Monday, 28 March 2016

Analysis on the 1st Leg of Gold Bull Run of 2016 in 4 Charts


I want to analyse the 1st leg of the gold bull run that started in early 2016. More importantly, I'll also look at the pullback on this 1st leg up.

I believed in the start of gold bull run this year, and this leads me to buy ABX late last year in 2015. You can read my purchase in this post. But on 9 March, I sold my ABX as outlined in this post.

I till believe that this is just a start of the multi-year gold run, but in the short term, I believed there will be pullback. This spurred me to sell ABX.

4 month Barrick gold (ABX) chart as of 25 March
4 month Barrick gold (ABX) chart as of 25 March
Please note typo in date in annotation. Should read "15 Feb", not "15 Jan"
(Click to enlarge)

4 month gold chart as of 25 March
4 month gold chart as of 25 March(Click to enlarge)



 Technically Speaking 
On hindsight, I sold my ABX holding 5 days too early. That is, 5 trading days before ABX peaked at 17 March. Actually, gold already peaked at 11 March, 2 trading days after I sold ABX.

I meant to just buy and hold ABX, but couldn't resist a swing trade.

I sold it essentially based on 2 sets of sell signals.

1.  All 3 technical indicators in both charts above show negative divergences since 15 Feb. I sold ABX 10 days after these negative divergences.
2.  Despite all the events that are positive for gold price - Draghi's big bazzoka, Fed dovish statement, Brussels bombings - their upward effects on gold price all lasted for only a single day. In the case of Brussels bombings, its small price increase lasted less than 24 hours, and followed by a largest one day drop in gold price this year.

The bottom line is, despite all these positive events for gold prices, the negative technical divergences in gold and gold stocks remain, and it had never made new height.

If it weren't for these numerous gold-price boosting events like the Fed's rapid-fire of dovish statements, it would have been corrected sooner.



 Fundamentally Speaking 
Ok, we just looked at the technical signal of near term bearishness in gold. Now, let's look at some of the fundamental reasons for this near term bearishness in gold.

4 month 10-Year T-Note Yield chart as of 25 March
4 month 10-Year T-Note Yield chart as of 25 March(Click to enlarge)

4 month US Dollar Index (DXY) chart as of 25 March
4 month US Dollar Index (DXY) chart as of 25 March(Click to enlarge)

4 month US stock market (S&P 500) chart as of 30 March
4 month US stock market (S&P 500) chart as of 30 March(Click to enlarge)


There are 4 fundamental factors for the gold bearishness in the short term that are suggested by these 3 charts.

1.  10 Year T-Note bottomed in 11 Feb this year. Shortly afterwards, negative divergences started to appear in gold and gold stock prices in 15 Feb. T Note yield and gold has a negative correlation. When yield goes up, gold goes down.

2.  DXY also made a bottom in 11 Feb, although not the lowest bottom this year. Like 10Y T-Note Yield, DXY also has a negative correlation with gold.

3.  S&P 500 also made a bottom in 11 Feb. Surprise, surprise. Need I say that S&P 500 and gold also has a negative correlation. Are you still surprise?

4.  Simply put, gold had been overbought in the short term.

It seems all 4 markets - bond, currency, equity and gold - are all correlated at this stage, thanks to the Fed.

And the major bottoms in 3 markets occurred in 11 Feb causes the gold price to gradually lose its momentum. DXY is the chart where it made a new bottom since 11 Feb. But T-Note is the most important of all market in its effect on gold market. The Fed action is to cause an impact on the treasury. The rest is all rippled effects flowing from the treasury market.

Curiously, or maybe not so curious at all, crude oil bottomed in this pivotal date of 11 Feb 2016. If US equity market is in synch with crude price, then bottom in both crude and equity wouldn't a logical outcome.


 Looking Ahead 
This is the 1st leg of the gold bull run, and needs to have some kind of consolidation before another more sustainable leg up.

My guess is, gold continues its correction - albeit mild and gradual - during the month of April.

