Posted on March 30, 2017
Gold Spot Price Open: $1,256
Gold Spot Price Close: $1,248
Change in Gold Spot Price: -$8
Silver Spot Price Open: $18.28
Silver Spot Price Close: $18.09
Change in Silver Spot Price: -$0.19
Precious metals backtracked on Thursday as stocks looked to rebound after almost 2 weeks of fairly steady losses. When all was said and done, gold ended up losing about 8 dollars while silver fell by 19 cents. Platinum and palladium finished the day mixed, however neither metal moved in any one direction by more than $5.
Even though this week was quiet from an economic data standpoint, investors always have the weekly jobless claims report to key in on. Today, that data was dealt and showed that first-time claims for unemployment benefits fell last week from the week before. In total, there were 3,000 fewer first-time claims for unemployment benefits last week than what was recorded the week before. This brought the seasonally-adjusted average number of claims below the 260,000 threshold to 258,000. By most accounts, the 3,000 claim decrease we saw was a bit better than what polled experts had anticipated. On the day, it worked in the favor of stocks, which were rebounding in the US and Europe.
In stark contrast to the week by week data, the 4-week moving average of jobless claims was reported as being up by more than 7,000. The 4-week moving average is seen as the most current snapshot of the labor market, and this 7,000 rise is by no means small. Still, it did not end up having much of any impact on the global marketplace.
The weekly jobless data, as well as any other employment data, will be hawked over by investors more than ever going forward seeing as the condition of the US labor market is seen as something that has a direct impact on what the Fed does to interest rates. Right now, there is no consensus agreement with regard to when the Fed is going to raise rates next, however people are already beginning to point towards the June FOMC meeting as a time when the next rate hike might be announced.
Stocks in the US and elsewhere have been performing poorly for the better part of the last month, however today saw a bit of a turnaround take place thanks to better-performing financials. Companies like Bank of America and Wells Fargo had decent days on Thursday, and that helped propel smaller financial companies—such as First Capital—to making gains as well.
Today also saw a better than expected reading on estimated Q4 economic growth. Compared to previous estimates that held that the US economy grew by 1.9% during the 4th quarter of 2016, analysts are now expecting growth that exceeded 2%. This would be an incredibly upbeat reading and one that might improve estimates regarding Q1 2017 growth. Still, even if the first quarter of this year yields poor economic growth, investors will likely see this as a fluke thanks to it being the first quarter under a new president. As of right now, however, expectations for first quarter growth are in line with Q4 expectations. If we see 2 consecutive quarters of 2%+ growth, this is something that may stack some pressure on precious metals.
Typical for this week, things were slow again on Thursday. While we did see US stock markets’ posture improve to some extent, there was very little action across the global marketplace. For precious metals, tomorrow will prove to be a pivotal day, and one that will determine whether we have seen another week of gains, or if we are going to see losses for the first time in a few weeks. Still, despite all of this, gold and silver are still sitting pretty overall, at least for the time being.