Gold & Silver Prices Moving Down in Morning Trading

Whether it is the effects of the QE3 announcement wearing off or investor’s taking profits off the table, gold and silver prices have been moving down throughout the morning. There was news coming out this weekend from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) meeting in Tokyo. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke found himself defending QE3. International criticism is centered on currency valuations. The International community feels that Federal Reserve actions are artificially boosting their currencies, which puts them at a disadvantage for exporting their goods and services. This dialog brings into play a reoccurring theme that global currencies are in a race to the bottom.

Regarding the above mentioned race to the bottom, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde is urging Europe to roll out a bailout. The European bailout would look much like the US QE3. The European Central bank is being urged to aggressively begin buying bonds to lower the borrowing costs of the respective nation. Such measures will pump more euros into the marketplace and most likely will continue to depress the valuation of the euro. IMF’s Lagarde is also requesting that Greece be given more time to get their financial house in order.

U.S. retail sales rose more than expected in September as U.S. consumers spent more on gas and cars. The core retail sales (which do not include cars & gas) rose 0.9%. Analysts had expected a gain of 0.3%. This indicates that consumer sales from July- September were stronger than expected. The New York Federal reserve “Empire State” report was not as positive. This report is seen as a gauge of general business conditions. It did rise from a minus 10.41 to a minus 6.16, but economists were expecting minus 4.55.

At 9AM EDT the APMEX precious metal prices were:

  • Gold price –$1,744.00 – down $15.20
  • Silver price – $33.16 – down 51 cents
  • Platinum price – $1,641.30 – down $15.00
  • Palladium price – $639.00 – down $1.00

Weekly Gold and Silver Market Recap for Oct 5, 2012

Gold showed mixed results this week:

This week has been active to say the least in the gold market pricing. While the market is still riding the high of monetary easing around the globe, there have been a few bumps in the road during the week. The prices are still being supported by easing monetary policy and lingering eurozone troubles. Chicago Fed President Charles Evans “was extremely dovish” about the third round of quantitative easing in the U.S., according to RJO Futures’ Phillip Streible. “He was full-throttle on QE.” The Gold price neared an 11 month high this week, supported by an overall lackluster feeling from investors regarding the global economy. Gains increased after the release of the ADP jobs report, which, including reductions in previous months’ estimates showed a net increase of 133,000 jobs, well below expectations of 153,000. Federal Reserve officials have recently announced that until jobs numbers improve, QE3 will continue. Tom Kendall of Credit Suisse said, “We’ve seen intra-day moves triggered by the ADP numbers before, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if there was a bit of intra-day volatility around that number. To get this market over $1,800 and trending higher again, what we need to see is greater participation in places like India on the buy-side.” Despite Friday’s dip in market price due to the U.S. jobs report, strategists at Deutsche Bank expect fiscal fears, spurred on by recent quantitative easing and expectations of a U.S. credit downgrade, which will increase in the fourth quarter. “This will prove to be most beneficial to the Precious Metals complex and specifically gold,” the strategists wrote in a research report.

Global economic issues continue to make headlines:

Economic struggles have been taking a toll on markets around the world. It shows that the global marketplace is very much intertwined between countries. The European issues have been a main topic of conversation and this week Spain was back in the spotlight. There is some thought the Spanish government will soon request a bailout, which some consider a necessary step to alleviate the eurozone’s debt crisis. Paul Mendelsohn, chief investment strategist at Windham Financial services in Charlotte, Vermont said, “I think the market feels that we are closer to some type of action and resolution in terms of the Spanish problem, (and) that’s certainly helping markets this morning.” While some have predicted an end to the Euro, they are not willing to buy into that notion. An boost came with news that the European Central Bank would hold steady on interest rates again, at 0.75 percent, with a zero percent interest rate on its deposit facility. ECB President Mario Draghi said at his monthly press conference that the eurozone’s recent bond buying plan has eased regional tensions. He also repeated earlier statements that the euro is “irreversible.” The reassurance that fiscal assistance will persist has once again bolstered the Gold price, which is close to breaching the $1,800 mark. “Indications from Mario Draghi […] that the European version of quantitative easing will go on as planned no matter what happens in the U.S.” provided support for Gold prices, said Brien Lundin, editor of Gold Newsletter.

