Gold Spot Price Open: $1,144
Gold Spot Price Close: $1,160
Change in Gold Spot Price: +$16
Silver Spot Price Open: $16.08
Silver Spot Price Close: $16.12
Change in Silver Spot Price: +$0.04
Precious metals posted decent gains on Thursday as what is proving to be an upbeat week for precious metals, all things considered. When all was said and done, gold picked up more than 15 dollars while silver added close to 5 cents. Platinum and palladium ticked upward as well, with both metals adding close to 5 dollars apiece.
Weekly Jobless Claims Back Down
After last week saw an unexpected increase on the part of weekly jobless claims, what few investors there are have been looking forward to this week’s report. According to the US Department of Labor, last week saw 10,000 fewer first-time claims for unemployment benefits than the week before. This brought the seasonally-adjusted average number of claims down to 265,000. The 265,000 tally was about what investors were expecting as last week’s seasonally-adjusted 275,000 claims was left unrevised.
The Department of Labor did not make any comments with regard to why, exactly, last week’s increase was almost undone by this week’s decrease, but investors are taking solace in the fact that we have now gone 95 consecutive weeks where the weekly jobless claims figure has been under the 300,000 threshold. The 4-week moving average of claims—which is often viewed as a more accurate snapshot of the current labor situation—was down by almost 1,000 claims. This is not the most significant backtrack we have seen, but any downward movement will be welcomed by those who are going to benefit from a continuously strong US labor market.
Profit-Taking on USD Drives Value Downward
Something that provided a lot of support for precious metals today was the fact that the US Dollar was down against most major rivals. Against the Japanese Yen in particular, the Dollar hit a 2-week low as investors looked to cash in on the greenback’s rally. Due to the mostly inverse relationship between metals and the USD, it should come as no surprise that metals had a decent day today.
To provide a bit of background, the Dollar has been performing quite well ever since early November—more or less around the same time Donald Trump won the US Presidential election. As with most rallies, they must come to an end at some point and the end of the year seems to be ringing in the end of the greenback’s recent gains.
Also not helping the Dollar was the fact that sales of previously-owned homes in November fell to their lowest point in about a year. There is a fear that perhaps the housing market is not as strong as previously believed, and if this fear catches traction investors may begin to doubt the ability of the US economy to continue recovering. Once again, however, due to this being a slow, holiday week of trading the reactions we have seen on the part of investors have been muted in comparison to what we might see during a normal week of trading.
Thursday offered a few talking points for investors to mull over and discuss, but the holiday trading week has been quiet and saw many of those reports ignored or simply overlooked. Come next week, there will be plenty of year-end data for investors to react to. For gold and silver, there is no clear way to say whether this data will help uplift spot values or not. For now, investors are interested to see if gold and silver can hang on to the gains made this week through the overnight hours and through the day tomorrow. If so, this would be the best single week performance on the part of metals we have seen in quite a few 5-day trading sessions.