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Please note: The Frank Talk articles listed below contain historical material. The data provided was current at the time of publication. For current information regarding any of the funds mentioned in these presentations, please visit the appropriate fund performance page.

Bitcoin Miners See a Bullish Breakout on the Horizon
July 30, 2018

overbought or oversold? let these mathematical signals be your guide

The price of bitcoin surged above $8,000 last Tuesday for the first time since May after the Group of 20 (G20) meeting in Argentina concluded with little urgency to take regulatory action on cryptocurrencies. In a communiqué, G20 finance ministers and central bank governors expressed confidence that the technology underlying alt-coins “can deliver significant benefits to the financial system and the broader economy.”

Many of these benefits were discussed in my interview with Marco Streng, cofounder of Genesis Mining, the world’s largest cloud bitcoin mining company. Genesis had a huge win last week as securities regulators in South Carolina dismissed their cease-and-desist orders from March. The move, according to CoinDesk, marks the first time the state dropped such orders against a blockchain startup.

The U.S. global sentiment indicator reaches 54 percent mid-week
click to enlarge

Further support came courtesy of a July 16 report by the Switzerland-based Financial Stability Board (FSB), which concluded that, “like crypto-assets in general, crypto-asset platforms do not pose global financial stability risks.” Trading platforms include Coinbase—the most popular by far—Bitfinex, Kraken and many others.

From its low of $5,850 in late May, bitcoin was up nearly 44 percent on June 24 before pulling back on the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) decision not to approve a bitcoin ETF filed by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss. (It was back above $8,000 on Friday.) I believe bitcoin’s fundamentals are lining up for a significant move higher, its price having already broken sharply above the 50-day moving average.

Keep in mind, though, that we’re still very early in crypto investing. It was only 10 years ago that the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto wrote the now-famous whitepaper that led to the creation of bitcoin. Volatility is still roughly six times as high as large-cap stocks and gold in a single trading session, and 11 times as high in the 10-day period. As I told Market One Media recently, the space remains speculative, but there are opportunities for tremendous upside.

understanding cryptocurrency's "DNA of volatility"

Bitcoin’s Hash Rate Is Telling a Bullish Story 

Among the most bullish signs is bitcoin’s rapidly surging hash rate. In simple terms, a “hash” is a calculation made by a bitcoin miner in an attempt to secure a block reward, which currently sits at 12.5 bitcoin per block. (The reward automatically halves every 210,000 blocks. At the present mining rate, the next halving is estimated to occur in May 2020, after which the reward will drop to 6.25 coins.) The “hash rate,” then, is how many calculations are made per second across the globe. It generally reflects the pace at which new miners are joining the network.

Every 10 minutes on average, a new block is mined, meaning 1,800 bitcoin—or $14.8 million at today’s prices—are created every day of the week. Blockchain technology, remember, guarantees the validity of these new virgin coins. Imagine if stock trading were as quick, efficient and worry-free as crypto-mining. You can see now why JPMorgan, Citigroup, Bank of America and other big banks are rushing to patent blockchain processing systems of their own. 

Look at the chart below. The bitcoin hash rate has continued to grow at an astonishing pace despite the selloff, suggesting miners are still very bullish on future prices.

despite decline in bitcoin price, miner enthusiasm has continued to surge
click to enlarge

In July, the number of operations passed above 45 trillion per second for the first time ever. That’s a more than sixfold increase in power from only a year ago. It also signifies a huge recovery after extensive flooding in Sichuan, China knocked out significant amounts of hashing power earlier in the month.

Mining Doesn’t Consume as Much Power as Previously Thought

Speaking of bitcoin mining power, critics often like to point out how much electricity the network consumes, in an effort to turn public opinion against the industry. To be sure, mining bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies requires a lot of energy, but the figures you might have seen are highly exaggerated. Some sources claim that industry demand stands at 65 terawatts per hour (TWh), or 65 trillion watts per hour, on an annualized basis. But a more accurate estimate is closer to 35 TWh, “less than the annual energy consumption of Luxembourg, a country of 585,000 people,” according to CoinShares Research analysts Christopher Bendiksen and Samuel Gibbons.

