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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.


May 29: Gold ends higher for day, month

Source: Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin -- Gold edged up for the second day, adding 0.1% to close just under $1,190, after U.S. GDP was revised to show the economy contracting in the first quarter for the second year in a row. The yellow metal gained 0.7% in May, its first monthly rise since January.

The Commerce Department reported today that GDP contacted by 0.7% in the first quarter, rather than expanding by 0.2% as previously thought. The drop-off came primarily from smaller inventory build-up and higher imports than earlier estimates. Perhaps more alarming, the same report showed corporate profits fell by 5.9%, the most in a quarter since the middle of the recession in 2008, after dropping nearly 2% the previous quarter.

Separately, consumer sentiment dropped in May to a six-month low, as measured by the University of Michigan Index, largely in response to reduced expectations for economic growth in Q2. And the Chicago PMI fell into contraction at 46.2 in May. Readings over 50 signal expansion.

Equities retreated after the soft data, with the Dow and Global Dow both losing around 0.5%. Risk appetite was further reduced by growing uncertainty over the outcome of Greece's debt problems after IMF Director Christine Lagarde asserted yesterday that a solution is "very unlikely" in the next few days and a Greek exit from the euro remains a possibility. U.S. Treasury bonds gained with gold on safe-haven inflows.

The other precious metals were mixed for the day and month. Silver rose 0.2% today and 3.6% In May. Platinum lost 0.4% on the day and 2% on the month. Palladium dropped 1.1% but finished May 0.2% higher.

At the Comex close: August gold edged up $1 to $1,189.80; July silver added 3 cents, to $16.70; July platinum lost $4.80 to $1,111.50; and September palladium dropped $8.50 to $777.10 an ounce.




May 28: Gold gains as Greek hopes fade

Source: Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin -- Gold gained 0.2% to close just under $1,189 as fading optimism about a Greek debt deal and softer U.S. jobs data boosted safe-haven demand.

IMF chief Christine Lagarde said today that a solution to Greece's debt problems was "very unlikely" in coming days, and a Greek exit from the euro "is a possibility." Her statement contradicts yesterday's assertion by Greek officials that an agreement is imminent. The IMF has ruled out giving additional loans to the insolvent nation unless it enacts unpopular fiscal reforms. Without additional aid Greece could default within weeks.

First-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits rose by 7,000 last week to the highest level in five weeks, while continuing claims ticked up by 11,000 to more than 2.2 million. The unexpected increases weighed on the dollar, which broke a recent string of gains to slip by 0.2% against a basket of rivals. A weaker dollar supports gold and other commodities by making them less expensive overseas.

China announced yesterday that it has created the world's largest gold-investment fund in order to stimulate investment in gold projects like mining and gold-based ETFs. The so-called "Silk Road Gold Fund" is expected to total 100 billion yuan, and will add to China's importance in the world gold market. Gold demand in Asia has accounted for 70% of global purchases in recent years.

The other precious metals were mixed, with silver edging up 0.1% while platinum and palladium dipped 0.2% and less than 0.1%, respectively.

At the Comex close: August gold gained $2.30 to $1,188.80; July silver added 2 cents to $16.67; July platinum fell $2.70 $1,116.30; and June palladium dipped 20 cents to $784.80 an ounce.




May 27: Gold dips 0.1% in choppy trade

Source: Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin -- Gold finished nearly flat in choppy trade, dipping 0.1% to hold above $1,185 after Greek reports of a pending debt deal were discredited by EU officials.

An unnamed Greek official told Bloomberg today that a "staff level" agreement was being drafted between Greece and creditors. The reported breakthrough helped to ease worries of a possible default by the cash-strapped nation, rallying the euro against the dollar and boosting Eurozone stocks. EU officials later denied that a deal is at hand, however, causing the markets to retrace some of their earlier movements.

Gold initially rose to test resistance near $1,190 on the dollar's early-session weakness before falling back as the Greek claims were discredited and the buck rebounded. A stronger dollar pressures gold and other commodities by making them more expensive to users of other currencies.

The other precious metals were mixed, with silver and platinum sliding 0.6% and o,5%, respectively, while palladium added 0.6%.

At the Comex close: June gold fell $1.30 to $1,185.60; July silver dropped 10 cents to $16.65; July platinum slid $5.10 to $1,119; and June palladium added $4.60, to $785 an ounce.




May 26: Gold at two-week low on stronger U.S. data

Source: Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin -- Gold fell 1.4%, closing at a two-week low just under $1,187, after stronger U.S. economic data boosted the dollar and reduced demand for alternative assets.

