The Season for Gold? Not Yet

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"Is this the end of gold's bull run? Hardly."

Most commodity traders have at least some passing acquaintance with seasonality—the tendency for goods' prices to strengthen or weaken at different times during the year. After all, there are times appropriate for the planting and harvest of agricultural commodities such as corn and cotton and, as a consequence, periods of relative dearth and surplus.

Seasonality isn't limited to food and fiber, though. Were you aware that gold exhibits seasonality, too?

Gold's "high season," if you will, is mid-to-late September, largely reflected as spikes in the October and December COMEX deliveries. Demand for gold traditionally peaks when Indian farmers invest their harvest profits in metal. About 40% of the subcontinent's gold demand, in fact, balloons just ahead of the October-November festival and wedding season when the market is crowded by purchasers of nuptial jewelry.

Gold has low seasons, too. For example, there's a mid-March low that sets up a rally through May. Then there's gold's weakest period, which typically runs from June through late July. These tendencies prevail even in secular bull markets.

I ask you now to regard the calendar. We're just into June.

Wednesday's COMEX trading gave strong indications that a short-term top's been posted. June gold started the day aiming for new highs, but interest fizzled as the day progressed, setting up a close near session lows. For the day, June gold's settlement at $963.40 represented an $18 retreat through near-term support.

A number of technical metrics - MACD, stochastics and RSI, in particular—also heeled over from the week's overbought levels. Put simply, gold now looks likely to start its summertime grind with sideways-to-lower trade.

If June gold breaks below yesterday's low of $941, the bears' first downside objective would be around the $941-$947 level. Underneath that are key retracements between $888 and $898 that are likely to be defended.

Is this the end of gold's bull run? Hardly. It's simply a manifestation of the market's pulse.

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