Weekly Gold & Silver Market Recap – 1/24/2014

GOLD REMAINS AT SIX-WEEK HIGH

Lower equities and a weaker U.S. dollar buoyed Precious Metals at the beginning of the week. Though gains were modest, Gold futures traded at their highest levels in almost six weeks. “I think the worst of the outflows is behind us,” Danny Laidler, head of ETF Securities’ Australia and New Zealand business, said. “A lot of our clients are still holding onto Gold as a risk-event hedge.” Gold bugs will continue to eye metals prices as Chinese demand ahead of the Lunar New Year, coupled with other economic factors, could continue to boost the yellow metal.

INVESTORS ANTICIPATE EARNING RESULTS FOR FOURTH QUARTER

The U.S. stock market closed Monday in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. However, it was expected investors would be focused Tuesday as earnings season continues and several Dow Jones Industrial companies were slated to announce fourth quarter results. Strong earnings reports were needed to boost stocks as poor industrial output and weak employment data have weighed on equities to start 2014.

PRECIOUS METALS PRESSURED FROM QE SPECULATION

Precious Metals prices headed downward through mid-day trading Tuesday, giving back gains earned at the end of last week. Speculation of continued quantitative easing (QE) tapering, a stronger U.S. dollar and a downbeat price forecast for Gold this year have weighed on Precious Metals. Mike Cullinane, head of Treasuries trading with D.A. Davidson in St. Petersburg, Florida, said, “The view out there is there’s going to be continued tapering on a gradual basis. Another $10 billion in tapering is a logical way to go.”

THREE RISKS POSED TO STOCK MARKET

MarketWatch’s Jeff Reeves wrote about three risks that could crash the stock market  in 2014, the first being disappointing jobs numbers. Reeves wrote that December’s disappointing report (released at the beginning of this month) was an outlier due to the bad weather, but “of course, the second option is that December’s jobs numbers weren’t a fluke… Friday, Feb. 7 [is] going to be a big day for the markets when January jobs data hits.” The second risk is bad earnings. “Profit margins have been at record highs for a while and haven’t cracked, so why would they this earnings season? Or the next? That’s the million-dollar question, and a huge risk to watch.” A lending drought is also a large concern for the markets. “If reports continue to show slowing lending in the U.S. and around the world, it could get painful for investors.”

PLATINUM REMAINS STRONG AS STRIKES BEGIN

Precious Metals prices fell slightly Wednesday as the U.S. dollar and equities strengthened over the course of the day, which encouraged some profit taking. Gold has already felt pressure this year as the U.S. economy continues to reflect growth and stability, along with concerns of further stimulus reduction measures. The next Federal Reserve policy meeting is set for January 28-29, and the market predicts that the Fed will announce its second round of tapering. Platinum, on the other hand, was the only metal with positive performance Wednesday, due mainly to Impala Platinum shutting down production at all of its South African operations a day ahead of planned strikes concerning wages.

EUROPE TO EXIT DEBT CRISIS SOON

Europe’s financial crisis has been a major concern for several years; however some economists suggest they may be exiting their fiscal issues soon. For instance, Switzerland appears to have escaped its recessionary bonds and may begin to show growth again. Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO at WPP Group and noted British businessman, said, “I think the answer is yes-ish. There are two Europes. There’s a Western Europe and there’s an Eastern Europe. I’m very bullish about Eastern Europe,” which includes Germany, Poland and Russia. German economist Axel Weber said, “Everyone expects the eurozone to grow, so that’s good. After several years of crisis, it’s quite normal to look on the bright side of things, to get excited about improvements. It may be too one-sided of a view.”

WEAK JOBLESS CLAIMS SUPPORTS GOLD

The Gold price overturned Wednesday’s losses on Thursday as a weaker U.S. dollar and a flat jobless claims report indicated economic growth is not as robust as predicted. Federal Reserve policymakers look to employment numbers as an overall gauge of domestic economic growth and use the data to determine the future of their quantitative easing (QE) program. This week’s downward revision of jobless claims projections marks the second week in a row that employment expectations were altered. As next week’s Federal Open Market Committee meeting approaches, jobs data will remain central to Fed officials’ decision to perpetuate QE or not.