Nobody knows how low it goes. The important levels to watch for includes 1200, 1180 (break out), 1140 (200 day average), 1100, and 1075 is the lowest I expect it to drop. Any lower, I'll have to re-evaluate about this being the start of a gold bull run. But that's quite unlikely scenario. I think the most likely scenario is 1140 (200 day average) and above.

As always, will see how the data play out, and adjust our views accordingly.



Saturday, 26 March 2016

Holi Festival in Esplanade 2016

Those who don't think Indian festivals - or Indian culture in general - is colourful, quite literally, haven't attended a Holi Festival. This was my 1st time I had the privilege in witnessing this festival.

Holi Festival, aka Festival of Colours, or Festival of Sharing Love. It signifies the victory of good over evil, thus a metaphor for the end of Winter and the beginning of Spring. To our distant ancestors, cold brings death, and Spring brings life (it's still true today, just not so widespread as in the ancient times).

For those who are more familiar with the Water-Festival that takes place in Indochinese countries (except for Vietnam), this lesser known Indian festival also involves splashing coloured water as well as throwing dry coloured powder at each other (I suspect the Water Festival came from India as these countries are heavily influenced by Indian culture, except for Vietnam, which strengthen my suspicion). These days, at least in Singapore, only dry powders are used in throwing, smearing each other (Maybe it's just me, the powder tasted sweet when my mouth caught a whiff of it). These days, water is becoming harder to come by.

Powder Stand, Holi Festival, Esplanade, Singapore
The dry powder are came in convenient packages

Dance Party, Holi Festival, Esplanade, Singapore

Dance Party, Holi Festival, Esplanade, Singapore

Dance Party, Holi Festival, Esplanade, Singapore


Not surprisingly, Holi is celebrated in Singapore. While it's also celebrated in commercial venue like Wavehouse in Sentosa (and quite popular), the one I went to is the free, outdoor and official version that takes place in Esplanade next to Theatres by the Bay (aka the Durians).

Both Easter and Holi are varied from year to year, but usual quite close together. This year, they both fall on the same weekend (this also explains the distinct absence of Pinoys as they're gathered in Churches). The coincidence of days isn't really so coincidental, after all, both Easter and Holi is rooted in the pagan celebration of the Spring season.

By pagan tradition, I mean the spiritual tradition of our distant ancestors that preceded organised religions like Hindu or Christianity. These pagan traditions are based on the worship of nature such as the seasons, the Sun (e.g. ancient Egyptian), Moon (e.g. Chinese), trees, mountains, etc.

Such things as the Easter egg (the rebirth of Spring), bunny (fertility of Spring), and even the name 'Easter' has pagan origin, and celebrated thousands of years by pagans before Christ. Easter symbols have a - fairly obvious - meaning of renewal, rebirth, and fertility that comes with Spring with their flowering and the waking-up of life. Hence, it's logically assimilated Easter's pagan symbols into Christianity to represent the resurrection of Christ.

As for Holi, the riot of colours is - fairly obvious - a simile for the frenzy melee of Spring flower blooms. I'm not a botanist, but chances are, the dye powders of various colours are probably come from the flowers themselves. Like the story of good triumphs over evil, or arrival of Spring after Winter, or the appearance of rainbow after a downpour, in Holi, the idea of renewal could be seen in the encouragement in the moral acts of forgetting and forgiving that associates with this festival.

Holi isn't being incorporated into or adopted by any religion, and so it remains a pagan festival that could be celebrated by people of all faiths.

The celebration is accompanied by live music and dance performance. I recommend you wear a white shirt (and come home with a rainbow one, compliment of Holi Festival).

