There should be an inverse relationship between gold (NYSEARCA: GLD) and copper (NYSEARCA: JJC).
Most of gold is used for investment purposes. As a result, it rises when there is economic weakness and investors lose confidence in the fiat currency of a country. Most of copper is used for industrial purposes. Therefore, the price of The Red Metal should increase when economies are booming, as there is a greater demand for it from the factories operating at full throttle and for the buildings being constructed.
As the chart below evinces, the inverse relationship between the exchange traded for gold, SPDR Gold Shares, and the exchange traded fund for copper, iPath Copper, has broken down due to traders positioning themselves for the introduction of Quantitative Easing 3 when Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks at Jackson Hole this Friday.
Continuing economic weakness in the United States will almost certainly lead the Federal Reserve to act in way that is more powerful than Operation Twist, the selling of short term securities to buy those with a longer term. Based on the most recent data, economic growth in the United States is falling as the unemployment rate is rising. A recent statement by the Federal Reserve was unusually clear in calling for greater action.
Both the JJC and the GLD have risen together as traders expect more economic stimulus from the United States Government. This will weaken the US Dollar and raise the price of commodities, as happened with Quantitative Easing 2. During the period of Quantitative Easing 2, from November 2010 to June 11, the US Dollar fell in value and the GLD and the JJC soared, along with other commodity prices, particularly oil. This pattern is being repeated as traders are preparing for the initiation of Quantitative Easing 3 when Bernanke speaks Friday, or at the next Federal Open Market Committee meeting.
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