GOLD PRODUCTION TO BE CUT IN 2014

As U.S. investors look to employment numbers, stock momentum and the Federal Reserve to gain insight into the future of Precious Metals prices, last year’s price drop has affected production of physical Gold. “The miners were mining at the highest possible cost because the Gold price was going up and when it stopped going up, they had to reduce that. So that means that they will mine less Gold,” Peter Hambro, chairman of Russian Gold mining company Petropavlovsk, said. With smaller scale mining operations closing up shop, larger firms like Petropavlovsk are cutting production back significantly this year. The diminished supply of physical Gold prompted Reuters to predict the yellow metal would be unable to slip much below current levels.

GOLD TRADING FLAT, STILL SET FOR FIFTH STRAIGHT WEEKLY GAIN

Precious Metals prices took a slight pullback Friday, though Gold was still poised for its fifth straight weekly gain. Even with today’s decline, an approaching Fed meeting and speculation that India will lower its import duty, many investors still have a positive outlook on Gold. Jeffrey Wright, managing director at H.C. Wainwright, said, “The existing pullback in equities markets has led to some ‘safe-haven’ buying, the potential for an increase in Gold imports to India if they lower the import duty, along with efforts in Europe to continue their own quantitative-easing policies are all supportive of Gold at the present time.”

 

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GOLD TAKES A BREATHER; STOCK FUTURES UP ON STIMULUS

Gold opened fractionally lower this morning, as the markets appear to be taking a pause after Thursday’s announcement of a stimulus program.  The program launched Thursday by the Federal Reserve is a combination of maintaining near-zero interest rates and an open-ended mortgage debt buying program.  News of this new program sent Gold up Thursday, closing up nearly 2 percent for the day and 10 percent for the month. “After the move we had, not just yesterday, but over the last two or three weeks I think it would be natural to look for a period of consolidation,” said Tom Kendall, an analyst at Credit Suisse in London. “But certainly going into the back end of this year, I would be looking for gold to be getting towards at least the $1,850 level.”

The news of the new round of stimulus has also had a positive effect on the U.S. stock markets.  After hitting new highs on Thursday, the U.S. stock-index futures for Friday are already up over 40 points. “While we will hear a lot of criticism on the FOMC’s aggressive moves, we shouldn’t forget that for markets, it usually doesn’t pay to fight the Fed,” wrote strategists at KBC Bank in Brussels.  Thursday’s rally pushed the S&P 500 index past the 1440 to 1445 range where it had been encountering significant resistance.

At 9:00 p.m. (EDT) – the APMEX precious metals spot prices were:

  • Gold – $1,771.70 – Up $0.80.
  • Silver – $34.57 – Down $0.22.
  • Platinum – $1,699.10 – Up $18.60.
  • Palladium – $702.00 –Up $13.10.

Stocks report mild gains in anticipation of QE3

 

U.S. stocks are reporting modest gains today as investors are guarded in anticipation of potential quantitative easing (QE3). Thursday will conclude a two day session of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) after which many analysts foresee Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke potentially announcing further government stimulus. Economists are expecting the announcement following 43 consecutive months of unemployment above 8% and an economy that grew less than 2% in the second quarter of 2012. A poll of economists who put the chances of QE3 above 50% resulted in 39 out of 51 predicting action on the part of the Fed during this week. “Monetary stimulus will ‘shore up’ a fundamentally weak economy, as opposed to helping the U.S. economy attain a significantly faster underlying rate of growth,” said John Lonski, economist at Moody’s Investors Service.

Gold futures are also realizing humble gains as a German court ruling has allowed Berlin to ratify a final euro zone rescue fund along with news from the FOMC. “With the market’s main focus on this week’s [Fed] meeting…prices were buoyed by a stronger euro,” said strategists at HSBC. The next 24 hours could prove to be eventful for precious metals markets.

At 1 p.m. (EDT), the APMEX Precious Metals spot prices were:

  • Gold, $1,732.30, Down $1.60.
  • Silver, $33.12, Down $0.46.
  • Platinum, $1,649.20, Up $41.20.
  • Palladium, $679.10, Up $4.30.