How did Bendiksen and Gibbons arrive at this figure, and why is it so drastically lower than other estimates? The analysts point out that hardware efficiency is nearly doubling every year (81 percent), while the cost of hardware is almost cut in half on an annual basis (-48 percent). This means miners are increasingly able to do much more for much less. Miners also prefer to operate in colder climates, which lower cooling costs, and they largely rely on cheap green energy. This is part of what attracted me to HIVE Blockchain Technology, which conducts most of its business in Iceland and Sweden.

“Our total findings suggest that the bitcoin mining industry is relatively healthy, profitable and continues to grow at breakneck speeds,” Bendiksen and Gibbons write. “The hash rate is tripling on an annual basis while the efficiency of the hardware is rapidly increasing and costs are coming down.”

You Can Now Trade Crypto Securities on Coinbase. When Will We Get an ETF?

Investors have a growing number of options to gain exposure to bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, besides buying the actual assets themselves. There are several publically traded companies that have begun integrating blockchain technology into their business, such as IBM and Hitachi. Other firms have direct involvement in mining cryptos—HIVE Blockchain, for instance, and China’s Bitmain, which is seeking $1 billion in financing before a possible initial public offering (IPO). Bitcoin futures are available for trading on the CME and CBOE. And Coinbase just received SEC approval to “move forward with a trio of acquisitions that could allow it to become one of the first federally regulated venues for trading digital coins deemed to be securities,” according to Bloomberg.

most crypto investors favor ethereum and bitcoin
click to enlarge

But so far a bitcoin ETF has not yet been made available. I believe that once such a product comes on the market, the price of bitcoin will really take off.

Just look at the chart below. Gold traded mostly sideways throughout the 1980s and 1990s. Then in March 2003, the first gold ETF appeared, and the price of the yellow metal skyrocketed 420 percent as trading became more liquid and streamlined. I can’t say bitcoin would respond likewise, of course, but a crypto ETF would certainly attract more curiosity to the space.

the first gold ETF boosted metal prices. can the same happen with bitcoin?
click to enlarge

There’s no lack of investor interest in a bitcoin ETF. A recent survey conducted by international law firm Foley & Lardner found that nearly three quarters of participants, 72 percent, were hopeful they’ll have the opportunity to invest in an ETF that holds bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies.

As I mentioned earlier, the Winklevoss twins have now made two (unsuccessful) attempts to bring one to market, and the SEC has said it will postpone making a decision on five other proposed ETFs until September. Even if these get struck down as well, we move closer to getting one every day.

 

All opinions expressed and data provided are subject to change without notice. Some of these opinions may not be appropriate to every investor. By clicking the link(s) above, you will be directed to a third-party website(s). U.S. Global Investors does not endorse all information supplied by this/these website(s) and is not responsible for its/their content.

The S&P 500 Index is a widely recognized capitalization-weighted index of 500 common stock prices in U.S. companies.

Standard deviation is a measure of the dispersion of a set of data from its mean. The more spread apart the data, the higher the deviation. Standard deviation is also known as historical volatility.

Frank Holmes has been appointed non-executive chairman of the Board of Directors of HIVE Blockchain Technologies. Both Mr. Holmes and U.S. Global Investors own shares of HIVE, directly and indirectly.

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Minute with the Analyst: Meet Juan León
July 25, 2018

Juan Leon at the New York Stock Exchange U.S. Global Investors

Meet Juan León – a key member of the U.S. Global Investors’ investment team. Juan is responsible for researching companies, sectors and industries, in addition to constructing new investment strategies for several of the firm’s mutual funds and ETFs. Juan joined the team in October 2014 and has since been promoted to senior investment analyst. In addition to focusing his research on domestic equities and the bond market, he also holds an interest in technology and often travels to conferences to learn from other professionals on how artificial intelligence (AI) is changing the business landscape.

In this brief Q&A you’ll learn more about Juan’s role and how he got into the investment business in San Antonio, after growing up in Ecuador and originally hailing from Colombia.

Tell us about your early career and why you chose the path of investments.

