October 30th Silver Market Update

Precious metals opened up the day trending downward and things only got worse from there upon the release of some fresh third-quarter US economic data. Before we get into the fresh data, however, it is important that we reflect on what went down through the first three days of the week. Though there was a lot of economic and geopolitical talking points making rounds, most of it was ignored by the market due to the Tuesday-into-Wednesday meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee of the United States.

One of the biggest talking points, the declining nature of crude oil prices over the past few weeks, is worth mentioning because it was responsible for pulling all raw commodities down with it during the first half of this week. With experts thinking that crude oil will only continue to fall, there is no saying for sure what kind of elongated impact it will have on the precious metals market.

FOMC Presents Positive US Economic Outlook

While the FOMC meeting was important, the only thing investors really care about is the post-meeting statement delivered yesterday afternoon. According to the Fed, while there will still be “considerable time” before interest rates are raising in the United States, the US economy is definitely showing marked signs of improvement. The “considerable time” language didn’t do much to surprise the marketplace, but the fact that the Fed made such positive comments about the US economy did.

Now, instead of thinking that interest rates will be raised sometime next summer, many investors and analysts have changed their timeline, expecting rate hikes to come possibly as early as this upcoming February. Of course, that is still a long ways away, and anything can happen between now and then.

Third-Quarter GDP Defeats Expectations

Perhaps the biggest factor weighing on gold and silver came this morning in the form of another upbeat US economic report. According to the figures, the US economy grew by a far greater amount than was expected during the third-quarter of this year. Such data caps off the best 6-month run that the US economy has experienced in more than ten years.

Complementing the upbeat GDP figures was a report saying that fewer people filed for unemployment benefits during October than at any other single point in the last 14 years. Of course, this data goes perfectly with yesterday’s Fed statement and only worked to boost the US equity markets and act as a dead weight on the prices of gold and silver.


October 23rd Silver Market Update

Gold and silver, for a second consecutive day, traded downward. Though this week has been almost entirely quiet from an economic standpoint, there has been plenty for investors to talk about. For one, there are rumors abounding that leading members of the European Central Bank will soon be announcing plans to boost an asset buying program eerily similar to the waning quantitative easing program of the United States. These rumors alone have been enough to cause the Euro to continue declining against a number of rival currencies, including the US Dollar.

The geopolitical sphere has been generally free from activity this week, but yesterday brought tragic news out of Ottawa, Canada, where a lone gunman shot and killed a soldier and proceeded to storm the Canadian Parliament building where he was eventually met with force and killed by responding law enforcement officers. The actions caused equity markets here in the US and around the world to back down, but by the time markets opened today, things were more or less back to normal. The search in Canada, however, continues as there are plenty of rumors claiming that the gunmen who was slain did not act alone.

US Stocks, US Dollar Have Upbeat Weeks

Apart from yesterday’s backing down of US equity markets, this week has thus far proven to be wholly positive for both US stocks as well as the US Dollar. Giving the Dollar an additional boost today was a report that weekly jobless claims have now fallen to their lowest point in nearly 15 years.Over the course of the past few months, the US labor market has shown significant signs of improvement, something that has prompted investors to wonder why the Fed is so reluctant to raise interest rates from near-0 levels.

Unfortunately, many experts predict that the last two months of 2014 may bring about some tough times for the US economy. This, coupled with other factors, is really keeping the Fed’s hands tied.

The US Dollar, which has been doing well as of late as well, has made gains against the Japanese Yen for a 6th consecutive day. So long as Japan and Europe continue pursuing monetary policies that will ultimately devalue their respective currencies, the US Dollar will only continue to benefit. For precious metals, however, the surging US Dollar will likely only work to limit the buying interest experienced. This week along, physical demand for gold and silver has seen a rapid decline that is likely turning what started out as a week of gains into the first weekly loss metals have seen in the past three.


October 16th Silver Market Update

Precious metals are backing down from yesterday’s gains, but a number of factors are more than limiting the selling pressure being levied against metals. This week has been mostly quiet, but there are a number of factors that are causing investors to grow increasingly worrisome about the immediate future and what it holds. Despite this week being quiet, there has been a decent amount of markets-moving economic data, especially from the US and Europe.

From Europe, a few reports released earlier in the week with regard to regional industrial production came back far weaker than expected and did well to add fuel to the fire that is worries with regard to deflationary pressures across the region. The eyes of the investing world will now turn to the European Central Bank in order to see what, if anything, they are going to do to both spur economic growth and curb deflationary pressures. Right now, the Euro Zone is in a bit of a sticky situation.

