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Week of February 13th Gold Market Update

Precious metals are going to conclude the week with daily gains on Friday, but are going to finish the week overall mixed. On the whole, the last five days have been generally quiet and devoid of any noteworthy economic data. Of course, Thursday was an exception seeing as a few pieces of US economic data took the market by surprise. Other than that, investors the world over have had their attention focused on Europe for a majority of the week.

As we look ahead to the week to come, investors will see their attention drawn to many of the same issues that they have this week. There is not going to be too much in the way of economic data made public next week, so it is only right that the market continues to focus on Europe and everything going on there.

Ukrainian Ceasefire Agreement Reached

Perhaps the biggest story of the week came on Thursday in the form of a ceasefire agreement being reached between Ukrainian military forces and pro-Russian rebels. As a result of weeklong talks held in Belarus, Russia, Ukraine, and a few Western nations were able to see eye-to-eye and agree to a deal that will see the two fighting sides put down their weapons on Sunday.
Most surprising of all is the fact that, in the wake of the talks, German chancellor Angela Merkel was quick to praise Russian president Vladimir Putin for his efforts and contributions. As a leader who regularly throws a monkey wrench in peace talks such as these, it is intriguing to see Putin finally cooperate. Perhaps the sanctions levied against his country by the West have finally begun to sink in as they slowly but surely ravage the Russian economy.

For the global economy, the news of a ceasefire agreement being reached in Ukraine was enough to send stock indexes shooting upward. European and US stock markets are now trading at or near multi-year highs and are effectively limiting any upside momentum attained by gold and silver. Still, the weaker US Dollar is allowing metals to make gains to close out the week.
As we look ahead to the week to come, investors will continue to watch Ukraine to see if this ceasefire holds. Experts agree that much more needs to be done to resolve the situation, but also agree that this ceasefire is a step in the right direction. It will be interesting to see how things unfold over the coming days and weeks.

Week of February 6th Gold Market Update

Precious metals finished the trading week in poor fashion by losing considerable value for a second straight week. Despite there not being too much in the way of economic data made public this week, investors have had plenty to mull over. For one, a few central banks made surprise decisions that took the marketplace off guard, but not only that, some employment information from the United States was of particular importance to investors.

Another theme this week was the rally on the part of crude oil. After more than a few months of consecutive price drops, oil seems to have gained some momentum and is trading higher. How long that will last remains to be seen, but we will keep an eye on it going forward.

US Jobs Data Beats Expectations

This week was always going to be slow from an economic standpoint due to the fact that not too many pieces of economic data were expected to be released. With that said, however, today brought about what many are calling the most im0portant data point of the month. January’s employment report was expected to see non-farm payrolls grow by more than 235,000, but the actual figures showed non-farm payroll growth of just shy of 260,000.

This data immediately doomed precious metals to a dismal final day of the week. As you could have probably guessed, stock markets shot upward on the news that January’s employment data was better than expected. Whether stocks will continue making gains or concede value once more remains to be seen.

In other news this week, some central banks decided to make some policy shifts. First, it was the Australian Central Bank who decided to slash interest rates in an effort to stimulate the Australian economy. In the immediate aftermath of this move, the Australian Dollar fell to a 5.5 year low against the US Dollar.

China, only a day later, announced that it would be reducing its reserve requirement ratio for domestic banks. This move was also made in an effort to stimulate growth for an economy that has been really struggling over the course of the past year or more. It will truly be interesting to see if these measures will do anything in the way of improving economic conditions or if things will continue the way they have been for the past few months.

Week of January 23rd Gold Market Update

On the final day of an eventful week of trading, precious metals are conceding marginal value. In all, however, gold and silver have fared particularly well this week thanks to some events that unfolded in Europe. Quite honestly, this week saw investors focus almost completely on the European Central Bank meeting for the month of January. Because it was widely expected that the ECB would make a monetary policy shift this week, it is pretty easy to see why investors were so concerned with what was going on in Europe.

Apart from the attention paid to the EU, investors also were dealt some minor economic data from Asia. Both China and Japan are expecting 2015 to be a good year of growth, and both governments cited the falling price of crude oil as the reason behind that. After 2014 was a struggle for both China and Japan, both countries will be happy to see some upbeat growth from the struggling Asian region of the world.

ECB Meeting Consumes Market Attention

Straight from the beginning of last week, investors were already preoccupied with wondering what the European Central Bank meeting would mean for the European Union. While most everyone was under the impression that the ECB would announce quantitative easing measures, no one knew the extent of this plan.

