate dropped 0.6 percent to $53.81 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gasoline sank 44 percent this year.

A slowdown in China also hurt demand for raw materials as policy makers grappled with a property slowdown, and data today showed a factory gauge at a seven-month low in December. The world’s biggest user of metals is headed for its slowest full-year economic expansion since 1990. China’s central bank cut interest rates last month for the first time since 2012.

Coffee was the biggest gainer this year as the worst drought in decades eroded supplies in Brazil, the largest producer and exporter. Nickel rose the most among metals, gaining 9 percent to $15,149 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange after Indonesia halted ore exports. Both commodities rose in the early months of 2014, before dropping this quarter.

Oil Outlook

While most commodities looked oversold as the New Year neared, weak near-term fundamentals were unlikely to bring much confidence, ANZ analysts including Mark Pervan said in a report dated Dec. 22. An oversupplied market was likely to keep crude oil prices under pressure, they wrote.

Deutsche Bank AG this month cut its 2015 forecast for Brent to $72.50, down from an October prediction for an average of $88.75. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. expects Brent to average $80 to $85 a barrel in 2015, while WTI may trade at $70 to $75.

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index, which tracks the U.S. currency against major peers, advanced 10.6 percent in 2014 amid speculation the Fed may raise interest rates in the third quarter as the world’s biggest economy improves. The greenback strengthened against all of its 31 major peers this year.

You Have Options:

What To Do ?

Here is our recent letter:

Managed Accounts Year End Review and Forecast

November 2014 – 40 % cash position
Gold and Precious MetalsThe largest gains for our clients came from the exit from the gold producers at $18oo an ounce and continuing until we hold no gold and no gold miners . This from the author of The Gold Investors Handbook.2015 – We continue to be on the sidelines for this sector – regardless of the gnomes of Switzerland . As a safe haven gold simply wasnot there for investors despite turmoil in the Middle East, Africa and Ukraine.How much more frightening can the prospect for peace be than to have wars in multiple locations? Secondly the spectre of inflation – on which I have given numerous talks – simply failed to materialize. In fact economists and portfolio managers such as myself are now more concerned about deflation – and the spectre is a Japanese style decades long slide in the world economy.
Shipping Sector / Bulk ShippersYou can review our stock market letter athttp://www.amp2012.com to follow our profits in the shipping sector before our retreat as overcapacity has yet to effect continued overbuiding. In 2008-9 rates-  illustrated by the Baltic Dry Index – were at their peak. The BDI hit over 10,000. Today it is roughly 10 % of that benchmark and the sector slide continues. We have an impressive watchlist of former ” darlings” – but we are content to watch and wait.
Oil/ Energy I am very happy for the call in natural gas prices – out at $12 and into oil. When oil was above $100 we lessened positions and that is our saving grace in the past two weeks. We are not bottom feeders and will wait for a turn in the market before reentering drillers or producers.On Friday November 27th, crude oil prices dropped to below $72 and the slide has continued into the weekend, with Brent crude oil at $70.15 as I write this post. Shares of major oil companies traded down on Friday. Our former energy sector holdings are down another between 4% and 11%, including SDRL, which dropped another 8% following Wednesday’s 23% plunge…

Have you avoided these sectors – you would have been better off to follow our advice in 2014 and now you have to decide for 2015.
No one – and I am not being humble here – can project the future with great accuracy but our clients continue to do very well and we offer that experience to you.

Fees : 1 % annual set up and a performance bonus of 20 % – only if we perform.

You can withdraw your funds monthly if you require an income stream.

Alternate Guaranteed Income Payments

Private client funds Minimum $10,000 Maximum Loan $500,000

Our client is seeking funds to expand their tanker fleet .

Interest 12 % compounded – paid 1% per month

Floating charge of the full $500,000 against the fleet – valued at  more than $ 1 M

 

Contact information:

To learn more about portfolio management ,asset protection, trusts ,offshore company formation and structure for your business interests (at no cost or obligation)

Email

jackabass@gmail.com OR

info@jackbassteam.com  OR

Call Jack direct at 604-858-3202

10:00 – 4:00 Monday to Friday Pacific Time ( same time zone as Los Angeles).

Similar to wise buying decisions, exiting certain underperformers at the right time helps maximize portfolio returns. Selling off losers can be difficult, but if both the share price and estimates are falling, it could be time to get rid of the security before more losses hit your portfolio.

