Friday, August 30, 2013
The Obama Administration was thrown a curveball Thursday when Prime Minister David Cameron was unable to win support from UK parliament regarding military action against the al-Assad regime over the use of chemical weapons on Syria’s civilian population. The U.S. suddenly finds itself alone in any plan to punish the dictator with military force. Without support from major allies and with UN weapons inspectors still on the ground in Syria, it’s unlikely that a strike by U.S. forces is imminent. At least that’s what the sentiment seems to be in the markets. The precious complex is back down toward pre-“sabre Rattling” levels amid these recent developments and profit taking ahead of month-end and a long weekend in the U.S. is weighing on the metals as well. In other news, the Reserve Bank of India is contemplating plans to direct come banks to buy back gold from individuals and sell to refiners in an attempt to curb the country’s current account deficit. The PGM’s are lower despite talk from Anglo American’s CEO that indicates the miner may have to shutter some operations/shafts if profits don’t improve next year. The news comes as the gold sector faces strikes as early as this Sunday from the National Union of Mineworkers. The potential for a spill over into other mining sectors, especially the platinum sector, may provide cushion to the downside for the time being. In domestic economic news, Consumer spending was muted in July having nudged up just .1% compared to the estimated .3%. University of Michigan’s consumer confidence index will be released at 9:55 am and will shed more light on consumers moods. Have a great Labor Day weekend!
Thursday, August 29, 2013
The lack of immediate intervention, by western allies, into the Syrian conflict has market participants breathing a little easier this morning and consensus seems to be leaning toward confrontation sometime next week…perhaps our fearless leaders want to get in one more good vacation weekend before the stuff hits the fan. So, on to more pressing matters of the day. The Bureau of Economic Analysis seems to be suffering another case of what I like to call “Weatherman Syndrome” as second-quarter U.S. GDP data was revised nearly 1% higher than originally forecasted. The domestic economy grew at an annual rate of 2.5% in the second quarter, up from the 1.7% originally reported and beating forecast estimates of 2.1%. In other positive news, U.S. initial jobless claims fell by 6,000 last week to 331,000. He Syrian situation, coupled with today’s inspiring economic data, is weighing on the metals complex at the moment but support may be found from ongoing tensions in South Africa. The National Union of Mineworkers will likely give gold producers a 48-hour strike notice tomorrow with strikes starting as early as Sunday. Have a great day!
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
A “damned if you do damned if you don’t” situation for Obama Administration has some tumult permeating the financial landscape as fears of an intervention in the ongoing Syrian Civil War has market participants clamoring for safer pastures. A flight from equities, after the DJIA plummeted more than 1% and the S&P shed 1.6%, had investors pushing Gold, Oil higher throughout Tuesdays trading session while 10-year Treasury yields fell sharply. Gold closed at $1420.6 and has reached as high as $1428 in overnight trading while oil jumped nearly 3% and yields on the 10-year hit 2.722%. Reports indicate that action against al-Assad’s dictatorial regime, by U.S. and other like-minded allies, may be relatively imminent (Tomorrow?) but it’s probably not a question of “if” at this point, rather it is a question of “how much”. Best-case scenario, the U.S. lobs a couple of million dollars’ worth of cruise missiles to save face after declaring a “red line” ultimatum. Worst case? Well, let’s just hope we don’t have to cross that bridge when we come to it. Either way, safety is the theme du’jour and given the complexity of world affairs at the moment, it will likely be this way for the immediate future. Have a great day!