A key gauge of U.S. business spending rose for the second straight month in April, the Commerce Department reported, for its strongest two-month rise a year. Consumer confidence edged up in May, according the Conference Board, suggesting that the second quarter could see a rebound in consumer spending, which accounts for around 70% of GDP. And sales of new homes jumped nearly 7% last month after a sharp fall-off in March, adding to optimism about growth in the important housing sector.

U.S. and global equities plunged more than 1% and the dollar rallied surged around 1% as traders took to upbeat data to mean the Fed is on track to raise interest rates later this year despite the economy's poor showing during Q1.

The U.S. currency was also supported by Fed Vice Chair Stanley Fischer's comments in Tel Aviv reiterating Janet Yellen's recent statement that rates are likely to reach as high as 4% within four years. A stronger buck weighs on gold and other commodities denominated in it for international trade by making them more expensive to buyers outside the U.S.

The other precious metals tracked lower with gold. Silver dropped 1.8% while platinum and palladium lost 2.1% and 0.5%, respectively.

At the Comex close: June gold fell $17.10 to $1,186.90; July silver dropped 30 cents to $16.74; July platinum dropped $24.50 to $1,124.10; and June palladium slid $3.60 to $780.40 an ounce.




May 22: Gold ends nearly flat, down for week

Source: Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin -- Gold finished virtually flat, dipping 10 cents to $1,204, after consumer inflation rose by more than expected in April, boosting the dollar and pressuring demand for alternative assets. The metal closed the week 1.7% lower for its first weekly loss since the end of April.

Overall consumer prices rose 0.1% last month, the Labor Department reported, but the so-called core consumer price index, stripped of food and energy costs, jumped 0.3% for its biggest gain in more than two years. Driven mainly by rising healthcare and housing cost, the higher core CPI was encouraging to the Fed, which sees persistently low inflation as an impediment to normalizing interest rates.

Separately, Janet Yellen reiterated her view that the first rate hike is likely to come this year. Speaking to the Providence Chamber of Commerce in Rhode Island, the Fed Chair said the economy remains on track despite a weak first quarter, which she dismissed as largely a seasonal anomaly. She added that when subsequent rate hikes come, the pace "is likely to be gradual," however, because of the "various headwinds that are still restraining the economy." Normal interest rates—around 4%--are still years away, she said.

The dollar jumped after the CPI report as traders speculated on the timing of the first rate increase. The consensus after this week's release of the recent FOMC meeting minutes, which showed a growing disinclination among members to raise rates in June, pushed the first hike back as far as December. The new inflation data, along with Yellen's speech, could put a September hike back on the table.

The other precious metals were mixed for the day and week. Silver dropped 0.5% to close the week down 2.9%. Platinum slid 0.3% today and 1.8% this week. Outlier palladium picked up 1% but still finished the week 1.4% lower.

At the Comex close: June gold dipped 10 cents to $1,204; July silver fell 8 cents to $17.05; July platinum lost $3.70 to $1,148.60; and June palladium picked up $7.90 to $784 an ounce.




May 21: Gold dips 0.4% on rising risk appetite

Source: Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin -- Gold dipped 0.4% to close above $1,204 as upbeat U.S. data and the prospect of a delayed rate hike nudged investors toward equities, reducing safe-haven demand.

The Conference Board's index of leading economic indicators rose 0.7% in April, the most since last July, signaling modest improvement after the first-quarter's dismal 0.2% growth. The Labor Department reported jobless claims hovered near a 15-year low last week despite rising by 10,000. And sales prices of existing homes jumped nearly 9% in April, year-over-year, suggesting strong demand in the crucial housing sector.

Combined with yesterday's Fed minutes, which revealed a growing consensus among members not to raise interest rates in June, the data helped spur a modicum of risk appetite, lifting the S&P 500 by 0.2% and the Global Dow by 0.3%.

Two subdued May reports were largely ignored by the market. Manufacturing in the Philly Fed region grew more slowly and Markit's flash PMI fell slightly.

The other precious metals were mostly lower, with platinum and palladium sliding 0.4% and 0.1% while outlier silver added 0.1%.

At the Comex close: June gold dipped $4.60 to $1,204.10; July silver added 2 cents to $17.13; July platinum slid $4.60 to $1,152.30; and June palladium declined by 75 cents to $776.10 an ounce.




May 20: Gold adds to gains after Fed minutes

Source: Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Washington -- Gold rose 0.2% to close regular trading at just under $1,209, then doubled that gain in electronic trade, rising as high as $1,211, after the release of minutes from the last FOMC meeting signaled a disinclination to raise interest rates in June.