Tax website  Http://www.youroffshoremoney.com

Get Out Of Gold Part 2

Cheap Oil Is Dragging Down the Price of Gold


Photographer: Carla Gottgens/Bloomberg

Bars of 10-ounce gold are arranged for a photograph

Gold, the ultimate inflation hedge, isn’t much use to investors these days.

Oil is in a bear-market freefall that began in June, spearheading the longest commodity slump in at least a generation. The collapse means that instead of the surge in consumer prices that gold buyers have been expecting for much of the past decade, the U.S. is “disinflating,” according to Bill Gross, who used to run the world’s biggest bond fund.

A gauge of inflation expectations that closely tracks gold is headed for the biggest annual drop since the recession in 2008. While bullion rebounded from a four-year low last month, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Societe Generale SA reiterated their bearish outlooks for prices. The metal’s appeal as an alternative asset is fading as the dollar and U.S. equities rally, and as the Federal Reserve moves closer to raising interest rates to keep the economy from overheating.

“Forget inflation — all of the talk now is about deflation,” Peter Jankovskis, who helps oversee $1.9 billion as co-chief investment officer of Lisle, Illinois-based OakBrook Investments LLC., said Dec. 16. “Obviously, oil prices dropping are adding to deflationary pressures. We may see a rate rise next year, and we could see gold come under pressure as the dollar continues to move higher.”

Even though there’s been little to no inflation over the past six years, investors have been expecting an acceleration after the Fed cut interest rates to zero percent in 2008 to revive growth. Those expectations, tracked by the five-year Treasury break-even rate, helped fuel gold demand and prices, which surged to a record $1,923.70 an ounce in 2011.

Eroding Appeal

Now, inflation prospects are crumbling, undermining a key reason for owning the precious metal.

Crude-oil futures in New York have tumbled 44 percent this year, dropping below $54 a barrel last week, as global output surged. The five-year break-even rate is down 33 percent this year, the most since 2008. In November, the cost of living fell 0.3 percent, the most since December 2008, government data show, and economists surveyed by Bloomberg predict the annual gain in consumer prices will slow in 2015 to 1.5 percent from an estimated 1.7 percent this year.

Cheaper energy means there are no signs that inflation is approaching the Fed’s 2 percent target, Gross, who used to run the world’s largest bond fund at Pacific Investment Management Co. before joining Janus Capital Group Inc. in September, said Dec. 12 in a Bloomberg Surveillance interview with Tom Keene.

Shunning Gold

Investor holdings in exchange-traded funds backed by gold last week were the lowest since 2009, and $7.68 billion has been wiped from the value of the funds in 2014, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Open interest in New York futures and options dropped 5.3 percent this year, set for a second annual loss and the longest slump since 2005, U.S. government data show.

After rebounding 4.4 percent from a four-year low in early November, prices will average $1,175 next quarter, below the Dec. 22 close of $1,179.80, according to the median of 31 analysts tracked by Bloomberg. Goldman forecasts a drop to $1,050 by next December, while SocGen expects $950 in 2015’s fourth quarter.

Since touching a six-week high on Dec. 9, futures fell 4.9 percent to $1,178.20 on the Comex in New York today, heading for a second straight annual decline, down 2 percent. The Bloomberg Commodity Index dropped 15 percent this year, while the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index climbed 11 percent. The Standard & Poor’s 500 equity index is up 12 percent, after touching a record high Dec. 5.

Rebound Bets

Speculators haven’t given up on gold. Money managers remain bullish, increasing their net-long position to 103,738 futures and option contracts as of Dec. 16, more than doubling bets since early November, according to U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data.

Signs that central banks in China, Europe and Japan will add to stimulus efforts have increased speculation that global inflation could rise, even as U.S. consumer costs stay stable. While dollar-denominated gold is down this year, bullion is up 12 percent priced in yen and 9.6 percent in euros.

“It’s confounding that inflation is not rampant on a worldwide basis, based on the amount of liquidity that has been pumped into the system,” Michael Mullaney, chief investment officer of Fiduciary Trust Co. in Boston, which oversees $11.5 billion, said Dec. 16. “We are not there yet, but once this starts to percolate, we will see headlines on inflationary pressures” that can support gold prices, he said.