I grew up participating in Model United Nations and student government activities, so I went to college with the idea that I was going to work in diplomacy, international relations or politics. During my time at Trinity University, I participated in the student managed fund, which is a student-run investment fund that holds a portion of the university’s endowment. I did well in the program and discovered my aptitude and interest for investments and finance.

After graduation I went to work for Rackspace, a cloud computing company, which was great because I’ve always been interested in the technology sector. I worked in the finance department and had a good experience learning how companies work, how financial decisions are shaped and how you communicate with Wall Street on the finance and earnings side. After a few years I realized that I still wanted to explore a career in investing, so I came to work at U.S. Global Investors.

Describe your role as an investment analyst.

In my role I have the opportunity to tackle a variety of tasks and work with many of our funds, especially the two bond funds. I’m the main quant-focused member of our investment team and perform back testing, regressional and statistical analysis and help build our multi-factor investment models. I also help develop the quantamental strategies for our mutual funds and ETFs.

In terms of research, my main focus is on the bond market and domestic equities. The bond and equity markets are almost counterweights to one another. It’s helpful to keep a pulse on both to get insights that you wouldn’t necessarily have if you’re not thinking about both worlds.

How was the experience of ringing the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange?

As someone working in the investment industry, ringing the bell at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is a dream and not many professionals get to do that. On the day of the bell-ringing, they gave us a tour of the trading floor and the private rooms and I saw some great memorabilia. Once you get out there on the floor, there’s an intense, palpable energy with lots of people and lots of noise. Then when you ring the bell and you have everyone looking up and cheering you – it’s a great burst of energy.

Juan Leon with CEO Frank Holmes and Galileo CEO Sam Pelaez at the New York Stock Exchange

What are your thoughts on where we are in the business cycle?

Right now I think we’re at a crossroads where we’re waiting to see how President Donald Trump’s protectionist policies and tariffs play out and whether or not it’s going to slow down economic growth. In the long-term, I think tariffs could lead to a slowdown in overall economic growth. In the short term, protectionist policies usually lead to insulated economies, which push up inflation because the cost of business and trade rises.

There’s also a great deal of concern by the investment public about the flattening of the yield curve. Historically, an inversion of the yield curve has been an accurate predictor of recessions. Although I do think we are in the late stages of the business cycle, I think the geopolitical concerns are driving volatility versus true economic slowdown. If you look at economic data in the U.S., it continues to move higher with robust consumer spending, manufacturing and services.

The longer end of the yield curve is up only 50 basis points, in terms of sigma or standard deviation moves. Just this week the longer end of the yield curve resumed moving up and we’re now again at 2.95 percent and approaching 3 percent. Compared to the shorter end, the longer end of the yield curve is less stretched in terms of sigma moves and has more room to run upwards before it hits an exhaustion point.

Get to know Juan Leon Senior Investment Analyst U.S. Global Investors

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All opinions expressed and data provided are subject to change without notice. Some of these opinions may not be appropriate to every investor.

Standard deviation is a measure of the dispersion of a set of data from its mean. The more spread apart the data, the higher the deviation. Standard deviation is also known as historical volatility.

A basis point, or bp, is a common unit of measure for interest rates and other percentages in finance. One basis point is equal to 1/100th of 1%, or 0.01% (0.0001).

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Overbought or Oversold? Let These Mathematical Signals Be Your Guide
July 23, 2018

overbought or oversold? let these mathematical signals be your guide

just the facts, ma'am dragnet TV series sgt. joe friday

Anticipate before you participate in the market. This is a classic piece of advice I like to give investors and have written about extensively in my CEO blog, Frank Talk. Financial markets are influenced by relatively predictable cycles and trading patterns, and by better understanding these we are able to react thoughtfully to headline noise or unexpected market developments.

How many of you remember the old police procedural Dragnet? In it, Sgt. Joe Friday famously uses the line “Just the facts, ma’am.” I’ve always felt this nuts-and-bolts attitude relates perfectly to how our investments team makes its decisions on where to allocate capital. Follow the models, look at the math—and leave emotions at the door.

A Sentiment Indicator for Contrarian Investing

At U.S. Global Investors, one tool that we find particularly useful to track the different market cycles is our U.S. Global Sentiment Indicator. This indicator tracks 126 commodities, indices, sectors, currencies and international markets to help monitor volatility and cash flow levels.

