Gold and silver both started the last day of both this week and May down a bit, though this week as a whole has been fairly satisfying for investors. After Ben Bernanke’s address to Congress last week about the future of monetary policy in the US, investors will fixate their attention on all US economic news more now than ever before. The feeling hanging in the air is that the next few weeks of economic data out of the US will have substantial impact on whether or not QE is retained or done away with.
This week was full of economic reports that were primarily released on both Tuesday and Thursday. Tuesday’s reports were much better than Thursday’s, though Thursday’s reports were not so drastically lackluster that it caused too much of a change in popular opinion about the present state of the US economy.
On Tuesday, there were a bunch of economic reports including the Housing Price Index, Manufacturing Index, as well as the Consumer Confidence Index. All three reports ended up being positive, but the marquis report was the Consumer Confidence Index which topped out at 5-year highs.
Through the other days this week the US dollar fluctuated up and down, but the overnight and early morning hours on Friday saw the greenback regain a more solid standing. An unsure outlook on the US Dollar coupled with a decline in Asian markets helped propel gold over the $1,400 mark late this week, though it is uncertain if the yellow metal will retain these gains.
The Japanese Nikkei Index suffered greatly this week as it lost a decent amount of value on both Wednesday and Thursday. Friday saw the Asian marketplace regain a firmer position, but this week and the end of last week’s losses were quite substantial. A sub-par outlook on Asian stocks helped precious metals gain a little bit of breathing room which was nicely taken advantage of, seeing as a few days this week closing numbers were in the green instead of the usually red finishes we have come to expect.
A few bits and pieces of news stories from Europe more or less sum up what we have come to expect from the euro zone region. Earlier in the week we got wind of increased unemployment numbers in Germany followed up on Friday by a report which indicated the whole of euro zone employment was down. In fact, the unemployment rate across the euro zone is currently stuck at a few tenths of a percentage point above 12%; a record high for the region.
If all this negative news wasn’t enough, German retail sales fell for a third consecutive month in April. Despite all of this, European stocks did not perform too badly this week and though results across markets were mixed, things could have been much worse for the common European investor.
As we move into the first real summer month, June, we can expect investors and market watchers in general to have their eyes fixated on both US stock market indexes as well as the strength of the US Dollar.
Asian markets are another point of interest, but with the future of Quantitative Easing in the US hanging in the balance, all things Asian will be put on the back-burner barring any crazy happenings there.
Since the US took Monday off in order to celebrate the Memorial Day holiday, opening numbers for this report will be from Tuesday.
On Tuesday gold opened with a spot value of about $1,395, and by closing time on Friday was at $1,390. This was a of 5 dollars. Silver started Tuesday at $22.70 and by closing time on Friday was sitting at $22.28. This was a of 42 cents.
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