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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.


August 22: Gold recoups 0.4% on Yellen speech

Source: Dr. Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin -- Gold recouped 0.4% to close above $1,280 after Fed Chair Janet Yellen, speaking in Jackson Hole, cited ongoing slack in the labor markets as a reason for the Fed to refrain from changing monetary policy. The metal nonetheless finished the week 2% lower following yesterday's technical sell-off, itself triggered by worries that upbeat U.S. economic data would lead to interest rates rising sooner than expected.

In a speech to central bankers, Yellen confirmed the majority opinion on the FOMC, saying labor resources remain underutilized in the wake of the Great Recession and the U.S. recovery still needs help. While acknowledging some improvements, she emphasized that lower unemployment is not an accurate measure of progress in the job market, citing stagnant wages and high levels of involuntary part-time work, among other factors, as reasons to keep interest rates near zero for quite a while longer.

Gold received additional support from geopolitical tension. Kiev accused Russia of a direct invasion after a convoy of trucks crossed Ukraine's border without permission. Hamas reportedly executed 18 Palestinians accused of collaborating with Israel. And senior U.S. military leaders said Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria pose a major threat, raising the specter of broader U.S. intervention in the region.

The other metals were mixed on the day and down on the week. Silver dropped 0.2% today and 0.7% this week. Platinum finished almost even for the day, edging down slightly, but lost nearly 2.7% for the week. Palladium rallied nearly 1% today but closed the week 0.8% lower.

At the Comex close: December gold gained $4.80 to $1,280.20; September silver slipped 3 cents, to $19.39; October platinum dipped 80 cents to $1,418.50; and September palladium adde $7.70, to $887.60 an ounce.




August 21: Gold falls 1.5% after upbeat data

Source: Dr. Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin -- Gold tumbled 1.5%, closing at a two-month low under $1,276, as upbeat U.S. data triggered speculation that the Fed will be quicker to raise interest rates. Once the metal passed through its 200-day moving average at $1,287, automatic stop-loss selling pushed prices as low as $1,274 in intraday trade before they stabilized on bargain-hunting.

Sales of existing homes jumped to a 10-month high in July and initial jobless claims fell last week, signaling improvements in areas of particular concern to Janet Yellen as she gauges when to tighten monetary policy. In addition, manufacturing in the mid-Atlantic Fed region rose to an 11-month high in August and the Conference Board's index of leading indicators showed solid improvement in July, suggesting a stronger third quarter.

Risk appetite surged on the data, diminishing demand for safe havens, with the S&P 500 setting an intraday record of 1,994 and the Dow reclaiming 17,000 for the first time since late July. The dollar slipped, helping to cushion gold's fall slightly. The other precious metals were mixed. Silver slid 0.4% and platinum 0.7%. Outlier palladium, used extensively in catalytic converters, rose 1.3% on bullish expectations for auto sales.

At the Comex close: December gold tumbled $19.80 to $1,275.40; September silver slid 8 cents to $19.42; October platinum dropped $10 to 1,419.20;and September palladium gained nearly $11.30 to $879.74 an ounce.




August 20: Gold drops on dollar, Fed minutes

Source: Dr. Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin -- Gold dipped $1.50 to close above $1,295 as a rising dollar reduced demand for alternative stores of value. The metal then slid another $4 after hours when newly-released minutes of the last FOMC meeting suggested that the Fed may raise interest rates sooner than expected if labor market improvements continue.

The dollar extended its rally on follow-through from yesterday's strong data on new home starts. The recent struggles of the housing market havebeen a key concern for Fed Chair Janet Yellen in her calculus about when to raise rates. The buck then strengthened further after the Fed minutes showed a growing consensus that monetary policy may tighten sooner than expected if the unemployment rate drops more quickly than forecast. However, the central bankers also agreed that the labor market is still too weak to alter rates anytime soon.

Rising rates strengthen the dollar in part by making it more attractive to forex traders and investors. A stronger dollar weighs on the price of gold and other commodities denominated in the currency by making them more expensive to holders of other currencies. The other metals outpaced gold's declines, with silver dropping 1.1% while platinum and palladium surrendered 0.7% and 1.4%, respectively.

At the Comex close: December gold dipped $1.50 to $1,295.20; September silver dropped 22 cents to $19.41; October platinum lost $10.30 to $1,429.20; September palladium fell $12.35 to $868.45 an ounce.




August 19: Gold slides 0.2% on risk appetite

Source: Dr. Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin -- Gold slipped 0.2% to close just under $1,297 as upbeat housing data and muted U.S. inflation boosted risk appetite. Reports that Russia's Putin will meet with the Ukrainian president and EU officials next week to defuse tensions also helped to diminish safe-haven demand.

