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Daily Gold Update
Current precious metals news

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Daily Gold Update presents a recap on today's action in the precious metals markets. View archives.


February 5: Gold scores biggest week since August

Source: Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin -- Gold edged up 0.1% to close near $1,158 after a mixed U.S. jobs report boosted the dollar, capping demand for alternative stores of value. The metal gained 3.7% this week to score its biggest weekly win since late August.

The Labor Department reported today that nonfarm payrolls added 151,000 jobs last month. The total was fewer than expected and suggested a slowdown in overall job creation compared to prior months. However, the unemployment rate dipped to 4.9%, the lowest since 2008, and wages grew by 0.5% in January to achieve a 2.5% pace over the past 12 months, close to the post-recession high set in December.

The dollar halted its four-day slide, gaining 0.6% against major rivals as traders speculated that the Fed may raise rates this year after all. Whereas the market in Fed funds futures had been pricing in the next rate hike for 2017, it now sees a 50% chance in December, up from merely a 20% before the NFP release. Higher rates support a stronger dollar, which weighs on gold and other commodities by making them more expensive overseas.

Wall Street fell sharply after the report, with the Dow dropping 1.5% and the S&P 500 nearly 2%. The risk-off sentiment helped prevent losses for gold.

The other precious metals were down for the day but higher for the week. Silver dropped 0.5% to post a weekly gain of 3.8%. Platinum and palladium lost 0.3% and 3.3% today, respectively, but gained 3.4% and 0.5% this week.

At the Comex close: April gold added 20 cents, to $1,157.70; March silver dropped 7 cents to $14.78; April platinum dipped $2.60 to $903.70; and March palladium fell $16.90 to $498.70 an ounce.




February 4: Gold surges another 1.4% on soft data

Source: Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin -- Gold surged another 1.4% to close above $1,157, the highest since late October, as another spate of weak U.S. data eroded the dollar and spurred flights to safety. Rising 3.7% this week, the metal has now gained nearly 9% so far in 2016.

First-time jobless claims rose more than expected last week and layoffs spiked higher by 218% last month, suggesting momentum may be slowing in labor markets as economic conditions soften. In addition, productivity fell by 3% in the fourth quarter for the biggest decline in two years, putting downward pressure on profits and wage growth.

Coming one day after the ISM reported growth in the U.S. services sector slowing to a two-year low in January, the weak data fueled expectations that the Fed will have to delay future rate hikes, perhaps until next year. Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan today acknowledged that "there has been some slowing" in the economy that will require "patience and analysis" by the Fed before additional tightening of monetary policy.

The dollar extended its sell-off to a fourth day on the souring rate view, supporting gold and other commodities denominated in it for international trade. The buck is down nearly 3% this week against a basket of rivals, marking its worst week since 2009.

The other metals all finished higher, with silver gaining 0.8% while platinum jumped 3% and palladium added 5 cents.

At the Comex close: April gold surged $16.20 to $1,157.50; March silver gained nearly 12 cents to $14.85; April platinum jumped $26.20 to $906.30; and March palladium edged up 5 cents to $515.60 an ounce.




February 3: Gold rallies to 15-week high after ISM

Source: Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin -- Gold rallied another 1.3% to close above $1,141, its highest finish in 15 weeks, after disappointing data in the U.S. services sector caused the dollar to sell off, boosting demand for alternative stores of value.

The ISM reported that services grew at the slowest pace in two years in January. Including industries such as retailing, banking, and healthcare, the services sector comprises roughly 80% of GDP. The slowdown suggests that declines in manufacturing, exports, and the energy sector are now feeding back into the economy at large.

The dollar sold off against major rivals, with the Dollar Index plunging 1.8% as traders speculated that the ISM data means the Fed will be unable to raise interest rates anytime soon. In addition, New York Fed President William Dudley signaled today that tightening financial conditions and a deteriorating outlook for global growth could delay future hikes. A weaker dollar supports gold and other commodities denominated in it for international trade by making them less expensive to overseas buyers.

Treasury bonds rallied alongside gold on flights to safety, with 10-year yields falling to the lowest level in a year. The market largely overlooked a report from ADP showing that private employers added 205,000 jobs in January, more than expected.

