Gold and Equities Rebound Wednesday Amid GDP Revision

February 28th, 2018 by

Spot gold opened flat on Wednesday, trading just below $1,320/oz.

The yellow metal lost ground on Tuesday. Both Wall St and the precious metals tumbled after Fed Chair Powell’s testimony to Congress was considered too hawkish.

Meanwhile, the silver price added 4¢ (+0.25%) to $16.42/oz.

Platinum was unchanged at $980/oz while palladium rose 0.5% to $1,030/oz.

Recap of Tuesday’s Performance: Losses All Around

Stocks in the U.S. fell more than 1% on Tuesday after opening in positive territory.

The Dow Jones Industrials lost almost 300 points, slumping 1.16%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq was off 1.23%, but the S&P 500 was the worst performer, sinking 1.27%.

Global bonds were down, as well. The 10-year Treasury yield jumped five basis points to almost 2.91%.

Gold lost more than 1% on the day, slumping -$15. Silver dropped 1.6% (-27¢) by the last hour of trading.

Similarly, platinum sank 1.8% (-$18) and palladium fell the farthest, losing 2.2% (-$23) to $1,026/oz.

Just about the only winner on Tuesday was the dollar. The greenback extended its rally, adding 0.6% to 90.4 on the DXY index.

This caused the euro to fall to just above $1.22, its lowest in about five weeks.

Crude oil ended the session by falling sharply after a week of gains. WTI crude was off 1.6% to $62.88/bbl and Brent crude was down 1.4% to $66.54/bbl.

The seeming optimism of Chair Powell about the American economy was perceived as hawkish despite the rhetoric about “striking a balance” that his prepared statements suggested.

His characterization of a strong economy implied a somewhat aggressive stance on interest rates by the central bank.

The prospect of higher rates is generally bad news for equities: It is associated with rising wages, weaker overseas profits, and an increasing cost of financing debt.

Markets React to Downward Revision of GDP

Wednesday saw a modest rebound for stocks as well as the precious metals.

The USD was up again, but only marginally. Wall St opened 0.4% higher.

News came from the Department of Commerce that fourth-quarter GDP came in at 2.5%, a downward revision from earlier estimates.

Although consumer spending was strong during the quarter, the economic expansion was well short of the 3.2% figure from the third quarter.

The revised data also took into account a jump in U.S. imports during Q4. This likely weighed down growth.

Energy prices recovered slightly on Wednesday, but oil and gasoline futures were dampened by a rise in U.S. supplies this week, according to data compiled by API.

Stocks across Asia were deeply in the red overnight. European indices traded essentially sideways for the second straight day.

In otherwise quiet forex trading, the pound sterling was the big loser, tumbling 0.7% to $1.38.

 

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