Closing Gold & Silver Market Report – 2/23/2012
ANOTHER 3-MONTH HIGH FOR GOLD; ECONOMISTS WARY ON STEADY JOBLESS CLAIMS
The Gold price reached another three-month high today, helped upward by the dollar’s weakness and a belief that central banks around the world will continue current loose monetary policies. Yesterday, Gold ended at its highest point for the year so far, and the upward trend carried through today’s trading. George Gero, vice president of RBC Wealth Management, said today that the number of outstanding futures contracts has increased from a month ago. Gero said, “We were looking for that ($1,800 an ounce) by June; perhaps we may see if sooner.” In a note to clients, analysts with Commerzbank wrote, “The sovereign-debt crisis is thus likely to keep the market on tenterhooks for some time yet, which should benefit Gold.” Silver, Platinum, and Palladium joined Gold in ending the day up, as well.
Despite today’s encouraging report about the weekly number of new claims for unemployment benefits, economists are cautioning that it could just be an unseasonably warm winter that is pushing gains in the labor market. With March fast approaching, the jobs market for this month looks a lot like it did for last month. During January, a net 243,000 jobs were added, while the unemployment rate dropped by 0.2 percent from where it was in December. For last week, jobless claims were at 351,000, the same number as the week before. Although some point to these figures as an indication that the unemployment situation in the U.S. is improving, not all economists agree. Credit Suisse economist Jonathan Basile said that despite the improvement in employment numbers that is raising confidence among U.S. firms, it could still be too early to trust that a lasting jobs recovery is under way. Basile said, “We do know this is a very warm winter, and in recent months, there’s been a lot more construction jobs showing up than usual. These are the times of year when there are construction layoffs. I think we’re going to have to get through the March, April, May data to sort out whether this strength in jobless claims is a weather phenomena or a fundamental move.” Some other economists have predicted that state governments and the federal government are likely to continue cutting jobs.
At 4:05 p.m. (CST), the APMEX precious metals spot prices were:
- Gold - $1,781.50 - Up $10.20.
- Silver - $35.38 - Up $1.08.
- Platinum - $1,725.70 - Up $3.90.
- Palladium - $719.60 - Up $1.00.