2017 was an exciting year, especially in the cryptocurrency markets, where Bitcoin rose about 12x, Ethereum rose about 82x, and other smaller coins and tokens rose even more. Commodities were very active, with palladium surging 38% while coffee fell 19%. Bonds and most currencies were lower, while major stock indexes were higher.

The only national currency to finish the year higher was the Euro, which rose 1.1%. The US Dollar fell the most, dropping 11.2%. Short term bonds fell even more than USD cash, dropping 11.6%, while long term bonds fell 4.0%.

Although gold stocks fell 6.8% for the year, all the major stock indexes were higher, led by the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which gained 11.8%. The S&P 500 rose 6.8%.

Metals were very active, with palladium and copper climbing 37.7% and 16.5% respectively, while platinum and silver fell 9.6% and 7.2%. Palladium crossed over platinum to become the more valuable of the two metals, while platinum itself made new all-time lows near the end of the year. Coffee had the largest losses of any asset class, dropping 18.6%. Crude oil finished the year little changed, up just 0.6%.

Let's take a closer look at the Cryptocurrencies. The two coins tracked here, Ethereum and Bitcoin (the two largest by market cap) both had banner years. Ethereum started 2017 worth about 0.22 grams and finished the year at 18.2 grams, a gain of 8,172%. Bitcoin started the year at 26.3 grams (just under one ounce of gold) and finished at 333.9 grams (a bit over 10 ounces). Along the way, Bitcoin hit a high of 479.5 grams. Although this growth is astounding, keep in mind that during 2013, Bitcoin's value grew by 100x. These markets are actually maturing and become less volatile as they see wider adoption and more hedging.

The crypto space overall evolved greatly during the year as well. Looking at the market capitalization of all coins and tokens, the space grew in value from about 0.5 kt (kilotonnes, or in SI terms, gigagrams) to a peak of 15.3 kt, before ending the year at 13.9 kt. For comparison, this is about 7.5% of the above ground supply of gold, estimated to be 187 kt – which curiously, is also roughly the estimated value of cash (bills and coins) in worldwide circulation.

In addition to the market's growth in size, it has also evolved in composition. As the year began, Bitcoin represented about 87% of the market cap, while Ethereum was 4%, and all other cryptos combined were 9%. By the end of the year, Bitcoin was 38%, Ethereum was 12%, and all other cryptos were about 50% of the market.

It will be interesting to see what 2018 brings! As electric cars take more of the transportation market, demand for platinum and palladium may decline, but copper and silver could strengthen. The cryptocurrency markets will continue to evolve, with many coins and tokens becoming worthless, while the market discovers the true price for those with real utility. I expect that Bitcoin and Ethereum will continue to be among the survivors, but I doubt they will see the kind of growth they enjoyed in 2017. If the trend towards higher interest rates continues, bonds will continue to decline, and as total debt rises, national currencies may also see further declines. All of these trends put the stock market into a precarious position; currently priced for perfection, what happens as portfolio allocations to gold, commodities, cryptocurrencies and cash rise? Forced to compete with rising bond yields, but paying higher rates for new financing, can equities maintain their lofty P/Es?

Whatever comes, I wish you the very best in 2018!

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Digital tokens rose strongly, while other asset classes were mixed. Ethereum made the largest gains, rising a whopping 49.6% to close at 17.0 grams, while Bitcoin ended in second place, up 9.3%. Copper was in third place, rising 4.9%. The largest losses were in coffee, which fell 1.8% for the week, while the EURO STOXX 50 dropped 1.5% and platinum fell 1.4% to close at 21.9 grams per ounce, a new all-time low.

The strongest currency was the Japanese Yen, which gained 0.5%. The Chinese Yuan fell furthest, dropping 0.6%. Short term bonds tracked US Dollar cash closely, each dropping 0.3%, while long term bonds rose 1.0%.

After closing the prior week at a new all-time high of 399.3 grams, Bitcoin continued to work its way higher through the week, closing on Friday at 436.4 grams, up 9.3%, and setting another record. Bitcoin continued to rise over the weekend, closing on Saturday at 479.5 grams, but since has pulled back more than 15%. Ethereum climbed strongly early in the week hitting a new high of 17.6 grams on Wednesday, then settled back on Thursday and Friday to finish the week at 17.0 grams, up a stunning 49.6%. ETH has continued to climb since then, reaching a new all-time high of 20.4 grams on Tuesday the 19th.

Gold stocks turned around this week, rising 1.3%, outperforming all the major stock indexes, the best of which was the Dow Jones Industrials, which gained 1.0%. The worst performer was the Euro STOXX, which lost 1.5%.

