The gold price opened just above unchanged (+0.3%) at $1,349/oz on Monday. Investor focus was trained squarely on corporate earnings from the first quarter.
Platinum was likewise slightly higher at $933/oz.
The other metals fared better. Spot silver was up 0.65% (+11¢) to $16.73/oz, its highest in close to two months.
Palladium rallied another 1.6% (+$16) to approach $1,000/oz for the first time in about a month. Last week, palladium advanced 9.6%.
Concerns Over Syria Abate As Earnings Reported
Late Friday night, a coalition of American, British, and French forces executed “precision” airstrikes against the Syrian government.
Anticipation of the attack kept markets on edge all week. Fears that the situation would expand into a broader conflict appear to have eased, however.
Now, Wall St turns its attention to quarterly earnings instead.
Earnings are forecast to be their strongest in seven years for companies listed on the S&P 500.
Some analysts believe the stock market’s response will be minor given that tax cuts are already priced into valuations.
U.S. markets opened about 0.6% higher on Monday. Shares were down slightly in Europe. The main indices in Shanghai and Hong Kong each tumbled 1.6% overnight.
The USD was down 0.35% to 89.5 on the DXY index. It was weighed down by the euro rising about 0.5% to nearly $1.24. The pound sterling gained 0.6% to move above $1.43. The yen was flat.
Bonds fell as the 10-year Treasury yield was up three basis points to 2.86%.
Retail Sales Post First Gain Since November
The Department of Commerce reported that retail sales during March came in 0.6% higher.
It was the first increase in four months.
Greater automobile sales carried the data. Yet core retail sales, which excludes automobiles, were also up 0.4%.
This suggests that consumer spending could be picking up in the second quarter.
Consumer spending only rose 1.5% during the first quarter but was up 4.0% in the fourth quarter.
The retail sector may see a shake-up as the Supreme Court is hearing a case to determine if online retailers must charge state sales tax. The case was brought by South Dakota.
In other economic news, the Empire State manufacturing index is down sharply so far this month, according to the New York Fed.
The apparent lack of escalation in Syria helped send crude oil prices lower. WTI and Brent crude were both down 60¢ to $66.80/bbl and $72/bbl, respectively.
On the trade war front, President Trump accused China and Russia of devaluing their currencies.
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