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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.


July 31: Gold gains 0.6% on weak employment costs

Source: Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin -- Gold gained 0.6% to close just under $1,095 as softer U.S. data clouded the outlook for higher interest rates, weighing on the dollar and boosting demand for alternative stores of value. Nonetheless, gold finished July more than 6% lower for its biggest monthly drop in two years.

The Employment Cost Index rose by merely 0.2% in the second quarter, the Labor Department said today, for the smallest quarterly increase in 33 years. The surprisingly weak report suggests ongoing slack in the labor markets is continuing to depress wages, which in turn is holding back consumer spending and inflation. The Fed has repeatedly pointed to subpar wage growth and inflation as reasons to be cautious about raising interest rates.

Consumer sentiment fell in July as Americans remain worried about the pace of economic growth. While GDP rose at 2.3% in the second quarter, well above the revised 0.6% growth in Q1, it nonetheless fell well short forecasts and virtually guarantees that annual growth will fail to achieve 3% growthfor the tenth straight year, the longest stretch since 1945.

The dollar retreated on the softer data as traders speculated that the Fed will be less inclined to raise rates in September. A falling dollar supports gold and other commodities denominated in it for international trade by making them less expensive to foreign buyers. Treasury bonds gained with gold on flights to safety.

The other precious metals were mixed, with silver rising 0.3% while platinum and palladium fell 0.5% and 1.6%, respectively.

At the Comex close: December gold gained $6.40 to $1,095.10; September silver added 5 cents, to $14.75; October platinum slid $4.90 to $985; and September palladium dropped $9.70 to $620.55 an ounce.




July 30: Gold falls 0.4% on GDP, dollar

Source: Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin -- Gold slid 0.4% to close just above $1,088 as improving U.S. economic growth boosted the dollar, weighing on alternative stores of value.

GDP increased at an annual rate of 2.3% during the second quarter of the year, the Commerce Department reported today, driven by a rise in consumer spending on big purchases like cars and trucks. Gains in the housing market also helped.

First-quarter GDP was revised upward from negative 0.2% to positive 0.6%, largely because of a change in reporting methodology that reduces seasonal fluctuations based on military and health care spending. Growth from 2012 to 2014 was revised downward from 2.3% to 2%.

Not everything was positive in the data, however. Business investment was soft again, as spending on equipment dropped 4.1% and the value of inventories fell. The strong dollar and ongoing weakness in the global economy are weighing on exports, hurting manufacturers and making many businesses loath to spend.

The dollar rallied on the GDP report as traders speculate that it will further encourage the Fed to raise rates this year, perhaps as early as September. A rising dollar weighs on gold and other commodities by making the more expensive to foreign buyers.

The other precious metals were mixed, with silver slipping 0.3% while platinum and palladium gained 0.5% and 0.8%, respectively.

At the Comex close: August gold slid $4.20 to $1,088.40; September silver slipped nearly 5 cents to $14.70; October platinum added $5, to $989.90; and September palladium rose by $4.95 to $620.55 an ounce.




July 29: Gold slips, recoups after Fed statement

Source: Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin -- Gold slipped 0.3% to close the regular session at $1,092.60 as traders hedged their positions ahead of the Fed's statement on monetary policy. It then recouped those losses and more, rebounding to $1,096.40 in electronic trade after the Fed refrained from raising interest rates and left prospects for a September hike uncertain.

Following its two-day meeting, the FOMC issued a press release saying the economy is continuing to strengthen and the job market is improving. While the upgraded assessments left the door open for a September hike, the central bank did not give clear direction on its plans for tightening interest rates. Instead, it stated the need for "further improvement" in labor market and more evidence that inflation will rise to its 2% target.

Equities, the dollar, and gold all traded higher immediately after the Fed's statement, suggesting that its ambiguity offered something for everyone. The fact that rates were unchanged and could remain that way beyond September boosted equities and gold, which thrive when money is cheap and liquidity plentiful. The lingering possibility of a September hike boosted the dollar because higher rates mean more yield for dollar deposits.

The other precious metals were mixed, with silver closing 0.7% higher while platinum and palladium fell 0.2% and 1%, respectively.

At the Comex close: August gold slid $3.60 to $1,092.60; September silver gained 10 cents to $14.74; October platinum dipped $1.50 to $984.90; and September palladium lost $6 to $615.60 an ounce.




July 28: Gold holds despite rebounding equities

Source: Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin -- Gold held almost all of yesterday's 1% gain, dipping 20 cents to close above $1,096, as surprisingly weak U.S. consumer confidence supported safe-haven buying despite rising equities and a stronger dollar.

Confidence among consumers fell by the most in four years in July, the Conference Board reported today, as Americans became significantly less optimistic about the labor market and more concerned about upheavals in the global economy, especially Greece and China. The latest reading was the lowest in 10 months. Adding to uncertainty, the S&P/Case Shiller index showed growth in home prices stalling in May.

