Closing Gold & Silver Market Report – 2/15/2012
GREECE FIGHTS TO SALVAGE BAILOUT; ANOTHER ROUND OF EASING BY THE FED?
Continued uncertainty about Greece’s bailout and tension between Israel and Iran caused investors to turn to the safe haven of Gold today. The precious metal ended the day up by over $10. Prices for Silver and Platinum ended the day up, as well, with only Palladium experiencing a modest drop. Speaking about Greece, Global Hunter Securities precious metals analyst Jeff Wright said, “The time is limited to avoid spreading the eurozone debt crisis from Greece to countries with a larger economic impact, such as Portugal, Spain and Italy; most of the efforts have been to contain the crisis.”
Political leaders in Greece are fighting to salvage the 130 billion-euro financial bailout package pending with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. However, sources in the EU reported today that eurozone finance officials are analyzing whether delaying some or perhaps even all of the bailout package might be possible without experiencing a disorderly default. There are questions as to whether Greece is really committed to the severe austerity measures recently passed in that country’s parliament. Greek leaders have rejected this criticism of the austerity measures, which are extremely unpopular among Greek citizens. Greece’s finance minister accused critics of “playing with fire” and promised that all outstanding issues on the measures would be addressed.
Minutes released today of a January meeting of the Federal Reserve show that although the Fed is willing to consider another round of easing here in the U.S. in the form of bond purchases, there is division among its members as to if and when. According to the minutes, some officials who are worried about the country’s continued high unemployment favor bond purchases in the near future, while others are of the opinion that such easing should only take place upon further weakening of the economy. At a news conference last month, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke indicated that the central bank does consider easing in the form of buying bonds an option for stimulating the nation’s economy. Two previous rounds of easing efforts by the Fed (commonly referred to as “quantitative easing”) resulted in increased inflation here in the U.S., a drop in the value of the dollar, and a corresponding rise in the value of Gold.
At 4:03 p.m. (CST), the APMEX precious metals spot prices were:
- Gold - $1,728.60 - Up $11.90.
- Silver - $33.48 – Up $0.09.
- Platinum - $1,637.00 – Up $8.00.
- Palladium - $684.00 - Down $1.30.