Rally Ends

Gold climbed 70 percent from December 2008 to June 2011 as the U.S. central bank bought debt and held borrowing costs at a record low. Prices slumped 28 percent last year, the most in three decades, after some investors lost faith in the metal as a store of value.

The Fed’s benchmark interest rate will be 1.125 percent at the end of next year, quarterly estimates from U.S. central bankers showed Dec. 17. Chair Janet Yellen said in a press conference that day that inflation will eventually reach the Fed’s target, allowing the central bank to raise borrowing costs.

Bullion’s link with inflation dates back more than 2,000 years, with the first use of coin currency in 550 B.C., according to the World Gold Council. While countries from the U.S. to the U.K. adopted a gold standard by the 19th century to limit inflation, no nation links currencies to the metal anymore. The Fed cut the dollar’s ties to gold four decades ago.

“Gold as an inflation hedge is unnecessary,” Atul Lele, who helps oversee $5.1 billion as the chief investment officer at Bahamas-based Deltec International Group, said Dec. 16. “ We think inflation in the U.S. could rise, but nothing that should be a cause of worry.”

 You Have Options:

What To Do ?

Here is our recent letter:

Managed Accounts Year End Review and Forecast

November 2014 – 40 % cash position
Gold and Precious MetalsThe largest gains for our clients came from the exit from the gold producers at $18oo an ounce and continuing until we hold no gold and no gold miners . This from the author of The Gold Investors Handbook.2015 – We continue to be on the sidelines for this sector – regardless of the gnomes of Switzerland . As a safe haven gold simply wasnot there for investors despite turmoil in the Middle East, Africa and Ukraine.How much more frightening can the prospect for peace be than to have wars in multiple locations? Secondly the spectre of inflation – on which I have given numerous talks – simply failed to materialize. In fact economists and portfolio managers such as myself are now more concerned about deflation – and the spectre is a Japanese style decades long slide in the world economy.
Shipping Sector / Bulk ShippersYou can review our stock market letter athttp://www.amp2012.com to follow our profits in the shipping sector before our retreat as overcapacity has yet to effect continued overbuiding. In 2008-9 rates-  illustrated by the Baltic Dry Index – were at their peak. The BDI hit over 10,000. Today it is roughly 10 % of that benchmark and the sector slide continues. We have an impressive watchlist of former ” darlings” – but we are content to watch and wait.
Oil/ EnergyI am very happy for the call in natural gas prices – out at $12 and into oil. When oil was above $100 we lessened positions and that is our saving grace in the past two weeks. We are not bottom feeders and will wait for a turn in the market before reentering drillers or producers.On Friday November 27th, crude oil prices dropped to below $72 and the slide has continued into the weekend, with Brent crude oil at $70.15 as I write this post. Shares of major oil companies traded down on Friday. Our former energy sector holdings are down another between 4% and 11%, including SDRL, which dropped another 8% following Wednesday’s 23% plunge…

Have you avoided these sectors – you would have been better off to follow our advice in 2014 and now you have to decide for 2015.
No one – and I am not being humble here – can project the future with great accuracy but our clients continue to do very well and we offer that experience to you.

Fees : 1 % annual set up and a performance bonus of 20 % – only if we perform.

You can withdraw your funds monthly if you require an income stream.

Alternate Guaranteed Income Payments

Private client funds Minimum $10,000 Maximum Loan $500,000

Our client is seeking funds to expand their tanker fleet .

Interest 12 % compounded – paid 1% per month

Floating charge of the full $500,000 against the fleet – valued at  more than $ 1 M

 

Contact information:

To learn more about portfolio management ,asset protection, trusts ,offshore company formation and structure for your business interests (at no cost or obligation)

Email

jackabass@gmail.com OR

info@jackbassteam.com  OR

Call Jack direct at 604-858-3202

10:00 – 4:00 Monday to Friday Pacific Time ( same time zone as Los Angeles).

Similar to wise buying decisions, exiting certain underperformers at the right time helps maximize portfolio returns. Selling off losers can be difficult, but if both the share price and estimates are falling, it could be time to get rid of the security before more losses hit your portfolio.

Tax website  Http://www.youroffshoremoney.com

Gold Downside Risk Seen As : ‘Significant’

 The author of The Gold Investors Handbook says the worst isn’t over yet for gold after prices erased  this year’s gain.

