Gold and silver moved in an unclear trend during last week. But on a weekly scale they have finished higher than the previous week. Several U.S reports were released last week that provided a mixed signal regarding the progress of the U.S economy including: manufacturing PMI declined to 57; jobless claims slipped by 2k to 339k; consumer confidence bounced back to 78.1; pending home sales edged up. Looking forward, many reports and decisions will unfold during the week to kick-start the New Year. The December FOMC decision is likely to resurface on the news cycle as the minutes of the FOMC meeting will be released. Besides this publication, for the week of January 6th o 19th, many more items are on this week’s agenda including: U.S non-farm payroll report, ECB and BOE rate decisions, U.S, Canada, Australia and China’s trade balance reports, EU and Australia retail sales reports, and China’s new loans.
The price of gold rose by 2.02% last week; moreover, the average price reached $1,214.44 /t. oz which was 0.68% lower than last week’s average. Gold ended the week at $1,238.60 /t. oz.
The price of silver also rallied by 0.94%; further, the average weekly rate was $19.72/t oz, which was 0.43% below last week’s price.
Herein is a short overview showing the main decisions, reports and events that will unfold during January 6th to 10th and may affect bullion prices.
Let’s breakdown the main events of reports by leading economies:
The discussion over the FOMC’s last decision of 2013 is likely to reappear this week as the minutes of the FOMC meeting will come out. The minutes could offer some insight behind the Fed’s last decision, its future plans on the next taper, and perhaps other monetary policy decision to jump start the economy. Besides this report, several other reports will be released including: NF payroll, non-manufacturing PMI, trade balance, and jobless claims; the NF payroll could have the most effect on the U.S dollar and the prices of commodities. If the report shows a sharp rise in employment of over 250k it could have a significant adverse effect on gold and silver. Otherwise, it could have moderate effect on precious metals.
The Euro tumbled down last week against the USD mainly at the end of the week. Conversely, other currencies such as Aussie dollar and Japanese yen appreciated against the USD. The weakening of the Euro may have slightly curbed down the rally of gold and silver prices last week. Next week, several reports and decisions will take place next week including: ECB rate decision, EU CPI, and Spain’s service PMI. The ECB rate decision could affect the Euro/ USD, and, in the process, may also moderately affect gold and silver. The linear correlation between Euro/USD and gold price was very weak during December at 0.10.
India and China
China’s economy hasn’t shown much improvement in recent weeks; several reports will be released this week including new loans, trade balance and CPI and could offer some input regarding this economy’s progress. If the economy keeps showing its struggles to rally, it could indirectly indicate the demand for gold and silver could also fall.
During the previous week, the Indian Rupee sharply depreciated against the USD. This trend could adversely affect the demand for gold and silver in India.
Finally, gold holdings of SPDR gold trust ETF declined again in the past week. The ETF was also down by over 40% for 2013. Gold holdings were at 801.22 tons by the end of last year. If the ETF’s gold holdings continue to tumble, this may signal the demand for gold as an investment is diminishing further.
In conclusion, this week gold and silver might keep their unclear trend: Last month’s reaction to the FOMC meeting decision might have been a bit harsh and the minutes of the FOMC could rectify this reaction if it shows more dovish sentiment from the FOMC members and the new Chairman. The upcoming U.S reports could drag down the prices of gold and silver if they show the U.S economy continues to improve. The potential rise in volume of trade could reduce the level of volatility of prices. Finally, the ongoing drop in demand for gold and silver as investments is likely to pressure down precious metals prices. Therefore, I remain neutral on gold and silver.
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