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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.


April 1: Gold surges over $1,200 on weak data

Source: Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin -- Gold surged 2.1% to close above $1,208 as another round of notably soft U.S. economic data raised bets that the Federal Reserve will defer raising rates until year-end or later.

Manufacturing stalled in March, expanding at its slowest pace in more than a year, with the ISM index falling to 51.5. Exports contracted for a third straight month, constrained by the strong dollar and falling demand overseas. Construction spending dropped in February and was revised sharply lower in January. And perhaps most alarming, private payrolls added only 189,000 jobs in March, according to ADP, the fewest since January of last year.

The weak data raised questions about the ongoing strength on the U.S. recovery, and whether the Fed can afford to raise rates this year without slowing it further. After slowing substantially during Q4 of last year, GDP growth for Q1 is expected to plummet, with the Atlanta Fed projecting a mere 0.3% expansion in the economy.

The dollar retreated on the weak data, pressured further as the euro rallied after reports that Eurozone manufacturing expanded rapidly in March. A falling dollar boosts typically boosts prices for gold and other commodities denominated in it for international trade by making them less expensive to foreign buyers.

The other precious metals finished higher with gold. Silver jumped 2.8% while platinum and palladium gained 2% and 1.8%, respectively.

At the Comex close: June gold surged $25 to $1,208.20; May silver jumped 46 cents to $17.06; July platinum gained $22.90 to $1,166; and June palladium rose $13.55 to $748.85 an ounce.




March 31: Gold dips 0.2% on stronger dollar

Source: Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin -- Gold dipped 0.2% in choppy trade, closing above $1,183 after reaching $1,191 earlier in the session, as a rising dollar offset safe-haven inflows on deepening problems with Greece's solvency. The metal finished the first quarter virtually flat after falling 2.5% this month.

The dollar rose against a basket of rivals, including a 1% gain against the euro after Greece failed to provide a program of economic reforms to its creditors, the EU and IMF. Greece had until yesterday to submit detailed plans to qualify for more aid. Greece now risks losing its next tranche of bailout funding, risking default and possible exit from the Eurozone.

The currency was also supported by mostly positive data, which led traders to think the Fed may be more inclined to raise interest rates by June. Consumer confidence rebounded strongly in March behind rising optimism about the job market. Home prices gained 4.6% in January, according to the S&P/Case Shiller index, suggesting better health in the crucial housing sector.

The dollar has gained nearly 9% this year for its best quarter since 2008, largely because of speculation that the Fed will tighten monetary policy while Europe, China, Japan, and most other nations loosen theirs. A rising dollar typically pressures gold and other commodities denominated in it for international trade by making them more expensive to users of other currencies.

Goldman Sachs reported today that the world may run out of minable gold in 20 years. The very low concentrations of the metal within the Earth's crust and diminishing high-quality deposits available may be exhausted within two decade. The resultant "peak gold" scenario should support higher gold prices.

In a separate report, consultancy Metals Focus said today that gold's current bear cycle will end this year, making way for a new bull cycle in 2016. Rising demand in Asia, reduced selling in the West, and falling mine production should boost prices. In addition, Fed's gradual increases in rates will support gold by keeping real rates negative—that is, lower than inflation—for much longer than previously thought.

The other precious metals were mixed. Silver slid 0.5% today but gained 0.3% this month and 6% this quarter. Platinum gained 2.3% today but lost 3.5% in March, while palladium rose nearly 1% today but plunged 10% this month.

At the Comex close: June gold dipped $2.10 to $1,183.20; May silver slid more than 7 cents to $16.59; July platinum gained $26 to $1,143.40; and June palladium rose $6.30 to $735.30 an ounce.




March 30: Gold falls on risk appetite, China plan

Source: Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin -- Gold fell 1.3%, closing under $1,185, as risk-appetite returned to Wall Street, driven by rising merger activity and a bold new stimulus plan in China.

China announced new measures to boost its slowing economy by creating a modern Silk Road improving infrastructural links from Asia to Europe and Africa. The new spending, forecast to be around $50 billion this year, is intended to benefit a wide range of industries and facilitate international trade. China says the project will generate $2.5 trillion in trade over the next decade.

China's equity markets jumped 3% on the announcement, pulling other global markets higher. U.S. markets were further fueled by mergers among drugmakers and biotech companies, pushing the Dow up 1.6%. Eurozone business confidence jumped to its highest level since 2011 in March.