Late last week, with the European Court of Justice ruling that effectively legalized the ECB’s QE plans, the global marketplace was more or less convinced that there was no way a QE announcement wouldn’t be made at this week’s meeting. Finally, when yesterday rolled around, Mario Draghi, ECB president, announced that the ECB would be purchasing 60 billion euros worth of bonds beginning in early 2016. Though the announcement itself was not all that surprising, the fact that the QE plan was so large did catch some investors off guard. As a result of the announcement, US stocks, the USD, and precious metals all made gains. As of the writing of this post early Friday, the USD is continuing to surge forward.

As we look ahead to next week, it will be interesting to see if gold and silver are able to hang on to the past few weeks’ worth of gains. As it stands, gold is over the $1,300 threshold while silver is holding above $18/ounce. While there are some people who think precious metals may fall victim to profit-taking, the overall level of uncertainty exhibited by investors speaks volumes and very well might continue aiding gold and silver spot values.

Week of January 16th Gold Market Update

Precious metals spot values are conceding some value as of the writing of this post early Friday morning, but for the week, it is clear to see that gains are going to be made. Looking back on the last 5 days of trading, investors have witnessed the global marketplace shift from being bearish on precious metals to bullish on them. The reason for this is due to the large amount of uncertainty exhibited by investors over the last two weeks or so.

This week played host to quite a bit of economic data, and most of it had some sort of impact on the precious metals market. In reality, the whole of investors was truly focused on any and all information coming from the European Union. With big policy changes expected to take place in the EU by this time next week, it really makes sense that investors are so concerned with the region.

SNB Makes Surprise Decision

In a surprise move made yesterday, the Swiss National Bank decided that it was going to unpeg the Franc from the Euro. No one was expecting this move to be made, but with the Euro consistently depreciating, it really shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. The SNB initially decided to peg the Franc with the Euro back in 2011 in an attempt to stave of rapid appreciation of the currency.

As a result of yesterday’s move, the Franc appreciated by more than 20% against the Euro, which has definitely seen better days.

In other news from Europe this week, on Wednesday it was reported that the European Court of Justice ruled the European Central Bank’s quantitative easing plans are legal to pursue. Because of this, it is now widely expected that we will hear an announcement regarding the implementation of quantitative easing at next week’s ECB meeting. As you could have probably guessed, this news also did not do the Euro any favors. Fortunately, most currency markets were down this week, so the Euro really didn’t lose all that much ground.

Poor Retail Sales Reported in the United States

The biggest piece of economic data from the United States this week came in the form of December’s retail sales. Because Christmas falls in late December, most people expect that month’s retail sales to be more upbeat than most other months of the year. Unfortunately, December 2014 saw retail sales decline by almost a full percentage point. This data was disappointing because the market was expecting a rise of at least .2%.

This piece of data along with current market conditions have many, many people thinking that the Fed may still be a good while away from raising interest rates. We already know that it is likely interest rates will remain put through this first quarter, but most experts are convinced that we will see near-0 interest rates for the rest of this year, at least.

Week of January 9th Gold Market Update

After beginning the week in impressive fashion, both gold and silver have cooled off a bit during the latter three days of the 5-day trading session.So far this week, we have seen a number of different happenings and have seen the attitudes of global investors shift significantly during such a short period of time. Though there was a good amount of economic data made public this week, very little of it had any major impact on the spot values of gold and silver.

As we look ahead to next week, the market will be dealt even more economic data. In addition to this, investors will also be concerning themselves with the upcoming central bank meetings in both Europe and the United States. The former is already catching a lot of attention, so I imagine that that will only intensify as the days pass.

Equity Market Volatility Makes Its Mark

When this week began, it was strange because equity markets around the world were trending downward, and in a lot of cases significantly so. The reason for this was a combination of a poor PMI reading from the European Union for December as well as general investor anxiety with regard to the strength of the global economy. With so many global economies in a rut at the present moment in time, it is no wonder that some investors were seen ditching risky equity investments for the relative safety provided by gold and silver. Though stock markets in the US and abroad have steadied a bit, there are still some lingering worries with regard to whether the bullish run on the part of equities might finally be coming to a close.

Some market experts are pointing to this week’s volatility coming so quickly after equity markets hit record highs as a reason behind why stocks may be ready for a more permanent tick downward. Though there is no saying for sure that equities will continue to perform poorly throughout the coming weeks, recent price action on the part of stocks has a lot of investors rightfully worried.

Dollar Remains Strong

One of the market themes that has really not changed this week is the stronger US Dollar. Since markets opened on Monday, the USD Index has performed extremely well. Now hovering near a 10-year high, the greenback is the preferred currency for currency traders. The Euro, on the other hand, has spent most of this week trending downward as a result of speculation regarding the upcoming European Central Bank meeting.

According to an overwhelming majority of the market, the ECB, at their upcoming meeting, is going to announce a major monetary policy shift. This shift, according to many, is said to be the introduction of a bond-buying initiative similar to the quantitative easing we have witnessed in the US for the last few years. Whether the ECB makes such an announcement remains to be seen, but the Euro currency has already taken a solid hit due to speculation alone.

