The precious metals have virtually reversed all of their losses from September, as gold prices are trading at a three-week high around $1,305/oz on Monday morning. After bumping up against the $1,300-per-ounce mark as resistance for the better part of two weeks, this milestone appears to have flipped to support.
Both spot silver and platinum were flat while the palladium price surged another 1.4% in early trading to move near $1,000/oz. The lesser-known of the precious metals is up an astounding 46% year-to-date, by far the best-performing futures contract for all commodities. (By comparison, copper is in second place with a 28% gain YTD.)
It would be the first time palladium surpassed $1,000 per ounce in sixteen years.
Here are the closing numbers from last Friday:
Gold: $1,303.30/oz (+$10.20, +0.79%)
Silver: $17.41/oz (+17¢, +1.02%)
Platinum: $944/oz (+$7, +0.75%)
Palladium: $980/oz (+$16, +1.66%)
Dow Jones: 22,871.72 (+30.71, +0.13%)
S&P 500: 2,553.17 (+2.24, +0.09%)
Nasdaq: 6,605.80 (+14.29, +0.22%)
DXY: 93.06 (-0.04, -0.05%)
WTI crude: $51.42/bbl (+82¢, +1.62%)
Stocks in the U.S. opened comfortably higher at the opening bell in New York. In Asia, shares closed higher overnight in Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, but lost ground in Shanghai. European shares were mostly higher despite the Spanish government signaling that it is likely to suspend the autonomy of the Catalonia region this week. Catalans overwhelming voted for independence in a recent referendum, but the central government deemed the plebiscite unconstitutional. If Madrid follows through with its crackdown, the result of the referendum (at least in the near-term) will basically be the opposite of independence.
The dollar was barely higher to 93.2 on the DXY index. Treasurys fell, pushing the 10-year yield up to 2.30%. The euro was steady at $1.18. The pound sterling was unchanged, trading just shy of $1.33, as the Brexit negotiations between the U.K. and its erstwhile European partners continue to hang in the balance.
A key piece of economic data was reported by the New York Fed this morning, as well. The Empire State manufacturing index rose to a three-year high to begin October. This latest report is of a piece with stronger manufacturing across the United States this autumn.
In Washington, ongoing efforts at tax reform are understandably dominating headlines. However, with much of the attention of the markets fixated on this domestic issue, the Trump administration has simultaneously been marshaling international pressure on Iran regarding issues aside from curbing its nuclear program. Elsewhere in the Middle East, fighting between Iraq and its Kurdish minority is centering around control of the region’s oil fields. The potential disruption helped crude prices to rise above $52 per barrel, near a six-month high.
President Trump is also engaged in renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), one of his longest-standing policy priorities. Trump has used his willingness to walk away from the bargaining table to press for better terms from Canada and Mexico. This is cited as the reason why the Mexican peso fell to a fresh five-month low.
Here’s what investors are keeping their eyes on this week:
The Fed “Beige Book” will be released on Wednesday, providing additional context to the September FOMC meeting minutes. Several Fed members will be speaking this week, as well;
Housing data for September comes out;
Earnings season on Wall St continues with more financial firms reporting third-quarter results, along with investor darling Netflix and industrial giant G.E.;
Chinese GDP will be announced;
Also, Thursday is the 30th anniversary of the “Black Monday” stock market crash in 1987.
The opinions and forecasts herein are provided solely for informational purposes, and should not be used or construed as an offer, solicitation, or recommendation to buy or sell any product.