The dollar rose against major rivals, responding in part to Fed Chair Janet Yellen's statement on Friday that rate increases are likely "sometime this year." Yellen qualified her position, however, by stressing that increases will come slowly and gradually, once they begin. She also emphasized that the Fed will remain on hold if key inflation indicators weakened further. A rising dollar pressures gold and other commodities by making them more expensive to foreign buyers.

The other precious metals tracked lower with gold. Silver lost 2.3% while platinum and palladium fell 2.3% and 1.6%, respectively.

At the Comex close: April gold fell $15 to $1,184.80; May silver dropped 39 cents to $16.67; April platinum lost $26.70 to $1,116.90; and June palladium declined by $12 to $729 an ounce.




March 27: Gold slips, scores 1.3% weekly gain

Source: Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin -- Gold slipped 0.5%, closing just under $1,200, as traders took profits after seven winning sessions. The metal still finished the week 1.3% higher for its second straight weekly gain.

Over the past two weeks, gold has risen by a net 4.2%, largely because of declines in the dollar driven by speculation that the Federal Reserve will keep interest rates near zero for longer than previous thought. A falling dollar supports higher gold prices by making the metal, which is denominated in dollars for overseas trade, less expensive to users of other currencies.

In last week's dovish policy statement following its March meeting, the Fed emphasized its need to be "reasonably confident" that inflation will move back toward its 2% target before the first rate hike. The current trend is in the opposite direction, with the Fed's inflation forecast falling to 1.4% from 1.8% in the December statement.

Turmoil in Europe and the Middle East have has also underpinned higher gold prices. Yesterday's Saudi airstrikes against rebels in Yemen stoked concerns about possible interruptions to global oil supplies, increasing safe-haven demand. And Greece's inability to present the program of economic reforms required by the ECB before release of additional aid raises once again the specter of Greek default and possible exit from the Eurozone.

The other precious metals were down for the day and mixed for the week. Silver dropped 0.4% but gained 1.1% this week. Platinum fell 0.9% today but finished 0.2% higher this week. Palladium plunged 4.2% today and 4.9% this week.

At the Comex close: April gold slipped $5 to $1,199.80; May silver dropped 7 cents to $17.07; April platinum lost $10.40 to $1,143.60; and June palladium declined $32.35 to $741 an ounce.




March 26: Gold gains 0.7% to close near $1,205

Source: Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin -- Gold gained 0.7% to close near $1,205 after Saudi airstrikes on Yemen spurred safe-haven inflows. The metal has now risen nearly 5% over the past seven sessions.

A coalition led by Saudi Arabia and backed by U.S. logistical support and intelligence bombed Houthi rebels in Yemen today, rattling markets and driving oil prices back over $50 a barrel. While Yemen's oil output is small, it occupies a chokepoint for distribution from major OPEC producers. The escalation of tensions in the region is causing increased concern about potential disruptions in supply.

Gold was further supported by worries about Greece's ability to meet creditor demands and quality for the bailout funds it needs to remain solvent. Greek bank deposits plunged to the lowest level in ten years last month as capital fled the region. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has until Monday to present details of a workable economic plan before the ECB will release additional aid.

U.S. and global equities receded as investors shed risk. The other precious metals rose alongside gold, with silver climbing 0.8% while platinum and palladium gained 0.7% and 1%, respectively.

At the Comex close: April gold gained 7.80 to $1,204.80; May silver rose 14 cents to $17.14; April platinum picked up $7.50, to $1,154; and June palladium jumped $7.95 to $773.35 an ounce.




March 25: Gold adds another 0.5% for sixth win

Source: Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin -- Gold extended its winning streak to six session, adding another 0.5% to close at $1,197 as falling orders for U.S. durable goods and rising business confidence in Germany weighed on the dollar, boosting demand for alternative stores of value.

Orders for durable goods dropped 1.4% in January and U.S. business investment fell for the sixth consecutive month, the Commerce Department reported today, revealing a substantial slowdown in Q1 economic growth. Morgan Stanley cut its GDP forecast to 0.9% in the first quarter while the Atlanta Fed slashed its projection to 0.3%.

