Precious metals spot values are losing some value early today after improving by more than 1% on Thursday. While profit-taking after yesterday’s gains is being blamed for this morning’s losses, investors should not be too worried due to the fact that risk-aversion is a mainstay in the marketplace now. With very few pieces of economic data for investors to mull over, it is likely that the market’s attention will continue to be placed directly on the situations in Ukraine and Israel.
Malaysian Airlines Suffers Yet Another Tragedy
Yesterday afternoon, news agencies around the world began receiving word of a passenger plane crashing somewhere in Eastern Ukraine, near the Russian border. Unfortunately, the plane crash was not accidental nor was it the result of mechanical failure. What actually happened, as absolutely crazy as this seems, is that the Malaysian Airlines plane carrying nearly 300 people was shot down by a surface-to-air missile launched somewhere in Western Russia or Eastern Ukraine. While it did take some time for the US government and other organizations to confirm that the plane was shot down by a missile, most were speculating that that is what happened straight from the offing. Now, as investigators try to pinpoint where exactly this missile was launched from and who launched it, the marketplace has delved into a bit of a panic.
Yesterday especially, saw gold, silver, platinum, and palladium spot values all make significant moves upward. While those same metals are suffering from profit-taking this morning, the uneasy nature of the global geopolitical sphere is fueling an increased level of risk-aversion. It will be interesting to see how this Malaysia Airlines story develops over the weekend as investigators continue to scramble in order to find out as much as humanly possible about this tragedy.
In other news from around the world, Israel, through PM Benjamin Netanyahu, is threatening to mount an all-out ground offensive on the Gaza Strip. After Israel and Hamas have spent the better part of the last few weeks launching missiles at one another, it is only now looking like the situation in Gaza will get worse for the Palestinians who live there. Though there have only been limited ground troop movements so far, the mobilization of tanks and reservist fighters is working well to spur risk-aversion on this, the final day of the trading week. As investors head into an uncertain weekend, safe-haven gold and silver will likely become more and more attractive to investors who are looking to mitigate risk at every turn.
Stock Indexes Tanking Ahead of Weekend
Thanks to the overwhelming amount of uncertainty plaguing the market at present, stock indexes from around the world are really showing signs of weakness. US stock indexes in particular were hit hard yesterday in the wake of the Malaysia Airlines news.
So long as a general sense of uncertainty continues to surround the global trading atmosphere, investors will more readily flock to safer assets such as precious metals or US treasuries. Despite US stocks looking a bit better this week than they have in recent 5-day trading sessions, it finally seems as though US equity markets’ months-long rally might finally be coming to an end. It will be interesting to see if equities continue to bleed value over the weekend, or if things will calm down and interest in stocks will pick back up.