Prior Chart      
Chart In Focus

Gold Prices and Full Moons

Chart In Focus
December 03, 2020

Several years ago, I undertook a project, intent upon proving that there was no possible relationship between gold prices and full moons as some other analysts had asserted.  I confess that I failed in that effort, because it became pretty clear quite quickly that there was indeed a relationship between the two. 

The frustrating part is that defining exactly what that relationship is remains elusive.  Full moon dates pretty reliably mark important points for gold prices.  But those points can be tops, or bottoms, or acceleration points.  And thus far I have not figured out a way to tell in advance the manner in which a future full moon date will seem to matter.

Even more intriguing is the observation that lunar eclipses (which are also full moon dates, by definition) seem to be more important than your average full moon date.  That is relevant just now because the Nov. 30 full moon was also a penumbral lunar eclipse.  A penumbral eclipse means that the moon was farther away from earth than its average orbital distance, and so some of the sun’s light sneaks around the earth to illuminate the moon as opposed to getting completely blocked like what happens when the moon’s elliptical orbit brings it closer to earth. 

I cannot identify for you any reason why this should matter.  The moon is 243,000 miles away from earth on average, varying from around 230,000 to 260,000 miles in its elliptical orbit.  And even though its gravitational field is strong enough to affect tides, I cannot describe a mechanism for how it would affect gold prices.  It is true that gold’s valuation is a function of human attitudes, and human attitudes are subject to lots of different outside forces.  But I cannot explain why the moon’s phase should matter.  The moon phase really should not matter, in a sensible world.

And yet it seems to matter, given what this week’s chart shows.  The full moon dates seem to be important for gold prices.  The eclipse dates seem even more so.

Apart from the full moon schedule, there is another independent pattern of important turning points appearing every 26 trading days.  Once again, I have no good explanation for the period of this phenomenon.  I have just seen that it has been working for several years now.

Gold's 26 trading day turning point pattern

I do not know of any good reason why gold should see meaningful turning points every 26 trading days, any more than I might know why the full moon schedule should matter.  I just know that it has been working for several years, and at some point the accumulated evidence is sufficient to satisfy the observer that it is a real phenomenon. 

Even more interesting is that when the two cycles align, meaning the full moon schedule and the 26TD turning point pattern, then the implication for gold prices seems even stronger.  We saw that happen at the big price top in early August 2020.  Just recently there was a slightly less synchronous coincidence of the two patterns, with the 26TD pattern pointing to Nov. 24, 2020, and the full moon arriving on Nov. 30.  The full moon schedule (and the lunar eclipse) seems to have been the more important factor this time. 

And at the end of December 2020, we have a full moon due on Dec. 29, and a 26TD turning point on Jan. 4.  Once again this is an imprecise coincidence, but perhaps interesting. 

I have not figured out a way to use the full moon schedule, nor the 26TD turning point schedule, as a definitive trading plan for gold prices.  The manner in which these instances matter seems to change from instance to instance.  Still, I would rather know than not know, and to hope to use observations about what is actually happening in real time to shape my interpretation.  The markets, it seems, are more complicated than what gets taught in the economics textbooks.

Tom McClellan
Editor, The McClellan Market Report

Related Charts
Sep 18, 2020
Enable Images to see this Chart
Is QE Good For Gold Prices?
Aug 13, 2020
Enable Images to see this Chart
Gold and Consumer Sentiment - The Linkage
Mar 12, 2020
Enable Images to see this Chart
Gold Moving Lower Despite Covid-19