Combined with yesterday's report showing flat annualized consumer inflation, the weakening data is causing traders to speculate that the Fed will be unable to raise interest rates until the end of the year. Charles Evans of the Chicago fed said today in London that there is "no compelling reason" to hurry the first rate hike in light of the "clear deflationary pressure" caused by recent dollar strength.

The dollar fell against major rivals, coming under additional pressure by a rising euro after Germany's IFO survey revealed rising business confidence in Europe's largest and most important economy. Investors continued to reduce long positions on the dollar, extending a trend that began last week when the Fed signaled a more dovish approach to monetary policy.

Central banks continued to be net-buyers of gold in February, according to the IMF, with Kazakhstan adding nearly 3 tonnes for its 29th straight month of purchases, while the Ukraine and Russia both maintained holdings.

The other precious metals tracked higher with gold. Silver added 0.1% while platinum and palladium picked up 0.4% and 0.1%, respectively.

At the Comex close: April gold gained $5.60 to $1,197; May silver added 2 cents, to $17; April platinum picked up $5, to $1,146.50; and June palladium edged up $1.70 to $765.40 an ounce.




March 24: Gold gains 0.3% on Greece worries

Source: Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin -- Gold gained 0.3%, rising for a fifth session to close near a three-week high above $1,191, as renewed fears about Greece's ability to meet bailout requirements boosted safe-haven demand.

Greece is on course to run out of money by April 20, according to a report from Reuters, which would push it to the brink of bankruptcy and perhaps out of the Eurozone. The struggling nation has been unable to produce a package of reforms acceptable to its so-called troika of creditors—the ECB, EU, and IMF. Without these reforms Greece will not receive the tranche of aid it needs to function.

Gold rose despite a stronger dollar, which reversed its recent slide in response to some improving U.S. economic data. Manufacturing ticked up in March, according to Markit's PMI report. Consumer inflation rose for the first time in four months, climbing 0.2% in February. However, annualized inflation is flat and remains a key concern for the Fed as it weighs when to lift interest rates from near zero for the first time since 2008.

The other precious metals were mixed. Silver picked up 0.5% while platinum and palladium fell 0.3% and 0.7%, respectively.

At the Comex close: April gold gained $3.70 to $1,191.40; May silver added 9 cents to $16.98; April platinum dropped $3 to $1,141.50; and June palladium lost $7 to $$763.70 an ounce.




March 23: Gold rises for fourth straight session

Source: Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin -- Gold rose for a fourth session, gaining 0.3% to close at a two-week high near $1,188, as the dollar fell behind speculation that Federal Reserve will keep interest rates near zero until September or later.

The dollar deepened its fastest weekly slide in more than three years as traders continued to digest last week's shift toward sustained monetary accommodation from the central bank. A falling dollar supports higher gold by making the metal less expensive to holders of other currencies.

Speaking today in New York, Fed Vice Chair Stanley Fischer reiterated the Fed's new stance, saying a small rise in rates may be warranted by year's end if labor market conditions improve further and inflation trends back toward 2%. Most analysts now expect the first rate hike to occur in October, according to a recent Reuters poll, well after the June increase previously expected.

Gold also received safe-haven inflows from growing concerns that Greece remains on course toward default and exit from the Eurozone. The standoff deepened between Greece and its troika of creditors—the ECB, EU, and IMF—when Germany's Angela Merkel warned in Friday that Greece will only receive new funds if the new government produces an acceptable package of fiscal reforms, which it has failed to provide.

The other precious metals were mostly higher. Silver edged up slightly, holding all of last week's whopping 9% gain, while platinum added 0.3% and palladium fell 1.1%.

At the Comex close: April gold picked up $3.10 to $1,187.70; May silver added one cent to $16.89; April platinum rose $3.30 to $1,144.50; and June palladium fell $8.40 to $770.70 an ounce.




March 20: Gold rallies again to 2.8% weekly gain

Source: Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin -- Gold rallied another 1.3%, closing at a two-week high near $1,185, as a falling dollar spurred demand for alternative stores of value. The metal finished 2.8% higher for the week, notching its biggest weekly gain in two months. Silver did even better, gaining 4.8% today and 9% this week.

Tracked against a basket of major rivals, the dollar tumbled 1.3% today and 2.2% this week, undercut by speculation that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates more slowly than previously thought. A falling dollar supports higher prices for gold and other commodities denominated in it for international trade by making them less expensive to foreign buyers.

