Precious Metals prices were fluctuating this morning ahead of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s scheduled testimony before Congress this afternoon. Any further monetary easing would be a boon to Gold prices. Analyst Daniel Brebner said, “As it seems the U.S. data continue to deteriorate, the market is starting to anticipate some kind of action, or at least rhetoric, from the Fed to support growth. … Will Bernanke come out dovish as usual? I think so. Will he explicitly discuss his options? I’m not convinced he will. So I’m not sure he’s going to give the market what it wants.” Meanwhile, Germany and Great Britain’s automobile sales have helped boost other Precious Metals including Platinum, thanks in large part to greater diesel usage, which affects demand for catalytic converters.
The focus of the Fed seems to be switching to unemployment numbers, as American unemployment has hovered above 8 percent for almost four years. The Fed’s original projections have been adjusted to reflect the higher levels. Chief Economist John Silvia said, “The employment number just isn’t improving; it’s the thing that’s out of whack. … Yes, you’ve got a dual mandate. But like everything else in life, sometimes you’ve got to focus on one more than the other.” Meanwhile, other economists have a more optimistic outlook for Bernanke. Economist Dean Maki said, “When people look back at the Bernanke years, I doubt they’ll be critical of him if the unemployment rate is falling, but just not as fast as people would like, because there’s a recognition that this was a deep recession.”
At 9 a.m. (EDT), the APMEX Precious Metals spot prices were:
- Gold, $1,587.40, Down $5.90.
- Silver, $27.27, Down $0.13.
- Platinum, $1,420.70, Up $3.40.
- Palladium, $583.70, Up $4.90.