Weekly Gold & Silver Market Recap – 4/26/2013

PHYSICAL BUYERS DRIVE GOLD MARKET

After last week’s Gold and Silver prices hit a two year low, physical buyers jumped on the opportunity to buy at the reduced market pricing. That buying of Gold and Silver gave prices a boost this week. On Monday, the Gold price recovered some of the ground lost after last week’s major price drop as expectations for the metal remain positive among many investors. “As the price moved over $1,400 per ounce, physical traders, on the expectation that Gold could possibly correct back higher, rushed into Gold.” MKS Group Senior Vice President Frederic Panizzutti said. The demand for physical Gold along with continued support by central banks has helped buoy prices over the last few sessions. One of the driving factors of the increase in the Gold price this week was the U.S. durable goods report, which was lower than expected. “Overall, the weak tone of this report underscored the emerging narrative of a considerable slowing in economic growth momentum in March,” TD Securities senior economist Millan Mulraine said. Many economists blame the slowdown on the budget cuts that took place earlier in the year and believe businesses are being more hesitant due to the uncertainty in the economy. Gold climbed to its highest price in ten days during overnight trading on Thursday, hitting $1,447.66 an ounce. The increase is credited to a weaker dollar, firmer prices in other commodities and a ninth straight session of physical Precious Metals demand. Investors have also noted that Russian and Turkish central bank purchases, as reported by the International Monetary Fund, increased in March. Daily outflows from exchange traded funds (ETF) are keeping the largest Gold backed ETF, New York’s SPDR Gold Trust, at its lowest level since late 2009.

IS GOLD UNDERVALUED DUE TO ECONOMIC UNCERTAINTY?

Gold’s price movement over the past few weeks has the market questioning whether the bull run is over. Compared to fiat money, the yellow metal continues to be undervalued, according to Hinde Capital CEO Ben Davies, who believes Gold has held its ground throughout history and is currently being pressured by paper money. Author Detlev Schlichter said, “After 40 years of relentless paper money expansion and in particular 25 years of Fed-led global bubble finance, the dislocations in the global financial system are so massive that nobody in power dares to turn off the monetary spigot and allow market forces to do their work, that is to price credit and to price risk according to the available pool of real savings and the potential for real income generation rather than according to the wishes of our master monetary planners.” The continued easing in the major global markets is not the only sign of uncertainty that investors are taking note of. Volatility in equities markets remains as many experts have cut corporate earnings projections for the second quarter. Economists who initially forecasted a 6.2 percent increase at the beginning of April have scaled back their predictions to 5.5 percent expansion in the coming quarter. “The earnings season has been enough to hold stocks where they are in light of some less than hoped for macro data,” Federated Investors Inc. fund manager Lawrence Creatura said. “Time will tell if it will remain enough as we move through what’s a seasonally more difficult time.” In Europe the debt crisis is spreading to the eurozone’s stronger economies now, according to German industrial giant Daimler, maker of Mercedes-Benz autos and trucks. Daimler said it is feeling the effects of the crisis in Germany, signaling the spread of the problem from the smaller countries to the eurozone’s economic powerhouse. High Frequency Economics chief economist Carl B. Weinberg said, “The EU has made Europe a much more cohesive economy, which is good when things are going up, but when things are going down the multiplier is very strong. An outgoing tide lowers all ships.”

At 5:00 pm (EDT), the APMEX precious metals spot prices were:

  • Gold, $1463.70, Down $0.80.
  • Silver, $24.04, Down $0.21.
  • Platinum, $1479.30, Up $13.70.
  • Palladium, $683.00, Down $0.40.

