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Morning Gold & Silver Market Report – 2/29/2012

GOLD PRICE DROPS AS FED CHAIRMAN’S TESTIMONY BEGINS  

Precious metals prices lost ground in trading this morning as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke began testifying before the House Financial Services Committee. The Gold price dropped as much as $70 per ounce at one point, but the price had started to regain some of the loss by late morning. Prices for Silver, Platinum and Palladium also dropped. However, U.S. stock futures were mildly higher through the morning. The European Central Bank’s refinancing operation resulted in 529 billion euros of three-year loans being auctioned to the banking sector. This was higher than some analysts expected, and markets were flattened after the news. The latest revision of 2011 fourth-quarter U.S. gross domestic product showed that the economy grew 3 percent that quarter, up from 2.8 percent. This had little effect on market movement or precious metals.

Markets saw little movement overnight as investors awaited Bernanke’s testimony before the House Financial Services Committee. Performance Trust Capital Partners’ Brian Battle said that he doesn’t “expect any surprises in the written testimony, but the Q&A portion could be interesting. This is the new era of transparency, and the Fed has been trying to be more detailed and descriptive.” Regarding the economic data due later today, Battle said, “Unfortunately, economic numbers aren’t real drivers (of the market) these days. We’re still driven by headline news.”

United Nations sanctions against Iran are under way, though some nations are struggling to comply. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that some allies, such as Japan, face unique situations in the effort to  reduce Iranian oil imports. The sanctions are an effort to hamper the ability of Iran to produce atomic bombs, since oil exports account for much of its economy. She said, “I think that there’s a very clear-eyed view of Iran and Iranian objectives, and that’s why the president’s policy is so clear and adamant that the United States intends to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.” Iran has previously threatened to counter sanctions either by military force or by blocking the Strait of Hormuz, which could severely impact the transportation of oil from the most oil-rich region in the world.

At 8 a.m. (CST), the APMEX precious metals spot prices were:

  • Gold - $1,781.00 – Down $6.40.
  • Silver - $37.03 – Down $0.15.
  • Platinum - $1,729.40 – Up $4.90.
  • Palladium - $720.80 – Down $0.50.

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Disclaimer:
APMEX’s ‘Market Reports’ provide our readers with a review of spot price activity and some of the factors that may be affecting the market for precious metals, three times during the trading day. While the information is obtained from sources we believe to be reliable, we do not guarantee its accuracy or its completeness and we encourage you to conduct your own investigation prior to making any decision based on the information. The "News and Commentaries" are not intended as a comprehensive discussion and there may be other factors that may be affecting the financial marketplace. These "News and Commentaries" are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute a recommendation by APMEX to hold, to purchase or to sell any precious metal product. All orders, all purchases and all sales, if any, are subject to the terms of the User Agreement and other applicable policies.

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