The Strange Behavior of Gold Investors from Monday to Thursday

by Dimitri Speck, Acting Man:

Known and Unknown Anomalies

Readers are undoubtedly aware of one or another stock market anomaly, such as e.g. the frequently observed weakness in stock markets in the summer months, which the well-known saying “sell in May and go away” refers to. Apart from such widely known anomalies, there are many others though, which most investors have never heard of. These anomalies can be particularly interesting and profitable for investors – and there are several in the precious metals sector as well.  Today I am going to introduce one of those to you.

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As Donald Rumsfeld, former secretary of defense knew, there are things we know we know, things we know we don’t know, and things we don’t know we don’t know (unfortunately he neglected to consider that there are also things we think we know that just ain’t so, such as “Saddam has WMDs” – but let’s not digress). Anyway, Seasonax knows them all! [PT]

Gold investors dead asleep for days?

To this end we are going to examine the performance of gold and gold stocks broken down by days of the week.

The first chart shows the annualized performance of the gold price in USD terms since 2000 (black bar), as well as the annualized gain generated on individual days of the week (blue bars).

I have measured the returns based on closing prices, thus the performance achieved on Tuesday equals the average percentage change between the close of trading on Monday and the close on Tuesday.

Gold, performance by days of the week, 2000 to 2017.  Friday stands out markedly

Gold, performance by days of the week, 2000 to 2017.  Friday stands out markedly

As the chart illustrates, one day really stands out: Friday. With an annualized return of 7.50 percent it reflects almost the entire annualized gain of 8.84 percent generated by the gold price over the time period under review.

By contrast, almost nothing noteworthy happened in the gold market from Monday to Tuesday. On Tuesday prices even declined slightly on average.

The difference – which has been measured over a period of no less than 4,585 trading days – is obviously quite significant. This suggests that these patterns are not a coincidence.

Gold investors indeed appear to be mired in deep sleep from Monday to Tuesday, or at the very least they are showing very little enthusiasm on these days.

The days of the week under the magnifying glass

What exactly was the cumulative trend in this pattern over time? The next illustration shows the indexed performance of gold since the turn of the millennium in gold color, as well as that of individual days of the week in other colors.

Gold, cumulative performance by days of the week, 2000 to 2017, indexed. A steady uptrend was in evidence on Fridays

Gold, cumulative performance by days of the week, 2000 to 2017, indexed.
A steady uptrend was in evidence on Fridays

As the chart shows, prices essentially tended to move sideways over the first four days of the week. Only in 2009 did Wednesday (green line) manage to generate a somewhat stronger average return as well.

The gains in the gold price over the entire period of almost 17 years were primarily achieved on Fridays. The blue line depicting the cumulative returns achieved on Friday is in a very steady uptrend. On Friday prices frequently even managed to rise even when the gold price declined overall in the course of the year, such as e.g. in 2014.

In short, Friday is indeed quite an unusual day.

 

The action in gold stocks is even more extreme

Given that Friday appears to hold a special position in the gold market, the question arises whether and to what extent gold stocks are affected by it. After all, the trend in gold stock prices depends on the trend in the gold price.

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