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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 24: Gold falls 1.6% on global risk appetite

Source: Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin -- Gold fell 1.6% to close at $1,175 as world stock markets rallied to all-time highs, pulling demand away from safe-haven assets. The metal finished the week down 2.4%.

Global equities pushed into new territory as improving reports in Europe and a surging tech sector in the U.S. helped to stoke risk appetite. Boosted by a 15% surge in Amazon's share price, NASDAQ gained 0.7% to reach a new record high. European stocks pushed to record highs despite ongoing concerns about Greece's solvency, fueled by the ECB's program of quantitative easing and optimistic corporate forecasts.

Gold's losses were limited by mixed U.S. data and weakness in the dollar, which typically supports commodities denominated in it for international trade by making them less expensive overseas. U.S. business spending fell again in March for its seventh-straight monthly decline, suggesting that the economy is stuck in neutral. Durable goods orders rose 4% but almost of all of it came from autos, commercial airliners, and military spending.

The other precious metals were mixed for the day and lower for the week. Silver dropped 1% for a weekly loss of 3.4%. Platinum lost 1.2% for today and 3.8% this week. Outlier palladium inched up slightly on the day but lost 1.7% on the week.

At the Comex close: June gold fell $19.30 to $1,175; May silver dropped 15 cents to $15.68; July platinum lost $13.60 to $1,123; and June palladium inched up 40 cents to $770.30.




April 23: Gold rebounds on PMI, dollar

Source: Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin -- Gold rebounded 0.4% to close at $1,192 as a new round of weak U.S. economic data weighed on the dollar and increased demand for safe havens.

Factory activity fell more than expected in April, according to Markit's preliminary PMI, signaling that the sharply slower economic growth of the first quarter is continuing into the second. Employment expansion in manufacturing also slowed, while jobless claims rose last week. Sales of new homes plunged more than 11% in March, the biggest decline in 18 months.

Paralleling the U.S. slump, business activity in China, Japan, and Europe also weakened in April, raising questions about the underlying strength of the global recovery and suggesting that yet more stimulus may be required from the world's biggest central banks.

The dollar retreated against major rivals on the softer data, as traders speculated that the Fed will be less inclined to raise interest rates soon. A weaker dollar supports precious metal and other commodities denominated in it for international trade by making them less expensive to foreign buyers.

Oil surged 3% to a 2015-high, boosted by the falling dollar and concerns that escalating Saudi airstrikes in Yemen against Iran-backed Houthi militia may disrupt Middle East supplies. The other precious metals also gained, with silver adding 0.2% while platinum and palladium picked up 0.7% and 1.5%, respectively.

At the Comex close: June gold gained $5.10 to $1,192; May silver picked up 3 cents or 0.2%, to $15.83; July platinum added $7.70, to $1,137.30; and June palladium jumped $11.60 to $767.50 an ounce.




April 22: Gold falls on housing data, dollar

Source: Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin -- Gold fell 1.4% to finish under $1,187, an April low, as upbeat U.S. housing data boosted the dollar, diminishing demand for alternative assets.

Existing-home sales surged 6.1% in March, the most in 18 months, rebounding from a slow winter. The surprisingly strong data resulted from the combination of low interest rates and improvements in the labor market, according to the National Association of Realtors. A separate report showed home prices rising 0.7% in March, for an annualized gain of 5.4% over the past twelve months.

The dollar bounced higher and Treasury yields rose on the better housing news as traders speculated that it could nudge the Fed closer to raising interest rates. New signals on the timing of the first hike since 2006 should follow next week's meeting of the FOMC.

The other precious metals tracked lower with gold. Silver dropped 1.3% whie platinum and palladium fell 2% and 2.4%, respectively.

At the Comex close: June gold fell $16.20 to $1,186.90; May silver dropped 21 cents to $15.79; July platinum lost $22.80 to $1,129.70; and June palladium declined by $18.65 to $755.90 an ounce.




April 21: Gold rebounds over $1,200 on flights to safety

Source: Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin -- Gold rebounded 0.8% to close above $1,203 as concerns about Greece and rising tensions in the Middle East boosted safe-haven demand.

Bloomberg reported that the ECB is looking at ways to curb emergency funding for Greek banks as Eurozone officials pressure Greece to enact the fiscal reforms required to qualify for more aid. The proposal would increase the so-called "haircuts" or discounts imposed on collateral, effectively raising the cost and increasing the risk of borrowing from the Bank of Greece. Traders viewed the news as more evidence that Greece is sliding toward default.

Additional U.S. warships were dispatched to the coast of Yemen and an American aircraft carrier reportedly started shadowing an Iranian convoy suspected of carrying arms to Houthi rebels. The growing militancy in the region combined with worries about Greece to boost Treasury prices along with gold on flights to safety.

