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AGE Daily Gold Update presents a recap on today's action in the precious metals markets. View archives.


12/11/2018: Gold slips on China trade talks

Source: Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin — Gold slipped 0.2% to close under $1,248 after reports of new China-US trade talks bolstered the dollar, dulling demand for alternative stores of value.

In a phone call between Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, the two nations agreed to a new round of negotiations to avert a deepening trade war. As a show of good faith, China reportedly will lower tariffs on US autos from 40% to 15%.

The dollar gained nearly 0.3% against major rivals on muted optimism for a trade detente between the world's two largest economies. A rising dollar typically weighs on gold and other commodities by making them less expensive overseas.

The buck had fallen into negative territory earlier in the session, pushing gold as high as $1,255, after the government reported wholesale inflation grew at just 0.1% in November, with the annual rate falling to 2.5%. Softer inflation eases pressure on the Fed to raise interest rates, thereby removing a primary driver of the dollar's recent strength.

Rising oil prices helped to backstop gold's late-session slide. WTI crude rose 1.2% on a disruption in Libyan oil output caused by an attack by militia on a production facility. Gold often trades in sympathy with oil as a hedge against energy-related inflation.

The other precious metals were higher, with silver adding 0.2% while platinum and palladium rose 0.4% and 1.2%, respectively.

At the Comex close: February gold slipped $2.20 to $1,247.20; March silver added 2 cents, to $14.63; January platinum rose $3.40 to $785.50; and March palladium climbed to $16.80 to $1,177.30 an ounce.


12/10/2018: Gold dips on Brexit vote delay

Source: Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin — Gold dipped 0.3% to close under $1,250 after troubled Brexit negotiations hammered the pound and rallied the dollar, pressuring alternative stores of value.

British PM Theresa May postponed a crucial Parliamentary vote out of certainty that her Brexit plan would not pass. The long-negotiated deal with the EU over the terms of Britain's departure will be pushed from tomorrow until sometime in January, though little change in its terms are expected.

The UK pound plunged to a 20-month low as the impasse increases the possibility of a so-called hard Brexit, with no trade agreements in place, which could result in financial chaos for Britain and, to a lesser degree, the Eurozone.

The dollar jumped 0.6% on the tumbling pound, pressuring gold and other commodities priced in it for global trade by making them more expensive in other currencies.

Also weighing on gold, WTI crude prices fell 3.3% to a one-week low on worries that last week's OPEC agreement to cut production will not be enough to offset slowing global demand. Gold often trades in sympathy with oil as a hedge against energy-related inflation.

The other precious metals were also lower, with silver sliding 0.6% while platinum and palladium dropped 1.1% and 1%, respectively.

At the Comex close: February gold dipped $3.20 to $1,249.40; March silver shed 9 cents to $14.61; January platinum lost $8.30 to $782.10; and March palladium dropped $12.10 to $1,158.70 an ounce.


12/7/2018: Gold jumps to four-month high

Source: Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin — Gold jumped 0.7% to close at a four-month high near $1,253 as trade jitters and disappointing jobs data weakened the dollar and hammered stocks, boosting demand for alternative assets. The metal finished the week 2.2% higher for its biggest weekly win since late August.

Confusion over US trade relations with China continued to dominate the markets after White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said today that higher tariffs are likely if no deal is reached in 90 days. Investor sentiment has whipsawed in the past week after the White House first agreed to a 90-day moratorium on new tariffs against China, fueling optimism that the trade war is ending, then suggested a lasting trade agreement is unlikely.

The Dow plunged as much as 600 points, nearly 2.5%, as traders fear an expansion of the trade war will harm US growth and undermine corporate profits. Business investment, one of the main drivers of the economy, has all but dried up in the third and fourth quarters as companies reallocate capital toward higher costs on foreign goods and materials like steel.

Also weighing on risk appetite, US nonfarm payrolls were weaker than expected in November, with only 155,000 new jobs added. Unemployment remained at a 49-year low of 3.7%, however, and hourly wages rose by six cents, the most in nine years.

