Gold is seeing choppy trading in New York this morning, as spot prices return to Tuesday’s levels after yesterday’s sell-off. Gold prices held steady overnight, as physical buyers in Asia return from a three-day holiday, but decide to sit out the trading session.
Physical purchases in Asia have recently hit unprecedented numbers, with major gold suppliers running out of stock. Sources in India reported that many consumers were buying gifts for the autumn 2013 wedding season last week, while prices were so low. This will translate into weaker physical demand in India later in the year.
The big news in Europe is the ECB finally cutting rates 0.25% to a record low of 0.5%. It wasn’t all rainbows and happiness, though, as weak economic numbers and the news that the ECB would not oppose negative deposit rates hammered the Euro.
In the U.S., first-time jobless claims were reported at the lowest rate since January 2008. Only 324,000 people filed for first-time unemployment benefits last week, a drop of 18,000 from last week. However, the number of those on unemployment rose to 3.02 million. The recent weak economic news prompted the Federal Reserve to state in yesterday’s press release that it reserves the right to increase quantitative easing if the economy warrants it, as well as reduce it if conditions improve.
In Asia, the Nikkei fell for the 4th day in a row ahead of the Japanese holiday, on weak earnings and slowdowns in the Chinese and U.S. economies. HSBC reported its measure of Chinese PMI showed a slowdown, confirming official reports released yesterday. Chinese stocks were softer, with the Shanghai index trading under its 200 DMA, and Hong Kong stocks dropped from a seven-week high.
Silver, although up for the day, is trailing gold’s recovery today, weighed down by the plunge in industrial metals. The PGMs are also down in much the same pattern. The dollar recovered in New York trading, after being flat overnight. U.S stocks opened higher on the surprise jobless numbers.