Daily Market Update

September Is The Best Month For Gold and Worst Month For Stocks

by Mark Hulbert of Marketwatch

If you listen closely, you’ll hear gold investors whispering that “it’s an ill wind that blows no good.” That’s because, while September may be the worst month of the calendar for stocks, it’s the best month for gold.

Since it began trading freely in the U.S. in the early 1970s, gold bullion has produced an average gain of 2.1% in September. The comparable monthly average for all non-September months is 0.6%. (See table below)

This difference is significant at the 90% confidence level that some statisticians use when determining if a pattern is real — though not at the more stringent 95% confidence level.

To the extent the future will be like the past, therefore, September may finally bring some good news to long-beleaguered gold bugs. You may recall that I wrote about gold’s monthly seasonal patterns last May, pointing out that gold’s seasonal tendencies would be negative through the end of August. Since that column was written, gold has fallen by about 10%.

To be sure, as I wrote recently when discussing the stock market’s negative September seasonalities, statistics alone are not a sufficient reason to bet on a pattern’s persisting. Another prerequisite is that there exist a plausible theory for why the statistical pattern should exist in the first place.

Unlike the situation for stocks’ September seasonalities, there does appear to be a plausible explanation for gold’s September seasonality. Three, in fact.

I say this on the basis of a study by Dirk Baur, a professor of accounting and finance at the University of Western Australia business school. He discussed three possible explanations for what he termed gold’s autumn effect: “Hedging demand by investors in anticipation of the ‘Halloween effect’ in the stock market; wedding season gold jewelry demand in India, and negative investor sentiment due to shorter daylight time.”

A couple of crucial qualifications are in order. First, Baur also found that gold’s returns are more volatile in the autumn than in other seasons of the year. So on a risk-adjusted basis it may simply be that gold’s higher autumn returns are compensation for the additional volatility.

Second, these results are based on averages, and not every September is positive for gold. Last year, gold bullion lost 2.2%. So even if you believe the future will be like the past, there’s no guarantee that gold will do well this coming month.

Still, even with these qualifications, many gold investors are no doubt relieved that the seasonal winds are finally blowing in a more positive direction.

Courtesy of MarketWatch. For more information, including descriptions of the Hulbert Sentiment Indices, go to The Hulbert Financial Digest 




News and Commentary

Gold inches down as trade worries keep dollar firm (Reuters.com)

Gold Prices Tick Higher During U.S. Holiday, Focus on Jobs Report (Investing.com)

Stocks Mixed on Global-Trade Fears; Pound Weakens (Bloomberg.com)

Perth Mint’s August gold, silver sales rise on lower prices (Reuters.com)

India’s central bank sells Treasuries and buys gold for first time in nearly a decade (IndiaTimes.com)

Perth Mint’s August gold, silver sales rise on lower prices (Reuters.com)

India’s central bank sells Treasuries and buys gold for first time in nearly a decade (IndiaTimes.com)

Source: Bloomberg.com

Gold could yet make a comeback as a reserve currency (GulfNews.com)

Global trade tensions are likely to get even worse after the US midterms (CNBC.com)

Why the US dollar is key to the fate of global markets (MoneyWeek.com)

The Beginning of the End? | John Rubino (Youtube.com)

Maduro Buys Gold to Boost Savings amid Five-Digit Inflation (StarTribune.com)

Maduro Buys Gold to Boost Savings amid Five-Digit Inflation (StarTribune.com)

Gold Prices (LBMA AM)

03 Sep: USD 1,201.70, GBP 933.00 & EUR 1,035.75 per ounce
31 Aug: USD 1,206.85, GBP 927.58 & EUR 1,034.03 per ounce
30 Aug: USD 1,202.35, GBP 924.25 & EUR 1,028.49 per ounce
29 Aug: USD 1,204.30, GBP 935.14 & EUR 1,032.33 per ounce
28 Aug: USD 1,212.75, GBP 939.88 & EUR 1,037.02 per ounce
24 Aug: USD 1,189.95, GBP 928.76 & EUR 1,029.43 per ounce

Silver Prices (LBMA)

03 Sep: USD 14.53, GBP 11.27 & EUR 12.50 per ounce
31 Aug: USD 14.66, GBP 11.27 & EUR 12.56 per ounce
30 Aug: USD 14.67, GBP 11.27 & EUR 12.54 per ounce
29 Aug: USD 14.69, GBP 11.40 & EUR 12.60 per ounce
28 Aug: USD 14.90, GBP 11.56 & EUR 12.74 per ounce
24 Aug: USD 14.62, GBP 11.37 & EUR 12.63 per ounce

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Mark O'Byrne
Executive Director


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