The dollar slipped 0.2% against major rivals on the soft jobs report. A weaker dollar supports gold and other commodities by making them less expensive overseas.

Sharply higher oil prices also lifted gold after Russia and OPEC agreed to cut production by 1.2 million barrels a day to reduce the global supply glut. Brent crude rose 2.7% for a weekly increase of 3%. Gold often trades in sympathy with oil as a hedge against energy-related inflation.

The other precious metals were higher for the day and mixed for the week. Silver gained 1.3% for a weekly rise of 3.4%. Platinum added 0.1% today but lost 1.2% this week. Palladium jumped 2.5% for a weekly rise of 2.3%.

A the Comex close: February gold rose $9 to 1,252.60; March silver jumped 19 cents to $14.70; January platinum added 80 cents, to $790.40; and March palladium climbed $28.90 to $1,170.80 an ounce.


12/6/2018: Gold rises on risk aversion

Source: Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin — Gold edged up less than 0.1% to close above $1,463 after mixed data and trade worries pressured stocks and boosted interest in safe-haven assets. The metal hit an intraday high above $1,249 before receding toward the market close.

US equities fell for a second session, with the Dow losing another 1.5% before bouncing back at the close, after the arrest of a senior Chinese executive triggered renewed anxiety over trade wars. The selloff comes after all three major US indexes dumped 3% on Monday when President Trump acknowledged that no deal with China was in place and more tariffs might be forthcoming.

Under pressure from the US, Canadian authorities arrested the CFO of Chinese tech giant Huawei Technologies for violating sanctions against Iran. China responded furiously, raising concerns among investors that troubled relations between the world's two largest economies may worsen.

Mixed US data also weighed on risk appetite. US private payrolls weakened in November, according to ADP, as employers added 179,000. The US trade deficit widened to a 10-year high in October, driven by a record-high gap with China despite escalating tariffs. On the positive side, the ISM services index was stronger than expected in November.

The dollar slipped on the negative sentiment while Treasurys rallied on flights to safety.

The other precious metals were lower, with silver dropping 0.5% while platinum and palladium fell 1.6% and 3.6%, respectively.

At the Comex close: February gold gained $1 to $1,243.60; March silver slid 7 cents to $14.51; January platinum dropped $12.40 to $789.60; and March palladium tumbled $42.50 to $1,141.90 an ounce.


12/5/2018: Gold dips on profit-taking

Source: Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin — Gold dipped 0.3% to close under $1,243 as the dollar ticked higher and traders took profits from yesterday's rise to a four-month high above $1,246.

The dollar added 0.1% against major rivals, holding in a tight range, as global currency markets digested the latest shifts in US-China trade relations. A stronger dollar tends to weigh on gold and other commodities priced in it for global trade by making them more expensive in other currencies.

Following optimism over last week's announcement of a 90-day pause in new tariffs, trade-war pessimism returned with yesterday's tweet from President Trump threatening "major tariffs against Chinese product" if the forthcoming deal is not to his liking. The change in sentiment eroded the dollar and caused all three major US stock indexes to plummet more than 3% yesterday while pushing gold to a multi-month high.

US equity markets were closed today to mourn the passing of former President George H.W. Bush.

Lending mild support to the dollar, the Fed's Beige Book reported "modest to moderate growth" in 12 Fed districts, with while two slowed down and two others remained nearly flat. Labor markets generally tightened, and headwinds were noted in pricing and trade.

Markets are likely to trade water this week until Friday's nonfarm payrolls report gives a new signal on the health of the job market.

The other precious metals were mostly lower, with silver and platinum sliding 0.4% and 0.3%, respectively, while palladium added 0.4%.

At the Comex close: February delivery gold slipped $4 to $1,242.60; March silver dropped 6 cents to $14.58; January platinum slid $2.20 to $802; and March palladium added $4.20, to $1,184.40.