The other precious metals outpaced gold's gains, with silver jumping 3.1% while platinum and palladium surged 2.9% and 4.9%, respectively.

At the Comex close: April rallied $14.10 to $1,141.30; March silver jumped 44 cents to $14.73; April platinum gained $24.40 to $880.10; and March palladium surged $24.25, to $515.55 an ounce.




February 2: Gold holds as stocks, oil plunge

Source: Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin -- Gold finished nearly flat, dipping 80 cents to hold above $1,127, as the market consolidated recent gains ahead of this week's nonfarm payrolls report. After surging 1.1% over the previous two sessions, the metal is up around 6.3% so far this year as growing concerns over global growth have rekindled safe-haven demand.

Wall Street extended its sell-off, with the Dow and S&P 500 both dropping around 1.8%, as tumbling oil pulled energy shares lower. Crude dropped 5% to under $30 per barrel after hopes faded for a deal between Russia and OPEC to cut production and relieve the global supply glut.

The dollar pulled back slightly against major rivals as traders continue to see the Fed withholding further rate hikes until late in the year. Friday's release of the monthly nonfarm payrolls report may shed more light, however, as the Fed has made it clear that jobs and inflation data will be the weathervanes of future policy direction.

The other precious metals all finished lower, with silver dropping 0.4% while platinum and palladium lost 1.7% and 2.2%, respectively.

At the Comex close: April gold dipped 80 cents to $1,127.20; March silver lost 5 cents to $14.34; April platinum dropped $14.40 to $855.70; and March palladium surrendered $11.05, to $491.30 an ounce.




February 1: Gold surges 1% to 3-month high

Source: Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin -- Gold surged 1% to close at $1,128, a three-month high, as weak U.S. and global economic data continued to fuel safe-haven demand.

U.S. manufacturing contracted again in December, with the ISM index registering 48.2%, marking the fourth straight month in which more companies are shrinking than expanding. It is the longest period of contraction since 2009, at the height of the Great Recession.

Factory output is also weak in Asia and Europe. China's manufacturing fell to the lowest level in nearly four years last month, and South Korea and Taiwan, leaders in tech production, also slowed. The Eurozone's output fell in January, according to Markit's PMI report, amid lackluster global demand.

Consumer spending, which comprises more than 70% of U.S. GDP, was flat in December and PCE Index, the Fed's preferred gauge of inflation, grew at an annualized rate of just 0.1%. Oil sold off again, dropping nearly 6% in response to the weaker global factory data.

The dollar fell 0.5% against major rivals as traders speculate that the Fed will be unable to raise interest rates until much later this year, if at all. The CME FedWatch tool now predicts September for the next hike. A weaker dollar supports gold and other commodities by making them less expensive to users of other currencies.

The other precious metals were mostly higher, with silver and palladium gaining 0.7% while platinum slipped o.4%.

At the Comex close: April gold surged $11.60 to $1,128; March silver added 10 cents to $14.34; April platinum slid $3.50 to $870.80; and March palladium added $3.55, to $502.05 an ounce.




January 29: Gold ends month with 5.3% gain

Source: Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin -- Gold edged up 30 cents to hold above $1,116 despite rising risk-appetite after the Bank of Japan shocked markets by adopting negative interest rates. Gaining 1.8% this week and 5.3% this month, gold enjoyed its strongest monthly rise in a year as slowing global growth and heightened volatility in stocks drives investors into safe-haven assets.

In a surprising and perhaps desperate action, the BOJ cut a key interest rate on deposits into negative territory in hopes of stoking inflation and stimulating its intractably stagnant economy. After years of aggressive monetary easing, Japan's inflation rate was just 0.1% in the year through December.

The ECB was the major central bank to cut rates below zero back in 2014. Others soon followed suit, including the Swiss National Bank. Japan's decision to join them is raising concerns that deeper cuts and more easing may result in Europe, possibly triggering a currency war in which nations reactively cheapen their currencies to gain an advantage in the shrinking pool of global trade.

This outcome would complicate the Fed's ability to raise interest rates again this year, something that is already being question in light of slower growth, tumbling equity markets, and plummeting oil prices. Amplifying Wednesday's dovish Fed policy statement, Dallas Fed chief Richard Kaplan acknowledged today that these are all good reasons to be patient about lifting rates.