“Risks are significantly skewed to the downside,” said Bass, who told investors to sell last year before gold’s biggest collapse since 1980. “Much of the support was coming from political uncertainty in Ukraine and what was going on in Middle East,” and those concerns have faded, he said in a telephone interview yesterday.

After bullion’s rally in the first half of the year beat gains for commodities, equities and Treasuries, the metal is heading for a quarterly decline to end out 2014. Demand for precious metals as a protection of wealth has been eroded by the outlook for a strengthening U.S. economy, which helped spark a rally in the dollar .

Gold fell to an eight-month low this week after the Federal Reserve  raised its outlook for interest rates, crimping demand for an inflation hedge. Money managers cut bullish holdings for five weeks, while holdings through global exchange-traded funds slumped to the lowest since 2009.

“Gold is more responsive to the near-term growth momentum in the U.S., rather than long-term inflation concerns,” Damien Courvalin, a Goldman analyst, said . “Interest is lower in gold than it was say 18 months ago.”

Dollar Rally

. The Bloomberg Commodity Index of 22 raw materials slid 5.2 percent in 2014, while the MSCI All-Country World Index of equities rose 3.7 percent. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index climbed 4.3 percent.

Bass isn’t alone in predicting the end to this year’s rebound that drove the best first-half performance for gold since 2010. Societe Generale SA’s Michael Haigh, who also correctly forecast 2013’s slump, said in a report this month that he expects the metal will drop more than 5 percent by 2015’s third quarter. Investors, who in June and July were adding to bullish wagers, may be starting to agree with analysts, taking their short holdings on the metal to the highest in three months.

Muted Inflation

After 12 straight years of gains, gold tumbled 28 percent in 2013 as an equity rally and muted inflation prompted some investors to lose their faith in the metal.

Bass on April 10, 2013, issued a sell recommendation, before a two-day 13 percent plunge that ended April 15, 2013, and left prices in a bear market. The slump wasn’t foreseen by most money mangers, who had increased their bullish bets by 11 percent the prior month. The investors cut holdings to a six-year low by December.

Now, Currie expects bullion to drop to $1,050 by the end of 2015, maintaining a forecast from the start of the year. SocGen’s Haigh sees prices at $1,150 in the third quarter next year, he said in a report e-mailed Sept. 12. The metal reached this year’s peak of $1,392.60 in March amid violence in Ukraine.

Citigroup Inc.  lowered its forecast for next year amid expectations of U.S. rate increases, while the “risk-related source of support has been diminished.” The bank cut its outlook to $1,225 from $1,365. UBS AG reduced it three-month outlook yesterday by 7.7 percent to $1,200.

Target Price

“Turbulence is still there, but is not escalating any further, which we believe will help gold decline to our target,” Courvalin said.

“Our inflation forecasts are pretty subdued,” Bass said.

Inflation expectations, measured by the five-year Treasury break-even rate, this week reached the lowest since June 2013.

 

“Ultimately, what drives fair value for gold prices is the U.S. real interest-rate environment,” Courvalin said.

 

It is human nature to look for bargains – and destroy your portfolio as you gather losers into what used to be a ” nest” egg.

Look at Seeking Alpha and count the ” analysts” saying Dryships ( DRYS) is going to turn – how none forecast the sub dollar level it now enjoys.

What To Do ?

Here is our recent letter:

Managed Accounts Year End Review and Forecast

November 2014 – 40 % cash position
Gold and Precious MetalsThe largest gains for our clients came from the exit from the gold producers at $18oo an ounce and continuing until we hold no gold and no gold miners . This from the author of The Gold Investors Handbook.2015 – We continue to be on the sidelines for this sector – regardless of the gnomes of Switzerland . As a safe haven gold simply wasnot there for investors despite turmoil in the Middle East, Africa and Ukraine.How much more frightening can the prospect for peace be than to have wars in multiple locations? Secondly the spectre of inflation – on which I have given numerous talks – simply failed to materialize. In fact economists and portfolio managers such as myself are now more concerned about deflation – and the spectre is a Japanese style decades long slide in the world economy.
Shipping Sector / Bulk ShippersYou can review our stock market letter athttp://www.amp2012.com to follow our profits in the shipping sector before our retreat as overcapacity has yet to effect continued overbuiding. In 2008-9 rates-  illustrated by the Baltic Dry Index – were at their peak. The BDI hit over 10,000. Today it is roughly 10 % of that benchmark and the sector slide continues. We have an impressive watchlist of former ” darlings” – but we are content to watch and wait.
Oil/ EnergyI am very happy for the call in natural gas prices – out at $12 and into oil. When oil was above $100 we lessened positions and that is our saving grace in the past two weeks. We are not bottom feeders and will wait for a turn in the market before reentering drillers or producers.On Friday November 27th, crude oil prices dropped to below $72 and the slide has continued into the weekend, with Brent crude oil at $70.15 as I write this post. Shares of major oil companies traded down on Friday. Our former energy sector holdings are down another between 4% and 11%, including SDRL, which dropped another 8% following Wednesday’s 23% plunge…

