Morning Gold & Silver Market Report, 7/16/2012
GOLD PRICE PAUSES, AWAITS FED CHAIRMAN’S TESTIMONY
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is scheduled to give his semi annual testimony before a Senate panel Tuesday and the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday. Although investors will be keeping a close watch for any mention of a third round of quantitative easing, it is expected that Bernanke will again scold or warn politicians that the nation is rapidly approaching a fiscal cliff, and Congress should act soon. The “cliff” describes what could happen to the American economy when tax breaks totaling as much as $720 billion expire Dec. 31, and automatic spending cuts kick in Jan. 1. It appears there is little chance Congress will act before the November elections. Bernanke could make it clear that QE3 is still on the table if the economy continues to deteriorate, but many analysts said they think he will wait until his Jackson Hole speech in August before he brings up the topic of QE3.
Big banks doing bad things are again in the news. The Justice Department is investigating potential criminal charges against big banks and individuals for manipulating key global interest rates. LIBOR is the London interbank rate that is set by a small and select group of major banks. Barclays Bank already has been fined $450 million for fixing LIBOR. Other banks being investigated include Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase, the Royal Bank of Scotland and Deutsche Bank AG. Another question is whether regulators knew about the situation but turned a blind eye.
American retail sales fell for the third straight month in June, further eroding confidence in a fragile economic recovery. Analysts expected retail sales to rise by 0.2 percent, but data released this morning by the Commerce Department show spending slipped by 0.5 percent. This report could raise hopes the Federal Reserve will need to act sooner or later with a new round of quantitative easing.
At 9 a.m. (EDT), the APMEX Precious Metal prices were:
- Gold, $1,590.60, down $2.90.
- Silver, $27.35, down 10.
- Platinum, $1,421.90, down $13.30.
- Palladium, $582.90, down $3.80.
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