Gold Spot Price Open: $1,135
Gold Spot Price Close: $1,132
Change in Gold Spot Price: -$3
Silver Spot Price Open: $16.00
Silver Spot Price Close: $15.75
Change in Silver Spot Price: -$0.25
Precious metals continued to lose ground on Thursday even though there were some reasons to believe the opposite might happen. When all was said and done, gold lost a few dollars while silver moved downward by roughly 25 cents. Platinum and palladium ended the day mixed, however neither metal moved too far from where it began the day.
US Economy Grows Despite Falling Durable Goods Orders
Despite this being a mostly quiet week, there were a few pieces of economic data reported on Thursday. First up was November’s durable goods ordering data from the United States. The official data shows that November saw durable goods orders, such as those for aircraft, computers, and most other items with an expected lifespan of 3 or more years, fall by more than 4.5%. This did end a run of 4 consecutive months where durable goods orders ticked upward, but the saving grace is that the 4.6% decline was about exactly what economists had expected to see.
Though the fall in durable goods orders might be something that would lead you to believe that perhaps precious metals might make some gains, the Q3 GDP data for the US might help you understand why there were no gains to be had today. According to the Department of Commerce, final Q3 GDP data shows that the US economy grew by 3.5% during the third quarter. This is a bit higher than preliminary estimates, which showed growth of just 3.2%.
What’s more, it more than doubles the 1.4% the US economy expanded by during Q2. This year’s third quarter was the best showing for the US economy in more than 2 years and did well to keep safe-haven gold kept near 10-month lows. One of the biggest factors contributing to the United States’ successful third quarter was the fact that consumer spending far outpaced the expectations of experts. That alone is not such a good thing for precious metals.
Weekly Jobless Claims Hit 6-Month High
The number of people filing for first-time unemployment benefits rose last week at a pace that we have not seen in some time. According to the US Department of Labor, last week saw roughly 21,000 more people file for first-time unemployment benefits than the week before. This brings the seasonally-adjusted average of jobless claims up to 275,000.
Even though we have now made it 94 consecutive weeks where the number of jobless claims fell below the 300,000 threshold, the seasonally-adjusted 275,000 claims is inching dangerously close to putting this all-time record to bed. Expectations were that the seasonally-adjusted number would stay between 250,000 and 260,000, so it is easy to see why this report was unnerving, to say the least. With that being said, however, the fact that the Fed made the decision last week to raise rates means that investors are not putting as much weight on the weekly jobless claims report. Also explaining the lack of reaction on the part of investors is the fact that both the US and global marketplaces are quiet due to most folks around the world celebrating various holidays. In the US, the Christmas holiday is making for a light slate of trading activity.
As we look ahead to the last day of the week, the fact of the matter is that there is not all that much to look forward to. There is not much in the way of economic data expected to be released, and beyond that, the level of trading activity will be so light that any data that is released will more than likely be ignored for the most part.