Closing Gold & Silver Market Report – 3/20/2012
U.S. EXEMPTS JAPAN, 10 EU NATIONS FROM IRAN OIL SANCTIONS
Precious metals prices have continued to fall in afternoon trading on tempered housing optimism and rising dollar hint at economic recovery. Saxo Bank senior manager Ole Hansen said, “It’s very much intraday movements related to the ups and downs of the dollar, which is setting the agenda for the time being. … We are going to see a bumpy ride over the coming weeks, but I think investors eventually will step up to the plate. Rising bond yields are not going to be looked upon lightly by the Fed, and some kind of (central bank) action could be the result, which will support Gold.” New housing construction slowed, but permits for new construction reached the highest point in 3.5 years. Economist Andrew Grantham said, “The level of house building clearly remains depressed by historical standards but at least is now beginning to make modest positive contributions to U.S. growth.”
The U.S government has handed out 11 sanction exemptions to a number of countries that were fearful of economic sanctions due to their continued business dealings with Iran. However, the 11 countries already have significantly reduced Iranian oil imports. The exemption list did not include China or India, the top two Iranian oil importers. One of the exempt nations is Japan, which cut about 20 percent of its Iranian oil imports even as it was recovering from a major earthquake and tsunami. Saudi Arabia continues to try to calm the oil markets as best it can with an increase in production.
At 4:15 p.m. (CDT), the APMEX precious metals spot prices were:
- Gold - $1,652.50 – Down $16.30.
- Silver - $32.20 – Down $0.80.
- Platinum - $1,657.00 – Down $28.70.
- Palladium - $694.80 – Down $12.80.