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


12/8/2017: Gold slides after strong jobs report

Source: Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin — Gold slid 0.4% to close under $1,249 after strong payrolls data boosted the dollar and global equities, cutting demand for alternative stores of value. The metal fell 2.6% for the week, its biggest weekly drop since May

US nonfarm payrolls added 228,000 jobs in November, beating expectations, while unemployment held near a 17-year low at 4.1%. The only black spot in an otherwise shining report was worker pay, which grew at a tepid at 0.2%.

The dollar added 0.2% against major rivals, posting its fifth straight winning session, as robust job growth all but guarantees that the Fed will raise interest rates when it meets next week. Higher rates support the dollar by attracting forex money seeking yield. A strong dollar, in turn, weighs on gold and commodities priced in it for global trade by making them more expensive in other currencies

Equities also rallied, with the Dow and Global Dow posting gains of 0.5%, as investors embraced risk assets. Meanwhile, the Senate and House passed legislation to prevent a damaging government shut down for two weeks.

The other precious metals were mostly lower. Platinum dropped 1.2% for a weekly loss of 6.1%. Palladium fell 0.7% today and 2% this week. Silver edged up 0.1% today but still lost 3.5% this week.

At the Comex close: February gold slid $4.70 to $1,248.40; March silver added 2 cents, to $15.82; January platinum dropped $9.80 to $883.70; and March palladium retreated $5.55 to $996.40 an ounce.


12/7/2017: Gold falls on rising risk appetite

Source: Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin — Gold fell 1% to close at a four-month low above $1,253 as the dollar gained and risk appetite drove investors into equities and bitcoin, reducing demand for alternative stores of value.

The dollar added 0.3% against major rivals, reaching a two-week high as traders speculate that tomorrow's release of the important US nonfarm payrolls report will support the case for more Fed rate hikes in coming months. A rising dollar often pressures gold by making it more expensive overseas.

The central bank is almost certain to increase interest rates by a quarter-point when it meets next week. Strong employment numbers may increase the odds of another hike sometime in the first quarter of 2018. Rising rates tend to boost the buck by attracting foreign exchange investment seeking higher yield.

The Dow and S&P 500 rose 0.3%, and Nasdaq added 0.6%, on the prospect that massive corporate tax cuts will boost profits and drive shares higher. Speculative bitcoin mania also captivated retail investors as the virtual asset surged another 17% today, posting an astounding rise of 1,500% this year.

The other precious metals were mostly lower, with silver and platinum dropping 1% and 0.9%, respectively, while platinum gained 1.6%.

At the Comex close: February gold fell $13 to $1,253.10; March silver slid 15 cents to $15.80; January platinum dropped $8.30 to $894.50; and March palladium jumped $16 to $1,002.95 an ounce.


12/6/2017: Gold edges up on haven demand

Source: Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin — Gold edged 0.2% higher to close above $1,266, bouncing off a four-month low, as geopolitical concerns overcame a rising dollar and upbeat employment data to boost safe-haven demand

ADP reported that the private sector added 190,000 jobs in November, beating expectations and building optimism for Friday's release of the more-authoritative US nonfarm payrolls report.

Separately, the BLS said productivity rose 3% in Q3, the most in a quarter in three years, with economic output rising 4.1%. After years of subpar increases, the strong upswing bodes well for economic momentum heading into 2018. However, unit labor costs declined 0.2% behind soft wages, a persistent worry for the Fed as it considers future rate hikes.

The dollar added 0.3% against major rivals on the upbeat data, assisted by a further decline in the pound as UK and EU negotiations over Brexit continue to falter. A stronger dollar typically weighs on gold and other commodities by making them more expensive to holders of other currencies.

Overcoming pressure from data and the dollar, gold pushed higher after President Trump threatened a partial shutdown of government over budget negotiations, claiming Democrats merely want "illegal immigrants pouring into our country." In addition, the Trump administration announced a controversial decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, potentially sparking unrest in the Middle East.

The World Gold Council reported today that bullion holdings in gold-backed ETFs rose 9.1 tons last month, with greatest increase coming from Europe as a hedge against a weaker dollar.

The other precious metals were mostly lower, with silver and platinum sliding 0.7% and 1.6% while outlier palladium picked up 1%.

At the Comex close: February gold gained $1.20 to $1,266.10; March silver slid 7 cents to $15.96; January platinum lost $14.70 to $902.80; and March palladium rose to $9.80 to $986.95 an ounce.


12/5/2017: Gold falls as dollar climbs

Source: Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin — Gold fell 1% to close under $1,265 as a stronger dollar and pending tax reforms reduced demand for alternative assets despite soft US data. It was the metal's lowest finish in nearly four months.

The dollar rose 0.3% against major rivals, buoyed by speculation that Republican tax reform, if it becomes law, will accelerate inflation and nudge the Fed into more rate hikes. A plunge in the pound also helped after Brexit talks between the UK and EU hit another wall. A stronger dollar tends to weigh on gold and other commodities by making them more expensive overseas.