Dance Party, Holi Festival, Esplanade, Singapore


Dance Party, Holi Festival, Esplanade, Singapore

Dance Party, Holi Festival, Esplanade, Singapore







Dance Party, Holi Festival, Esplanade, Singapore


Dance Party, Holi Festival, Esplanade, Singapore


Dance Party, Holi Festival, Esplanade, Singapore Dance Party, Holi Festival, Esplanade, Singapore
Dance Party, Holi Festival, Esplanade, Singapore Dance Party, Holi Festival, Esplanade, Singapore
Dance Party, Holi Festival, Esplanade, Singapore Dance Party, Holi Festival, Esplanade, Singapore
Dance Party, Holi Festival, Esplanade, Singapore Dance Party, Holi Festival, Esplanade, Singapore
Dance Party, Holi Festival, Esplanade, Singapore Dance Party, Holi Festival, Esplanade, Singapore


This outdoor activity is great for the family and those who want to enjoy dance party, let their hair down, and turn your friends and/or family members into colourful works of arts. For those who enjoy the more subdued programs, there were a few musical performances in 2 venues: one is located at the Esplanade Outdoor Theatre, and the other in the Esplanade Concourse where you can enjoy Nepalese folk dances performed by Maharastra Mandal & Nepalese Society (Singapore).


Dance Party, Holi Festival, Esplanade, Singapore Dance Party, Holi Festival, Esplanade, Singapore

Dance Party, Holi Festival, Esplanade, Singapore Dance Party, Holi Festival, Esplanade, Singapore




As usual, everything is free.

Happy Holi !



Sunday, 20 March 2016

Singapore St. Patrick's Day Street Festival 2016

It's not all surprising that St Patrick's Day is celebrated in the English-speaking immigrant nations of America, Australia and Canada (in alphabetical order for political correctness) where there're a sizable Irish communities, migrated there especially during the late 18th century. And the Aussies, Canadian and Yanks also celebrated Oktoberfest in a big way (just in case you dunno).

St Patrick's Day Street Festival, Singapore
Let's go green (大小帽)

It's little bit more surprising that St Patrick's Day is celebrated in Singapore (of course, even more surprising is that it's also celebrated in Japan and Russia. Yes, Russia! They must like Guinness a lot). In fact, the St Patrick's Society in Singapore is just a wee bit shy of a century old (91 this year).

Why there're a significant size of Irish community is another one of the many secrets of the Singapore history that's waiting to be explored (perhaps one day. Now I'm too busy swilling Guinness. Ok, I don't swill beers. I sip, I sup, I sample. It lasts 5 times longer and doesn't go to my head; just my thigh. Ok, ok, I lied. I've converted from alcoholism to teetotalism for more than 1 score and 7 years ago (I've also converted from Atheism to Agnosticism about 2.1 decades ago. But that's another story). My substitute drink is peppermint tea, which is also green. I wonder if shamrock shake is available).

While this St Paddy Parade have been running for 10 years, this is my 1st sightseeing. Some people think bagpipes blow, but I'm a sucker for it even though I dunno how to blow the sucker. It's a must see for me. End of discussion, Shawna!

The pipe band started their performance at Raffles Landing Site (marked by the white statue of Raffle) at 2:30pm. I was sitting at Cavenagh Bridge like a sitting duck for the parade to pass me by, and none the wiser. Soon I heard the distant sound of bagpipes over the (pretty flat) rolling hill by the river.

O Danny Boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling...

So I scurried to the Landing Site like a church mouse.

Pipe band, St Patrick's Day Street Festival, Singapore
In many culture, music was played to their religious icon during religious celebration...
'Tis Raffles, not Saint Paddy...

Percussion group, pipe band, St Patrick's Day Street Festival, Singapore
I like snare drums, I like bass drums,
If they've drum beats, I'm wired for sound.




Pipe band, St Patrick's Day Street Festival, Singapore
Some are not so green...


At 3pm, the band marched across Cavenagh Bridge.

So ladies and laddies, I give you St Paddy's Parade...Hurrah!


Street March, St Patrick's Day Street Festival, Singapore
These laddies leading the parade

Pipe band, St Patrick's Day Street Festival, Singapore
Marching into Cavenagh Bridge...The pipe band is coming!

Cavenagh Bridge, Pipe band, St Patrick's Day Street Festival, Singapore




Cavenagh Bridge, Pipe band, St Patrick's Day Street Festival, Singapore
The spectating lads and lassies



I didn't wear green on the day. The only green I've got is a pair of army khaki pants. The last time I wore it, standing on the lawn looking cool, a dog peed on me thinking I was a tree. What kinda tree? An Apple tree since I was holding an iPhone at the time. The logo was clearly showing.