12/4/2018: Gold climbs to 4-month high

Source: Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin — Gold gained 0.6% to close above $1,246, the highest finish since late July, as equities tumbled on skepticism about the US-China trade détente and worries about the flattening US yields curve, boosting demand for safe-haven assets.

All major US indexes plunged more than 3%, logging their worst day in a month, as yesterday's optimism over the agreement between China and the US to freeze tariffs for 90 days gave way to concern that little concrete headway has been made toward a longer-term solution to the burgeoning trade war.

Also pressuring stocks, yield curves for 3-year and 5-year Treasurys inverted, signaling pessimism for the US economy over slowing global growth, trade conflicts, and higher US interest rates. The spread between 2-year notes and 10-year is now the flattest in 11 years.

The dollar dipped 0.1% on the yield-curve news, boosting gold and other commodities priced in it for global trade.

The other precious metals were mostly higher, with silver and palladium rising 1% and 1.3%, respectively, while platinum slid 0.8%.

At the Comex close: February gold gained $7 to $1,246.60; March silver added 14 cents, to $14.64; January platinum slid $6.50 to $804.20; and March palladium climbed $14.60 to $1,180.20 an ounce.


12/3/2018: Gold jumps on oil, trade truce

Source: Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin — Gold jumped 1.1% to close above $1,239, the highest level in a month, as oil rallied and a trade-war truce between the US and China pressured to dollar, boosting demand for alterative stores of value.

Oil prices rose more than 4% to $53 per barrel as Russia and Saudi Arabia signaled that OPEC will extend production cuts when it meets this week. The world's biggest oil producers are expected to slash output by 1.3 million barrels a day to reduce the global glut and support higher prices. Gold often trades in sympathy with oil as a hedge against energy-related inflation.

The US and China announced a temporary cease-fire in their ongoing trade war, putting any new tariffs on hold for 90 days while further negotiations take place. The deal boosted risk-appetite, driving the Dow and Global Dow higher by 1%.

The dollar fell 0.3% on the trade détente as the yuan strengthened and currency traders shifted towards riskier currencies like the euro and commodity currencies like the Aussie dollar. A weaker dollar supports gold and other commodities priced in it for global trade by making them more expensive overseas.

The other precious metals were also higher, with silver rising 2% while platinum and palladium climbed 1.4% and 1.8%, respectively.

At the Comex close: February gold jumped $13.60 to $1,239.60; March silver gained 28 cents to $14.50; January platinum picked up $10.90 to $810.70; and March palladium climbed $21 to a new record at $1,165.60 an ounce


11/30/2018: Gold gains for second month

Source: Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin — Gold slid 0.4% to close at $1,226 as rising equities, a stronger dollar, and falling oil reduced demand for alternative assets. The metal lost 0.3% for the week but rose 0.9% in November, notching its second straight monthly win.

US equities crept higher, with the Dow and Nasdaq both adding 0.6% as risk appetite grew on hopes of a potential trade deal with China. President Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping are expected to discuss a détente on tariffs at the G20 meeting in Argentina that begins today. Trade conflicts between the two have created headwinds for corporate profit and global growth in recent months.

The dollar gained 0.5% against major rivals as traders hedged against possible volatility surrounding the G20 meeting. If an agreement is not forthcoming between China and the US, risk appetite is likely to falter and safe-haven demand for the dollar may rise. Also buoying the buck, the pound and euro slid on continuing uncertainty over Brexit and Italy's fiscal conflict with the EC.

Oil fell again, with West Texas Intermediate Crude shedding 1.8% despite reports that OPEC has recommended cutting production by 1.3 million barrels to alleviate the global supply glut. WTI has lost 22% this month.

The other precious metals were down for the day and month. Silver dropped 1.3% today and 1% this month. Platinum fell 2.6% on the day and 5.1% for the month. and 0.6%, respectively. Palladium shed 0.6% for a monthly loss of 8%.