The Fed will weigh the data as it meets this week to set monetary policy. While recent reports on job growth, retail sales, and some housing metrics have suggested a mild slowdown in the economy this quarter, most analysts still think the FOMC will raise interest rates by a fraction of a point sometime this year. Expectations of higher rates weigh on gold and other commodities by boosting the dollar, which makes them more expensive to foreign buyers.

Chinese stocks stabilized today after another major sell-off yesterday, boosting risk-appetite in the U.S. markets and pulling investment from safe havens. The Dow picked up 1% and the S&P 500 rose 1.2%. The dollar also crept higher ahead of this week's Fed meeting.

Global consultancy GFMS, a division of Thompson Reuter, reported today that global gold demand dropped 12% year-over-year in the second quarter. The main drag came from China, the world's largest gold buyer, where retail investment fell by 23% as China's stock markets soared. The recent plunge in Chinese shares has yet to translate into a rebound in demand for gold in China, but GFMS is cautiously optimistic that it may as prices stabilize.

The other precious metals were mixed, with silver and palladium adding 0.3% and 1.4%, respectively, while platinum slid 0.3%.

At the Comex close: August gold dipped 20 cents to $1,096.20; September silver added nearly 4 cents to $14.64; October platinum slid $2.50 to $986.40; and September palladium gained $8.50 to $621.60 an ounce.




July 27: Gold rebounds 1% on tumbling stocks

Source: Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin -- Gold rebounded by 1% to close above $1,096 as a sell-off in equities and a falling dollar stoked safe-haven demand. The metal reached an intraday high above $1,104 before sliding back under resistance at $1,100.

China's stock markets tumbled sharply, losing more than 8% in Asian trading despite unprecedented efforts by the government to support valuations. It was the biggest one-day drop in shares in eight years, compounding fears about the health of the world's biggest energy consumer and second-biggest economy. U.S. and global equities plunged in China's wake as the Dow and Global Dow lost close to 1%.

The dollar lost around 0.7% against a basket of rivals as the sell-off in China helped to boost the euro and yen. A falling dollar supports higher prices for gold and other commodities denominated in it for international trade.

The other precious metals were mostly higher, with silver and platinum gaining 0.8% each. Outlier palladium, more heavily tied to industry, fell 1.5%.

At the Comex close: August gold gained $10.90 to $1,096.40; September silver added 13 cents, to $14.60; October platinum rose $8.20 to $988.90; and September palladium lost $9.50 to $613.10 an ounce.




July 24: Gold slides, then rebounds after hours

Source: Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin -- Gold slid 0.8% to close the regular trading session below $1,086 as continued speculation about rising interest rates boosted the dollar. However, the metal abruptly erased those losses and more, jumping $14 to $1,099 in electronic trade after hours as soft data on housing and manufacturing eroded the dollar and boosted demand for alternative assets.

New home sales fell nearly 7% in June to the slowest pace in seven months, according to the Commerce Department, with falloffs occurring in every region except the Northeast. The surprising drop throws a wrinkle into expectations about the housing sector just days after the National Association of Realtors said resales of homes reached an eight-year high last month.

In addition, Markit's flash reading of factory PMI rose slightly in June, but forward indicators forecast "a relatively slow growth phase" for U.S. manufacturing in coming months.

The dollar fell back on the softer data while Treasury bonds rose with gold after hours. Sharply lower U.S. equities also helped the metal recover from earlier losses as investors sought safe havens.

Excluding today's after-hours rally, gold finished regular trading down 4.1% this week, swamped by a 3% drop on Monday as the result of Chinese sellers dumping 33 tonnes in a matter of minutes on the Shanghai Gold Exchange, choking liquidity and triggering automatic stop-losses in New York.

Silver fell 1.5% today and 2.3% this week in regular trade before rebounding nearly 30 cents after hours today. Platinum dipped slightly on the day and lost 2.1% this week before rebounding by more than $9 today in electronic trade. Outlier palladium gained 0.8% in the regular session for a 0.6% weekly gain, then added another $3 after hours today.

At the Comex close: August gold fell $8.60 to $1,085.50; September silver lost 21 cents to $14.49; October platinum dipped 40 cents to $980.70; and September palladium gained $4.75 to $622.60 an ounce.




July 23: Gold gains 0.2% on bargain hunting

Source: Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin -- Gold gained 0.2% to close above $1,094 as bargain hunters entered the market, lured by ten straight sessions of lower prices.

After rebounding as high $1,105 early in the session, the metal retraced much of those gains following the Labor Department's report that initial jobless claims fell 26,000 last week to 255,000, the lowest level since 1973. With new claims holding under 300,000 since late February, the longest streak in 15 years, the labor markets look increasingly healthy enough to support a rate hike by the Fed, perhaps as soon as September.

The dollar rose against a basket of rivals on the jobless data, overcoming earlier losses. A stronger dollar pressures gold and other commodities denominated in it for international trade by making them more expensive overseas. The IMF warned today that a further rise in the dollar could have damaging spillover effects on developed and emerging economies. The IMF recently called for the Fed to delay any rate increases until 2016.

