Gold Steady, Dollar Weak on Light Volume: Morning Market Update April 23

gold rallyPrecious metals are near unchanged this morning, with gold easing off overnight gains. Silver is up slightly. UBS notes a high number of shorts for COMEX silver, and cites this as a short-term bullish influence. Light volumes ahead of the May options expiry tomorrow may let large orders move the price disproportionately for the next two days.

The major platinum mining companies are back at the negotiating table in South Africa, with an offer to basically meet mineworkers’ demands of a 140% pay raise, but spread out over five years. AMCU, the labor union, has agreed to put the offer to a rank and file vote. This strike has been one of the worst in South Africa’s history, with mineworkers going three months without a paycheck and forced to sell belongings for food, while the mining companies have lost approximately $1.3 billion in production.

The dollar is weaker again this morning, but off of the one-week low hit overnight. The Chinese yuan hit a low for the year overnight, but the euro is up.

Today was PMI day, as several purchasing managers index reports were released. The HSBC flash April manufacturing PMI for China saw a small increase, from 48.0 to 48.3. This is the fourth month of contraction for the index, but the rate of contraction is slowing. China is in the midst of an ambitious overhaul of its national economy, away from being purely export-driven to having domestic consumption play a larger part.

The composite EU services PMI also saw a small increase, from 52.2 to 52.5. The composite manufacturing PMI rose from 53.0 to 53.3. The flash manufacturing PMI for the U.S. disappointed, moving from 55.5 to 55.4. Analysts were expecting a jump to 56.3.

U.S. stock markets opened down after six days of gains, even before the domestic PMI numbers were released. Less than exciting earnings reports put a damper on the rising prices. Euro stock indices were also down modestly, while the NIkkei was up in Tokyo on the back of a weaker yen. Hong Kong stocks were drug down by the telecom sector today.

What is it about Tuesdays?

The mainstream financial press is starting to take notice of the “because it’s Tuesday” phenomenon that the alternative press has been charting for a while. For some unknown reason, Tuesdays are the best day of the week for stocks, and the worst day of the week for gold, even though gold has absolutely punished stocks since the first of the year.

confusedIf you average every trading day this year EXCEPT Tuesdays, gold sees an average daily gain of 0.2%, and the S&P 500 sees an average daily loss of 0.4%.

If you look ONLY at Tuesdays, gold has an average loss of 0.3%, and the S&P 500 has an average gain of 0.5%

Using COMEX futures as a benchmark, gold has seen a year-to-date gain of 6.68%, while the S&P 500 has seen a YTD gain of 1.92%.

What the heck is up with Tuesdays?

 

by Steven Cochran

Gainesville Coins Portfolio Tracker and Financial News

Surgeons Find a Dozen Gold Bars In Man’s Stomach

Gold bars surgically removed from patient. (photo: CNN)

Gold bars surgically removed from patient. (photo: CNN)

In one of the most bizarre cases in a long list of inventive gold smuggling schemes, a surgical team at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in Delhi, India got a 24K surprise from a patient with intestinal blockage.

The 63 year-old man checked himself into the hospital, complaining of vomiting, severe stomach pain, and inability to defecate. X-rays showed several objects in the patient’s stomach and intestine. Surgery was the only option to clear the blockage. However, when the surgeons opened him up, they certainly weren’t expecting what they found: A dozen gold bars, each weighing 33 grams (a little over one troy ounce.)

xray-showing-gold-bars-inside-man

“I believe we’ve found your problem, sir.”

The elderly smuggler apparently though he could pass his massive er, “gold deposit” after returning to India, but greed got the best of his gut. Doctors turned over the intestinal treasure, worth well over $16,000, to authorities (after properly sanitizing them, of course), who will investigate the man’s recent travel history. This isn’t the first time someone smuggling gold to India has been tripped up by their greed.

One wonders if he will be allowed to use a couple of the gold bars to pay his surgical bill, or will the hospital have to file a claim as “discoverer” of the treasure in order to be paid!

You don’t have to go to such extremes to own physical gold bars for yourself. If you’re interested in finding out more about investing in gold, we have an overview just for you!

 

This article was written by Steven Cochran.

Gold Steady After Home Price Data: Morning Market Update April 22

 

Charting-Gold-MarketPrecious metals are steady today, with palladium seeing modest gains. Gold closed at $1,291.30 yesterday, down $4.30 after recovering half of the smackdown which occurred on the Chinese market open.  Silver closed at $19.54, while platinum and palladium were down on (false) rumors of an end to the South African platinum mining strike. Platinum closed at $1,405 and palladium at $782 after being subjected to a steep drop.

Speaking of the platinum group metals, it seems that imports by China are picking up. Tougher pollution restrictions and a growing auto industry are increasing demand for PGMs in the Middle Kingdom.

Metals prices are being helped by more weakness in the dollar, which seems unable to establish an uptrend or any safe haven demand over Ukraine. The European Central Bank was talking down the strong euro earlier today, which limited losses by the dollar.

iStock_000013551810MediumWall St. opened up, as traders looked to the S&P 500 to continue a winning streak this week. Euro stocks were up on merger and acquisition talk in the pharmaceutical sector, while the Nikkei in Tokyo gave up early gains on weak earnings reports. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was down as news of a corruption probe against the CEO of a major energy company hit the news. The Shangai index was up on news that the government would be relaxing capital requirements for rural banks, in an effort to help Chinese farmers. Ideas are also circulating on making borrowing by local governments more transparent, with the idea that Beijing will allow local governments to begin borrowing again.

home-sale-10517232_xxlHome prices in the U.S. for February were up 0.6% from January, and up 6.9% year over year. Good news for those who have been underwater in their mortgages. Existing home sales for February were down slightly from January, which was a terrible month for homebuying due to blizzards. Compared to last February, sales were down 7.1%, the steepest one-month decline in three years. No one wanted to move during the bad weather, which meant fewer homes for sale and fewer buyers.

by Steven Cochran

Gainesville Coins Portfolio Tracker and Financial News

5 Oz Smokey Mountian ATB Silver Coin Out Of Stock At US Mint.

smokymtnATB

The US Mint has announced that it is temporarily sold out of the new 5 oz America The Beautiful 2014 “Great Smoky Mountains” silver bullion coin, after selling 23,000 coins. More coins should be available in a few weeks, according to officials.

These three-inch wide coins are made from .999 fine silver, and sport the same design as the clad circulating quarters in the series. The 5 oz bullion versions of these coins are available only through authorized distributors, while the limited mintage “uncirculated” versions for collectors are available direct from the Mint at a substantial numismatic premium.