The precious metals market stirred only a little on Monday. Gold saw a bit of demand amid another exposé of hidden wealth (after the “Panama Papers” two summers ago) hit the news wires. This time, the press has dubbed the new revelations the “Paradise Papers.”
Gold prices were up slightly as the yellow metal moved 0.2% higher on Monday morning to $1,272/oz. Spot silver was up 10¢ to $16.91/oz. On technical charts, gold has remained stuck below strong resistance in the $1,270 range now that much of the speculative money has exited the market with the past week’s quarterly expiry and rash of activity at the Federal Reserve. Silver has been more volatile over that span, but prices have gotten hammered lower by profit-taking every time the argent metal pokes it head above $17 an ounce.
Platinum (-0.2%) and palladium (-0.4%) were both off modestly this morning, trading at $917/oz and $989/oz, respectively.
The so-called “Paradise Papers” purportedly reveal where much of the world’s wealth is—albeit legally—hidden in trusts and shell corporations across the world. The leaked documents tie this hidden and offshore wealth to members of the financial and political elite around the globe. Although not altogether surprising, the Paradise Papers are undoubtedly raising fresh concerns about corporate taxes.
In more world news that carries a tinge of scandal, the Saudi royal family essentially purged a handful of princes from its ranks in a late-night raid as part of an anti-corruption campaign being led by Prince Mohammed bin Salman. About a dozen were arrested, among them one of the richest men in the country (and the world). Coincidentally, a missile fired from Yemen, where Saudi Arabia is entangled in a war of its own, was intercepted the same night.
President Trump is away on a diplomatic visit to Japan before making a circuit around East Asia that will also include South Korea, China, and Vietnam. Asian markets were quiet in early trading, although the Japanese yen traded near its lowest against the dollar in six months.
Global stocks were mixed but European shares sank under the weight of the Paradise Papers, which implicate many heads of state and prominent families on the continent and in the U.K. The euro slipped to $1.158. This helped the dollar continue to outperform its peer currencies, trading above 95.0 on DXY index for first time since mid-July.
Here’s a look at Friday’s closing numbers on Wall St:
Dow Jones: 23,538.42 (+22.16, +0.09%)
S&P 500: 2,587.85 (+8.00, +0.31%)
Nasdaq: 6,764.44 (+49.49, +0.74%)
Equities in the U.S. pointed slightly higher at the opening bell, with the Nasdaq once again leading the way 0.2% higher. The tech-heavy index has been lifted in part by quarterly earnings beats all around the markets. Meanwhile, bonds saw fresh demand as the 10-year Treasury yield fell two basis points to 2.32%.
The rally for commodities continued, with crude oil climbing on the news of the palace intrigue with the Saudi royal family. The WTI crude price hit a nine-month high near $56/bbl.
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