The United States Federal Reserve keeps easing opened and other U.S. news:

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke spoke at the Economic Club of Indiana this week, stating the Fed’s objectives of price stability and maximum sustainable employment have not changed. Bernanke said, “These goals mean, basically, that we would like to see as many Americans as possible who want jobs to have jobs, and that we aim to keep the rate of increase in consumer prices low and stable.” During the United States’ recession of 2007-09, the Fed lowered borrowing costs to almost nothing and purchased $2.3 trillion in mortgage and Treasury securities to create and sustain growth. Not everyone has been on board with the Fed’s decisions to lower interest rates or to create further easing but Bernanke believes the measures will boost the economy. The national debt in the United States has been the topic of discussion for years, and now that it is an election year those talks are magnified. The situation is clear when you look at the numbers. The national debt is more than $16 trillion and the gross domestic product (GDP) is approximately 11 percent less than that. That gap between the debt and the GDP is very alarming to most economists. Pimco’s Bill Gross said Tuesday, “Unless we begin to close this gap, then the inevitable result will be that our debt/GDP ratio will continue to rise, the Fed would print money to pay for the deficiency, inflation would follow and the dollar would inevitably decline. Bonds would be burned to a crisp and stocks would certainly be singed; only gold and real assets would thrive.” The other major news of the week was the unemployment report. The addition of jobs in September was disappointing, but the unemployment rate fell by 0.3 percent to 7.8 percent, which is the lowest level since January 2009. Since the newest round of quantitative easing by the Fed is expected to continue until jobs numbers improve, reports such as this one will carry more weight than they may have previously.

End of week Gold and Silver report

 

Gold waited all week for direction:

As the week started gold and other markets had all eyes on a small town in Wyoming called Jackson Hole. That is where an annual meeting is held by the U.S. Federal Reserve and in the past has given way to significant monetary action such as two rounds of easing. There was a lot of speculation and waiting for news. For some, it was not going to be an extraordinary event.  Many financial specialists believe the Jackson Hole meeting will not be the critical event that could trigger further government financial stimulus this time around. “The critical period is really from Friday to the 12th (of September) — the constitutional court decision,” said Paul Mendelsohn, chief investment strategist at Windham Financial Services in Charlotte, Vt. Many others shared a different view of the meetings of the Fed. While the question remains whether there will be another round of monetary easing, if the answer is “no,” it could affect Gold’s price. “We see near term risks of a reversal if Jackson Hole does not deliver what the market is hoping for,” said Nick Trevethan, senior metals strategist at ANZ in Singapore. Friday came and so did the report with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke giving indications that the Fed will soon embark on another round of bond buying, otherwise known as quantitative easing (QE). “It is important to achieve further progress, particularly in the labor market,” Bernanke said. “Taking due account of the uncertainties and limits of its policy tools, the Federal Reserve will provide additional policy accommodation as needed to promote a stronger economic recovery and sustained improvement in labor market conditions in a context of price stability.” Bernanke cited previous rounds of easing as effective in stimulating economic development and job creation without hastening inflation.

Europe still trying to work through issues:

Europe clearly took a backseat this week to the Fed’s potential monetary easing announcement, but the European Central Bank (ECB) is readying for an ECB Governing Council meeting next week. James Reid of Deutsche Bank said, “For now, Europe is in a holding pattern ahead of clarity surrounding the next move in the great ECB bond buying maneuverings, and the U.S. is in limbo ahead of Bernanke’s Jackson Hole appearance tomorrow. For the latter, speculation mounts that Bernanke won’t say anything overly new in his speech.” The eurozone is in a battle of its own, regardless of what the Fed decides. Spain is being sucked into the center of the eurozone debt crisis. Spanish consumers have pulled as much as 5 percent of their private sector deposits. The other side of this coin is that Greek banks are seeing a boost in their deposits since June elections. Private sector deposits are up about 2 percent. The World Gold Council is suggesting a creative way of looking at Gold in the eurozone. Many pundits have suggested that troubled eurozone countries sell Gold to take care of their debts. This ill advised idea sounds like a simple resolution, but of course it is more complicated than that. The World Gold Council has suggested bonds and loans backed by Gold. Some groups (LCH.Clearnet, Intercontinental Exchange, and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange) have begun accepting Gold as collateral for margin requirements recently. Gillian Tett of Financial Times wrote that this “suggest(s) that a slow evolution of attitudes is under way — not so much in terms of the desirability of Gold per se, but the increasing undesirability and riskiness of other supposedly ‘safe’ assets, such as government bonds.”