Have you avoided these sectors – you would have been better off to follow our advice in 2014 and now you have to decide for 2015.
No one – and I am not being humble here – can project the future with great accuracy but our clients continue to do very well and we offer that experience to you.

Fees : 1 % annual set up and a performance bonus of 20 % – only if we perform.

You can withdraw your funds monthly if you require an income stream.

Alternate Guaranteed Income Payments

Private client funds Minimum $10,000 Maximum Loan $500,000

Our client is seeking funds to expand their tanker fleet .

Interest 12 % compounded – paid 1% per month

Floating charge of the full $500,000 against the fleet – valued at  more than $ 1 M

 

Contact information:

To learn more about portfolio management ,asset protection, trusts ,offshore company formation and structure for your business interests (at no cost or obligation)

Email

jackabass@gmail.com OR

info@jackbassteam.com  OR

Call Jack direct at 604-858-3202

10:00 – 4:00 Monday to Friday Pacific Time ( same time zone as Los Angeles).

Similar to wise buying decisions, exiting certain underperformers at the right time helps maximize portfolio returns. Selling off losers can be difficult, but if both the share price and estimates are falling, it could be time to get rid of the security before more losses hit your portfolio.

Tax website  Http://www.youroffshoremoney.com

 

Lor Loewen's photo.

Sell signals from Eric Sprott

Sell signals from Eric Sprott according to information published by the Canadian Insider, Mr. Sprott has made four separate sales since the end of September. In all, Mr. Sprott sold 375,000 units at prices ranging from US$10-to-US$9.44.

 

Bloomberg Despite those four sales – which resulted in gross proceeds of US$3.6-million — Eric Sprott still has almost US$35-million of skin in the game.

Over the past six weeks, Eric Sprott — one of the country’s best known gold bugs — has been selling units in the Sprott Physical Gold Trust, a fund formed to hold physical gold.

A

Here are the details: Sept. 30 (15,000 at US$9.96 per unit); Oct. 2 (40,000 at US$10); Oct. 31 (210,000 at US$9.62) and Nov. 6 (110,000 at US$9.44.) Despite those four sales – which resulted in gross proceeds of US$3.6-million — Mr. Sprott still has almost US$35-million of skin in the game. According to the most recent filing on SEDI, he owns 3.49 million units in the fund.

Related
Barrick Gold co-president joins insider buying spree
The gold mining meltdown is so bad even activist investors won’t touch it
Sprott adds to investment management team in Toronto, New York
In its IPO, the fund raised US$442.5-million. Since then it has been back to the market on six separate occasions and has raised almost US$2-billion. Its most recent offering was in September 2012.

Glen Williams, a spokesperson for Sprott, said in an email message. “We don’t comment on Eric’s personal trading activity but Sprott’s view on gold is unchanged.” Another Sprott source said that Eric has been using the proceeds to invest in gold and silver equities which offer greater leverage.

********

Gold-Mining Industry Mostly ‘Under Water,’ Gold Fields

Gold miners’ costs are mostly higher than current spot prices, increasing the likelihood of writedowns next year, according to Nick Holland, chief executive officer of Gold Fields Ltd. (GFI)

Across the industry, costs are about $1,300 an ounce including debt repayments, Holland said by phone from Johannesburg today, citing analysts’ research. Gold dropped 0.1 percent to $1,182 an ounce, bringing the decline since the beginning of 2013 to 29 percent.

“The industry by and large is under water,” Holland said. “I would expect further writedowns. Production I think will be curtailed but it will take some time to filter through the system.”

Gold producers are struggling to adapt to a lower bullion price after a decade of debt-fueled expansion, acquisitions and cost inflation during the boom years that saw bullion peak at $1,921.17 an ounce in September 2011. The spot price has tumbled in the past 18 months as investors speculate the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates due to an improving U.S. economy, lowering demand for the safe-haven metal.

