Closing Gold & Silver Market Report – 2/22/2012
GOLD SETTLES AT THREE-MONTH HIGH; SKEPTICISM ON GREECE JUSTIFIED, PIMCO CEO SAYS
After a sluggish performance earlier in the day, Gold settled at a three-month high this afternoon. With investors engaging in profit-taking in the wake of fading enthusiasm for Greece’s bailout agreement and the release of less-than-positive economic data from China, bargain hunters pushed Gold prices upward just before the end of afternoon trading. Gold’s rise was also helped by significant Platinum and Palladium gains, largely seen as a result of an ongoing South African strike. South Africa is a major exporter of Platinum to the rest of the world. Silver was the only metal to see a loss, ending the day slightly lower.
Amid renewed fears about a possible European recession that flared again today, banks dragged U.S. stocks down. Weak economic growth in Europe has investors worried about both the debt loads of countries in the eurozone and the exposure banks might have to that debt. Steven Baffico, chief executive at Four Wood Capital Partners, said, “We’re very concerned around the markedly deteriorating credit fundamentals in Europe.” Fears over Europe have intensified with reports that the Greek financial bailout package could activate credit-default swaps in the region. In response to eurozone fears, the Dow Jones Industrial Average experienced a 27-point loss today, while the S&P 500 lost 5 points.
Economist and Pimco CEO Mohamed El-Erian said investor skepticism about Greece’s bailout agreement is justified. Furthermore, he is recommending that investors make a reduction in their risk allocation based on that skepticism. El-Erian, pointing to geopolitical turmoil in such countries as Syria and Iran as well as Greece, warned of the possibility of quick and sharp market disruption. About the Greek debt deal, he said, “The market is being very rational in saying it’s a step but it’s not a big-enough step yet. Fundamentally, Greece is going to have to find a way to restore growth and restore competitiveness. If it doesn’t do that, private capital isn’t going to come in and if private capital doesn’t come in, you don't get the oxygen that an economy needs.” El-Erian expressed the opinion that Greek debt contagion risks and potential interruptions of Middle Eastern energy supplies represent a global economic risk, and that central banks will have limited options for responding to an escalation of any of those situations.
At 4:15 p.m. (CST), the APMEX precious metals spot prices were:
- Gold - $1,776.30 – Up $18.80.
- Silver - $34.32 - Down $0.18.
- Platinum - $1,726.00 - Up $40.10.
- Palladium - $723.00 - Up $11.30.