At the close of its two-day meeting on Wednesday, the Fed indicated that it is likely to hold interest rates low for longer than many traders were expecting. This surprising shift toward further accommodation came in response to slower growth, falling inflation, and a much stronger dollar, which weakens U.S. competitiveness abroad.

Although its new policy statement removed assurances about remaining "patient" before the first rate hike since 2006, the Fed softened the meaning by stating that this change "does not indicate that the Committee has decided on the timing of the initial increase in the target range." In her press conference afterwards, Chair Janet Yellen reassured the markets by saying that she is not impatient to tighten policy.

The other precious metals tracked gold higher, with silver leading the way. Platinum gained 1.9% today and 2.3% this week; palladium rose 1.7% but ended the week down 1.2%.

At the Comex close: April gold rallied $15.60 to $1,184.60; May silver jumped 77 cents to $16.88; April platinum gained $21.60 to $1,141.20; and June palladium rose $13.30 to $779.10 an ounce.




March 19: Gold 1.5% higher, holds post-Fed gains

Source: Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin -- Gold surged 1.5%, closing at a two-week high of $1,169, in response to yesterday's statement from the Federal Reserve dimming the outlook for a rate hike by midyear.

Following its two-day meeting this week, the Fed signaled its intention to raise interest rates more slowly than previously thought, keeping monetary policy looser for longer. The shift toward accommodation came in response to slower growth, falling inflation, weakening exports, and a stronger dollar.

While the new statement removed previous assurance of "patience" before the first rate increase, Fed Chair Janet Yellen emphasized that this change suggests no impatience on the part of the FOMC. Rather, the Fed said it needs to be "reasonably confident" that inflation will move back toward its 2% target. The current trend is in the opposite direction, with the Fed's inflation forecast falling to 1.4% from 1.8% in the December statement.

Chicago Fed President Charles Evans said today that the biggest risk is raising rates too soon because it could deliver an adverse shock to the economy. According to the CME Group's FedWatch calculator, the market now expects the first rate hike in October, much later that the June hike previously anticipated.

Gold was further supported by more soft economic data. Manufacturing in the Philadelphia Fed region fell last month, following this week's reported downturn in the New York region, and U.S. jobless claims edged up last week. The metal held yesterday's after-hour gains despite today's 1.5% rebound in the dollar, which would typically weigh on gold by making it more expensive to foreign buyers.

Research by ANZ, the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, forecast gold prices doubling in the next five to ten years because of exploding demand in China and other Asian nations.

The other precious metals were also higher, with silver jumping 3.7% while platinum and palladium rose 2.5% and 0.2%, respectively.

At the Comex close: April delivery gold surged $17.70 to $1,169; May silver jumped 57 cents to $16.11; April platinum gained $27 to $1,119.60; and June palladium added $1.15, to $765.80 an ounce.




March 18: Gold surges to $1,172 after Fed

Source: Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin -- Gold first gained 0.3%, closing above $1.151 in the regular session, as traders shifted out of the dollar before the release of the Fed's policy statement. The metal then surged more than 1.3% to as high as $1,172 in electronic trade immediately following the release, driven by evidence that the central bank seems in no hurry to raise interest rates.

Recognizing that "economic growth has moderated" and "inflation has declined further," the Fed's statement emphasized caution, saying the first rate increase will come only "when it has seen further improvement in the labor market and is reasonably confident that inflation will move back to its 2% objective."

Language about remaining "patient" was removed, as expected, but the Fed softened the possible effect of this change by stating explicitly that the alteration "does not indicate that the Committee has decided on the timing of the initial increase in the target range."

Equities spiked higher while the dollar tumbled more than 1% after the release as traders saw the likelihood of the first hike receding from June until September or later. A weaker dollar supports higher prices for gold and other commodities by making them less expensive to users of other currencies.

The other precious were mixed during the session and higher after the close. Silver finished down 0.2% and then erased that loss after hours. Platinum dipped 0.1% but then rebounded 1.6% after hours, while palladium gained 0.3% before adding another 1.2% after hours.

At the Comex c lose: April gold gained $3.10 to $1,151.30; May silver slipped 4 cents to $15.54; April platinum slid $1.10 to $1,092.60; and June palladium added $2.50, to $764.65 an ounce.




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