APMEX’s Account Managers now have extended hours Mondays through Thursdays and are here to serve you until 8 p.m. (EDT)! Or call us Fridays until 6 p.m. (EDT)! If you have any questions about investing in Precious Metals or simply would prefer to place your order by telephone, we are here to help.

 

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QE3 talk pushes Gold higher

 

Gold rose to a five-month high today on quantitative easing news out of the U.S. and Europe.  James Steel of HSBC said that “it’s the avalanche of money argument” in regards to Precious Metals’ gains recently.  Andrey Kryuchenkov of VTB Capital added, “All that promise (of quantitative easing) needs to turn into concrete action.  And for Gold in the long run, it needs any sort of liquidity boost, or balance sheet expansion, and for bond yields to stay low.”

Drakon Capital’s Guy Adami believes that the quantitative easing news will send Gold to a new record price.  “I don’t think it has anything to do with fear (about fiat currencies).  It has everything to do with what’s coming down the pipe,” he told CNBC.  “Again, I’ll say, although it’s painful on the down days, and there have been a number of them, I think gold is what’s going to win,” he added. “One day we’re all going to wake up, and the price of gold is going to be a lot higher than it is now. When I say a lot higher, I mean north of $2,000.”  Whether Gold eclipses this figure is yet to be seen, but Adami is a firm believer.

At 5 p.m. (EDT), the APMEX Precious Metals spot prices were:

  • Gold, $1,696.70, Up $10.60.
  • Silver, $32.38, Up $0.94.
  • Platinum, $1,570.40, Up $32.10.
  • Palladium, $642.00, Up $12.60.

APMEX’s Account Managers now have extended hours Mondays through Fridays and are here to serve you until 8 p.m. (EDT)! If you have any questions about investing in Precious Metals or simply would prefer to place your order by telephone, we are here to help.

 

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Gold keeps rising, Europe in the spotlight

 

English: European Central Bank ECB Eurotower i...

English: European Central Bank ECB Eurotower in Frankfurt a.M. Germany Deutsch: Europäische Zentralbank EZB Eurotower in Frankfurt a.M. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Gold and other precious metals had big gains last week due to the U.S.A. Federal Reserve meeting and the probability of another round of monetary easing. This week has started off with the same rise in prices and monetary easing continues to be the reason. However, the location is now changed to Europe and meetings of the European Central Bank (ECB). “The ECB is evidently planning to launch a new government bond intervention program, which would inject further liquidity into the market. This should also benefit commodities due to the lack of attractive alternative investments,” analysts at Commerzbank said in a note. Some speculate these actions by the ECB could be implemented as soon as this week.

 

A few weeks ago, the ECB President Mario Draghi said they will do “whatever it takes” to keep the euro as the major currency of the region. This week will be a good indication of what exactly Mr. Draghi and his associates have in mind to do.  “Draghi certainly has to present something,” said Guillaume Menuet, economist at Citi. “A document of some sort, something of substance is what markets want to see in order to justify valuations.” One of the main issues is not a plan of action, but rather a plan that all the countries involved can agree to.

 

In the United States, there were more negative economic reports released today. The August manufacturing report was shown to have the largest drop in over three years. Economists estimated the national factory activity to have a median of 50.0 and it came in at 49.6. It shows an unforeseen contraction in the sector. U.S. construction also fell off by 0.9 percent, as with the manufacturing report, expert predicted an increase as well. Both of these reports give more talk of monetary easing by the Federal Reserve.

 

At 1:00 pm (EDT), the APMEX precious metals spot prices were:
·    Gold, $1694.40, Up $8.30.
·    Silver, $32.27, Up $0.83.
·    Platinum, $1566.50, Up $28.20.
·    Palladium, $641.00, Up $11.60.

 

APMEX’s Account Managers now have extended hours Mondays through Thursdays and are here to serve you until 7 p.m. (CDT)! Or call us Fridays until 5 p.m. (CDT)! If you have any questions about investing in precious metals or simply would prefer to place your order by telephone, we are here to help.

 

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