YELLEN’S FED TESTIMONY IN FOCUS
The Gold price began the week continuing to benefit from the previously reported weak U.S. jobs report released Friday. This week, all eyes were on Janet Yellen’s first testimony to Congress as the head of the U.S. Federal Reserve. Yellen was scheduled to speak to the House of Representatives Tuesday and the Senate on Thursday. Standard Bank analyst Walter de Wet said, “From a macro data perspective, Yellen's testimony is the main event because it's her first big official speech. The market perception is that she is a dove and that should be at least on the margin positive for Gold ... but this may turn out to be a non-event for the fact that everybody expects it to be quite dovish.” Another positive factor for Gold is the strong demand in China as the Lunar New Year came to a close and investors have re-entered markets. “The reopen of China’s markets after being closed in celebration of Lunar New Year since Jan. 31 is an encouraging sign for the bullion markets and may help support Gold prices,” HSBC analysts said. The tapering of Federal Reserve stimulus measures seems to be priced-in to Precious Metals as Gold is up 6 percent on the year despite ongoing reduction in the scale of monthly bond purchases. As stocks have shown recent volatility over emerging market concerns, Gold looks to continue its rally as safe haven appeal has increased the yellow metal’s demand since the start of 2014.
DECLINING ECONOMIC GROWTH EXPECTED IN 2017
After a second disappointing jobs report last Friday, it left many wondering if the U.S. economy is really showing signs of improvement. The Congressional Budget Office has forecast continued growth through 2016, with a decline at the start of 2017. The reasoning is that a large number of baby boomers will retire and leave the workforce, hindering the economy’s ability to grow. This could put the government in a position to borrow money in order to accurately fund Social Security and Medicare for retirees.
GOLD JUMPS AMID NEWS OF FED ACCOMMODATION
Gold remained on track for a fifth straight day of gains Tuesday after the testimony of Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen did not worry the market and shared her concerns over the U.S. economy. Jeffery Wright, managing director of H.C. Wainwright, said the testimony “point(s) to a longer timeline of existing interest rates regardless of official unemployment rate,” resulting in positive news for Gold as the U.S. dollar grows weaker.
GOLD SEEKS $1,300
The Gold price moved higher for the fifth straight session as the yellow metal attempted to break through the important technical level of $1,300 per ounce. “Gold is now trading comfortable above the 100-day moving average and seems to have its sights set on $1,300,” Tyler Richey, an analyst for the 7:00’s Report, said. “The largest influences on Gold will again be upcoming economic data and Fed decision making.” Gold has been experiencing healthy upward momentum over the last few weeks as fear of a massive stock market correction pushed investors to Precious Metals as a safe-haven. Macroeconomic data will continue to be a central focus for investors as the availability of easy liquidity from the Federal Reserve will likely continue to motivate the short-term movement of Gold and Silver.
CONGRESS APPROVES DEBT LIMIT INCREASE
U.S. Congress was able to approve legislation Wednesday to increase the statutory debt limit ahead of the February 27 deadline. If the U.S. debt limit had not been increased in time, the nation could have defaulted on its financial obligations, causing government programs to shut down. Financial markets and investors are satisfied with the results, as it was expected that Congress may wait until the last minute to reach a deal.
INVESTORS DIGEST YELLEN COMMENTS, WEAK RETAIL NUMBERS
A dip in retail sales buoyed Gold futures slightly Thursday as Precious Metals remained largely flat, with Gold still looking to breach $1,300 an ounce. Though the slip in retail numbers from January is somewhat attributed to extreme winter conditions throughout much of the country, confidence in improved employment numbers and the domestic economy as a whole is causing experts to predict ongoing monthly reductions to quantitative easing measures. Stock market correction suspicions have helped drive metals prices lately as Gold rose for the sixth straight session on Thursday.
METAL PRICES EXCEED EXPECTATIONS
Precious Metal prices continued to climb throughout Friday. An increase in physical demand and investors’ renewed skepticism in the U.S. economic recovery have provided a boost to metals as Gold is set for a four percent gain on the week. Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at AvaTrade, said Gold prices are “above the psychological level of $1,300 [per ounce], which is a bullish sign for Gold. Physical Gold is attractive at this price level for many.”
At 5:23 p.m. (ET), the APMEX Precious Metals spot prices were:
- Gold, $1,320.90, Up $18.80.
- Silver, $21.55, Up $1.09.
- Platinum, $1,430.40, Up $11.80.
- Palladium, $737.40, Up $5.30.
For more APMEX reviews of daily and weekly Precious Metals market activities, visit our News and Commentaries page.
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