The buck largely ignored a pair of subpar US economic reports. The trade deficit soared in October to a nine-month high behind higher oil prices and a sharp increase in demand for consumer goods from China, Mexico, and Europe. High trade deficits tend to depress GDP growth, prompting the Atlanta Fed to lower its Q4 forecast to 3.2%.

The ISM services index dropped in November, with declines in new order, production, and employment. Nonetheless, most of the industries tracked in the survey said business was still expanding.

The other precious metals also fell, with silver dropping 1.9% while platinum and palladium lost 0.9% and 1.5%, respectively.

At the Comex close: February gold fell $12.80 to $1,264.90; March silver lost 30 cents to $16.07; January platinum dropped $8.50 to $917.50; and March palladium dumped $14.60 to $977.15 an ounce


12/4/2017: Gold slips 0.4% on tax reform

Source: Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin — Gold slipped 0.4% to close under $1,278 as equities and the dollar strengthened on brightening prospects for tax reform, undercutting demand for safe havens.

The Senate passed sweeping tax cuts early Saturday morning, advancing a top Republican priority along party lines. This bill needs to be reconciled with the House version before becoming law, which is expected to occur sometime this month.

The dollar was up 0.4% as traders speculated that the historic tax changes will stoke inflation, prompting the Fed to increase interest rates. A stronger dollar typically weighs on gold and other commodities priced in it for international trade by making them more expensive in other currencies.

The Dow and S&P 500 advanced to new records on tax expectations, picking up 0.6% and 0.3%, respectively. Retail stocks were especially exuberant as the sector will be a key beneficiary of the Senate's bill.

Gold was further pressured by falling oil prices as crude dropped 1.5% on the rising dollar and data showing an increase in the number of US oil rigs. More rigs will likely result in rising domestic production, undermining prices.

The other precious metals were also lower, with silver dipping 0.1% while platinum and palladium lost 1.6 % and 2.4%, respectively.

At the Comex close: February gold slid $4.60 to $1,277.70; March silver dipped 2 cents to $16.37; January platinum lost $14.60 to $926; March palladium dropped $24.50 to $991.75 an ounce.


12/1/2017: Gold gains on Flynn turmoil

Source: Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin — Gold gained 0.4% to close above $1,282 as the dollar and equities retreated after Michael Flynn, a Trump insider, reportedly agreed to testify about contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia during the election. The news rattled markets and boosted demand for safe-haven assets. Gold closed the week 0.7% lower.

According to reports, Flynn plead guilty to lying to the FBI and struck a deal to provide full cooperation with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian tampering with last year's presidential election. Speaking in court, Trump's former national security advisor said campaign contacts with Russia were instigated by a "very senior member" of Trump's team.

US equities promptly plunged on the news, with the Dow dropping 300 points in a matter of minutes before bouncing off session lows. Traders fear that testimony leading back to the President could derail his pro-growth agenda and perhaps delay the passage of tax reform.

The dollar also slipped on the political turmoil, losing 0.3% against major rivals but holding virtually flat for the week. A weaker dollar typically boosts gold and other commodities priced in it for international trade by making them less expensive overseas.

The other precious metals were mixed on the day and week. Silver fell 0.5% for a weekly loss of 4%. Platinum slipped 0.2% on the day and 0.5% on the week. Palladium rallied 1.3% for a weekly gain of 2.4%.

At the Comex close: February gold gained $5.60 to $1,282.30; March silver dropped 8 cents to $16.39; January platinum slid $1.90 to $940.60; and March palladium added$19.15, to $1,016.25 an ounce.


11/30/2017: Gold slides on tax speculation

Source: Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin — Gold slid 0.7% to close under $1,277 as optimism about US tax reform rallied equities to new records, reducing demand for safe-haven assets. The metal still managed a gain of 0.5% for November.

Investors cheered the prospect of lower taxes as the Senate tax plan gathered steam today, with fence-sitter John McCain finally saying he would support the bill. Leadership must win over a handful of holdouts to ensure the requisite 50 votes.

US equities surged on the prospect that the Senate could pass its version of the legislation this week. The Dow gained 1.4% to push above 24,000 for the first time and the S&P 500 added 0.8%, reaching as high as 2,655 in intraday trading.

Meanwhile, safe-haven Treasury notes fell alongside gold as investors jumped headlong into risk assets, speculating that sharply lower personal and corporate taxes will boost growth and share prices.

The dollar fell 0.3% against major rivals, helping to stem gold's losses, after the UK pound rallied sharply on news that Brexit negotiations are moving forward. The buck lost 1.7% for November, posting its biggest monthly loss since July's 2.9% retreat.

The other precious metals were mixed for the day and month. Silver dropped 0.5% today for a 1.4% loss in November. Platinum ticked up 0.1% for a monthly gain of 2.6%. Palladium fell 0.5% on the day but added 2.7% for the month.

At the Comex close: February gold slid $9.50 to $1,276.70; March silver dropped 9 cents to $16.47; January platinum added $1.30, to $942.50; and March palladium lost $5.05 to $1,003.55 an ounce.