Using this indicator, we note the percentage of positions that have five-day moving averages above or below the 20-day moving averages. Then we compare it to the S&P 500 Index. As you can see in the chart below, as of Wednesday, the sentiment indicator rebounded to 54 percent, rallying from a low of around 20 percent at the end of June.

The U.S. global sentiment indicator reaches 54 percent mid-week
click to enlarge

While a drop below 20 percent means the market is extremely oversold, we do not view the market as overbought until around the 80 percent mark. Having a keen awareness of these movements allows our investments team to be more proactive rather than reactive. It helps us manage our emotions and not be swept away by negative media or overly optimistic headlines.

Explore this topic further in the Managing Expectations whitepaper!

Is the Gold Market Being Suppressed?

Gold continued its trek lower last week, the price steadying around $1,220 an ounce on Tuesday following Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s congressional testimony.  Powell commented that he thought the U.S. was on course for continued steady growth, supporting his expectation of a rate hike every three months. These comments sent the dollar up and gold down.

Despite this movement, I’m amazed that gold is holding up so well, particularly when you compare real interest rates in the U.S., Japan and the European Union.

Japan leads the world in government debt that trades negative yield
click to enlarge

In addition to these price moves, we’ve seen suppression and manipulation in the gold market in recent years. This is a topic I discussed last week in our webcast, cohosted by Randy Smallwood, CEO of Wheaton Precious Metals.

What do I mean by “gold suppression”? Historically, the price of gold has tracked U.S. debt, but as you can see in the chart below, that seems no longer to be the case.

suppression of gold? gold price has traditionally tracked U.S. debt
click to enlarge

The question, then, is not whether gold is actively being suppressed, but to what extent and by whom. Traders working at some big banks—including UBS, Deutsche Bank and HSBC—have already been charged for manipulating the price of precious metals futures contracts and fined as much as $30 million by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

However, I’m skeptical that this has resolved the issue. In the past several years, gold has traded down in the week prior to China’s Golden Week, when markets are closed. As much as $2.25 billion of the yellow metal was dumped in the futures market in October 2016, as someone clearly sought to take advantage of the fact that markets were closed for the week in the world’s largest buyer of gold.

gold and silver price manipulation headlines

During the webcast, Randy Smallwood thoughtfully pointed out that the deliberate suppression of prices can't go on forever. I agree, and believe that precious metals such as gold and silver are significantly undervalued right now.

So what should investors be paying attention to?

The Magic Behind the Math

Using an oscillator chart, let's compare the U.S. dollar to gold. I believe oscillators are vital to identifying the optimal time to buy or sell, and right now it appears that the greenback is overbought while gold is oversold.

Looking back over five years of data, we've discovered that, historically, when gold exceeded two standard deviations above the mean, the commodity fell 51 percent of the time in the following three months.

In contrast, when gold prices exceeded two standard deviations below the mean, it rose 77 percent of the time in the following three months. This is because gold is undervalued at this level.

Is gold due for a reversal?
click to enlarge

Buying the laggards when the time is right could enable you to participate in a potential rally—and right now, that rally could be in gold, currently down 2.24 standard deviations.

Understanding this kind of math is almost like being adept at counting cards. In the 2008 film 21, an MIT professor helps six students become experts at card counting. The story, based on true events, shows how these students end up taking Vegas casinos for millions in winnings by following their professor’s teachings. Of course, there’s no way I can promise such an extraordinary outcome in your investments, but I do think there’s something to be said for the magic behind the math.

King Copper Could Also Be Due for a Reversal

Gold isn’t the only commodity that might be due for a reversal. Take a look at this chart showing copper versus the U.S. dollar. The red metal looks even more oversold than gold, down close to four standard deviations as of July 18. As I mentioned in the 2018 Commodities Halftime Report, copper looks attractive on surging demand for electric vehicles (EVs), which require between three and four times as much copper as traditional gas-powered automobiles.

copper looks oversold relative to the U.S. dollar
click to enlarge

What’s more, based on these mathematical models, emerging markets have the potential to move higher as well. I encourage you to take a look at the chart featured in the Europe section of Friday’s Investor Alert to see what I mean.