The dollar slipped slightly against major rivals following a BLS report of widespread job losses in March. A weaker dollar supports demand for gold and other commodities denominated in it for international trade by making them less expensive in other currencies.

The other precious metals tracked higher with gold. Silver also gained 0.8% while platinum and palladium each added 0.3%.

At the Comex close: June gold gained $9.40 to $1,203; May silver picked up 12 cents to $16.01; July platinum added $3.70 to $1,152.50; and June palladium rose $2.15 to $774.55 an ounce.




April 20: Gold falls as dollar, equities rebound

Source: Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin -- Gold fell 0.8% to close under $1,194 as rebounding equities and a rising dollar pulled money from safe havens.

Equities jumped after Friday's sell-off as additional stimulus from China and some tentatively better corporate earnings lifted risk appetite. The Dow rallied 1.2% and the Global Dow added 0.5%.

For the second time in two months, China's central bank slashed reserve requirements for banks in an effort to increase liquidity and lending. The cut is the deepest since the financial crisis of 2009, and signals an aggressive move to revive growth in the world's second largest economy.

Pressuring dollar-denominated assets like precious metals, the dollar rallied against major rivals and the euro tumbled, largely in response to growing worries that Greece will default, exit the Eurozone, and trigger contagion throughout the region. The insolvent nation has until May 11 to strike a deal with international creditors to receive additional bailout funds before running out of money. With virtually no progress over three months of negotiations, the likelihood that Greece will avoid default is very much in doubt, according to EU officials.

The other precious metals outpaced golds decline, with silver losing 2.1% while platinum and palladium dropped 1.6% and 1.4%, respectively.

At the Comex close: June gold fell $9.40 to $1,193.70; May silver lost 34 cents to $15.89; July platinum dropped $18.70 to $1,148.80; and June palladium declined $10.55 to $772.40 an ounce.




April 17: Gold gains 0.4% on global jitters

Source: Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin -- Gold added 0.4% to close above $1,203 as global economic jitters drove a sell-off on Wall Street, boosting demand for safe-havens. The metal inched down $1.50 an ounce for the week, breaking its streak of four straight weekly wins.

The Dow tumbled 1.7% and the Global Dow 1% in response to weak corporate earnings, generally weaker U.S. economic data, and new regulations in China design to reign in stock market speculation. All ten S&P 500 sectors lost ground as earnings missed forecasts.

In an attempt to cool China's red hot stock market, which has doubled in the past year, Chinese regulatory authorities lifted bans on short selling and issued warnings on margin trading. The move caused global traders to reposition portfolios in anticipation of a sell-off in Asian markets.

Worries about Greek solvency further stoked risk-aversion and supported higher gold prices. Reports that Greece will have to use all of its cash reserves to pay public salary and pensions at the end of the month, leaving nothing left for the IMF repayments required to qualify for additional aid, are causing European banks to anticipate default.

Yesterday, S&P downgraded Greek debt yet again on growing expectations that the broke nation will become insolvent and possibly exit the Eurozone. Yields on two-year Greek government bonds jumped 4% to more than 27% and ten-year bond yields rose to a two-year high near 13%.

The dollar rallied on safe-haven inflows because of Greece, capping golds gains. And slightly higher consumer inflation in March also buoyed the buck, perhaps easing the way toward higher interest rates. A stronger dollar weighs on gold and other commodities denominated in it for international trade by making them more expensive overseas.

The other precious metals were mixed on the day and week. Silver slipped 0.3% for a weekly loss of 0.9%. Platinum added 0.9% to finish the week virtually flat. Palladium gained 0.7% for a weekly rise of 1.2%.

At the Comex close: June gold gained $5.10 to $1,203.10; May silver slipped 5 cents to $16.23; July platinum added $10.30, to $1,170.60; and June palladium gained $5.75 to $785.50 an ounce.




April 16: Gold dips 0.3% on Fed rate views

Source: Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin -- Gold dipped 0.3% to close at $1,198 as the possibility a June rake hike by the Fed combined with mixed U.S. economic data to reduce safe-haven demand.

Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester added her voice to the chorus of hawkish central bankers calling for raising interest rates "sooner rather than later." While she did not recommend a June increase, she argued that waiting much longer would increase risks to the financial markets. San Francisco Fed President John Williams and Richmond Fed's Jeffrey Lacker made similar arguments earlier this week.

On the dovish side, Eric Rosengren of the Boston Fed said today that data need to improve before the first hike. Rosengren is not currently a voting member of the FOMC. Separately, Dennis Lockhart of Atlanta, labeling recent data "murky," also advocated "waiting a while longer."

Gold's slide was underpinned by another wave of generally softer economic reports. Jobless claims rose to their highest level in six weeks last week. Housing starts rose slightly in March, though failed to reach forecasts, after a sizeable drop in February. The Philadelphia Fed region manufacturing index showed mild improvement in April.

