Precious metals did not perform well at all this week as investors and market experts alike continue to stare down a bleak future for metals. The fact of the matter is that these past two weeks have been particularly slow as far as economic data is concerned, and this does not help precious metals at all. What does provide a bit of relief, however, is the fact that what little economic data that was dealt ended up being somewhat poor as far as the US economy is concerned.
Pending Home Sales Report Misses the Mark
Perhaps the worst bit of real estate we were dealt in some time came on Wednesday in the form of the pending home sales report from November. After last week brought with it existing home sales report that missed the mark and new home sales reports that failed to impress, there wasn’t much optimism surrounding this week’s pending home sales report.
According to the data, November pending home sales fell by .9% from the month before. Though this may not seem like such a big dip, it really is. On top of that, pending home sales are said to provide a bit more accurate of a picture of how the housing market is doing overall. Because it can be a month or more between when a house is entered into contract and when it is settled on, the figures are often skewed to some degree, so people turn to the pending home sales report to clear things up.
What this piece of data really does, however, is undermine the progress made by the real estate market this year. Now, investors the world over are beginning to think that perhaps the US economy is losing some strength and will be lacking momentum heading into the new year. This will remain true so long as housing prices continue to rise due to a lack of homes on the market. As we head into 2016 tonight, it will be interesting to see how the US economy and housing market in specific fare.
Other, Miscellaneous News
The last two weeks of trading have not only been abbreviated in nature, they have also been quite slow and home to low trading volumes. The reason for this, as you might expect, is that the Christmas and New Years holidays fall a week apart and are both celebrated on Friday. This means that those businesses that have remained open will see a steep decline in the number of workers, while most other businesses closed down altogether. Thanks to these slow past two weeks, there wasn’t much for investors to focus on, and it is even more difficult to judge just how the market feels about a surprisingly hefty batch of US economic data.
One point worth making is that the Russian Ruble fell to a yearly low on Wednesday as the Russian economy continues to suffer due to falling crude oil prices hurting exports. Add Western economic sanctions and the 2016 outlook for the Russian economy is looking bleak even before the year begins. With Russia also at the center of a standoff of sorts with Turkey over happenings in the Middle East, the massive EurAsian country does not seem like a ripe spot for investing at this point in time. It will truly be interesting to see just how far the ruble will sink against the Dollar and what the Russian government will do about it, if anything.
For gold and silver, this has mostly been a year to forget. Though they may be ending things on a somewhat upbeat note, the fact of the matter is that the downward pressure is palpable, and will continue to weigh on spot values moving forward.