11/29/2017: Gold falls 1% on GDP, Yellen

Source: Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin — Gold fell 1% to close above $1,286 after strong GDP data and hawkish testimony from Janet Yellen boosted the likelihood of further rate hikes from the Fed.

In her final speech to Congress before stepping down as Fed Chair in February, Yellen said the economy is strong and will require gradual increases in interest rates to prevent a "boom-bust" cycle. While calling persistently low inflation "puzzling" and "extremely disappointing," she expressed confidence that it will eventually rise to the Fed's 2% target.

Yellen's optimism was taken as a strong signal that the Fed will raise rates by another quarter-point when it meets later this month. Higher rates tend to lift the dollar by attracting foreign exchange investment seeking higher yield, pressuring gold and other commodities priced in it for global trade.

New data releases also support another rate hike. Third-quarter GDP was revised higher to 3.3%, from 3%, marking the fastest growth in three years. And the Fed's Beige Book, an anecdotal report on the health of the economy, saw rising inflation pressure and "a slight improvement in the outlook" for growth in its 12 districts.

Further pressuring gold, oil fell more than 1% on doubts about Russia's willingness to support an extension of production cuts when OPEC meets this week in Vienna. Gold often trades in sympathy with oil as a hedge against energy-related inflation.

The other precious metals also finished sharply lower, with silver dropping 2.1% while platinum and palladium lost 1.2% each.

At the Comex close: February gold fell $13 to $1,286.20; March silver lost 36 cents to $16.56; January platinum slid $11.60 to $941.20; and March palladium retreated by $12.15 to $1,008.50 an ounce.


11/28/2017: Gold edges up to one-week high

Source: Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin — Gold edged up slightly, closing at a one-week high above $1,299 despite upbeat US economic data and a rising equities, as Jerome Powell signaled his intention to maintain a gradual approach to rate hikes as the next Fed Chair.

Testifying before the Senate Banking Committee, Powell made it clear that he will continue the policies of his predecessor, Janet Yellen, when she leaves the Fed in February. Yellen has struck a relatively dovish course on monetary policy, raising interest rates slowly and letting the Fed's balance sheet gently shrink.

Powell's comments calmed nerves among traders who feared a more aggressive schedule of rate hikes would follow Yellen's tenure. Higher rates typically support the dollar by attracting forex investment seeking higher yield, pressuring gold in turn by making it more expensive in other currencies.

Consumer confidence jumped a 17-year high in November, propelled by a strong job market and two straight quarters of 3% growth in GDP. Home prices rose at the fastest pace in three years during Q3, adding to the wealth-effect felt by many Americans.

Wall Street surged as Powell's stay-the-course testimony combined with upbeat data to drive the Dow and S&P 500 higher by 1%.

Stocks received a further bounce after the Senate Budget Committee advanced tax reform along party lines to a possible vote this week. A promised cut in corporate taxes would propel higher profits and boost shares.

The other precious metals were mostly higher, with platinum and palladium rising 0.2% and 2%, respectively, while outlier silver dropped 1.2%.

At the Comex close: February gold added 30 cents, to $1,299.20; March silver lost 20 cents to $16.92; January platinum picked up $2 to $952.80; and March palladium jumped $19.17 to $1,020.65, a new 16-year high.


11/27/2017: Gold gains 0.6% on tax worries

Source: Bill Musgrave, American Gold Exchange

Austin — Gold gained 0.6% to close above $1,294 despite falling oil and a slightly higher dollar as traders hedged against this week's Senate vote on tax reform.

Crude oil fell 1%, pulling back from a two-year high, on growing doubt that Russia will join OPEC this week in extending production cuts. After plunging to multi-year lows, oil prices have rallied in recent months behind reductions in output from the major oil nations, which are scheduled to expire. While OPEC has signaled its intention to extend those cuts into 2018, Russia has yet to agree to a timeline.

The dollar ticked up 0.1% against major rivals, rebounding from early-session losses, as the euro fell on ongoing worries about German politics. Optimism that the Social Democrat party might renew the coalition with Angela Merkel's faltering Christian Democrats faded somewhat over the weekend, renewing uncertainty about whether a snap election will be needed to end the stalemate in the Eurozone's biggest economy.

The buck was also helped by the Commerce Department's report that new-home sales rocketed 9% to a 10-year high in October. A rising dollar typically pressured gold and other commodities priced in it for global trade

Despite developments that would typically undermine it, gold received solid bids as investors remain concerned about tax reform. The Senate is expected to vote this week on its version of the tax plan. Opposition among Republicans, let alone Democrats, makes the outcome uncertain, and failure to pass would likely mean a risk-off environment for investors, boosting safe havens.

The other precious metals were also higher, with silver adding 0.2% while platinum and palladium rose 0.6% and 0.7%, respectively.

At the Comex close: December gold gained $7.10 to $1,294.40; December silver added 3 cents, to $17.02; January platinum climbed $5.50 to $950.80; and December palladium rose $8.65 to $1,001.05 an ounce.

  

Metal Ask      Change
Gold $1,249.09           $-0.47
Silver $15.92           $-0.00
Platinum $895.10           $2.71
Palladium $1,019.14           $0.19

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