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
It is now apparent that the proverbial line has been sufficiently crossed with regard to the al-Assad regime and the civil war that rages in Syria. The dictator and his backing have not been officially accused of using chemical weapons against their own people but evidence strongly supports that the regime was the likely aggressor, according to comments made late Monday by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. This “moral obscenity” has led to U.S. military readiness in the region and has market participants on edge as intervention by U.S. and Coalition forces ticks closer to zero hour. October Brent Crude prices have surged more than 2% with prices now at $113.10 per barrel. U.S. Stocks took a plunge during the late day statement by Secretary Kerry with the DJIA falling back below the 15000 mark. Gold closed Monday’s mostly uneventful trading session at $1393 but is now trading near the top of today’s range at $1417. Silver is up more than 2% as well, now trading $24.530. In addition to the Geopolitical tensions brewing in the middle-east, the U.S. has some domestic fiscal issues that are garnering headlines this morning. The U.S. is said to be on track to hit the debt ceiling by mid-October and, according to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, the President is not in a mood to negotiate…here we go again! U.S. home prices were up 2.2% for the month of June according to Case-Shiller beating estimates of just 1%. However, the somewhat positive data is a rather moot point at the moment given the more pressing concerns discussed above. Have a great day!
Monday, August 26, 2013
If you find yourself waking up with a case of the Mondays let’s put things into perspective…at least you’re not Billy Ray Cyrus waking up to see what his daughter did at the MTV Video Music Awards last night. Feel better? Suddenly all of this economic stuff doesn’t seem all that bad, right? Ok maybe not. U.S. durable goods orders plunged 7.3% in July according to the U.S. Commerce Department, a striking contrast to the 3.9% jump the month before. Couple this morning’s data with last week’s less-than-inspiring new home sales data and one could be led to believe that tapering of QE is not in the books for September or even December at this point. The precious complex is rather quiet this morning, most likely due to the bank holiday across the pond in London. The exception appears to be silver , up more than 2% and now trading $24.23 after closing Friday’s session at $23.738. Gold briefly broke the $1400 level in overnight trading but has since given back those gains and then some. The yellow metal now trades $1393. Platinum is relatively flat to last weeks close at $1541.60 while palladium trades a little more than $5 off Friday’s close, now at $744.40. Have a great day!
Friday, August 23, 2013
Platinum rallied to a close of $1540.10 on the back of Chinese PMI data that showed the manufacturing sector of the world’s #2 economy pushed back into expansion territory. Chinese PMI moved across the 50 threshold, coming in at 50.1 this month compared to a reading of 47.7 in July. The white metal pushed as high as $1547 in overnight hours but has since returned to yesterday’s closing levels. Platinum is likely also finding support from the situation in South Africa where wage negotiations between the the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and their employers in the gold mining sector have apparently collapsed. The threat of a spillover into the rest of the mining industry will likely be on the minds of market participants as we head into the weekend. Palladium pushed to a close of $755 on Thursday but now trades slightly lower at $751. Today could be a rather quiet end to the week as there is little in the way of market moving economic data on tap. New Home Sales data is due out at 10:00 am but after yesterday’s so-called “Flash Freeze” on the Nasdaq, investors might take the opportunity to start their weekend a little early and come back refreshed on Monday. Have a great weekend!
Thursday, August 22, 2013
A whole lot of nothing…That’s what the general consensus seems to be regarding yesterday’s release of FOMC minutes from the most recent meeting of the Fed minds. There’s no question that tapering will eventually happen but the “sooner or later” part of the equation has yet to be solved. All calculus, trigonometry and algebra aside, the simple sum of whether the job market is healthy and inflation reaches an optimum level will continue to be the proverbial trip wire for the beginning of the end of Quantitative Easing. After the dust settled, 10-year bond yields had surged to 2.9% and the DJIA had lost over 100 points by the end of the session. Gold closed the day at $1370.6 and now trades at the day’s high of $1374.8. The rest of the complex is in the green to start the day as will with silver up nearly 1% while platinum trades at $1523, having reached as high as $1529, and palladium hovering just below $750 an ounce. In domestic economic happenings, the weekly U.S. jobless claims increased 13,000 to 336,000 and while that is not necessarily a good sign, some critics would argue that because the more accurate four-week average stands at 330,500 and overall jobless claims remain near the lowest levels seen in more than 5 years, that employment may be poised for a comeback. We’ll see about that on September 6th. U.S. manufacturing pushed further into expansion territory this month as data from Markit showed the index moved to 53.9 from 53.7 last month. Jackson Hole gets underway today and central bankers from around the globe will converge on the site to hear what Janet Yellen, the likely successor to Chairman Bernanke, has to say about the current state of affairs. Have a great day!