Always Remember the Golden Rule

10 percent portfolio weighting in gold recommended by frank holmes

Gold continues to be a classic example that helps illustrate seasonal rotations and price fluctuations based on a number of different factors geopolitical noise, inflation, wedding season in China and India, and much more.

The DNA of volatility, as I like to call it, shows that it is a non-event for gold to move up or down 17 percent over a rolling 12-month period. Knowing this has helped me to develop the 10 percent Golden Rule.

I have always advocated investors have around 10 percent of their portfolios in gold—5 percent in gold bullion or beautiful gold jewelry, and 5 percent in well managed gold mutual funds or ETFs. And then rebalance.

While no investment rules or statistical tools are accurate 100 percent of the time, investors can take ownership in how they use certain tools to manage emotions of the market and position themselves for greater success.

Capturing opportunities and understanding the ins and outs of the markets are what make investing so exciting.

Know a fellow investor who could benefit from this type of weekly investment analysis? Share our Investor Alert sign up page  with them—subscribing is always FREE!

 

All opinions expressed and data provided are subject to change without notice. Some of these opinions may not be appropriate to every investor.By clicking the link(s) above, you will be directed to a third-party website(s). U.S. Global Investors does not endorse all information supplied by this/these website(s) and is not responsible for its/their content.

Standard deviation is a measure of the dispersion of a set of data from its mean. The more spread apart the data, the higher the deviation. Standard deviation is also known as historical volatility.

The S&P 500 Index is a widely recognized capitalization-weighted index of 500 common stock prices in U.S. companies.

The U.S. Dollar Index is a measure of the value of the U.S. dollar relative to the value of a basket of currencies of the majority of the U.S.'s most significant trading partners. This index is similar to other trade-weighted indexes, which also use the exchange rates from the same major currencies.

Holdings may change daily. Holdings are reported as of the most recent quarter-end. The following securities mentioned in the article were held by one or more accounts managed by U.S. Global Investors as of (06/30/2018): Wheaton Precious Metals Corp.

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Minute with the Manager: Meet Ralph Aldis
July 18, 2018
ralph aldis portfolio manager U.S. Global Investors

Meet Ralph Aldis – one of the longest standing members of the investment team at U.S. Global Investors. Ralph is responsible for analyzing gold and precious metals stocks in his role as co-portfolio manager for our two gold funds. As part of his gold stock research and analysis, Ralph frequently meets with key players in the mining space, including company management. Whether he’s visiting a mine site in another country or speaking on a panel at a gold conference here in the states, this tacit knowledge is a crucial part of his success as a fund manager.

I invite you to learn more about Ralph’s role and hear his insights into the gold world in this short Q&A.

Where do you expect to see gold production in the next few years?

It’s possible that the U.S. could see a rise in gold output this year. China production fell last year, Australia production has been going up slightly and Russia production is somewhat flat. I think with some of the new revisions to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules, mining projects could move forward on a more known timetable. One of the things the Trump administration has been trying to do is simplify the process of obtaining a mining permit. If companies can get the permits more easily then I think we’ll see some production growth in the U.S.

What are your top three gold stock picks right now?

One of my favorite gold stocks right now is St. Barbara Ltd. The company is based in Australia and has two mining operations. It’s been hitting it out of the ballpark in terms of performance driven by strong management. The CEO came in to our office about two years ago, Bob Vassie, and the stock price was 18 cents then and today it’s 5 dollars. I think St. Barbara is consistent in terms of management and has solid execution – everything that you’d want in a gold miner. 

ralph aldis observing grade samples at the klondex mines property in nevada

Another stock I like that’s in the mid-cap space is Wesdome Gold Mines based in Canada. One of its mines that is on care and maintenance recently had phenomenal drill hits down to deeper levels. What we’ve been finding with mines in the last few years is seeking funding in order to drill deeper to find deposits. I think it will probably be one of the next take outs in Canada, in terms of someone seeking a safe jurisdiction to operate in.