Equities jumped on the prospect of more liquidity entering the market, with the Dow gaining more than 2% and the Global Dow 1.8%. The surge in risk appetite came despite data showing the U.S. economy grew merely 0.7% in the fourth quarter.

The dollar surged 1% against a basket of rivals, putting a cap on gold's gains. A rising dollar typically pressures gold and other commodities denominated in it for international trade.

The other precious metals were higher on the day but mixed for the week and month. Silver inched up a penny today, gaining to 1.3% for the week and 3.5% for the month. Platinum rose 0.7% for a weekly gain of 5.1% but lost 2% this month. Palladium jumped 1.3% today but lost 0.3% on the week and 11.6% on the month.

At the Comex close: April gold added 30 cents, $1,116.40; March silver inched up a cent to $14.24; April platinum gained $6.40, or 0.7%, to $874.30; March palladium rose $6.50 to $498.50 an ounce.




January 28: Gold dips as traders take profits

Source: Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin -- Gold dipped 20 cents to close just over $1,116 as traders took profits from yesterday's after-hours surge to $1,128 following the Fed's dovish post-meeting policy statement.

The Fed left interest rates unchanged yesterday, as expected, but significantly qualified its assessment of future risks to the economy. In its post-meeting policy statement, the central bank acknowledged that "global economic and financial developments" since its last meeting have changed the "balance of risks," and that low inflation remains a big concern. Plunging oil prices and turmoil in China's financial markets lie at the heart of these "developments."

Gold quickly jumped as high as $1,128 in electronic trade yesterday following the statement's release as traders speculated that the Fed will be less inclined to raise interest rates again soon. Coming after a 5.4% climb so far this year, those gains prompted profit-taking as traders squared their books to close out the month.

The dollar extended its losses against major rivals, dropping 0.3% after the Commerce Department reported that orders for durable goods fell 5.1% last month. The sharp decline reflected a downturn in business investment and may translate into negative GDP growth for the fourth quarter.

The other precious metals also fell, with silver and platinum dropping 1.6% while platinum lost 2%.

At the Comex close: April gold dipped 20 cents to s $1,116.10; March silver gave up 23 cents, to $14.23; April platinum dropped $14.20 to $867.90; and March palladium lost $10.25 to $492 an ounce.




January 27: Gold swings higher after dovish Fed

Source: Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin -- In regular trade, gold slipped 0.4% to close under $1,116 as traders braced for the release of the Federal Reserve's policy statement at the conclusion of its two-day meeting. The metal then abruptly swung 1% higher electronic trade, surging to as high as $1,128 after the central bank signaled a dovish disinclination to raise interest rates again soon.

In its post-meeting statement, released 30 minutes after Comex trading closed, the Fed left interest rates unchanged, as expected, while acknowledging that the economy has "slowed" since its last meeting, when it voted to raise rates for the first time in nine years. It also underscored concerns about inflation, saying it is expected to remain "low in the near term."

Implicitly recognizing the contagion risks presented by China's slowing economy and faltering stock market, which has plunged more than 22% so far this year, the Fed said it would be closely monitoring "global economic and financial developments." Importantly, assurances that risks to the economy remain "in balance," present in the December statement, were omitted today.

The dollar weakened and Treasury yields plummeted after the release as traders speculated that the Fed is now very unlikely to raise interest rates in March. The CME FedWatch tool, which calculates the odds of rate increases based on Fed fund futures contracts, pushed the next hike out to July after the statement's release.

The other precious metals were mixed, with silver and platinum slipping 0.7% and 0.6%, respectively, while palladium added 1.9%.

At the Comex close: February slipped $4.40 to $1,115.80; March silver slid 10 cents to $14.50; April platinum fell $5.20 to $882.10; and March palladium added $9.50 to $502.25 an ounce.




January 26: Gold surges 1.4% to 11-week high

Source: Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin -- Gold surged 1.4% to close at an 11-week high above $1,120 as China worries, market volatility, and a weaker dollar spurred safe-haven inflows.

The Shanghai Composite Index, China's primary stock market, plunged more than 6% in frenzied selling as investors grew increasingly uneasy about the PBOC's ability to support the yuan and revive the slumping economy. Chinese shares have lost 22% so far this year. Other indexes in Asia were also pulled sharply lower.

