Precious metals were slightly lower in Asian trading overnight, but are essentially flat in New York compared to yesterday. The dollar is a bit softer today, as is oil. Wall St. opened down for the third day on the good news that U.S. durable goods orders were better than expected. The market is in the perverse situation where good news is feared, because it raises the possibility the the Fed will stop pumping $85 billion a month into the bond market.
Precious metals will likely assume a holding pattern today, minus any big developments, ahead of the three-day Memorial Day weekend in the U.S.
In Asia, the Nikkei recovered from a selloff that triggered breaks in trading, but volatility is still considered high. Mainland Chinese stocks closed slightly up for the week, while Hong Kong stocks continue to slide on light volume.
In Europe, data shows that Germany is barely on the positive side of economic expansion, which is more than can be said of many of their compatriots in the EU. The euro recovered slightly against the dollar, but euro stocks were down.
Should the Fed end stimulus this year, we are likely to see a large correction in equities. The big question for precious metals will be “how far will inflation rise, fueled by the $4 trillion the Fed pumped into the money supply?” Long-term investors in gold believe that there is little to no chance that inflation will be contained once the banks stop holding on to the QE money they have stacked up.