For precious metals, the last 5 days have been anything but beneficial. Spot values took massive hits during the middle of the week and, though gold and silver have recovered a little bit, the fact of the matter is that general demand for metals is only a shadow of what it was a few months ago. Bearish outside markets have really weighed on metals this week, and that is a major part of the reason why we are going to see yet another week of weekly losses posted by metals.
For a majority of this trading session, the market’s focus has been on a number of events unfolding across Europe. First, the market’s attention was drawn to a ceasefire agreement reached in Ukraine. The region has seen almost non-stop violence for the past twelve months, and a ceasefire was welcomed with open arms.
In other European news, Greece has been talking with creditors all week long in hopes of striking a deal that will see them postpone some of their previously agreed upon austerity and debt reduction measures.
FOMC Minutes More Dovish Than Anything Else
Despite this week mostly lacking from an economic data standpoint, there was an exception offered on Wednesday in the form of the latest FOMC Minutes. As is always the case, investors focus on the FOMC minutes in order to hopefully hear more information regarding the future of monetary policy in the United States.
This time around, the minutes from the Fed were more lackluster than anything else. The minutes went on to say that there will still be a lot of time before interest rates in the United States are raised. Citing unstable crude oil prices, the Fed said that they will remain patient with regard to the raising of interest rates. In the aftermath of the minutes’ release, the precious metals market was given a bit of a lift. Unfortunately, Wednesday’s lift was nowhere near enough to outdo the losses incurred only a day earlier.
Prior to the release of the minutes during the midweek, most investors were anticipating a rate hike sometime this upcoming Summer. Now, however, the feeling is that interest rates in the US will be kept at current levels until sometime in 2016.
Greece Dealing With Creditors, Making Little Progress
A deal that would see Greece be allowed to push back the rolling out of austerity measures while simultaneously receiving cash has not yet been reached. All week long, Greece and financial administrators from the European Union have been discussing possible alterations to the bailout plan that was agreed upon in 2012.
Up to this point, EU creditors, namely Germany, are holding steadfast to the belief that Greece should be forced to roll out austerity and debt reduction measures prior to being given any more cash. For Greece, however, such moves would not only further damage their economy, it would also do very little in the way of solving a looming credit crunch that may force them out of the European Union. We will continue to keep an eye on these talks as they move forward, but with little progress made up to this point, it isn’t expected that a deal will be reached. This is interesting simply because it will be intriguing to see what happens to Greece as their credit situation continues to deteriorate.