Afternoon Market Update Dec 20

December 20th, 2012 by

Fiscal cliff brinksmanship roiled both U.S. and European markets and currencies today, while liquidation of futures contracts in gold and silver overwhelmed physical purchases again.  European equities vibrated in a very narrow range, closing barely up on uncertainty over whether the U.S. economy was going to go into recession over the failure of fiscal cliff talks, and take Europe with it. The euro slowed its recent advances against the dollar on U.S. news as well.

Good economic data weren’t enough to stop the dollar’s fall early, but conciliatory noises out of Washington by the Speaker of the House Boehner helped the greenback recover somewhat.

Gold and silver both broke to new 4-month lows again today, as revised third quarter GDP showing much greater than expected growth outweighed increases in first time jobless claims. Fears of an early end to Federal Reserve stimulus led to liquidation of long positions in gold and silver, and triggered sell stops which contributed to the snowball effect again today. Word is that a number of investors are redeeming fund positions ahead of the new year in fear that capital gains taxes may double.

by David Peterson