Closing Gold & Silver Market Report – 2/3/2012
ANALYSTS QUESTION WHETHER WORST HAS PASSED IN U.S.; GREEK BAILOUT MORE THAN EXPECTED?
Since the Mid-Day Gold & Silver Market Report, Gold prices continued to drop in response to the better-than-expected January U.S. unemployment report released this morning. Gold finished the day lower, experiencing its first drop in four sessions. Gold prices for the week, however, are up by 0.5 percent. One precious metals researcher is looking at Gold’s “bigger picture,” saying, “The big news remains last week’s Fed promise of cheap money forever.” Prices on Silver, Platinum, and Palladium dipped today, as well.
Despite the unexpected fall in last month’s jobless rate, some analysts are questioning whether the worst really has passed. Walter Zimmerman, a senior technical analyst at price forecasting firm United-ICAP, said, “It’s better than it was, but we’re skeptical that it’s sustainable given the continuing unraveling.” Zimmerman’s view is that the current sentiment of investors is exaggerated, and that it will be proved rash when the debt crisis in Europe is again at the forefront of the news. Echoing this skepticism is Capital Economics in Toronto. In a note to clients, the company said, “We’ve been here before with 200,000-plus monthly gains in payrolls in spring 2010 and spring 2011 that ultimately came to nothing. With housing still in the dumps, fiscal policy being tightened and the eurozone crisis likely to flare up again at any moment, we still think the U.S. will endure another year of weak growth in output and employment.”
European Union sources indicated today the price for Greece’s second emergency loan program may end up being 145 billion euros, 15 billion more than had been estimated. If required, the additional bailout funds would mostly assist with the recapitalization of the banking sector in Greece if an agreement is reached on a proposed 70 percent write-down of private-sector creditor-held Greek bonds. Negotiations with private creditors on a write-down for Greece have been ongoing, and even if an agreement is reached, it’s not clear how much central banks in the eurozone and the rest of Europe would have to write down for Greece to sustain its overall debt burden. Meanwhile, a planned Feb. 6 meeting of finance ministers in the eurozone to discuss Greece’s continuing financial problems has been postponed, with nothing definite said about when it will take place other than it “may be scheduled later in the week.”
At 4:13 p.m. (CST), the APMEX precious metals spot prices were:
- Gold - $1,727.30 - Down $30.50.
- Silver - $33.69 - Down $0.56.
- Platinum - $1,624.80 - Down $6.10.
- Palladium - $707.40 - Down $1.30.