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.