Housing starts jumped to an eight-month high in July, indicating a solid rebound after a poor first half of the year. In addition, consumer prices rose at the slowest pace in five months, edging up just 0.1% as higher food costs were offset by lower energy costs.

Equity markets rallied on the improving data, with the Dow and S&P 500 gaining 0.5%, while Treasury prices fell alongside gold. The dollar jumped to an 11-month high, further pressuring precious metals and other commodities denominated in dollars for international trade. Silver lost 1% while platinum and palladium fell 0.5% and 1.6%, respectively.

At the Comex close: December gold slipped $2.60 to $1,296.70; September silver dropped 20 cents to $19.41; October platinum fell $6.70 to $1,439.50; and September palladium shed $14.10 to $880.80 an ounce.




August 18: Gold drops 0.5% on easing tensions

Source: Dr. Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin -- Gold dropped 0.5% to close just under $1,300 as easing tensions in the Ukraine rekindled risk appetite, diminishing demand for safe havens.

Russia and the Ukraine came to an apparent agreement allowing a convoy of 260 trucks to supply humanitarian aid to pro-Russian rebels in disputed Ukrainian territory. The trucks had been stopped at the border since last week on suspicions that they were carrying military aid as a prelude to a Russian invasion. No deal has yet been reached on a cease-fire between government and insurgent troops.

U.S. and global equity markets rallied on the agreement, with the Dow gaining nearly 1% and the Global Dow 0.8%. U.S. stocks were also supported by data showing homebuilder confidence rising to a seven-month high in August. U.S. Treasury bonds fell along with gold, while the dollar rallied, pressuring commodities denominated in the currency for international trade.

The other metals were mixed. Silver gained 0.6%; platinum fell 0.8%; and palladium picked up 0.2%, closing at 13-year high on supply-deficits.

At the Comex close: December gold dropped $6.90 to $1,299.30; September gained 11 cents to $19.64; October platinum fell $11.00 to $1,446.20; and September palladium picked up 40 cents to $894.90 an ounce.




August 15: Gold cuts losses on Ukraine escalation

Source: Dr. Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin -- Gold fell 0.7% to close just over $1,306 on data indicating that U.S. wholesale prices rose a scant 0.1% in July, reducing demand for inflation hedges. After dropping as low as $1,293 in intraday trade, the metal rebounded strongly on reignited tensions in the Ukraine, reaching as high as $1,311 before settling back at the close. Treasury prices surged on the Ukraine reports as investors sought safety.

One day after Russia's Putin spoke of de-escalating the crisis, the Ukrainian military detected and partially destroyed a column of 20 armored vehicles surreptitiously crossing the border in what NATO's secretary-general called an "incursion" that "clearly demonstrates" Russia's military support of the insurgency. The episode occurred near the 260-truck Russian convoy of "humanitarian aid" that has been stopped for inspection, adding to concerns that it is a prelude to outright invasion.

Equity markets edged down slightly, succumbing to Ukraine worries at the close after conflicting U.S. economic data caused both optimism and pessimism during the trading session. Consumer sentiment hit a nine-month low in August on growing worries about stagnant wages. Meanwhile, U.S. manufacturing rose broadly in July, with auto manufacturing reaching its highest level in five years, although factory output in the New York Fed region rolled back in August.

Gold finished the week 0.4% lower. The other precious metals were mixed on the day and week. Silver dropped nearly 2% for the day and week. Platinum fell 0.8% today and 1.4% this week. Palladium gained 1% for the day and 3.6% this week, aided by supply concerns and rising auto production.

At the Comex close: December gold fell $9.50 to $1,306.20; September silver dropped 37 cents to $19.53; October platinum shed $11.80 to $1,457.40; and September palladium gained $8.60 to $894.75.




August 14: Gold inches higher for third session

Source: Dr. Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin -- Gold gained for the third straight session, adding 0.1% to close near $1,317, after an unexpected rise in jobless claims raised questions about the strength of the labor market, spurring safe-haven bids.

First-time applications for unemployment benefits jumped to a six-week high last week, far exceeding forecasts. Following yesterday's report that retail sales have gone flat, the data is raising speculation that the Fed may decide to hold interest rates near zero for longer than expected. The dollar rolled back against major rivals on the news, supporting prices for gold and other commodities denominated in the currency for international trade.

Gold received additional support from reports that the Eurozone recovery stalled in the second quarter, with its three largest economies either flat or contracting. Germany and Italy both shrank 0.2% while France was stagnant. The poor showing increases the odds that the ECB may institute Fed-styled quantitative easing to stimulate growth. Tantamount to printing money, QE is bullish for gold because it increases the risk of long-term inflation.

