Precious metals are holding steady through the first half of the day on Thursday, but losses are threatening due to a rally on the part of European and US equity markets. In general, this week has not been too action-packed and has not played host to too much in the way of economic data. With that said, the market has still had plenty to talk about, especially as it pertains to Greece and their new government’s refusal to cooperate with 2012 financial bailout agreements.
Today, the big news came from Eastern Europe where it was finally reported that some progress had been made with regard to a ceasefire in Ukraine.
Ceasefire Agreement Reached in Belarus
Talks between Western nations, Russian officials, and Ukrainian officials seemed to have gone well seeing as a new ceasefire will go into effect in Ukraine on Sunday. Through talks held in Belarus this week, it seems as though the three sides of this debacle have come to a preliminary agreement to end the fighting in Ukraine.
The biggest surprise of the day came in the form of praise from German Chancellor Angela Merkel directed towards Vladimir Putin. According to Merkel, Putin cooperated and was one of the biggest proponents of this now agreed upon ceasefire. How long this ceasefire will last is unknown, but this is definitely a step in the right direction.
Metals are suffering as a result of today’s news simply because investors have regained some confidence in the EU region. As such, stocks in the US and Europe are performing quite well today.
In other news, the eyes of the investing world are continuing to focus on Greece and their refusal to cooperate with the EU. According to multiple sources, Greece’s new government is not going to follow through with debt reduction and austerity measures that were set forth as prerequisites to the country receiving more financial help from the EU.
Germany, who is the biggest lender to beleaguered EU nations is taking a hardline stance on Greece’s refusal. Basically, Germany is telling Greece that they can either cooperate with the previously agreed upon plans or leave the EU. At this juncture, it really is looking more and more like Greece will be leaving the European Union before long. Whether this prompts other nations to leave the EU or not remains to be seen.
As we head further into this month and year, I am certain that Greece will remain in the headlines.