Investors nervous; Spain to request aid

American stock futures are taking a hit this morning, now that investors have had a day to digest the big news from yesterday.  Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s reluctance to acknowledge monetary stimulus had a big impact on market sentiment.  China is expected to release economic data this weekend, and some are worried that yesterday’s interest rate cut in that country could signal disappointing numbers.  David Morrison of GFT Markets wrote that “investors are becoming increasingly jittery as we head into the weekend.  As a consequence, many are taking the opportunity to take some risk off the table and book profits.”  Precious Metals are also trading lower this morning as a result.

Reuters is reporting that Spain could request aid for its struggling banking sector this weekend.  Spain would be the fourth country to appeal to the eurozone for aid during the region’s debt crisis.  According to sources, finance ministers are holding a conference call Saturday, and that is when the request is expected.  A senior German official said that after yesterday’s downgrade of Spain’s sovereign credit rating, “The government of Spain has realized the seriousness of their problem.”

Echoing sentiments from many other pundits, Harvard Professor Martin Feldstein said that Greece’s economy is beyond repair, and that the only option they have left is to leave the eurozone.  “Letting Greece go will be painful in the short run but will be better for Greece, and for Europe, in the long-run,” said Feldstein.

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

  • Gold – $1,576.40 – Down $11.10.
  • Silver – $28.24 – Down $0.38.
  • Platinum – $1,417.90 – Down $25.00.
  • Palladium – $609.40 – Down $16.40.
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