Gold and silver got a slight boost to start New York trading this morning, as the ADP private sector payroll report recorded a gain of only 179,000 jobs for the month of May. Analysts had expected an increase of 210,000 jobs. Aprils numbers were revised downward to 215,000 new jobs.
This news caused the dollar to erase overnight gains temporarily. With the yen and euro both weakening, the only place for the dollar to go was up. Despite the health of the greenback today, gold and silver are holding on to most the gains they grabbed when it fell. There’s a bit of short-covering and bargain hunting this morning.
Platinum prices are slowly leaking, as protracted negotiations in South Africa continue over a platinum sector mineworkers’ strike that had lasted more than four months, and put the entire nation’s GDP into the red. Trader feel that the government’s new Minister of Mining is refusing to let the talks break down after getting personally involved in resolving the crisis. Palladium is recovering this morning from softness overnight.
In Europe, the composite EU Purchasing Managers Index came in slightly lower than expected, at 53.5. This compares to 54.0 in April. First Quarter GDP for the trading block only rose 0.9% over 4Q 13, while German and French PMI both declined.
This really puts the European Central Bank’s feet to the fire regarding announcing economic stimulus at tomorrow’s meeting, lest Europe sink into a deflationary “lost decade” as Japan did. As a result, traders are stepping out of the market to see what happens tomorrow, bringing all major European stock indices into the red.
In the U.S., stocks opened lower, not just on the ADP miss, but on news that the U.S. trade deficit ballooned in April to the largest gap in two years. Tokyo’s Nikkei index is the only major market with gains today, as it hits a two-month high.
Expect to see light volume in all markets today, ahead of the ECB decision tomorrow, and official U.S. non-farm payrolls on Friday. In thin markets, large single orders can move the numbers, so take any swings with a grain of salt.