Poor US Economic Data Surprises the Market, Pushes Metals Higher

Despite the chart consolidation we are seeing drive spot values marginally downward today, the precious metals bulls seem to be really gaining some momentum in recent days. Just yesterday, the marketplace was dealt some fairly poor economic data from the US in the form of a downbeat US retail sales report as well as a poor producer price index reading.

According to the data, September’s US retail sales declined by about .3% while the PPI was down by little more than one tenth of one percent. As you could have probably guessed, this news caused equity markets in the US to decline steadily and also piled the pressure on the US Dollar. Today, the USD has rebounded a bit, but equity markets continue to feel a lot of pressure. Perhaps this is a sign that the stock market rally we have witnessed in recent months may finally be coming to an end. Though the value of metals is reeling a bit today, it is clear to see that the selling pressure is limited.

If things continue the way they have been going this week, gold and silver spot values might end up posting weekly gains for a second consecutive week. Still, there is plenty of time for everything to be flipped on its head…again. As we look ahead to Friday and next week, the eyes of the investing world will remain closely fixated on the the progress, or lack thereof, of equity markets. So long as investors are displaying risk-averse attitudes like they have been for the past few weeks, gold and silver are likely going to benefit.


October 9th Silver Market Update

Precious metals are moving noticeably higher to begin the day on Thursday, fueled by a more dovish set of minutes from the FOMC. Apart from yesterday’s minutes release, the first half of this week did not play host to too much in the way of markets-moving economic data. While there was some European data on the table, most of which was poor, it did not move markets very drastically in any one direction.

What did have an affect on the marketplace, however, was last week’s US Labor Department non-farm payrolls report for September. As is always the case, the non-farms report was hawked over by investors the world over. In the lead-up to the report’s release, most market experts were expecting somewhere in the neighborhood of 215,000 new jobs to be added to the US economy during September. Much to the surprise of almost everyone, however, the data showed that nearly 250,000 new jobs were created last month. This news aided the progress of US equities as well as the US Dollar, though the latter of those two asset classes has had a rough run of form throughout the first few days of this week.

Dovish Fed Minutes Met by Investors With Surprise

Each and every month, there are two big dates with regard to the United States’ Federal Open Market Committee–the date of the actual FOMC meeting, as well as the day upon which the minutes from said meeting are made public. Yesterday fell into the category of the latter date and when the minutes were made public, investors were quite surprised to be reading what the FOMC had to say.

For one, the FOMC was in almost total agreement that the economic downturn currently being experienced by the EU and Japanese economic systems may, with time, end up weighing on the strength of the US economy as well. What’s more, there were a few members of the Fed that are of the belief that the US Dollar’s recent rally will eventually catch up to the US economy and impede further growth sometime down the road. What all this means is that the FOMC may be forced to hold off on raising interest rates anytime soon. Because of this growing belief, the value of US equities, treasuries, and precious metals have all been on the up and up since the time markets opened today. Unfortunately for the US Dollar, however, such dovish FOMC minutes have acted as a weight that is pushing the greenback’s value lower.

As we approach the last day and a half or so of the week, it will be interesting to see if gold and silver will continue to move forward or if they have already maxed out their gains for the week. Keep in mind that even though metals have made progress so far this week, the market is still very bearish with regard to gold and silver.


October 2nd Silver Market Update

The spot values of gold and silver continue to be stuck in their ever-growing downward trend, but today offered a bit of respite in the form of downbeat stocks and a weaker US Dollar. In all, this week did not bring about a large quantity of economic data, but come tomorrow, that will all change. In fact, today saw the European Central Bank meet for their monthly policy meeting, and the outcome of that meeting was of particular interest to investors.

On the geopolitical front, the eyes of the world have been fixated upon what is happening in Hong Kong at present. Beginning late last week, the people of Hong Kong have taken to the streets in protest of what they are calling an increasingly restrictive government. Though the protests have been, for the most part, peaceful, the fact that such unrest is taking place in the financial capital of the world is unsettling for investors and has taken its toll on equity markets throughout much of this week. As the days and weeks play out from this point forward, it is likely that we will continue watching and analyzing everything that is taking place in Hong Kong. After all, the protest’s leaders have maintained that they will not rest until top city officials step down; something that doesn’t seem likely to happen anytime soon.

ECB Meeting Does More to Confuse Than Anything Else

Today brought about the most recent meeting of the European Central Bank, and though it was announced that the ECB would be purchasing private securities as a means of stimulating the economy, few other details were provided. While many experts and investors bet that the private security purchases would be enough to markedly expand the ECB’s balance sheet such that the Euro would suffer further depreciation, the lack of details provided by the ECB ended up giving the Euro a much-needed boost.