The transcript from the April meeting, released after the Comex close, revealed a growing consensus within the Fed that the economy is still too weak to raise rates. While reserving the option for a June hike, "many participants . . . thought it unlikely that the data available in June would provide sufficient confirmation" that the criteria for a hike had been met.

One month earlier, "several members" were advocating for a June hike. But moribund 0.2% growth in Q1 and a series of weak economic reports in Q2 have all but silenced that call. Some participants are even questioning "whether the Committee was providing sufficient accommodation at the present time" to promote recovery. Economic worries in Greece and China were mentioned as additional reasons to delay "policy firming in the near future."

The dollar gained early in the session on safe-haven inflows after Greece warned that it is likely to miss a 300 million euro debt payment in June unless more aid is forthcoming from EU lenders. Some of those gains evaporated after the minutes' release. An earlier hike would support the greenback in forex trading against rival currencies, which would pressure gold and other commodities denominated in it for international trade by making them more expensive for buyers overseas.

The other precious metals tracked higher with gold during and after the session. Silver gained more than 0.5% while platinum picked up 0.6% and palladium nearly 0.4%.

At the Comex close: June gold rose $2 to $1,208.70; July silver gained 4.2 cents to $17.11; July platinum picked up $6, to $1,156.90; and June palladium added $1.70, to $776.85 an ounce.




May 19: Gold falls 1.7% on dollar, ECB easing

Source: Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin -- Gold fell 1.7% to close at $1,206, ending its longest winning streak since early March, as the dollar surged after the European Central Bank signaled that it may accelerate monetary easing. Coming off a three-month high above $1,227, gold was ripe for profit-taking as traders position for this week's releases of new CPI data and the recent FOMC minutes, both of which could suggest the direction of U.S. monetary policy.

Senior ECB official Benoit Coeure said today that the recent spike in European bond yields has undermined the effectiveness of quantitative easing, the ECB's Fed-style program of asset-purchases. The central bank may therefore buy even more bonds than originally scheduled over the next few months. Tantamount to printing money, QE seeks to combat deflation and stimulate growth by flooding the economy with new cash.

The euro plunged on the news, driving the dollar higher by 1.6%. The buck was also supported by a report that new housing starts in the U.S. rose by 20% in April, the most in eight years. Although at odds with yesterday's report that home-builder confidence has fallen in May, the data raises hopes that a rebound in the crucial housing market will help GDP growth bounce back in Q2 after tumbling to just 0.2% in Q1.

Gold's recent strength—and the dollar's weakness—have been driven by speculation that the Fed will be unable to raise interest rates before September, or even December, because of subpar Q1 growth and a long string of weak Q2 data. Those bets could change, however, if the minutes from the last Fed meeting, due on Wednesday, signal a disposition to hike sooner, or if Friday's CPI numbers surprise to the upside. Either scenario would likely support the dollar and pressure gold.

The other precious metals were hot even harder by hit by the surging dollar. Silver tumbled 3.7% while platinum and palladium lost 2.3%. Oil dumped more than 3%.

At the Comex close: June gold fell $20.90 to $1,206; July silver tumbled 66 cents to $17.07; July platinum lost $27.60 to $1,150.90; and June palladium slid $17.85 to $775.15 an ounce.




May 18: Gold rises for fifth straight session

Source: Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin -- Building on last week's 3.1% rise, gold added another 0.2% to close near $1,227, its highest finish since early February, as Greek fears and weak data supported safe-haven inflows. It was the metal's fifth straight winning session, the longest streak since early March.

U.S homebuilder confidence fell unexpectedly in May, a sign of souring sentiment in the real estate market. Coming after Friday's dour reports on consumer sentiment and industrial output, and recent data showing falling retail sales and lower wholesale inflation, the news added to pessimism about prospects for growth in Q2.

Gold rose despite a rebound in the dollar, which climbed from four-month lows on flights to safety because of growing concern that a default by Greece is close at hand. A rising dollar typically weighs on gold and other commodities that are denominated in it for international trade.

Cash-strapped Greece admitted today that it will be unable to stay afloat past May without debt-relief and additional aid from the IMF. Nonetheless, the government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras refuses to compromise on pledges made to the Greek electorate about reducing key austerity measures, a position that is unacceptable to its EU and IMF creditors.

The other precious metals were mixed, with silver and platinum gaining 1% and 0.8%, respectively, while palladium slipped 0.3%

At the Comex close: June gold added $2.30 to $1,227.60; July silver gained 17 cents to $17.73; July platinum rose $9.40 to $1,178; and June palladium slipped $1.95 to $793 an ounce.




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