United States economy still giving mixed reports:

In the U.S.A., a trend of economic growth could be a reason the announcement of another round of easing by the Federal Reserve was not made today. One discussion is surrounding the small amount of growth and whether it is enough to sustain a positive direction moving forward. The United States’ gross domestic product (GDP) went up in the second quarter by 1.7 percent, which was 0.2 percent more than a previous estimate. The GDP is seen as a key indicator of the economy. While there was improvement, many believe it was at a level low enough to warrant more action by the Fed. The release of the weekly jobless claims report has had little effect on Gold and Silver. The four week moving average of new claims rose by 1,500, while the week to week change was flat. Personal consumer spending increased in July to a five month high, according to data from the Commerce Department. Falling gasoline prices coupled with moderate increases in income to provide consumers a bit more to spend this midsummer. Despite July’s increase, consumers have been cautious on spending for most of the year, with a decrease in June and a flat report in May. “In the first quarter of the year, Americans saved less in order to spend more,” said Chris Christopher, senior economist at IHS Global Insight. “In the second quarter, job prospects were not very promising, so Americans put more money aside and spent less.”

 

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Weekly Gold and Silver Market Recap for May 25, 2012

by John Foster. Email John.

Golden Range?:

Concerns out of the Euro zone continued to pull down the euro and strengthen the American dollar this week, thus pulling down prices. Gold in particular has remained relatively fluid within a certain price range of $1,530 to $1,590. However a key price indicator in the short term continues to be $1,600 an ounce. However, euro pressure continues to be in the driver’s seat for prices. An unidentified international dealer said, “If we break above $1,600 and even go higher to confirm the bull trend, we will see more buying.”  Gold’s price drop has been well documented during the past few weeks. Many factors have led to the shift in price. However, in the view of many investors, this is an opportunity, based on a closer look at the numbers. CNBC contributor Dennis Gartman said, “The public is massively bearish, and that tells me it’s time to be bullish.” He added, “Most people don’t think Gold and stocks can go higher together, but I expect to see them trade dramatically higher over the course of the next several months. The trend is now higher.”  Prices of Precious Metals were boosted by news of purchases from the biggest of spenders. Central banks in Turkey, Ukraine, Mexico, and Kazakhstan increased their Gold holdings in April, according to the International Monetary Fund. Commerzbank AG said, “We regard the central banks as a stabilizing element on the Gold market and anticipate increasing buying of Gold.” Lachlan Shaw of Commonwealth Bank of Australia said that early signs of an American recovery, a slowdown in Chinese growth, question marks over United States monetary policy and a sovereign debt crisis brewing in Europe are all keeping the market in a wait and see mode. “Any of these four catalysts can drive prices and investment demand,” he said.

U.S Slow but Steady?:

The United States might experience slower economic growth than previously expected with the end of extended benefits for the unemployed. This might influence some job seekers to accept jobs they otherwise would prefer not to, or give up searching for a job and drop out of the labor force. Andrew Tilton at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is optimistic about the end of the extended benefits program. He said, “There has been an improvement in the availability of jobs. In a better labor market, people losing their benefits would be more likely to look and to find a job, and less likely to simply drop out.  However, consumer sentiment in the United States rose to its highest point in more than four years in May. Optimism in the air as a healthier economy is beginning to develop. Richard Curtin, head of the University of Michigan’s consumer survey, reflected on how long the consumer sentiment will remain positive. He said, “The most likely prospect is that job growth resumes at a modest pace and that confidence remains largely unchanged until after the November election and decisions about tax policy are made.” Despite the upheaval in Europe, the United States’ economy continues to push forward. There is concern the debt problems in Europe and China could affect American factory data soon, with the Purchasing Managers Index slowing from 56.0 in April to 53.9 this month. Paul Edelstein said, “We are growing at moderate pace of two to two-and-a-quarter percent, but we have some headwinds that are starting to assert themselves, particularly coming from Europe.” Continue reading

Expectations of Euro stimulus holds markets

Precious metals, stocks, and currencies all seem to be trading quietly this morning.  Many investors are expecting the European Central Bank (ECB) to announce some sort of stimulus or support the markets some other way soon.  However, strategists at Barclays said, “The bottom line is that in the near term, the policy response (by the ECB) is likely to be fairly limited, except if there is a serious further deterioration in sentiment or economic conditions.”

