Gold Dips- Jobless Claims Down

Analysts had expected an increase in jobless claims but the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell to its lowest level since January 2008.  This is the second straight week of falling claims.  The unemployment rate held steady at 7.8 percent.  Although is appears many companies are not laying off workers as anticipated, they are adding new jobs at a slow rate. Some economists caution while interpreting these numbers, there is usually a lot of volatility this time of the year.

The Gold price fell overnight without breaking a key technical level.  For five days the Gold price has been just below $1,695 and ounce, an important level for Gold.  Additional pressure came against Gold as the U.S. House voted to suspend the nations borrowing limit until May 19 in effect pushing the debt ceiling threat down the road.

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

  • Gold, $1,674.70, Down $14.00.
  • Silver, $31.86, Down $0.62.
  • Platinum, $1,683.70, Up $8.10.
  • Palladium, $723.90, Down $3.30.

APMEX’s Account Managers now have extended hours Mondays through Thursdays and are here to serve you until 8 p.m. (EST)! Or call us Fridays until 6 p.m. (EST)! 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.

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

Gold prices up on Central Bank expectations

Gold prices are up through midday trading among growing belief that central banks are indeed preparing to launch measures to support the economy. The upward push on Gold is being kept in check somewhat by the mixed United States economic data that suggests the U.S. Federal Reserve will continue its “wait and see” attitude. The Jackson Hole meeting at the end of this month could bring into focus what central banks are planning to do.  “After Jackson Hole, the markets will hopefully have a better idea,” said Afshin Nabavi, head of trading at MKS Finance. “Until then, we should continue trading within this range.” A lack of liquidity over the quiet summer months was preventing Gold from moving higher, he said.

Platinum prices have spiked today as a bloody conflict between South African police and striking miners at Lonmin’s Marikana Platinum mine resulted in many injuries and an unconfirmed number of fatalities. The police moved to disperse the estimated 3,000 miners by force after talks broke down with the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union. Today’s violence caps off a week of fighting that has already seen ten deaths, two of which were police. Lonmin said it had lost the equivalent of 15,000 ounces of Platinum from the six-day disruption, and was unlikely to meet its full-year production target of 750,000 ounces.

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

  • Gold, $1,616.30, Up $11.20.
  • Silver, $28.23, Up $0.31.
  • Platinum, $1,436.00, Up $38.80.
  • Palladium, $585.30, Up $5.70.

APMEX’s Account Managers now have extended hours and are here to serve you until 8 p.m. (EDT) Mondays through Thursdays and until 7 p.m. (EDT) Fridays! If you have any questions about investing in Precious Metals or would simply prefer to place your order by telephone, we are here to help.

US Economy Looking Dim; Gas Prices Down

The price of gold is moving up as the safe haven appeal fully returns with the continued weariness of the eurozone debt crisis worsening.  Cyprus is the fifth eurozone country to ask for assistance from Europe.  The Cypriot government said in a statement, “The purpose of the required assistance is to contain the risks to the Cypriot economy, notably those arising from the negative spillover effects through its financial sector, due to its large exposure to the Greek economy.”

Goldman Sachs strategist Jim O’Neil is more concerned with the U.S.A. economy than Europe’s due to America’s fragile condition that seems to be off track.  O’Neil said, “Europe doesn’t run the world.  The second half of the year, unless Europe completely implodes, I’m still in the camp that the markets recover, particularly the U.S. and some of the big (emerging markets) and we could still conceivably see new highs,” he said. “So we shouldn’t get solely focused on the European stuff.”

Gas prices are slowly falling, which in turn is positive for the economy to an extent.  Credit Suisse economist Jonathan Basile  said, “It’s like a stabilizer in the economy, but you also don’t want to see gasoline prices falling persistently because that will tell you there’s got to be something else fundamentally wrong in the global picture.  Gasoline prices are the most visible prices in the economy. People see it…It’s very easy to see lower prices. That’s the good news. But you have to put it into the context of what’s going on.”

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

  • Gold, $1,585.30, Up $17.90.
  • Silver, $27.57, Up $0.80.
  • Platinum, $1,444.50, Up $11.30.
  • Palladium, $608.40, Up $0.20.

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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