Markets weren’t spooked by the arrival of Friday the 13th as global stocks traded higher this morning.
Action has continued to be up-and-down for the precious metals. The gold price rose nearly $10 (+0.7%) to $1,344 per ounce on Friday.
Spot silver added 19¢ (+1.15%) to $16.62/oz, following a similar pattern to gold.
Platinum was largely flat for the second straight day at $930/oz. Palladium surged almost 2.1% (+$20) to about $980/oz.
Trade Talks and Wall St Earnings Boost Sentiment
Wall St was up about 0.5% on Friday following mostly upbeat earnings for several major banks. Indices quickly pared those gains.
Stocks in the U.S. were up sharply yesterday, although the S&P 500 remains slightly in negative territory year-to-date.
Shares were also up modestly in Europe and Japan but sank 0.7% in Shanghai overnight.
Investor sentiment seems to be regaining strength after weeks of tense developments in international trade and geopolitics.
However, a strong first quarter of earnings may not necessarily portend continued growth through the rest of the year.
Trade is also still a question mark for global markets. President Trump is apparently considering ways for the U.S. to re-enter the Asia-Pacific trade pact formerly known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
The sweeping trade agreement currently includes 11 nations in the region. Withdrawing from the TPP was one of the president’s first policy moves upon taking office.
In the meantime, Vice President Pence is in Peru to attend a summit of leaders across the Americas.
Many countries in Latin America already have free-trade agreements with the U.S. The economic and humanitarian crisis in Venezuela is one contentious topic that will likely be discussed at the summit.
Elsewhere, negotiations between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico to amend NAFTA are still at an impasse.
All of this comes as the Trump administration continues to explore its options for possible military action in Syria.
Bitcoin Jumps While Forex Sees Little Movement
The dollar was treading water at 89.8 on the DXY index in early trading.
The yen slid 0.4% to about ¥107.8 per dollar. The pound sterling moved 0.25% higher to $1.425, matching the British currency’s 2018 high and approaching its strongest against the USD since the summer of 2016.
Most government bonds around the world fell on Friday morning. The 10-year Treasury yield eased back to 2.84%. This puts the benchmark T-note yield up 12 basis points so far in April and up about 40 bp since the start of the year.
Bitcoin traded at a three-week high above $8,000 per BTC. The cryptocurrency saw record-high trading volume during a single hour yesterday, squeezing a large number of shorts.
However, an Indian cryptocurrency exchange (ironically, called Coinsecure) reported that it had $3.3 million worth of BTC stolen.
Commodity prices were up slightly on Friday, although COMEX gold futures held flat. Crude oil is on track for its best weekly performance in eight months.
Brent crude traded up 0.4% to $72.30/bbl while WTI crude added 0.3% to $67.25/bbl.
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