Precious metals ended the week edging downward, but were on the receiving end of some bullish news to close out this 5-day trading session. Despite this week not bringing about too much in the way of economic data, investors had plenty of information to mull over and discuss.
For a majority of the week, in fact, the talk of the investing world was rising tensions in and around Ukraine. With Russia seeming like the instigator, it seems as though it will be quite some time until we realize any real peace in Ukraine. Some European economic data was also made public this week, but it did not have much of an impact on the precious metals market.
Geopolitics Dominate the Headlines
Shortly after this week got underway, it was clear to see that the market’s attention would be very heavily placed upon the crisis between Russia and Ukraine. On Monday, a Polish foreign minister was seen claiming that Russia was massing thousands of combat-ready troops along its border with Ukraine. This news, albeit unconfirmed at the time, was enough to cause a stir amongst investors. Only a few days later, on Wednesday, NATO confirmed that more than 20,000 troops were stationed and participating in military drills along Russia’s Western border. This news drove the value of equities downward as rumors with regard to Russia’s potential military involvement in Ukraine abounded.
Also making the news today was a report claiming that US president Barack Obama had sanctioned the use of airstrikes against Islamic militants in Iraq. The militants have reportedly cut off food, water, and other basic supplies to citizens and have been indiscriminately killing innocents for weeks now. Obama said that the airstrikes are meant to both help the stranded citizens as well as provide security for US military advisors who are scattered across the country.
Weak EU Economic Data Boosts USD
Though this week did not play host to anywhere near as many pieces of economic data as last week did, there was still some economic information for investors to take into consideration. One of the first reports that was made public showed that the Italian economy suffered recession through the second-quarter of this year. For the last few months, the Italian economy has done little apart from lose strength and is now one of the weakest in Europe.
In other economic news from Europe, it was reported that industrial orders in Germany fell in June at their fastest rate in more than 3 years. In all, this news caused the value of the Euro currency to decline even more than it already has over the past few weeks. Though the US Dollar was pressured a bit today, it is expected to continue making gains against the Euro as the year progresses.
As we look ahead to next week, it is highly likely that investors will continue to focusing on the large variety of geopolitical happenings. Being that we are now in the middle of August, things will remain, for the most part, very slow.