A third stock I like right now that is a micro-cap is Barksdale Capital Corp., a base metals exploration company located in Arizona. Its property sits right next to Arizona Mining’s property, which was recently bought out for $1.4 billion. Right now Barksdale has a market capitalization of $30 million. This valuation difference is massive and I think someone will probably want to buy them too and develop the project, since it’s too cheap to just leave it.

Describe a memorable mining project visit.

I visited a gold discovery site in Ecuador many years ago and for this particular visit it was very difficult to reach the site. It was in the southern part of Ecuador, near the border with Peru, a previously contested area, which is why it had not been explored and discovered for some time.

We first took a commercial aircraft to Quito, then from there we took a charter aircraft to get to another location. Then we rode in a helicopter and then a canoe! We canoed for a while since the helicopter couldn’t land closer to the site due to heavy tree coverage. It was a relatively new discovery and, in fact, it’s only just now going into production 10 years after I visited it.

During the trip we were evaluating the potential of the project and its deposit size, but since there was thick jungle coverage it was difficult to assess. Often times there will be a deposit discovered with high drill grades of grams per ton, but it has to be large enough to eventually justify the capital to build an operating mine.

Get to know Portfolio Manager Ralph Aldis 28 years at U.S. Global Investors

 

All opinions expressed and data provided are subject to change without notice. Some of these opinions may not be appropriate to every investor.

Holdings may change daily. Holdings are reported as of the most recent quarter-end. The following securities mentioned in the article were held by one or more accounts managed by U.S. Global Investors as of 06/30/2018: Klondex Mines Ltd., Barksdale Capital Corp., Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd., St. Barbara Ltd.

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Oil Takes Center Stage: Commodities Halftime Report 2018
July 16, 2018

meet the top ranking commodities for the first half of 2018

Near the beginning of the year, Goldman Sachs analyst Jeffrey Currie made the case that the macro backdrop right now favored commodities in 2018. With inflation pushing prices up and world economies borrowing record amounts of capital, it was the best time “in decades,” he said, for investors to have exposure to base metals, energy and other materials.

“Commodities had a miserable year” in 2017, Currie told CNBC. “History says commodities will outperform equities this year.”

Currie’s forecast has been mostly accurate so far. Except for a rocky June, commodities have been one of the best performing asset classes in the first half of the year. From January to the end of May, the group, as measured by the Bloomberg Commodities Index, rallied close to 3 percent—170 basis points ahead of the S&P 500 Index. Advances were largely driven by crude oil, which currently seeks to close above $80 a barrel for the first time since November 2014.

Of the 14 major commodities we track at U.S. Global Investors, oil was the standout performer, gaining roughly 23 percent, followed by nickel (up 16.76 percent) and wheat (16.51 percent). You can view our always-popular, interactive Periodic Table of Commodity Returns by clicking here.

commodity returns in the first half of 2018
click to enlarge

There are a number of factors supporting oil right now, not least of which is President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Iran nuclear deal. The move has the potential to significantly curb exports out of the Middle Eastern country, responsible for about 4 percent of the world’s supply. Markets were further disrupted two weeks ago when the U.S. government warned importers to stop buying Iranian oil or face sanctions.

In addition, supply is being squeezed by worsening economic conditions in Venezuela, which sits atop the world’s largest known oilfield, and conflict in Libya, home to Africa’s largest oil reserves. On Wednesday of last week, though, Libya indicated it would resume exports from its eastern ports, which sent Brent crude down more than 2 percent.

Global Oil Consumption Blasted to New Heights

Many investors might be inclined to believe the oil rally is over, but I think we could continue to see movement to the upside on further supply restrictions and rising demand. In its June Statistical Review of World Energy, British oil and gas giant BP reports that consumption grew for the eighth straight year in 2017, climbing to 98.2 million barrels per day (bpd) for the first time ever. We would need to see growth of only 2 percent by the end of this year for demand to reach and surpass 100 million bpd—a phenomenally large sum.

This could be achieved if Chinese demand growth remains as robust as it’s been for the past decade. Consumption stood at 12.8 million bpd in 2017, a new record for the country. This figure is up 64 percent from only 7.8 million bpd in 2007.

