Gold opened fractionally lower this morning, as the markets appear to be taking a pause after Thursday’s announcement of a stimulus program.  The program launched Thursday by the Federal Reserve is a combination of maintaining near-zero interest rates and an open-ended mortgage debt buying program.  News of this new program sent Gold up Thursday, closing up nearly 2 percent for the day and 10 percent for the month. “After the move we had, not just yesterday, but over the last two or three weeks I think it would be natural to look for a period of consolidation,” said Tom Kendall, an analyst at Credit Suisse in London. “But certainly going into the back end of this year, I would be looking for gold to be getting towards at least the $1,850 level.”

The news of the new round of stimulus has also had a positive effect on the U.S. stock markets.  After hitting new highs on Thursday, the U.S. stock-index futures for Friday are already up over 40 points. “While we will hear a lot of criticism on the FOMC’s aggressive moves, we shouldn’t forget that for markets, it usually doesn’t pay to fight the Fed,” wrote strategists at KBC Bank in Brussels.  Thursday’s rally pushed the S&P 500 index past the 1440 to 1445 range where it had been encountering significant resistance.

At 9:00 p.m. (EDT) – the APMEX precious metals spot prices were:

  • Gold – $1,771.70 – Up $0.80.
  • Silver – $34.57 – Down $0.22.
  • Platinum – $1,699.10 – Up $18.60.
  • Palladium – $702.00 –Up $13.10.