With gold prices hovering around five-year lows, demand for gold bullion coins is strongly on the upswing. The U.S. Mint has sold more than 125,000 ounces of Gold Eagles so far in July, already the highest monthly total since April 2013.

The other precious metals were mixed on the day. Platinum edged up 0.1% while silver and palladium dropped 0.2% and 1.4%, respectively.

At the Comex close: August gold gained $2.60 to $1,094.10; September silver fell 3 cents to $14.701; October platinum added $1.20, to $981.10; and September palladium dropped $8.90 to $617.85 an ounce.




July 22: Gold falls under $1,100 on housing data

Source: Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin -- Gold fell another 1.1% to close at $1,091.50 as surging U.S. home sales buoyed the dollar, further diminishing demand for alternative stores of value. It was gold's tenth straight down session and first close under $1,100 in more than five years.

Sales of existing home jumped in June to the highest level in more than eight years, the National Association of Realtors reported today. Following last week's data showing increases in housing starts and building permits, the report suggests the housing recovery may gather momentum through the end of the year because of pent-up demand and low inventory.

The dollar gained 0.4% against a basket of major rivals as traders viewed surging homes sales as evidence that the Fed may raise interest rates in September despite softening payrolls and retail sales data. A stronger dollar weighs on gold and other commodities denominated in it for international trade by making them more expensive to users of other currencies.

Gold is by no means the only commodity to be swamped in the wake of the dollar's rally. Propelled by expectations that the Fed will tighten monetary policy while most other major central banks continue to ease, the U.S. Dollar Index has risen 7.8% so far this year while the Bloomberg Commodity Index has tumbled 7.6%. Gold and silver have held up a little better, sliding 7.2% and 5.2%, respectively, year to date.

Today, the other precious metals also finished lower, with silver and palladium dropping 0.4% while platinum lost 0.5%.

At the Comex close: August gold fell $12 to $1,091.50; September silver for delivery dropped 5 cents to $14.73; October platinum shed $4.40 to $979.90; and September palladium gave up $2.70 to $626.75 an ounce.




July 21: Gold extends slide but holds $1,100

Source: Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin -- Gold extended its slide to nine sessions, slipping another 0.3% to close at $1,103.50 on follow-through from Monday's 2.2% plunge.

A so-called "bear raid" drove prices to five-year lows yesterday after a few large sellers dumped around 33 tonnes in Shanghai and New York in a matter of minutes. The fall was accelerated by automatic stop-loss selling and illiquidity in Asia markets because of holiday closures in Japan and elsewhere.

While weakened by recent bearish sentiment, gold briefly dipped below the psychologically important threshold of $1,100 today before bouncing back, buoyed by a sell-off in equities and a falling dollar. The Dow dropped nearly 200 points behind weak earnings in blue-chip tech firms like IBM. The dollar's 0.7% drop was largely attributed by profit-taking by forex traders.

The other precious metals were mixed, with platinum shedding 0.4 while silver added 0.2% and palladium jumped by 2.8%.

At the Comex close: August gold slipped $3.30 to $1,103.50; September silver added nearly 3 cents to $14.78; October platinum lost $4.30 to $984.30; and September palladium jumped $17.40 to $629.45 an ounce.




July 20: Gold plunges 2.2% after Shanghai sale

Source: Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin -- Gold plunged 2.2% to close under $1,107 after a Chinese seller dumped 33 tonnes on the Shanghai market, creating a technical sell-off in global markets.

Due to holiday market closures in Japan and other Asian counties, a lack of liquidity on the Shanghai Gold Exchange helped to accelerated price-weakness after a contract of 3.3 million lots was sold, triggering a wave of automatic stop-loss orders that pushed the gold price to a new five-year low.

The negative sentiment was caused in part by Friday's publication of official China's gold reserves, which came in far less than expected. The PBOC acknowledged holding 1,658 tonnes, representing a 57% increase over the last time the total was published, in 2009. Most analysts believed the number to be at least 3,000 tonnes. While many remain skeptical of the published amount, it nonetheless cast a bearish pall on speculative demand.

Gold has now fallen for eight consecutive sessions because of several key factors. The seeming diffusion of Greece's debt crisis has reduced European demand for safe havens. Last week's nuclear agreement between the West and Iran promises to allow new supplies of oil to enter the market, driving down prices for crude and cutting in to demand for inflation hedges. And expectations that the Fed will raise interest rates this year have helped to strengthen the dollar, which weighs on gold and other commodities denominated in it for international trade by making them more expensive to foreign buyers.

The other precious metals were also weaker. Silver dropped 0.5% while platinum and palladium fell 1.3% and 1.1%, respectively.

At the Comex close: August gold plunged $25.10 to $1,106.80; September silver lost nearly 8 cents to $14.76; October platinum slid $12.70 $988.60; and September palladium fell $6.95 to $612.05 an ounce.




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