At the Comex close: February gold slid $4.40 to $1,226; March silver dropped 19 cents to $14.22; January platinum lost $21.10 to $799.80; and March palladium slid $6.80 to 1,144.60 an ounce.


11/29/2018: Gold edges up on mixed data

Source: Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin — Gold futures edged up 60 cents to close above $1,230 after mixed data and equivocal minutes from the last Fed meeting nudged investors toward both risk and safety.

Jobless claims rose to a six-month high of 234,000 as more workers were laid off before the Thanksgiving holiday. Overall, though, the number of Americans collecting unemployment benefits remained near the lowest level since the 1970s.

Pending homes sales plunged to a four-year low in another sign that the crucial housing market has softened. The data follows reports that new-home sales fell to a three-year low last month and home-builder confidence tumbled to a four-year low this month.

On the plus side, consumer spending and incomes both rose in October while inflation, as measured by the Fed-preferred PCE gauge, held fast at 2%.

The dollar inched up 0.1% against major rivals, supported by Brexit uncertainty. The Bank of England released research warning of a drop in as much as 10.5% in GDP over five years if a no Brexit deal is reached before the UK departs the trading bloc in March.

Stocks rose slightly, with the Dow and Nasdaq adding 0.2%, on momentum from yesterday's Powell-inspired rally. Speaking in New York, the Fed Chair echoed recent comments from prominent FOMC members that interest rates are close to neutral, suggesting rate hikes may slow or end in 2019.

Partially supporting this dovish view, the minutes from the last Fed meeting showed widespread support for a December hike but growing reticence to extend the "gradual pace" of increases next year, stressing that policy will remain "flexible." Slower rate hikes are bullish for gold because they remove one of the dollar's key supports from the past three years.

The other precious metals were lower, with silver dropping 0.4% while platinum and palladium slid 0.7% and less than 0.1%, respectively.

At the Comex close: February gold, the new most-active contract, picked up 60 cents to $1,230.40; March silver slid 5 cents to $14.40; January platinum dropped $5.40 to $820.90; and March palladium dipped 50 cents to $1,151.40 an ounce.


11/28/2018: Gold surges on dovish Powell

Source: Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin — Gold surged 0.8% to close near $1,224 after dovish comments from Fed Chair Jerome Powell knocked the dollar lower and boosted demand for alternative store of value.

Speaking in New York, Powell said the Federal funds rate is now "just below" the level that would be "neutral for the economy." A neutral rate level, which neither stimulates nor constrains the economy, has been an oft-stated goal of Fed policy.

The surprising statement seemed to reverse Powell's assertion earlier this month that rates are still far from neutral. Analysts attributed his dovish volt-face to slowing US and global growth, a weakening US housing market, tumbling equity markets, and rising conflicts between the US and most trading partners.

The dollar tumbled from early-session gains to a loss of 0.6% as investors digested the implications of Powell's remarks and concluded that the Fed's steady pace of rate hikes is coming to an end. Rising interest rates have inflated the dollar's value relative to competing currencies, in turn pressuring gold and other commodities priced in it for global trade by making them more expensive overseas.

Some soft economic data also pressured the buck. New-home sales fell to almost a three-year low in October, adding to evidence that the housing boom is topping out. In addition, selling prices were nearly 9% lower than September and 12% lower than one year ago.

Equities bounced sharply higher on the Powell statement, with the Dow adding 2% and Nasdaq 2.3%.

The other precious metals were mostly higher, with silver and palladium rising 1.7% and 2.7% while outlier platinum slid 1.1%.

At the Comex close: December gold gained $10.20 to $1,223.60; March silver jumped 23 cents to $14.46; January platinum dropped $9 to $826.30; and March palladium climbed $29.80 to $1,151.90 an ounce

  

Metal Ask      Change
Gold $1,243.45           $-0.59
Silver $14.63           $-0.00
Platinum $790.91           $2.03
Palladium $1,253.95           $3.45
In US Dollars