Street Parade, St Patrick's Day Street Festival, Singapore
The Gaelic Dragons - a local dragon boat racing team - was one of the many groups marching on the day


Street Parade, St Patrick's Day Street Festival, Singapore
Very Caribbean...maan!




The parade moved along the river, started at Cavenagh Bridge and ended in UOB Plaza.

Street Parade, St Patrick's Day Street Festival, Singapore

Street Parade, St Patrick's Day Street Festival, Singapore

Street Parade, St Patrick's Day Street Festival, Singapore
She's looking at you, lad!


Street Parade, St Patrick's Day Street Festival, Singapore
Gathering at UOB Plaza

We didn't stay in UOB plaza. Instead, we went to Circular Rd for some Irish stage performances. You would also find some Irish pubs and grubs to wet your lips and fill your tummy and to complete the St. Patrick's Day's celebration.

Circular Road, St Patrick's Day Street Festival, Singapore
The giant Guiness beer served as pailou (gateway) to Circular Road

Molly Malone's Irish Pub, Singapore
Me:  "Hey Shawna, is that Molly Malone by the door?"
Danny Boy:  "Sure. Sure..."
Me:  "Let's go say hello to her. Shall we?"
Shawna:  "To be sure. To be sure..."

Street Sign, Singapore
Me:  "Hey Shawna, are all the street signs in Singapore painted in Irish green?"
Paddy:  "To be sure. To be sure..."


Live performance, St Patrick's Day Street Festival, Singapore
Me:  "Hey Shawna, are they singing in Irish?"
Shawna:  "How am I supposed to know? I'm not Irish!"
Sinéad:  "To be sure. To be sure..."

Here's an Irish folk ballad "O Danny Boy", played a little Singaporean girl.




Me:  Would you be back next year, Shawna?
Danny Boy: To be sure. To be sure...
Drunken Passer-by (no nationality specified for political correctness):  To be sure. To be sure...
Sinéad:  To be sure. To be sure.
Shawna:  Whatever!
Me:  Alrighty then.



Wednesday, 16 March 2016

i Light Marina Bay 2016: Day 14 Visit


To read my Day 5 visit to i Light Festival  

The art installations are basically placed at 3 locations around Marina Bay. In my previous visit, I went to see the exhibits in the Promotory @ Marina Bay.

In this visit, I was going to see the exhibits located next to Marina Bay Sands. So the views I saw are that of the CBD.

Theatres by the Bay, Marina Bay, Singapore
View from Marina Bay Sands towards north: the tall cylindrical white chimney on the left is Swissôtel,
Theatres by the Bay (aka "The Durians") is in the middle,
and the pair of hi-tech looking buildings wearing large fishnet stockings on the right
is South Bridge Towers, which are either just completed recently or is in the final stage of development.

CBD citiscape, Marina Bay, Singapore
View of CBD from across Marina Bay
with sunset beam sneaked through the gap between HSBC and BNP Paribas buildings

CBD cityscape, Marina Bay, Singapore
Another angle of CBD view across the Bay


 Groove Light 

Groovy Light, i light festival, Marina Bay, Singapore Art installation, Groovy Light, i light festival, Marina Bay, Singapore

The 1st thing it struck me was the shadows the above lantern cast on the ground. I expected to see some complex curvy shadows on the ground, not squares.

In the video below, starting from halfway in the video, you can see the shadow is transformed from a closed circle into a lattice of squares as I moved the light source vertically from the topmost position down to the bottom position.

I think it should be called "Groovy Light" because it's groovy, man.



This sort of "magic" (aka science and technology) can only be produced in practice by a 3D printer, which Singapore is into in a serious way. They have done 3D printing from trivial stuff like cakes to aircraft engine parts.

Many people still have no idea what a 3D printer is. When I mentioned to Ada, she said the photocopying machine in her office can print 3D and in colour. Should I LOL or roll eyes? I smiled. A wise choice.

