There was no trading in the gold markets in the U.S., the U.K. (the world’s two biggest markets for gold), and Shanghai on Friday. In the West, this was in observance of the Good Friday holiday that precedes the Easter weekend. Accordingly, spot gold was at $1,287/oz and spot silver was around $18.60/oz, where they closed yesterday.
Of course, over-the-counter gold trading in London and around the world will continue, but the pricing data won’t be published as it is on an exchange.
Platinum had settled at about $975/oz while palladium was near $800/oz.
Other Economic News
On Thursday, stocks tumbled lower in the U.S. late in the trading session. The Dow Jones and S&P 500 each lost about two-thirds of a percentage point. The same trend played out in Europe this morning and in Asian markets overnight, as equities were in negative territory across the board. The bond market saw significant demand this week following the onslaught of worrisome news surrounding the Syrian civil war, among other increasingly global conflicts. 10-year Treasury yields slid as low as 2.23% as a result.
The flight into bonds is indicative of the turn toward safe havens by investors and large institutions as the Trump administration’s response to various global challenges is finally beginning to take concrete form.
With the precious metals idle on Friday, much of the focus of traders centered on data being released by the Labor Department and Commerce Department. The latter reported that U.S. retail sales numbers fell for a second straight month in March, thanks in part to softer auto sales. Overall, retail sales were down 0.2% from the month previous.
Meanwhile, the Labor Department provided some push-back on Friday against the notion that inflation continues to rise at a steady pace. While the cost of living for Americans actually dropped in March—the first time in over a year—the Consumer Price Index (CPI) was also down 0.3% thanks to cheaper gasoline prices. This was the first decline for CPI in a year’s time, as well. Prices were 2.4% higher when compared year-on-year, which was still below expectations.
The drop in gas prices has actually coincided with rather robust crude oil prices. Both WTI crude and Brent crude were slightly higher on Friday after two sideways trading days. The former traded above $53 per barrel while the latter approached $56/bbl. The Baker Hughes U.S. rig count showed 11 oil rigs added last week for a total of 683.
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