Week of January 2nd Gold Market Update

Gold and silver have gotten the New Year off to a particularly poor start as they are both conceding decent value on the final day of this trading week. In all reality, metals losing value should be none too surprising simply because the Dollar is on such a hot streak. Essentially, as the Dollar continues to gain against its many rivals, the poorer gold and silver will perform. This much is true more often than not, and is especially true in recent weeks.

As we head deeper into this New Year, there is a very good possibility that metals will continue conceding value. With crude oil still feeling pressure, there are very few factors available to come to the aid of gold and silver. With all of this said, however, anything can happen and just because gold and silver are down today does not mean they will be down tomorrow.

Gold and Silver Say Farewell to Dismal 2014

Now that we have officially advanced into the New Year, it only makes sense that we reflect on the year that has just gone by. For gold and silver, the past 12 months have been a long, inconsistent ride that has seen spot values surge upward just as quickly as they have surged downward. When all was said and done, both gold and silver finished the year having recorded losses. The reasons for metals’ collective losses are many in number, and most of these factors are continuing to drag spot values down.
In recent weeks, it has been a combination of stronger stocks/USD and a declining crude oil spot price that have really weighed on metals. Though we have entered a new year, the reality of the matter is that the same pressures are going to continue having a negative impact on spot values. You can change your calendar, but the truth is that you cannot simply change how the market feels about certain asset classes.

Perhaps, with some luck, the economic data that will be released in the coming days and weeks will come to the aid of gold and silver. To the contrary, the pending economic data we will be receiving from the US, Europe, and elsewhere around the world may very well put even more pressure on gold and silver. If, for example, US economic data is upbeat while Europe’s is poor, gold and silver may suffer considerably. The reason for this is that poor data from Europe and upbeat data from the US suggests to investors that EU and US monetary policy will continue to diverge. With higher interest rates expected in the near future in the US, it is hard to envision a marketplace that will be overly bullish on metals.

Week of December 19th Gold Market Update

The spot values of gold and silver are in the green this morning, but are mostly moving sideways. All in all, this week was lackluster for precious metals and is looking like it will result in weekly losses for both spot gold and silver. There hasn’t been too much in the way of markets-moving economic data on this week’s slate, and for that reason metals have not moved all that much. With that said, the weekly losses compiled by gold and silver are not anything too significant.

Because of the lack of economic data, investors this week have had plenty of time to focus on what is going on with the Russian economy. Over the course of this year, the ruble has lost more than 50% of its value against the USD and is continuing to lose value. On top of that, crude oil prices are continuing to fall and Western sanctions are only making things worse. As we head into the new year, it will be interesting to see what, if anything, the Russian government will do to combat their failing economy and diminishing quality of life of the average citizen.

FOMC Meeting More Lackluster Than Anything Else

In the lead-up to this week, the market was almost wholly preoccupied with this week’s Federal Open Market Committee meeting and what, if anything, would come as a result of it. By the time markets opened on Monday, most investors in the US and abroad were expecting to hear the FOMC make an announcement regarding the future of interest rates in the United States.

The meeting, which kicked off on Tuesday and wrapped up Wednesday afternoon, ended up bringing about very little fresh information. By the time Janet Yellen was finished speaking to the media on Wednesday, investors were left pondering over more or less the same language that has been presented to them for the last few months. Yellen, in her comments, reiterated that there is still considerable time before interest rates in the US are raised. This more dovish outlook on interest rate hikes helped US equities bounce back and, surprisingly enough, helped gold and silver stabilize after a few days’ worth of losses.
Though metals are still poised for weekly losses, those losses are mostly negligible. As we look ahead to next week, it is highly likely that investors will be taking a majority of the week off in order to get an early start on holiday celebrations.

Week of December 12th Gold Market Update

Precious metals, for a second consecutive day, are conceding some value as chart consolidation takes center stage. With that said, however, both gold and silver are on course to post solid weekly gains for the first time in a few weeks now. Of all the days this week, Tuesday was one that really stood out due to the fact that both gold and silver spent most of the day adding ridiculous amounts of value. It was widely believed that metals would concede these gains a day later, but that did not happen as Wednesday brought about more stagnation than anything else.

Yesterday, however, metals began consolidating some of the gains made earlier in the week, but even then the losses were of very little significance. Now, the real test will come over the weekend to see if metals can open up next week in the same fashion that they closed this one.

Crude Oil Remains In the Headlines

For the past month or more, crude oil has been in the headlines because its spot value has been on an almost direct downward trend. Though prices have since more or less evened out and stopped falling, the reality of crude oil hovering near 5-year lows has had a harsh impact on the commodities market. For gold and silver, much of the past month was marred with losses simply because flagging oil prices were dragging all other commodities down too.