Though the overall outlook on the Euro currency is bleak, at best, today provided some support that has not been seen over the course of the last few months. Now, the attention of the world will shift to the release of the United States most recent employment report from September. As it stands, the market is expecting well over 200,000 jobs to have been added last month, though there is no guaranteeing that such will prove to be the case. As you could have probably guessed, an employment report that falls short of expectations stands the chance of giving precious metals a bit of underlying, temporary support.


September 18th Silver Market Update

Precious metals are feeling pressure today, but are up from daily lows as of the writing of this post. After yesterday’s FOMC meeting and post-meeting statement were deemed by the market as being a bit more hawkish than expected, it should come as no surprise that gold and silver are on the chopping block today. With that said, however, there are still reports streaming in, claiming that physical purchases of metals have risen dramatically in Asia as a result of the recent toppling of the value of gold and silver.

In other news, the market’s attention will slowly but surely shift from the FOMC meeting to the Scottish referendum on independence, which is taking place today. This incredibly important vote will determine whether Scotland remains part of the United Kingdom or if they will become independent. The British pound and overall British economy has a lot riding on the outcome of the referendum, so it will be very interesting to see how things play out over the next 24 hours or so. Though the vote is taking place today, it is highly likely that we won’t receive the official results until sometime during the overnight or early morning hours tomorrow. This means that we are in for one exciting finish to the trading week.

FOMC Minutes Do Metals No Favors

Apart from Scotland’s vote on independence, the biggest event of the week was no doubt the Federal Open Market Committee’s latest policy meeting. In recent months, there has been almost consistent discussion with regard to when the US will be raising interest rates, and by how much they will be raised. You see, at this juncture, investors aren’t curious whether rates will be raised or not, because they are confident rate hikes are on their way. What they are curious about, however, is how a rate hike might affect them and their investments.

Unfortunately for most everyone, the FOMC members did not offer much in the way of solid information regarding the future of interest rates. Instead, they simply reiterated many of the things they have been saying for the past few months now. Though their gauge of the US economy’s strength has grown a bit more optimistic in the eyes of many, the FOMC insisted that there is still room for improvement–especially as it pertains to the United States’ labor situation.

What did make this week’s meeting a bit more hawkish than expected was the fact that there were 2 dissenters present amongst the FOMC. This, to the market, indicates that some FOMC members might want to get on with rate hikes sooner rather than later. This alone helped pile on the downward pressure being felt by gold and silver.


September 11th Silver Market Update

The spot values of precious metals declined across the board for yet another day today. The quiet market atmosphere in conjunction with a stronger US Dollar have been two factors forcing precious metals downward in recent days. While I anticipate that the last day of the week will remain just as quiet as the last four days have been, next week is expected to play host to just a bit more economic activity than this week.

In news on the geopolitical front, a ceasefire in Ukraine appears to have held true for yet another day. In fact, Ukrainian military officials claimed that Russian troops and tank units have now moved back across the border and away from the war-torn regions of Eastern Ukraine. While the ceasefire is encouraging, it will be interesting to see if it leads to more sustained peace, or if this is just a minor stop of the violence in order to allow warring sides to reorganize.

Finally, last night saw US president Barack Obama announce his plans for how to tackle ISIS militants in Iraq and Syria. According to Obama, the US will ramp up its air strikes but will refrain from placing combat boots on the ground. This much was expected and did not really have much of an impact on the marketplace when things opened up today.

Raw Commodities Given Boost On Quiet Day

Though by looking at spot values alone it may seem hard to believe, but raw commodities were given a marked boost today by a few small economic reports. From China, an August CPI report showed that China’s CPI grew by only 2% during August on an annualized basis. This data fell short of July’s 2.3% CPI increase and also fell short of 2.2% growth expectations. What it did do, however, was give precious metals a boost as investors are now convinced that the Chinese central bank will hold off on any imminent measures to tighten monetary policy. This gave all raw commodities just a bit of underlying support.

With this support, gold and silver spot values were able to perhaps prevent today from becoming a day of even more severe losses. It will be interested to see what next week, along with its flurry of economic activity, has to bring. The FOMC meeting along with a referendum on Scottish independence will take up a good bit of the market’s attention.


September 4th Silver Market Update

After beginning the day in somewhat impressive fashion, precious metals have since begun conceding value and are just barely clinging on to marginal gains. Today and tomorrow are the biggest days of the week simply due to the amount of economic activity that is going to be taking place. Today will bring about the European Central Bank monthly policy meeting while tomorrow will yield the US monthly employment report for August. Unfortunately for precious metals, this week has so far brought about nothing but added selling pressure.