Copper was the strongest commodity this week, rising 4.9%. Cotton was also strong, gaining 2.7%. Coffee was weakest, dropping 1.8%, while platinum fell 1.4% to a new all-time low of 21.9 grams per ounce. Platinum has since recovered smartly, and was trading at 22.6 grams as of Wednesday the 20th.

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Digital tokens and commodities were again mixed, while other asset classes were mostly higher. Bitcoin made the largest gains, rising 50.8% for the week to close at 399.3 grams. Cotton ended in second place, up 2.6%. The largest losses were in coffee, which fell 3.5% for the week, while gold stocks dropped 2.8% and platinum fell 2.6% to close at 22.2 grams per ounce, a new all-time low.

The strongest currency was the US Dollar, which gained 2.0% to close at 24.9 mg, but the Chinese Yuan wasn't far behind, rising 1.9%. The Canadian Dollar and the Euro were the weakest currencies, gaining 1.0% apiece. Bonds tracked the Dollar closely, with long term bonds rising 2.1%, and short term bonds gaining 2.0%.

After closing the prior week at a new all-time high of 264.8 grams, Bitcoin traded in a fairly narrow range until Wednesday and Thursday, when it soared to a new high of 417.8 grams before pulling back on Friday to finish the week at 399.3 grams, up 50.8%. Bitcoin continued to slide over the weekend, losing about 11%, but rallied on Monday the 11th to 416.5 grams, just 0.3% below Friday's all-time high. Ethereum dithered early in the week, then dropped 7% on Wednesday, but recouped most of that loss on Thursday and Friday to finish the week down 0.3% at 11.3 grams. ETH swung wildly over the weekend, but climbed on Monday the 11th to close at a new all-time high of 12.8 grams.

Gold stocks were hit hard, falling 2.8% for the week, but all the major stock indexes were higher, led by the Dow Industrials which added 2.4%. The Japanese Nikkei rose least, gaining 1.3%.

Cotton was the strongest commodity again this week, rising 2.6%. Palladium was also strong, gaining 1.3%. Coffee was weakest, dropping 3.5%, and platinum fell 2.6% to a new all-time low of 22.2 grams per ounce. Silver and copper were also weak, falling 1.7% apiece. As in the prior week, crude oil rose slightly, adding another 0.2%.

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Digital tokens and commodities were mixed, while other asset classes were unchanged or higher. Bitcoin made the largest gains, rising 34.0% to close at 264.8 grams, a new all time high. The largest losses were in silver, which fell 2.6% for the week, closing at 0.4 grams per ounce.

The Japanese Yen was the weakest currency, unchanged for the week. The strongest currency was the US Dollar, which gained 1.2% to close at 24.4 mg. Long term and short term bonds rose 1.0% each. Both were outpaced by notes of zero maturity (USD cash).

Bitcoin worked it's way higher all week, starting at just under 200 grams, and closing at a new all-time high of 264.8 grams on Friday, a gain of 34.0%. The rising momentum has continued, setting more record highs and leaving Bitcoin at 283.7 grams as of Monday the 4th. Ethereum made a new all-time high on Monday the 27th at 11.5 grams, but by Wednesday had fallen 10.2%, to 10.4 grams. ETH recovered on Thursday and Friday, finishing the week at 11.4 grams, down 0.6%.

Gold stocks were little changed, down 0.1% for the week, and European STOXX were unchanged. The Dow Industrials gained the most, adding 4.1%. The S&P 500 rose 2.7%.

Cotton was the strongest commodity, rising 3.1%. Coffee and palladium were also strong, gaining 2.8% and 2.7% respectively. Silver was off 2.6%, while copper fell 2.0%, but platinum rose 1.1%. Crude oil rose slightly, finishing up 0.2% for the week.

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All asset classes except cryptocurrencies had mixed results this week. Bitcoin made the largest gains, rising 17.0% to close at 186.2 grams, after hitting a new all time high of 190.6 grams on Thursday. Ethereum also had a great week, rising 10.8%. The largest losses were in coffee, which fell 2.9% for the week.

The Canadian Dollar was the weakest currency, falling 1.1% to 18.9 mg. The strongest currency was the Euro, which gained 1.0% to close at 28.5 mg. Long term bonds rose 1.8% while short term bonds dropped 0.1%. Notes of zero maturity (USD cash) were unchanged for the week at 24.2 mg.

Bitcoin started the week by declining over the weekend, hitting a low of 141.8 grams on Sunday, then began a strong rally that carried it to a new all-time high of 190.6 grams on Thursday before settling at 186.2 grams on Friday, up 17.0%. The rising momentum has continued, setting new record highs and leaving Bitcoin at 199.2 grams as of Monday the 20th. Ethereum worked it's way higher over the course of the week, ending up 10.8% at 8.0 grams.