Just this week, a report was published claiming that an increase in the supply of US oil is a major reason behind why prices have fallen. With more oil on the market able to satisfy an unchanged demand, simple economics will tell you that the price of oil has no choice but to drop. Making matters worse, though, is the fact that oil from the US does not carry the lofty premiums you will find tacked on to purchases of oil from conflict regions of the Middle East and Africa. So, in summation, not only is there more oil on the market, there is more, cheaper oil and that is causing spot values to decline steadily.

For gold and silver, however, recently growing worries regarding a global economic slowdown are causing safe-haven demand for precious metals to tick upward. With equity markets really struggling as of late, it is no surprise that a good number of investors are seeking safety in precious metals. Though US stocks rebounded nicely on Thursday, many people are still wary that recent volatility could continue as we head deeper into the month of December. It will be interesting to see how the progress, or lack thereof, of equities affects the forward movement of metals. In all likelihood, should stocks bounce back through today and into next week, metals will pull back from their current positions.

Week of December 5th Gold Market Update

As of the writing of this post early Friday morning, both gold and silver spot values are moving downward. Though this downward movement is nothing too significant, it is an early indication that perhaps the market thinks today’s US jobs report will beat expectations. Though it is still too early to tell exactly what today’s jobs figures from November will look like, I can say that expectations are for at least 230,000 jobs to have been added during last month.

In addition to today’s jobs data, investors also had the European Central Bank meeting as well as some other economic data to contend with. For the most part, however, none of the aforementioned events or data points had all that much of an impact on the precious metals market. With that being said, however, I imagine that today’s jobs data will be of particular importance to quite a few investors.

What to Expect From US Employment Data

Knowing what to expect from the United States’ monthly employment report is one of the most difficult things to do. Even expert market analysts have a hard time pinpointing just how well or poorly the US Labor market performs in a given month. Still, it is widely believed that today’s data will show that at least 230,000 new non-farm jobs were created in the US last month.

With that said, however, it is important to remember that this number of job additions was expected a month ago, and that data fell far, far short. Officially, last month’s employment data for October showed that only a little more than 200,000 new jobs were added to the US economy. This sub-par report gave gold and silver a temporary boost, so the thought is that, should this week’s report be poor, it will also cause metals to appreciate a bit.

When the employment data was made public, it showed that well over 300,000 new jobs were added to the US economy during November. Though the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.8%, this number handily beating expectations caused the spot values of gold and silver to take another dive of sorts. Still, metals look to be ending this week in much better fashion than they ended last week.

Week of November 21st Gold Market Update

Precious metals have bounced around quite a bit this week, but just like the last two Friday’s, both gold and silver are trending noticeably upward. Today, metals are faring well due to some interest rate news out of China. On the whole, this week was a tad bit quieter than usual, though it must be said that Thursday brought about a good amount of economic data from the US, Asia, and Europe. From the US, most of the data was deemed as being upbeat.

In addition to this, we saw the focus of the marketplace fixate upon Europe as there was quite a bit of economic activity stemming from that region this week. During the first parts of the week, in fact, investors were preoccupied with comments from European Central Bank president Mario Draghi. In his remarks to members of the media, Draghi stated that the ECB has not yet discounted the possible use of quantitative easing measures in an effort to spur European economic growth. Though most people were unsurprised by Draghi’s comments, it is a certainty that the upcoming ECB meeting will be hawked over even more so than usual.

Market Mulls Over a Plethora of Economic Data

It is no secret that the last few weeks have been somewhat slow from an economic data standpoint in the United States. With few reports outside of the weekly jobless claims report for investors to mull over and discuss, it should come as no surprise that market conditions have been as quiet and subdued as they have been for the past half a month or more.

Yesterday saw the activity level pick up a bit simply due to the fact that a few pieces of markets-moving economic data was made public. Highlighting Thursday’s data was a report claiming that factory activity in the Mid-Atlantic US is growing at rates unseen in more than 20 years. Adding to this was an existing home sales report that showed existing home sales in October were at their highest point in more than a year. As you could have probably guessed, this upbeat economic data gave stocks a bit of a boost and weighed on the gains that were being made by gold and silver through much of the day on Thursday.

In other news that is just trickling in, it was reported that the central bank of China announced that it will be slashing interest rates in an effort to rectify their ailing economy. This news immediately bolstered gold and silver and is helping them add value today. Hopefully, when next week rolls around, we will uncover just a bit more information regarding interest rates in China as well as some more information regarding interest rates in the United States as well. In case you couldn’t tell, the market is slowly but surely refocusing on interest rates both in the US and around the world as their movement will have some sort of impact on the precious metals market.