Gold recovered from selling pressure in Asia overnight to see a spike in Europe before continuing its advance in New York. Another spike around 9am EST saw gold briefly hit $1,382.90 an ounce.
Good economic numbers in the three largest markets in the world – the U.S., China, and the European Union – sent the global stocks and commodities (including precious metals) higher. Precious metals are seeing gains today despite strength in the dollar, which is getting support from the common wisdom that the Fed will begin to pare its $85 billion a month in bond purchases next month.
In China, the Markit PMI report for China showed a surprise reading of 50.1, up from last month’s 47.7. Analysts were not expecting such a huge jump, forecasting a reading of 48.2.
In Europe, the Markit flash composite PMI for the Eurozone was 51.7, up from 50.5. This number was driven mostly by Germany, as usual.
In the U.S., the index of leading economic indicators grew 0.6%, a three-month high. However, first-time jobless claims for last week increased by 13,000 over the previous week, with 336,000 losing their jobs. The talking heads in the markets are downplaying this number, instead preferring to trumpet the four-week rolling average of first-time jobless claims dropping by 2.250 to 330,500 – the lowest since November of 2007. Continuing unemployment claims rose 29,000 to 2.99 million.
In other U.S. news, auto sales in August are on track to post a 12% y/y gain, and home prices for the first six months of 2013 have risen 7.7%
Increased auto sales and threats of nationwide strikes by South Africa’s mining unions are supporting prices for the PGMs.