Gold and silver have had a decent week, though things could have gone better if the metals were boosted by speeches made by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. Some Chinese economic data was the main thing on investors’ minds on Monday, but investor attention quickly shifted to Bernanke and his remarks.
Throughout the whole week the US Dollar Index jumped around a lot, sometimes lending benefit to precious metals but mostly putting downward selling pressure on them. Most other world markets were simply waiting to see what Bernanke had, to say and their stocks and indexes moved in the wake of that. While gold and silver did not make any earth-shattering gains, they did have a positive week and at this point even a dollar gain is better than nothing.
Early Week Chinese Economic Data
Because very few news stories were released over the past weekend, investors and market watchers were anxiously awaiting Chinese economic data on Monday. The first bit of data, the GDP report, showed that China’s GDP rose by 7.5% on an annual basis. Though this seems like a substantial gain, the 7.5% gain was smaller than expected.
On a quarter to quarter basis, however, Chinese GDP was reported as falling for the second consecutive quarter. Industrial output in China rose by about 9% and while this also seems like a beneficial tally, it comes in a little lower than what was expected. All in all China’s economy is showing signs of stagnation, though compared to many other major world economies China is doing just fine. In fact, nearly every European economy would kill for the numbers the Chinese economy is currently recording.
Bernanke on the Economy and Monetary Policy
Ben Bernanke, Federal Reserve Chairman, had a busy week as he was set to address Congress about the state of the economy as well as the future of monetary policy. His first stop, on Wednesday, was the US House of Representatives where Bernanke reiterated the fact that monetary policy, specifically Quantitative Easing, does not have a predestined course. His saying this shot down many peoples’ belief that QE is definitely going to be done away with by the end of 2013.
Bernanke said that him and the rest of the Fed will keep monetary policy as accommodating as it currently is for as long as they see fit. He even went as far as to say that if the US economy were to falter, the Fed would have no qualms with employing even more monthly government bond-buying.
Despite his remarks being seemingly perfect for gold and silver spot values to make gains, his Question and Answer session after his speech did well to prevent any major gains. On Thursday Bernanke addressed the US Senate, though nearly everything he had to say echoed what he had stated only a day earlier. Bernanke’s remarks on Wednesday also didn’t help out gold and silver spot values much.
Gold started the week with a spot value of roughly $1,286 and by closing time on Friday was sitting at $1,295.
Silver started the week at $19.98 and by the end of trading on Friday was at $19.58.