Friday, January 11, 2008

Is gold's glass half full, or half empty?

Commentary: Contrarians would be more bullish if gold timers weren't so exuberant

From MarketWatch:

...Consider the latest reading of the Hulbert Gold Newsletter Sentiment Index (HGNSI), which reflects the average recommended gold market exposure among a subset of short-term gold timing newsletters tracked by the Hulbert Financial Digest. The HGNSI currently stands at 58.9%.

The historical range for the HGNSI extends from 89.6% at the high extreme, to minus 31.3% at the low end. (A negative number means that the average gold timer is short the market.)
What does the current HGNSI mean?

On the one hand, bulls can take heart from the fact that it is still some 30 percentage points below its all-time high. Yet, on the other hand, the current reading is a lot closer to that all-time high than to the end of the spectrum that would suggest that there is a strong wall of worry.

Another source of concern for contrarians: The HGNSI recently rose markedly. Three weeks ago, for example, it stood at 21.4%. A near tripling of the average exposure level in such a short period of time suggests that many timers are eagerly jumping on the bullish bandwagon.

Contrarians would be more confident that gold's rally is sustainable if there weren't this much eagerness....MORE