I told her that 1 day, 3D printer can produce a replica of me (if I live that long). At least in theory. Who knows? It can happen (and can be mildly frightening or wildly heartening). Scientist say that the chemicals in our body cost less than a cup of coffee. But Russian mafia say an organ alone can be sold for more than the cost of a car on the black market. Maybe the part is more than the sum of its parts?! It doesn't add up. Does it now?

So how much does it cost to print me? I'm saving my money now, and save much more than one can earn from a steady wage earner because of central banks' money printing (the worst form of printing). That's why I have to invest in the share market where it's helped by money printing. And I'm watching 3D Systems company to invest in for the last 2 years. Lately, their stock price action is looking good. One day, I may say, I like 3D printer so much, I buy the company (parts of it in the forms of stock). Soon, I think.

Do we print the whole body in one go like the teleport in Star Trek? Or do we print the individual organs and put it together like Lego pieces? Dunno. If I can be put together (unlike Humpty Dumpty), I would like to be a transformer who can change into a car. It should solve my parking problem. Indeed, solve the world's parking issue. My name is Frank, Frank Enstein.

Frankenstein
"Sorry my friend. 3D printer hasn't been invented yet, so I just have to put you together
in the old fashion way. I'll create you like one would build a Lego action figure but with 
human body parts. Some of them came from the Russian black market. Okie dokie?"

Lego of Lisa Simpson
Lego of Lisa Simpson from her ear (i should say "rear")

At the moment 3D printer can print simple body part like a human ear (don't click on it if you don't want to see a photo of human ear on a petri dish). The doctor said that the printed human ear is actually better than the real one (of course, there's nothing fake about the printed ear). Better? How? I guess the Canadian, Russian, and Scandinavian would save money on earmuffs and spare the pain of winter cold. What's that? I can't hear you very well. My ears are all frozen solid. Don't pinch it, it may shatter into pieces.



 Bolt 
This is a simple bright spark, but I like it. While the whole art installation is meant to simulate lightning in nature, It's not hard to see how the inspiration comes from (with the lightbulb lights up above your head. Ding!). When you switch on a somewhat old flickering fluorescent tube, doesn't the flickering remind you of lightning with bright flashes in a dark room? By arranging those in a tree branch like structure, one can simulate the form of forks in a more varying and interesting way.

The experience would be better if the trigger is implemented using motion sensor instead of a manual switch.

Bolt Art installation, i light festival, Marina Bay, Singapore Bolt Art installation, i light festival, Marina Bay, Singapore
Bolt Art installation, i light festival, Marina Bay, Singapore Bolt Art installation, i light festival, Marina Bay, Singapore



 Light Walk 
Right:  The large and sprawling Mist Walk sculpture.
Mist Walk Art installation, i light festival, Marina Bay, Singapore


Following is a video showing how the melodies was sounded as a pedestrian walked under the sensors.



The following video was made as I walked under it while pointing my camera skywards to record the flashing colours in the sensors.



The thing that this art installation triggered in my mind is the obscure musical instrument called theremin. Below is the video showing a musician who seems to specialise in playing little known instrument.



Somebody called it an invisible musical instrument. This is clearly - no pun intended - a wrong name because you can see the instrument. What's invisible is the "string" if you can call it that. The musician produced a sound by "plucking" the invisible "string" not too dissimilar to guitar. Although the "visible" musical instrument that theremin reminds me of is the Vietnamese Dan Bau (Đàn Bầu), except in theremin the string seems to be vertical while in Đàn Bầu the string is horizontal.




The theremin produces a somewhat eerie or otherworldly sounds that you would have heard of if you watch horror flicks from the 1950s to 1960s. Especially in sci-fi flicks. They may not be produced by the theremin, they sure sound like it.

In the 1950s and 60s, it sounded futuristic because it's produced artificially. Today, the instrument is nearly 100 years old.

Apparently, the creator Jen Levin had been displayed this large-scale artwork as a public interactive installation in various public spaces around her native USA. She has been working on it for 20 years. I wonder if she's thinking of producing a scaled down version as a musical instrument. Something akin the theremin. I suspect that when she experiment with her art installation, she did it on a small scale.