Gold Fields is able to “ride this through” as it has a break-even price of about $1,050 an ounce, or $1,090 an ounce including debt repayments, Holland said. While the company calculates its reserves at $1,300 an ounce, that number includes a 15 percent profit margin, he said.

“Everything is fine for now, obviously the margin won’t be 15 percent at the current price, it will be less than that,” Holland said. “That said, the business continues to be run the same as before.”

Profit Drop

Gold Fields dropped 4.8 percent at 9:16 a.m. today in Johannesburg after the precious metal fell 1.2 percent yesterday, largely after South African trading hours. The FTSE/JSE Africa Gold Mining Index decreased 5.1 percent to 1,091.8.

Headline earnings for the South African producer with mines from Peru to Australia were $14 million in the three months to Sept. 30, compared with $18 million the previous quarter, it said in a statement today.

The Johannesburg-based company, which spun off three of its cash-generative but old South African mines to create Sibanye Gold Ltd. last year, is seeking to “aggressively” pay down debt over the next three years as it adjusts to the lower gold price, Holland said. The company is also on the lookout for cheap, in-production acquisitions that more troubled miners are offloading.

Gold Fields reduced net debt in the quarter by $137 million to $1.5 billion. All-in sustaining costs for the year are expected to be 3 percent lower than previous forecast at $1,090 an ounce, it said.

Gold production rose 2 percent to 559,000 ounces in the quarter compared with the previous three months, the company said.

IAMGOLD Corporation

CAVEAT: long time readers are aware that I am the author of The Gold Investors Handbook and have been a seller of all gold and gold stocks from $ 1800 until today.
This shift out of gold and out of shipping has allowed Jack A. Bass Managed Accounts to prosper – our position remains very cautious to both sectors preferring to maintain watch lists rather than positions.

IMG : TSX : C$2.17
IAG : NYSE
HOLD 
Target: C$3.00

COMPANY DESCRIPTION:
IAMGOLD is an intermediate gold company which
produced 764,000 oz in 2013 at a total cash cost of
$796/oz. Its key producing mines include Rosebel (95%)
in Suriname and the Essakane mine in Burkina Faso. Key
development projects include the Westwood (100%)
project in Quebec. Its key non-gold asset is the 100%-
owned Niobec mine in Quebec, which produces niobium.
All amounts in C$ unless otherwise noted.

Metals and Mining — Precious Metals and Minerals

TAKE A KNEE OR HAIL MARY?

Investment recommendation
At lower gold prices the operating outlook for IAMGOLD is not
favourable and based on the third quarter results the situation is even
more concerning. Grade control issues at Rosebel are expected to persist
into YE and management’s ability to fully fix the problem is unknown.
Near $1,100/oz we believe Rosebel may generate negative FCF. At
Westwood, IMG continues to evaluate different production profiles to
conserve development capital that could result in a slower ramp-up. At
Essakane, the Q3 results provided an insight into longer-term operating
costs for the hard rock expansion and the cost structure looks to be 5%
higher than anticipated. At all three core operations, there appears to be
limited opportunity to materially improve costs structures to defend
against a declining gold price environment.
IAMGOLD faces a fork in the road – utilize the Niobec windfall to pay
down debt and survive in a low gold price environment, or take a long
shot by purchasing a transformative asset (or possibly a combination of
both). In a low gold price environment, neither option will likely be
applauded by the market.
Investment highlights
 Q3/14 adj. EPS of $0.00 vs. CG at $0.01 and consensus of $0.03.
IMG generated positive ($55m) operating FCF for the first time in
two years. We forecast $16m in Q4/14 or negative $26.4m in FCF
(incl. G&A, expl., int. and ex Niobec). In this note we deconstruct
quarterly cash flows by assets.
Valuation
We have revised our target price to C$3.00 from C$4.25. Our target is
predicated on a 0.5x (from 0.6x) multiple to our forward curve derived
operating NAV of C$5.21/sh plus net cash and other assets of C$0.44/sh.
Our low target multiple reflects higher operating, financial, political
(Burkina Faso instability) and acquisition risk.

