Spot gold was barely below unchanged when markets opened in New York on Friday morning, trading just shy of $1,284/oz. The precious metals looked to end the week on a high note as investors are finding more than one reason to sour on stocks. Spot silver gained 8¢ (+0.47%) to $17.03/oz.
Meanwhile, platinum was flat at $936/oz. Palladium was the only one among the four metals to post losses, tumbling 0.9% to $994/oz.
The dollar was fairly dormant on Friday, trading at about unchanged at 94.475 on the DXY index. However, its major peers picked up ground against the greenback: the Japanese yen was firmer at ¥113.4 per dollar while the British pound sterling advanced 0.5% to $1.32. The euro was essentially flat.
In the equities markets, shares were mixed in Asia, with the Nikkei slumping 0.8% while less dramatic movement was seen in the Shanghai Composite and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index. London’s FTSE 100 was down 0.5%, mirroring the gains for the pound, while equities across Europe were in the red for the second straight session. The story was similar for stocks in the U.S., as all three major indices opened about 0.3% in negative territory.
Bonds fell in the U.S. as well as abroad on Friday. The 10-year T-note yield rose more than four basis points to 2.375%, its third straight day of losses. 10-year German Bunds and 10-year U.K. Gilts also saw their yields rise. The commodities sector saw mixed action, with most broad indices gaining despite softer energy prices. WTI crude was nonetheless holding steady above $57 per barrel in early trading.
The sudden downturn for Wall St late this week is largely being attributed to the apparent stall in working on tax reform in Washington. Members of Congress are trying to reconcile the separate tax bills being drafted in the House and Senate, a key step that would allow Republicans to potentially pass the legislation without needing any votes from Democrats. However, some investors have shown concern after news that the Senate version of the bill reportedly puts off the promised corporate tax cuts until 2019.
Friday will see the University of Michigan release its report on consumer sentiment. Most analysts expect to find a slight dip in consumer confidence as we move into November.
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