The gold price is slightly positive, staying over the $1,560 mark for the time being.  Lynette Tan of Phillip Futures said, “(Gold) is also weighed down by dollar strength and we see any positive economic or employment data from the U.S.A. as pressuring gold.”

Economists have estimated that Greece leaving the eurozone could impact the U.S.A. to the tune of one-tenth to one-half of a percentage point in gross domestic product growth.  Reuters recently lined out three possibilities, and the ramifications of each: The eurozone stumbles along, Greece leaves, or a messy situation where Greek leaves and damage spreads.

At 9 a.m. (EDT), the APMEX precious metals spot prices were:

  • Gold – $1,565.10 – Up $6.10.
  • Silver – $28.22 – Down $0.03.
  • Platinum – $1,428.00 – Up $3.60.
  • Palladium – $591.40 – Down $1.90.
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Central banks jump back on the Gold train

Prices of Precious Metals were boosted this morning by news of purchases from the biggest of spenders. Central banks in Turkey, Ukraine, Mexico, and Kazakhstan increased their Gold holdings in April, according to the International Monetary Fund. Commerzbank AG said, “We regard the central banks as a stabilizing element on the Gold market and anticipate increasing buying of Gold.” Lachlan Shaw of Commonwealth Bank of Australia said that early signs of an American recovery, a slowdown in Chinese growth, question marks over United States monetary policy and a sovereign debt crisis brewing in Europe are all keeping the market in a wait and see mode. “Any of these four catalysts can drive prices and investment demand,” he said.

The weekly jobless claims report boosted the American dollar’s appeal. The report showed no movement in the number of claims, remaining at last week’s level of 370,000. American stock futures added to gains after the news.

Weakness in China’s economy and continued struggles in the eurozone appear to be forcing the Chinese government’s hand, as economists and strategists are predicting aggressive stimulus in that country. Dariusz Kowalczyk of Credit Agricole said, “The focus of the stimulus is likely to be on the fiscal side … because this is the fastest way to boost aggregate demand.” Economic stimulus around the world has been positive for Gold and Silver prices in the past.

At 9 a.m. (EDT), the APMEX Precious Metals spot prices were:

  • Gold, $1,577.20, Up $27.20.
  • Silver, $28.54, Up $0.94.
  • Platinum, $1,434.30, Up $18.20.
  • Palladium, $601.70, Up $8.60.
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Metals Retreat as Dollar Continues to Climb

Currency markets pushed the American dollar higher amid dim hopes for a European solution. Kevin Hebner, a foreign-exchange strategist for JPMorgan in London, wrote to clients today, “For the second time in six months, Greece’s Economic and Monetary Union exit seems imminent.”  Fears of a breakup of the eurozone have been driving down the value of the European currency for the last few weeks.  A weak euro bolsters the American dollar, and as a consequence, typically pushes down the price of precious metals and other commodities.

A bit of positive news surrounding the American housing market was released today, indicating an increase in sales of existing homes.  “We’re still a ways from looking at an encouraging picture of the U.S. economy, though when it comes to housing, every little bit helps,” said Camilla Sutton, a currency strategist at Scotia Capital in Toronto.  Overall home values have increased 10.1% from April 2011, but are still about 30% lower than the high-water mark set in 2006.  Diana Olick, a real estate reporter for CNBC cites a reduction in bank foreclosures and distressed sales as the primary driver for the higher prices.

At 4 p.m. (EDT), the APMEX Precious Metals spot prices were:

  • Gold, $1,569.10, Down $21.10.
  • Silver, $28.25, Up $0.17.
  • Platinum, $1,448.80, Down $14.70.
  • Palladium, $613.00, Up $0.30.
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