Gold stocks were 0.4% higher for the week, but all the major indexes were lower. The Dow Industrials and the Japanese Nikkei fell the most, dropping 0.3% each. The S&P 500 and the Euro STOXX each fell 0.1%.

Coffee reversed course this week, falling 2.9% and giving up all of the prior week's gains. Cotton was the strongest commodity, rising 1.1%. Crude oil, palladium and copper each fell 0.3%, while silver gained 0.5% and platinum was unchanged.

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This week, commodities were mixed, but all other asset classes were unchanged or lower. Bitcoin saw the largest drop, falling 9.5% to close at 159.1 grams after hitting a new all time high of 181.3 grams on Saturday the 4th. The largest gains were in coffee, which rose 1.5% for the week.

The US Dollar was the weakest currency, falling 1.3% to 24.2 mg. The strongest currency was the Japanese Yen, which fell 0.5%. Long term bonds fell 2.5% while short term bonds dropped 1.4%. Both were outperformed by notes of zero maturity (USD cash).

Bitcoin surged higher after the prior week's close, setting a record high of 181.3 grams over the weekend, then slid on Monday, rallied on Tuesday and Wednesday to 180.7 grams, then declined sharply on Thursday and Friday to close at 159.1 grams, down 9.5%. This decline continued to a low of 141.9 grams on Sunday, but reversed and began rising on Monday. Ethereum declined early in the week, reaching a low of 7.2 grams on Tuesday, then rallied to 7.8 grams on Thursday, but pulled back to close at 7.3 grams, down 3.5%.

Stocks were mostly lower, led by the EURO STOXX, which fell 3.4%. The Japanese Nikkei was the best performer, up 0.1%. Gold stocks were the next-best, losing 0.8% for the week. The Dow Jones Industrials fell 1.8% to close at 567.2 grams.

Coffee was the strongest commodity, rising 1.5%. Crude oil and platinum also rose, 0.6% and 0.3% respectively. Copper and silver were the weakest, falling 2.6% and 1.8% respectively. Palladium also fell, giving up 0.8%, but continues to be priced higher than platinum, an unusual state of affairs that I think will unwind eventually.

The website recovery is coming along nicely, and most charts should be getting updates at this point. Please email me if you have a favorite that is stale and I will make sure it gets attention. Thanks for your patience!

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The week of 13-Oct saw stocks, bonds and currencies lower, digital tokens much higher, and commodities mixed. This week, stocks, bonds and currencies recovered some of those losses, commodities were again mixed, and Bitcoin rose to new all-time highs while Ethereum gave up all of the prior week's gains. The largest gains were in Bitcoin, which rose 7.6% (on top of the prior week's 25.3% gain) to close at a record high of 145.3 grams. Gold stocks had the largest losses, dropping 1.2% this week on top of a 2.6% loss the prior week.

The US Dollar was strong this week, gaining 1.4% and recouping about half of the prior week's loss. The weakest currency was the Japanese Yen, which added 0.3%. Long term bonds were little changed (off 0.1%) while short term bonds rose 1.3% and notes of zero maturity (USD cash) gained 1.4%.

Bitcoin worked its way higher over the last two weeks, setting a string of record highs, and closed this week at an all-time high of 145.3 grams, up 8.8%. Ethereum rose 8.3% to 8.1 grams on Friday 13-Oct, but dropped steadily this week, closing at 7.4 grams, down 8.8%.

Stocks were higher, led by the Dow Jones Industrials, which rose 3.5% to close at 566.3 grams, a new 10 year high (more on this below). The Euro Stoxx FEZ rose 1.0%, the least of the major indexes. Gold stocks were the only falling equities, losing 1.2% for the week.

Copper and crude oil were the strongest commodities, rising 2.5% and 2.2% respectively. Cotton was the weakest, falling 1.1%. Platinum was also weak, dropping 0.9%, and continuing to hover just above its all-time lows.

US stocks, and the Dow Jones Industrials in particular, have been setting new record highs when measured in dollars. And they're doing quite well measured in gold, as well: they are up 157% from their 2009 lows and are now priced the same as they were exactly 10 years ago in October of 2007. But new all-time highs? Hardly! At 566 grams, they are 59% below their 1999 high of 1394 grams.

This week I suffered a major computer crash that damaged the spreadsheet used to build many of the charts for the website (but thankfully, not the time series data itself). I am taking this opportunity to restructure the charting files to make updating and backing up easier. As a result, many charts will not get updates for a few days. Hopefully full service will be restored by next week.

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All asset classes were higher this week except for crude oil, which fell 3.0%. The largest gains were in Bitcoin and Ethereum, which rose 6.7% and 6.8% respectively. Platinum made new lows this week but closed up 0.7%, while palladium rose 2.8% to 23.25 grams per ounce, making it more valuable than platinum's 22.5 grams per ounce. More on this later.