Wednesday, August 7, 2013
PLYMOUTH, Minn., Aug. 7, 2013 – Westminster Mint of Plymouth, MN, reported today that it has reduced its premiums on all 1, 5 & 10 ounce silver bullion rounds and bars by more than 10% to just 99¢ per ounce above the current market price of silver. This special new low price is available to everyone regardless of the size of their order.
Westminster Mint recently made several upgrades to its website www.westminstermint.com in order to improve the buying experience for customers. “These aggressive new low prices and a new mobile APP coming in September are part of a realignment of the company that greatly improves our service to bullion buyers and will make us even more competitive in the marketplace.” said Ian Clay, president of Westminster Mint.
Westminster Mint provides an online platform and dependable service for people who require low prices and fast physical delivery of their silver bullion. As demand for gold and silver bullion has rocketed there has been a proliferation of new gold and silver bullion dealers. “Westminster Mint is a well-known company established in 2001 supplying ISO 9001 certified silver rounds to the public. Our formula for success is to provide consistently low prices, fast delivery of your precious metals and customer service that does what we say we will do.” said Clay.
Privately minted silver bullion coins are commonly called "silver rounds" and are the best kept secret in the bullion industry. Rounds come in a variety of sizes and designs, but the most common format is a 1-ounce round that is an attractive alternative to American Silver Eagles and Canadian Maple Leafs. Investors can often save up to $3 per ounce when buying silver bullion rounds over silver bullion coins. Rounds are hallmark stamped with their exact weight and purity and come in a wide variety of designs. ISO 9001 certified silver rounds are eligible for inclusion in IRA and other retirement accounts.
Monday, August 5, 2013
The precious complex is mixed but relatively unchanged from last week’s closing levels as we begin ..
The precious complex is mixed but relatively unchanged from last week’s closing levels as we begin the week. Unemployment claims, GDP and PMI figures reported throughout last week seemingly point to an improving situation on the domestic economic front but unemployment remains a thorn in the side of monetary policy makers. Non-Farm payrolls missed estimates by a pretty wide margin and although the unemployment rate fell to 7.4%, some of that decline was attributed to people dropping out of the job market. Gold was pushed back above the $1300 mark on the release of Friday’s jobs data and held to a close of $1310.40. The yellow metal is off slightly from that number, now trading $1307.60. Silver made a push back toward the $20.00 mark but fell just shy with a high of $19.950 in the overnight hours. Silver now trades $19.700 after closing Friday at $19.845. Platinum is roughly $3 lower from Friday’s clos and now trades $1447 while palladium is the lone metal in positive territory, now trading $731.75. Have a great day!
Friday, August 2, 2013
NFP numbers? Not Favoring the Populace. Just 162,000 jobs were added in the month of July and while a positive number is better than a negative number, everything is relative. Economists expected 180,000 new names on payrolls and considering last month’s numbers hit 188,000 those economists weren’t exactly setting the bar very high. The unemployment rate also fell to 7.4% and while some will argue that’s a good thing, it was reported that 37,000 people simply gave up looking. The news is less than inspiring and given the Feds comments on Wednesday it would seem QE tapering is probably not going to happen as soon as many have come to expect. Following yesterday’s drop in jobless claims and better than expected PMI, emotions are mixed at best. Jobless claims fell to their lowest level since early 2008 (326,000) and the ISM manufacturing index reached 55.4 for the month of July. Gold was trading sub $1300 ahead of the news, reaching as low as $1283 but popped quickly back toward yesterday’s closing levels. The yellow metal now trades $1312. The rest of the complex is higher as well to start the day. Silver up 1.5% to $19.930 while platinum and palladium are both up more than .5% to $1439 and $730 respectively. Have a great day!