Although China is now the world’s number one auto market in terms of sheer size, vehicle and vehicle finance penetration are still relatively low compared to the U.S., Japan, Germany and other major economies. There were about 115 vehicles per 1,000 people in 2015, according to J.D. Power, compared to the U.S. with 800 vehicles per 1,000 people. That means there’s plenty of upside potential for energy as more Chinese households are able to afford automobiles.

Speaking of autos, the excitement over electric vehicles (EVs) is helping to drive up the cost of nickel, vital in the production of lithium-ion batteries. In the first six months of the year, the price of nickel rose close to 17 percent, to $14,823 per metric ton. As impressive as that is, it’s still three and a half times below its all-time high of $54,050, set in May 2007.

Commodities Now a Buy: Goldman Sachs

As I said earlier, commodities had a rough June, falling some 3.64 percent as trade tensions between the U.S. and China escalated. This was the group’s biggest monthly slump in nearly two years, led by copper and soybeans.

goldman sachs says commodities now a buy after biggest monthly decline since 2016
click to enlarge

Goldman analysts say this has created a well-timed buying opportunity, as the selloff was overdone. According to the bank, the U.S.-China trade war impact on commodities “will be very small, with the exception of soybeans where complete rerouting of supplies is not possible.”

Goldman now forecasts a 10 percent return on commodities over the next 12 months as the U.S. dollar corrects and trade fears subside.

If you recall, I made a similar bullish call on commodities back in April after showing that, relative to equities, commodities are as cheap now as they’ve possibly ever been. They’re even cheaper than they were in 2000, before the start of the last commodities super cycle. Had you invested in a fund tracking a commodities index in 2000, you would have seen your money grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 10 percent for the next 10 years, according to Bloomberg data.

history says now might be the time to rotate into commodities
click to enlarge

Copper Demand Should Accelerate With Electric Vehicle Sales

Among the most attractive opportunities I see is copper, which rose to an 11-month high of $3.29 per pound in early June before sinking 15 percent. Like nickel, copper has benefited from the forecast that EV adoption will accelerate. According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, EV sales are expected to grow from a record 1.1 million units worldwide in 2017, to 11 million in 2025, then to 30 million in 2030.

This is good news for copper. As I’ve pointed out before, EVs require three to four times as much copper as traditional gas-powered vehicles.

copper price tumbled 15 percent on trade war fears
click to enlarge

“You’re going to need a telescope to see copper prices in 2021,” Robert Friedland, billionaire founder and executive chairman of Ivanhoe Mines, told us back in January when he visited our office.

Robert’s comment might be hyperbolic, but the thing to keep in mind is that demand for the red metal is about to turn red hot.

 

All opinions expressed and data provided are subject to change without notice. Some of these opinions may not be appropriate to every investor. By clicking the links above, you will be directed to third-party websites. U.S. Global Investors does not endorse all information supplied by these websites and is not responsible for their content.

Holdings may change daily. Holdings are reported as of the most recent quarter-end. The following securities mentioned in the article were held by one or more accounts managed by U.S. Global Investors as of 03/31/2018: BP, Ivanhoe Mines Ltd.

The Bloomberg Commodity Index is made up of 22 exchange-traded futures on physical commodities. The index represents 20 commodities, which are weighted to account for economic significance and market liquidity.

The S&P 500 Stock Index is a widely recognized capitalization-weighted index of 500 common stock prices in U.S. companies.

A basis point, or bp, is a common unit of measure for interest rates and other percentages in finance. One basis point is equal to 1/100th of 1%, or 0.01% (0.0001).

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Net Asset Value
as of 10/16/2018

Global Resources Fund PSPFX $5.18 0.07 Gold and Precious Metals Fund USERX $6.97 0.01 World Precious Minerals Fund UNWPX $3.60 0.01 China Region Fund USCOX $8.21 0.14 Emerging Europe Fund EUROX $6.50 0.12 All American Equity Fund GBTFX $25.72 0.39 Holmes Macro Trends Fund MEGAX $18.50 0.39 Near-Term Tax Free Fund NEARX $2.19 No Change U.S. Government Securities Ultra-Short Bond Fund UGSDX $2.00 No Change