The Chinese Yuan was the best performing currency, rising 3.0%. The Canadian Dollar was the weakest, gaining 0.8%. Bonds rose again, and continued their bias toward the shorter maturities with the 20+ year TLT adding 0.7%, the 1-3 year SHY gaining 1.6% and notes of zero maturity (USD cash) rising 1.7%.

Ethereum worked its way higher to close the week at 7.5 grams, up 6.8%. Bitcoin followed a similar pattern, closing at 107.7 grams, up 6.7%.

Stocks were higher, led by gold stocks, which gained 4.6%. The Dow Jones Industrials were the best performing major index, rising 3.0%. The Euro Stoxx FEZ rose 1.5%, the least of the major indexes.

Crude oil was the only falling commodity, giving up 3.0%. Silver was the next weakest, gaining just 0.1%. Copper rose the most, adding 4.3%.

On Tuesday, platinum set a new all-time low of 22.2 grams, then rallied to close the week at 22.5 grams, up 0.7%. Palladium rose 2.6% to close at 23.25 grams, making it more valuable than platinum. Gold > Palladium > Platinum is a rarely (as in, never before?) seen arrangement for precious metals prices… The last time palladium was more expensive than platinum was in September of 2001, at which time both metals were significantly more valuable than gold. I think there could be a good long-term speculation in long platinum/short palladium as low platinum prices drive increased substitution for palladium in catalytic converters and other industrial applications.

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Currencies, bonds and major stock indexes were higher, commodities were mixed, and digital tokens stabilized this week. The largest losses were in coffee and silver, down 2.9% and 2.0% respectively. The biggest gains were in Ethereum, up 4.0%, and crude oil, which rose 3.7%.

The Euro was the best performing currency, rising 2.4%. The Pound Sterling, which was a star performer among the currencies last week, gained a modest 1.7% this week. The Japanese Yen was the weakest, gaining 1.0%. Bonds rose again, with the 20+ year TLT adding 1.6%, while the 1-3 year SHY gained 2.0% and notes of zero maturity (USD cash) rose 2.2%.

Ethereum rallied in the first half of the week, hitting a high of 6.7 grams on Wednesday, then pulled back to close the week at 6.3 grams, up 4.0%. Bitcoin followed a similar pattern, hitting a high of 96.4 grams on Tuesday, then drifting lower to close the week little changed at 86.6 grams, off 0.1%. Both BTC and ETH rallied over the weekend, with ETH trading at 7.0 grams and BTC trading at 94.5 grams on Monday.

Stocks were higher, with the exception of gold stocks, which dropped another 1.5%. The Japanese Nikkei gained the most, rising 3.0%. The S&P 500 rose 2.2%, the least of the major indexes.

Crude oil was the strongest of the commodities, rising 3.7%. Coffee fell the most, dropping 2.9%. Copper and palladium, industrial metals, were higher by 2.1% and 1.2% respectively. Silver was down 2.0% while platinum was off 2.1%. On Wednesday, platinum set a new all-time low of 22.4 grams, then rallied to close the week at 22.5 grams. Over the weekend, platinum continued to slide, closing on Monday at another new low of 22.3 grams.

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Currencies, bonds and major stock indexes were higher, commodities were mixed, and digital tokens fell hard again this week. The largest losses were in digital tokens, as Ethereum fell 14.2% and Bitcoin dropped 12.1%. The biggest gains were in coffee and crude oil, which added 10.1% and 6.9% respectively.

The US Dollar was the best performing currency in this chart, rising 1.8%, but it was trounced by the Pound Sterling, which gained 4.9%. The Japanese Yen was the only declining currency, dropping 0.9%. Bonds were up, with the 20+ year TLT adding 0.1%, while the 1-3 year SHY gained 1.6%. Neither rose as much as USD cash, however.

Bitcoin continued falling through most of the week, hit hard by an order from the Chinese central bank to close all cryptocurrency exchanges. After bottoming at 72.8 grams on Thursday, it rallied to end the week at 87.7 grams, down 12.1%. Ethereum followed a similar pattern, hitting a low of 5.2 grams on Thursday (47% below its all-time high), but recovered to close the week at 6.1 grams, down 14.2%. Both BTC and ETH continued to rally over the weekend, with ETH trading at 6.9 grams and BTC trading at 96.4 grams on Monday.

Stocks were higher, with the exception of gold stocks, which dropped 2.8%. The Dow Jones Industrials gained the most, rising 4.0%. The Japanese Nikkei rose 2.4%, the least of the major indexes.

Coffee was the strongest of the commodities, rising 10.1%. Cotton fell the most, dropping 5.8%. Crude oil was also strong, gaining 6.9%. Silver was down 1.1% while platinum was off 2.0%.

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