Gold and platinum are both treading water this morning, as silver recovers to near-unchanged from overnight weakness. Palladium rebounded in Europe after overnight weakness.
Stocks are attempting to hold on to Friday’s turnaround, as Israel and Hamas enter brokered peace negotiations in Cairo. The ceasefire over the Gaza Strip appears to be holding as talks begin.
Euro stocks were upbeat on Putin’s announcement that 25,000 Russian troops had finished war exercises on the Ukrainian border, but NATO high command this morning announced that it has seen no troop withdrawals yet. Russia has been pushing hard to be allowed to send a large convoy of what they declare is humanitarian aid into eastern Ukraine, but the government in Kiev has strenuously objected, claiming it is a ruse for the Russian Army to occupy the area.
The Ukrainian Army is reported to have the separatist city of Donetsk surrounded, and is calling for the rebels to surrender. Many of the civilians who have been able, have fled the fighting, adding to the refugee problem.
The United State is continuing airstrikes against ISIS forces, who have been using U.S.-supplied advanced weaponry seized from Iraqi army bases to overwhelm Iraqi Kurdish forces. The Kurdish peshmerga fighters have been able to reclaim two of the fifteen towns lost to ISIS over the last week, after heavy fighting, but ISIS has struck back further south, taking a Kurdish town northeast of Baghdad.
In Baghdad itself, prime minister Maliki has called loyal troops and tanks into the streets in an attempt to remain in power after being deserted by political allies. Many blame Maliki’s suppression of Sunni Iraqis for the popular support ISIS has enjoyed in the northern half of the nation. The U.S., who put Maliki in power before leaving Iraq, has rebuked him over his current moves, and has announced support for a peaceful transfer of power.
Wall St. opened in the green, as lessened tensions in Ukraine and Israel get a boost from Fed vice chairman Stanley Fisher. Fisher said that the US recovery is still slow and fragile, which traders are taking as a signal that interest rates will not be moving up any time soon.
Asian stocks were up as news that inflation in China was slowing down, and on lessened global tensions.
Again, the metals and stock markets are seeing increased volatility due to low volume. Large numbers of European go on two or three week vacations in August, which means that large buy or sell orders can move the index numbers more than in regular trading volumes.