Silver Wheaton Corporation BUY Target Price $29

Metals and Mining — Precious Metals and Minerals
SLW : TSX : C$21.51
SLW : NYSE
BUY 
Target: C$29.00

COMPANY DESCRIPTION:
Silver Wheaton is uniquely positioned as the purest silver
producer. The company’s asset base consists of silver purchase
agreements with the San Dimas and Penasquito mines in Mexico,
Pascua-Lama project in Chile/Argentina, Zinkgruvan mine in
Sweden, Yauliyacu mine in Peru, Stratoni mine in Greece. Most
recent streaming deals with Hudbay minerals (silver and gold
streams at 777 and Constancia) and Vale (gold streams at
Salobo and Sudbury mines).
All amounts in C$ unless otherwise noted.

STRONG MOMENTUM INTO Q4
Investment recommendation
Silver Wheaton remains the preferred vehicle for exposure to silver
given the strong growth profile, margins, liquidity and diversification.
Further accretive streaming transactions are possible over the next 12
months, although new equity should be expected for larger transactions.
SLW is currently trading at 1.20x its forward-curve-derived NAV,
modestly above the silver producer group, but below SLW’s royalty
peers. Our NAV continues to assume a 25% permitting/development risk
discount for Pascua and Rosemont. We maintain our BUY rating.
Investment highlights
 SLW reported Q3/14 adjusted EPS of $0.20, in line with our
estimate and consensus. While attributable AgEq production was
below expectations (8.4 vs. 9.2Moz), a 1.3Moz inventory drawdown
resulted in sales beating our estimate (8.7 vs. 8.4Mozs).
 SLW wrote-down Mineral Park $37.1m following Mercator Minerals
Chapter 11 filing, and Campo Morado $31.1m given questionable
viability of the satellite resource base (metallurgy and low prices).
We have removed Mineral Park from our valuation and reduced our
Campo Morado’s valuation by 70%. Overall, these two small streams
are non-core and have limited impact on SLW’s overall profile.
SLW’s key streams remain well insulated to lower prices.
 SLW made a final $135m payment to Hudbay Minerals (HBM-T,
BUY, covered by Gary Lampard) relating to the Constancia gold
stream. While the payment was expected, SLW paid through the
issuance of 6.1m shares (dilution of 1.9%) rather than cash. The
preference for equity is understandable with the net debt to EBITDA
at 1.66x, which may not be high relative to SLW’s producing peers,
and is easily manageable, but remains high for a royalty company.
Both Franco-Nevada and Royal Gold have net cash positions.
Valuation
We have revised our target price to $29.00 from $30.00. Our target
remains predicated on a 1.55x multiple to our fwd. curve derived
5%/operating NAVPS estimate of C$20.02 (previously C$20.76) less net
debt and other corporate adjustments.

Gold Tumbles With Silver to Lowest Since 2010 – $1,000 Gold ?

Gold and silver slumped to the lowest level since 2010 as the dollar strengthened after the Bank of Japan unexpectedly boosted unprecedented stimulus and the Federal Reserve ended asset purchases.

Bullion for immediate delivery lost as much as 2.6 percent to $1,167.49 an ounce, the lowest since July 2010, and traded at $1,177.26 at 4:13 p.m. in Singapore, Bloomberg generic pricing shows. Silver slid as much as 3 percent to $16.0009 an ounce, the lowest since February 2010. They fell as the dollar rose to the highest in more than six years against the yen.

The Fed is weighing the timing of interest-rate increases as other central banks add to stimulus to boost their economies. The Bank of Japan said it’s targeting an 80 trillion yen ($726 billion) expansion in the monetary base, up from 60 to 70 trillion yen before. Gold yesterday erased the year’s advance after U.S. gross domestic product beat estimates and China probed a surge in precious-metals exports.

“People are generally looking at the direction of the dollar, which moved higher against the yen after the BOJ announcement, although the news itself is neutral for gold,” said Wallace Ng, a Shanghai-based trader at Gemsha Metals Co. “A higher dollar depresses prices and sentiment in the gold market was already weak because of the Fed.”

Bullion is heading for a decline of 4.4 percent this week, the most since September 2013. The metal is also set for the first consecutive monthly loss in 2014. Holdings in the SPDR Gold Trust shrank for a third day to 741.2 metric tons yesterday, the least since Oct. 2008.

Double-Whammy

Gold rose 70 percent from December 2008 to June 2011 as the Fed bought debt and held borrowing costs near zero percent. Prices slumped 28 percent last year, the most in three decades, on expectation that the central bank will scale back its bond-buying program that was put in place to fuel growth while failing to stoke inflation.