The other precious metals closed higher, with silver adding less than 0.1% while platinum and palladium picked up 0.2% and 1.7%, respectively.

At the Comex close: June gold slipped $3.30 to $1,198; May silver added half a penny to $16.28; July platinum picked up $2.60, to $1,159.20; and June palladium gained $12.65 to $779.75 an ounce.




April 15: Gold retakes $1,200 on weak U.S., China data

Source: Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin -- Gold gained 0.7% to close above $1,201 after weak U.S manufacturing and industrial production dimmed the outlook for a rate increase in June, weakening the dollar and boosting demand for safe havens.

Production by U.S. industries fell 0.6% in March for an annualized decline of 1%, according to data released today by the Federal Reserve, while the Empire State manufacturing index dropped sharply into negative territory in April. In addition, the Fed's so-called Beige Book of anecdotal reports from around the nation concluded that the strong dollar is a significant drag on manufacturing.

Coming one day after disappointing reports on retail sales and producer prices, the weak data caused the dollar to retreat against major rivals as traders speculate that the Fed will be more resistant to an early rate hike. A weaker dollar supports higher prices for gold and other commodities denominated in it for international trade by making them less expensive to foreign buyers. U.S. Treasury prices also rallied on safe-haven inflows.

Gold received further support from reports that China's economy grew at its slowest pace in six years during the first quarter, prompting expectations that more stimulus will soon be provided by the People's Bank of China. Additional monetary easing is likely to devalue the yuan and boost demand for assets, like gold, bought for protection from currency risk and inflation.

The other precious metals tracked higher with gold. Silver gained 0.7% while platinum and palladium added 0.3% and 0.6%, respectively.

At the Comex close: June gained $8.70 to $1,201.30; May silver rose 12 cents to $16.28; July platinum picked up $2.90 to $1,156.60; and June palladium added $4.60, to $767.10 an ounce.




April 14: Gold falls 0.6% on Fed sentiment

Source: Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin -- Gold fell 0.6% in volatile trade to close at a two-week low under $1,193, pressured by ongoing bets that the Fed may raise interest rates as early as June.

The metal has been under pressure since last week's release of minutes from the Fed's March meeting stating that "several participants" supported a June liftoff. Similar comments yesterday by regional Fed presidents John Williams and Jeffrey Lacker reinforced the sentiment.

After falling as low as $1,183 early in the session, the metal rebounded strongly to as high as $1,199 after the Commerce Department reported disappointing retail sales for March. Purchases grew 0.9% for the first rise in four months but still fell short of forecasts, suggesting that 70% of the economy is still held back by slow wage growth.

Gold's declines were further limited by news that the IMF cut its U.S growth forecast again for 2015, by half-a-point to 3.1%. And U.S. small business confidence fell last month in line with weaker data on manufacturing and employment growth.

The other precious metals also finished lower. Silver dropped 0.8% while platinum dipped slightly and palladium lost 1.2%

At the Comex close: June gold delivery fell $6.70 to $1,192.60; May silver dropped 13 cents to $16.16; July platinum dipped 20 cents to $1,153.70; and June palladium lost $8.90 to $762.50 an ounce.




April 13: Gold slips on China data, stronger buck

Source: Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin -- Gold slipped 0.4% to close back under $1,200 as weak Asian data and speculation that the Fed may soon raise interest rates boosted the dollar, decreasing demand for alternative stores of value.

China's exports plummeted 15% year-over-year last month, far more than expected, and imports fell nearly 13% because of weaker global and domestic demand for manufactured goods. Japanese orders for machinery dropped off, signaling slowing business investment. The weaker data helped the dollar to strengthen against most rivals, pressuring gold and other commodities denominated in it for international trade.

The buck was further supported by new comments from a pair of Fed official suggesting that a June rate hike remains on the table despite weaker recent U.S. data. San Francisco Fed President John Williams, a moderate voice, said the labor market should be strong enough to prevent a serious setback in the recovery once the central bank begins to increase rates. Richmond's Jeffrey Lacker, the most hawkish Fed official, renewed his call for a June hike.

Merrill Lynch strategists predict gold above $1,500 by 2017, assisted by the Fed. Recent pressure on gold, they say, has come from anticipation of the first rate hike. Once it occurs, future hikes will be very small and slow to arrive, according to the Fed's policy statements, causing real interest rates to remain negative for a long time. Negative real rates—that is, rates below inflation—are bullish for gold because they eliminate opportunity costs for holding the metal instead of bonds.

The other precious metals were also weaker on the day. Silver and palladium dropped 0.6% while platinum fell 1.4%.

At the Comex close: June gold slipped $5.30 to $1,199.30; May silver dropped 9 cents to $16.29; July platinum fell $16.70 to $1,153.90; and June palladium slid $4.65 to $771.40 an ounce.




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