Apart from the flurry of economic activity the market will also see its attention shift to the ongoing crisis in Eastern Ukraine. Just a few days ago, it was announced that a ceasefire was reached between Ukraine, Russia, and pro-Russian forces. Shortly thereafter, however, it was made clear that these were merely rumors and that no ceasefire agreement was ever officially penned and agreed to. As such, the fighting throughout Eastern Ukraine continue to rage and does not seem to be getting anyone much of anywhere. Though the violence is a good sign for precious metals, the overriding risk-appetite exhibited by investors currently is preventing from metals from gaining much of any foothold.

ECB Meeting Brings About Important Announcement

As soon as US markets opened today, US investors were greeted with some fairly important news from the European Central Bank meeting. According to initial reports, the ECB announced that it would be slashing all interest rates by 10 basis points. This news was not so unexpected, but did cause the value of the Euro currency to sink while simultaneously providing the US Dollar with a bit of a boost. Not only that, but the interest rate cut also prompted both European and US equity markets to shoot upward in value.

Now that this news is currently being digested by the market, the attention of investors from around the world will shift towards tomorrow’s release of the latest US employment figures from August. As it stands, the market is expecting that about 215,000 jobs were added to the economy last month. If these expectations are met or exceeded, it could potentially spell even worse news for precious metals.

Though it is unclear how the duration of the week will pan out, we do know that we are in for quite a bit of economic activity, especially tomorrow. Unfortunately, however, most signs are pointing in the direction of spot gold and silver losing even more value.



August 14th Silver Market Update

Precious metals spot values moved marginally higher on Thursday, fueled initially by a weaker than anticipated employment report from the United States. After some time, however, spot values parred early morning gains and ended up closer to where they began the day. Also making news today was some economic data from Europe, though this did not have too much of an affect on equity markets.

Light Economic Data Attracts A lot of Attention Today

The big piece of news making rounds today was that of the weekly jobless claims report from the United States. According to the report, more than 310,000 new claims were filed this week, up from 295,000 a week ago. This news prompted the US Dollar to concede value while the spot values of precious metals shot up. Unfortunately, as the day moved on, early gains were parred and turned back for gold and silver.

Out of Europe, it was reported that the EU’s second-quarter GDP remained unchanged from the first-quarter. On an annualized basis, however, the EU’s GDP was up by about .7%. This data fell far short of expectations and put some pressure on the Euro currency. This, in turn, allowed the US Dollar to make gains such that losses compiled earlier in the day were reverted. Unfortunately, this also put some pressure on precious metals, causing them to concede what little value was added during the morning hours.

As we head into the final day of the week, expect the investing atmosphere to remain as quiet and subdued as it has been all week long. There are still a number of ongoing geopolitical events for the investing world to pay attention to, but most of them are not gaining nearly as much attention now as they were a few weeks ago. It is the hope of many that next week brings about a bit more in the way of markets-moving economic data, but it is more likely that next week will be quiet.


August 7th Silver Market Update

Precious metals are feeling some pressure today, but are still having a somewhat decent week. Compared to last week, this 5-day trading session has been a good bit quieter. There simply hasn’t been much economic data on the slate, and that fact alone has made for a trading atmosphere that is typical of a mid-summer week.

Though there was not as much economic data on the slate this week as there was a week ago, some EU data was made public a few days ago and gave investors something to mull over and discuss. In addition to this, there were also a few developments stemming from the situation in Ukraine, this time involving Russia. As we head into this weekend, it seems as though investors will remain focused on the developments stemming from the crisis in Ukraine.

Russia Imposes Sanctions of Its Own

Over the course of the last few months, both the United States and members of the European Union have been imposing sanctions upon Russia for its involvement in the annexation of the Crimea region of Ukraine. The sanctions being imposed are aimed at Russia’s economy in an attempt to cripple it going forward. Proving that two can play the sanction game, Russia announced yesterday that it would be barring the shipment of a large number of food products from the United States and EU countries. Though this may not seem like too big of a deal, Russia annually imports more than $1 billion worth of food from Western and EU nations. When it comes down to it, however, many market analysts think that Russia’s new sanctions will have more of an adverse effect on the Russian economy than anything else. That said, I suppose only time will tell what kind of impact, if any, Russia’s new sanctions will have on the EU and US economies.

The only other major talking point of the week came in the form of Russia building up a military presence along its border with Ukraine. Though Russia has not made any moves crossing into the country of Ukraine, some feel as though an attack may be right around the corner. As a result of this, safe-haven demand for precious metals has been seen growing stronger over the course of the last few days. Though it is unlikely that safe-haven demand will be around forever, it is encouraging to see at least one market factor working in the favor of gold and silver.