The U.S. central bank, which has held its key rate at zero to 0.25 percent since 2008, this week cited an improving job market in deciding to end bond buying, while maintaining a commitment to keep rates low for a considerable time. It also said inflation is running below its 2 percent target.

“Precious metals cratered, hit by a double-whammy of the rather hawkish Fed policy statement, coupled with a stronger-than-expected U.S. GDP report,” Edward Meir, an analyst at INTL FCStone Inc., wrote in a note. “Gold is again confronting the specter of a stronger dollar, rising equity prices and tame inflation, a trifecta that does not bode well for price prospects going into 2015.”

Futures for December delivery fell as much as 2.7 percent to $1,166.20 an ounce on the Comex inNew York, the lowest level since July 2010, before trading at $1,175.80.

$1,000 Gold

The collapse of oil prices into a bear market amid rising global supplies has also cut inflation concerns. The chances of bullion dropping to $1,000 are increasing as cheaper energy “means lower inflation and adds to the bearish gold story,” said Michael Haigh, head of commodities research at Societe Generale SA, who correctly forecast the metal’s 2013 rout.

The bank isn’t alone in predicting more losses for gold, which is Morgan Stanley’s least preferred metal. Jeffrey Currie, Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s head of commodities research who also correctly forecast 2013’s slump, said last month that the worst isn’t over yet for gold. He expects prices to drop to $1,050 by the end of year.

Concern that demand may falter in the world’s largest users also hurt prices. China sent investigators to probe a seven-fold surge in September’s precious-metals exports. In India, the biggest consumer after China, imports are set to drop in October after a more than four-fold jump last month.

Gold of 99.99 percent purity on the Shanghai Gold Exchange, the benchmark, sank as much as 3.1 percent to 230.05 yuan per gram ($1,172.35 an ounce), the lowest level this year. Volumes tumbled to a one-month low today.

Silver for immediate delivery slid 2.4 percent to $16.1078 an ounce, set for a fourth monthly decline that’s the worst run since June 2013. An ounce of gold bought as much as 73.3154 ounces of silver today, the most since April 2009.

Spot platinum decreased as much as 1.8 percent to $1,223.05 an ounce, the lowest since Oct. 6. It’s heading for a fourth month of losses that’s the longest stretch since June 2013. Palladium slipped 0.1 percent to $779.67 an ounce.

Gold Plunges

Gold Heads for Biggest Drop in Three Weeks as Fed Ends QE

Gold prices fell as the Federal Reserve ended its bond-purchase program, cutting demand for the metal as hedge against inflation.

The Fed maintained its pledge to keep interest rates near zero percent for a “considerable time,” while citing improvements for the American labor market as it ended its asset buying at the conclusion of its two-day policy meeting today.

“People will not see the need for gold in an environment of low inflation and solid job growth,” Chris Gaffney, the senior market strategist at EverBank Wealth Management in St. Louis, said in a telephone interview. “While it was expected, the ending of the asset-purchase program added to the negative sentiment.”

Bullion fell to this year’s low on Oct. 6 amid waning demand for a store of value. Holdings in global exchange-traded products backed by gold are at the lowest in five years, and measures of volatility for the metal have pared recent gains. The U.S. economy isn’t in danger of a major pullback even as Europe languishes and China’s growth slows, Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew said today.

Gold for immediate delivery dropped 1 percent to $1,215.69 an ounce at 2:16 p.m. New York time, heading for the biggest drop since Oct. 3. Prices touched $1,215.47, the lowest since Oct. 8.

Bullion climbed 70 percent from December 2008 to June 2011 as the U.S. central bank bought debt and held borrowing costs near zero percent in a bid to shore up growth. Prices slumped 28 percent last year partly because the gains for consumer prices investors were concerned about after the increase in money supply failed to materialize.

Low Inflation

Fed policy makers said that while inflation in the near term will probably be held down by lower energy prices, it repeated language from its September statement that “the likelihood of inflation running persistently below 2 percent has diminished somewhat.”

Inflation expectations, measured by the five-year Treasury break-even rate, this month reached the lowest since October 2011.

Gold prices will drop to $1,050 over the next 12 months as the U.S. economy accelerates,Jack A. Bass, author of The Gold Investors Handbook has said.

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