Gold Spot Price Open: $1,167
Gold Spot Price Close: $1,182
Change in Gold Spot Price: +$15
Silver Spot Price Open: $16.52
Silver Spot Price Close: $16.56
Change in Silver Spot Price: +$0.04
Precious metals continued their impressive week by making more gains on Thursday. When all was said and done, gold gained about 15 dollars while silver added close to 5 cents. Platinum and palladium both finished the day in more or less the same position they were in when it began.
Weekly Jobless Claims Fall Further
If you can recall, 2 weeks ago brought with it a jobless claims report that did well to unnerve what few investors and market-watchers there were. Last week saw the same report improve, and this week saw it improve by even more. According to the US Department of Labor last week saw the total number of first-time claims for unemployment benefits fall by 28,000. This is a significant decrease and one that brings the seasonally-adjusted average number of claims down to 235,000.
Last week’s seasonally-adjusted 265,000 claims was actually revised downward by 2,000, however most experts were still anticipating that this week’s report would only see a marginal step backwards. Instead, we were given one of the best single-week performances we have seen in more than a month. Despite this upbeat report, gold and silver still managed to perform quite well on the day. It is interesting to think about how great the day might have been for gold and silver would it not have been for the weekly jobless claims report.
Private-Sector Employment Data Dealt
A report that is often overlooked but still of some importance was the ADP private-sector job growth report from the United States. The payrolls processor ADP showed that just 153,000 private-sector jobs were created last month. This fell short of expectations which were anticipating to see growth of at least 170,000. With all this being said, the ADP report is often overlooked because investors put a lot more weight into the Labor Department’s non-farms payrolls report, which is due for release sometime tomorrow.
At this point, expectations for the non-farms report call for more than 170,000 jobs to have been created last month. Whether or not the report lives up to these expectations will likely have some impact on precious metals. After all, a strong labor market is something that leads people to believe further rate hikes are on the horizon. If the report is deemed to be a miss, this could spark some more safe-haven demand for precious metals and ultimately push spot values higher.
Another report released on Thursday had to do with the expansion, or lack thereof, of the US services sector. According to the Institute for Supply Management, the index measuring non-manufacturing activity held at a reading of 57.2% for December. Though this is unchanged from November’s reading, it is also the highest such reading we have seen in well over a year. As for what this means, monetary policy hawks will be happy due to the simple fact that another piece of upbeat US data lends credence to the belief that further interest rate hikes are coming sooner rather than later. Once again, however, even this report did little in the way of pressuring spot values.
All things considered, today was an especially great day for precious metals. Not even a few pieces of positive economic data were able to throw precious metals off their upward paths. Now the attention of the global marketplace is turning to tomorrow’s non-farms report, which is due out sometime during the late morning or early afternoon. Metals might be in some trouble if the report lives up to or even exceeds expectations, however today’s performance suggests that metals might turn this into a week of gains regardless of how the jobs data pans out.