U.S. and European equities rallied, however, as oil prices surged 4% after an OPEC official signaled that the cartel is "willing to cooperate" in mitigating the global supply glut that has hammered prices to 12-year lows. The Dow gained more than 1.5%, boosted by energy shares and strong earnings from blue chips like P&G and 3M.

The dollar weakened by 0.2% against major rivals as traders speculated that the FOMC, meeting to today to discuss monetary policy, will be disinclined to raise rates this spring because of China's slowdown and rising volatility in equity markets.

As China's stock markets and currency fall, demand for gold is rising. Net gold imports into China jumped from 79 tonnes in November to almost 130 in December, the highest level in more than two years. Total imports for 2015 topped 861, beating 2014 by nearly 50 tonnes. Reuters reports prospects for 2016 are even better, with some Asian traders expecting imports to challenge the all-time high of 1,158 tonnes set in 2013.

Global metals consultancy GFMS is forecasting gold to rebound in 2016, rising to $1,200 by year-end because of growing Chinese demand, slowing global growth, and a slower pace to increases in U.S. interest rates in the U.S.

The other precious metals tracked higher with gold. Silver jumped 2.25 while platinum and palladium added 0.3% and 1.8%, respectively.

At the Comex close: February gold surged $14.90 to $1,120.20; March silver jumped 31 cents, to $14.56; March palladium added $1.60, to $492.75; and April platinum gained $15.40 to $876.90 an ounce.




January 25: Gold gains 0.8% as oil, stocks fall again

Source: Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin -- Extending last week's 0.5% rise, gold gained 0.8% to close above $1,105 as declines in oil, stocks, and the dollar boosted safe-haven demand.

Oil prices fell around 5%, surrendering most of Friday's 8% rebound after reports of record-high production from Iraq deepened concerns about a global glut in supply. Global equities fell in sympathy with energy shares, as the Dow and Global Dow both receded around. 0.5%.

The dollar also faltered, dropping around 0.2% against major rivals on speculation that tumbling oil and stocks will make the Federal Reserve, meeting this week to discuss policy, less inclined to raise interest rates this spring. A softer dollar typically supports gold and other commodities denominated in it for international trade by making them less expensive to users of other currencies.

The other precious metals were mostly higher, with silver and platinum adding 1.7% and 3.6%, respectively, while outlier palladium lost 1.7%.

At the Comex close: February gold gained $9 to $1,105.30; March silver rose nearly 20 cents to $14.25; April platinum jumped $29.90 to $861.50; and March palladium fell $8.70 to $491.15 an ounce.




January 22: Gold dips, gains 0.5% this week

Source: Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin -- Gold dipped 0.2% to close above $1,096 as global equities rallied again on surging oil and expectations of deeper easing in Europe, reducing demand for safe havens. The metal still gained 0.5% this week and is up 3.1% so far this year.

European stocks jumped by the most in almost four months and U.S. stocks were on pace for the first weekly gain of 2016 as traders were encouraged by signs that the ECB and BOJ will add to stimulus in coming months. The S&P 500 rose 1.7% while the Dow and Global Dow added 1% and 2.3%, respectively. Nearly $8 trillion has been wiped from global stocks this year, mainly on fears that China's deepening slowdown may plunge the world economy into recession.

Helping to power energy shares, oil surged nearly 8% to reclaim $31 per barrel as colder weather spurred demand for heating oil. The rally was a welcome relief to crude's 17% slide so far this year.

The dollar gained around 0.4% against major rivals, especially the euro, as traders anticipate more easing in Europe following ECB President Mario Draghi's statement yesterday that the central bank will revisit its policy stance in March.

The other precious metals were mixed on the day but higher for the week. Silver slid 0.3% but gained 1.2% on the week. Platinum gained 1.5% today to pull out a weekly gain of 0.5%. Palladium picked up 0.2% today and 2.6% this week.

At the Comex close: February gold dipped $1.90 to $1,096.30; March silver lost 4 cents to $14.06; April platinum rose $12.10 to $831.60; and March palladium picked up 85 cents to $499.85 an ounce.




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