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Weekly Gold and Silver Market Recap for Apr 5, 2013

GOLD PRICES FLUCTUATE THROUGHOUT WEEK

This week, Gold prices moved up and down on economic reporting and a major sell off of commodities. Weaker than expected manufacturing data released Monday put downward pressure on the dollar, causing a mild lift in the Gold price. The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) reflected a significant slowing of U.S. manufacturing expansion for March. The index slipped from 54.2 percent in February to 51.3 percent, surprising economists who expected levels to stay the same. The news of sluggish domestic manufacturing comes amid increasing optimism regarding the future of the U.S. economy. However, without a sustained period of positive data in industrial output and job markets, the Federal Reserve is expected to continue its quantitative easing, which analysts forecast as a strong bullish factor for the long term appeal of Gold. All of Monday’s gains were quickly erased Tuesday as the financial outlook in the U.S. continued to improve. As equities in the U.S. marketplace reach for all time highs, Precious Metals struggle for support. “There is an overwhelming sentiment that growth will remain slow and not inflationary, and that has eliminated some of the momentum investors in Gold,” SICA Wealth Management’s Chief Investment Officer Jeffrey Sica said. Economists now look toward Friday’s U.S. labor report for possible directional indicators.

As the week progressed, Gold continued to feel pressure from the strengthening U.S. dollar. The market overlooked news coming from central bank policy meetings that saw the Bank of Japan state they will advocate further monetary easing as the European Central Bank holds steady to its policy. “We have a lot of liquidation of the Gold ETFs and the short position on the Comex for Gold remains very high, so a lot of the macro hedge fund selling have put pressure on Gold,” HSBC Metals Analyst Howard Wen said. Investors await Friday’s U.S. employment data, which will be yet another factor to show if the economy is developing at a successful rate. Gold and Silver prices rebounded significantly while stock futures dipped in the moments following the release of the U.S. nonfarm payrolls report. Expectations for the number of jobs added in March were around 200,000, but the number came in at just 88,000. Earlier in the morning, UBS said in a note, “A significantly weaker-than-expected employment number could spark a powerful upside response (for Gold) given sentiment and the current level of shorts that would be forced to cover.” Though the number of new jobs was a disappointment, the U.S. unemployment rate fell to 7.6 percent; however, that is most likely due to fewer Americans looking for work. Federal Reserve policymakers have said recently that figures like the unemployment rate and the number of jobs added month-over-month are key factors in their decision on continuing monetary easing, which has historically been a boon for the Gold price.

GLOBAL ECONOMIC HEADLINES

Though the situation in Cyprus seemed to have been pushed to the backburner of investors’ minds, some experts believe the crisis isn’t over yet. PIMCO CEO & Co-CIO Mohamed El-Erian said, “Draconian capital controls have restored a sense of calm to a disorderly situation in Cyprus. At best, this is a short reprieve. If not followed by more fundamental (and inevitably controversial) decisions, it will just be a matter of weeks before the controls go from being a temporary solution to becoming part of an even deeper problem.” Many believe the issues in Cyprus are a microcosm of the region as a whole. The eurozone employment report was released Tuesday, showing unemployment in the region is higher than it’s ever been, and the numbers keep climbing. More than 19 million people are out of work as of February. That is almost two million more unemployed citizens than this time last year. “Such unacceptably high levels of unemployment are a tragedy for Europe and a signal of how serious a crisis some eurozone countries are now in,” EU Employment Commissioner Laszlo Andor said. Europe is not the only region with upsetting financial news this week. The Bank of Japan’s announced that it would pump $1.4 trillion into asset purchases over the next two years, which is perhaps the most aggressive central bank easing policy to date. “I still think Japan’s still the key story,” UBS Financial Services’ Director of Floor Operations Art Cashin said. “We’re going to have to find out in a couple weeks whether that begins to move money through the Japanese economic system.” Liberal easing programs by central banks have traditionally been supportive of Gold. Many will wait to see what Japan’s stimulus program holds for world stock and Precious Metals markets.

At 5:00 pm (EDT), the APMEX precious metals spot prices were:

  • Gold, $1582.10, Up $28.20.
  • Silver, $27.37, Up $0.50.
  • Platinum, $1539.20, Up $21.40.
  • Palladium, $728.00, Up $2.50.