Safe-haven demand for metals was capped by rising risk appetite after conciliatory remarks by Russia's President Putin helped to ease fears of an imminent invasion of the Ukraine. The Russian aid convoy of 260 trucks, stopped at the border yesterday, is likley to be allowed passage into the beleaguered region. Equity markets rallied in response, with the Dow and Global Dow adding more than 0.3%.

The World Gold Council reported today that global demand for the metal fell 16% in the second quarter, led by slowdowns in China and India, the world's largest gold consumers. Central bank purchases remained solid at 118 tons, posting a 28% increase year-over-year. Central banks add to gold reserves to hedge against currency and inflation risk.

The other precious metals were mixed, with silver and palladium adding 0.3% and 0.2%, respectively, while palladium edged down 0.1%. At the Comex close: December gold gained $1.20 to $1,315.70; September silver added 6 cents, to $19.91; September platinum dropped $2.20 to $1,467.70; and October palladium picked up $2 to $883.60.




August 13: Gold gains on flagging retail sales

Source: Dr. Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin -- Gold gained 0.3% to close above $1,314 as surprisingly weak U.S. retail sales data boosted safe-haven demand. Concerns about a possible invasion of the Ukraine by Russia also underpinned higher gold prices.

With persistent long-term unemployment and stagnant wage growth leaving consumers wary, retail sales were the weakest in six months in July, showing no increase over June's anemic 0.2% rise.

Speculation is growing that a slowdown in consumer spending, the backbone of the economy, will hamper the recovery and cause the Fed to hold interest rates near zero for longer than expected. Most economists polled by Reuters now project no rate increases until June 2015 at the earliest, with only small increases thereafter.

Treasury bonds rose alongside gold on flights to safety. Bullion-backs ETFs reported inflows yesterday, according to Reuters data, as appetite for gold returns in response to geopolitical turmoil and slowdowns in the Eurozone economy.

The other precious were mixed. SIlver and platinum slipped 0.3% and 0.2%, respectively, while palladium tracked gold higher with a 0.3% gain.

At the Comex close: December gold gained nearly $4 to %1,314.50; September silver slipped six cents to $19.85; October platinum dipped $2.40 to $1,469.80; and October palladium added $3.35 to $881.35.




August 12: Gold edges up with Ukraine tensions

Source: Dr. Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin -- Gold edged up 10 cents, closing at $1.310.60 after hitting an intraday high of $1,319, as escalating tensions in the Ukraine and plummeting investor confidence in Germany supported safe-haven demand.

Russia has now amassed more than 45,000 troops with heavy artillery, tanks, rocket launchers, and fighter jets on the Ukraine border in preparation for what it calls a "humanitarian mission," according to the UN secretary-general, who added that an invasion is growing more likely. A convoy of 280 heavy trucks from Moscow, supposedly bearing aid, has been turned away at the border by the Ukrainian government.

Investor confidence plummeted to an 18-month low in Germany, with the Ukraine crisis triggering a sharp sell-off in Eurozone stocks. The euro plunged to an 11-month low on falling growth in Europe region and growing concern that it may be entering a period of Japanese-style deflation.

The dollar strengthened against major rivals, capping gold's advance. A rising dollar tends to pressure gold and other commodities denominated in the currency for international trade by making them more expensive to foreign buyers. The other precious metals were mixed, with silver losing 0.7% while palladium gained 0.4% and platinum finished virtually flat.

At the Comex close: December gold added 10 cents, to $1,310.60; September silver dropped 15 cents to $19.95; October platinum picked up 20 cents to $1,471.80; and September palladium climbed $3.65 to $878.35.




August 11: Gold inches lower, holds above $1,310

Source: Dr. Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin -- Gold inched down slightly but held above $1,310 as easing tensions in the Ukraine and Gaza boosted risk appetite and limited demand for safe havens.

Equity markets breathed a sigh of relief after Russia completed military exercises on Friday without incident and a 72-hour ceasefire in Gaza, declared today, brought some calm to that region. The Global Dow rallied more than 0.8% while the Dow added 0.1% and the S&P 500 0.3%.

U.S. Treasury bonds, another traditional safe-haven, eased slightly while the dollar edged up against most major rivals, pressuring gold, which is denominated in dollars for international trade and becomes more expensive to holders of other currencies.

The other precious metals were mixed, with silver adding 0.8% and palladium jumping 1.7% while platinum fell 0.4%.

At the Comex close: December gold dipped 50 cents to $1,310.50; September silver added 15 cents to $20.10; platinum slid $5.90 to $1,472.40; and September palladium jumped $15.15 to $860.50.




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