Posted on March 09, 2017
Gold Spot Price Open: $1,212
Gold Spot Price Close: $1,204
Change in Gold Spot Price: -$8
Silver Spot Price Open: $17.34
Silver Spot Price Close: $16.95
Change in Silver Spot Price: -$0.39
Precious metals lost again on Thursday, even with the US Dollar weakening to some extent. When all was said and done, gold conceded about 8 dollars while silver fell by almost another 40 cents. Platinum and palladium finished the day lower as well, but neither metal finished much more than a dollar or two lower than where it began the day.
Though it is the meeting of the US Federal Reserve that has consumed a lot of investors’ attention as of late, that doesn’t mean we get to omit news from Europe. After all, today brought about the March meeting of the European Central Bank. Though there were no major policy shifts expected to be announced, the marketplace paid attention regardless.
Because there were no shifts in policy announced, the main focus was on the post-meeting speech delivered by ECH president Mario Draghi. In so many words, Draghi made it clear that he does not feel as though there are as much of a deflation concern as there was a year ago, and as recently as a few months ago. As such, he suggested that the ultra-loose policies currently employed by the ECB might need to be altered in the near future.
He talked about the prospect of furthering loose monetary policies across Europe by saying, in part, “There was a sentence that has been removed from my introductory statement that used to say ‘if warranted to achieve its objective, the Governing Council will act using all the instruments available within its mandate.’ That’s been removed, basically to signal that there is no longer that sense of urgency in taking further actions … that was prompted by the risks of deflation. That was the assessment of the Governing Council.” In essence, he is saying that most people in his circle agree that overly loose monetary policies, especially the prospect of expanding the scope of policies in place, are no longer necessary to prop up the Eurozone economy. In the immediate wake of these statements, the Euro gained against a basket of currencies, which included the USD.
Still, the major takeaway from today’s meeting and accompanying statements is that Draghi and his colleagues made absolutely no changes to policy. They alluded that changes might be on the horizon, but have yet to act on any of this.
After last week’s 44-year low reading on first-time claims for unemployment benefits in the US, very few were expecting to see a similarly upbeat report this week. Those expectations, or lack thereof, were more or less met when the US Labor Department announced that roughly 20,000 more people filed for unemployment benefits last week than the week before.
In total, this brings the seasonally-adjusted number of claims up from 223,000 to 243,000. While there is no denying that this is a significant rise, the seasonally-adjusted number of claims is still sitting well below the all-important 300,000 mark. So long as that remains the case, week by week fluctuations of the number of people filing for unemployment will likely not have much of an impact on the marketplace. We saw that today, as the report failed to provide much of any support for precious metals.
This has been a pretty busy week thus far, but tomorrow is when investors will really be paying attention. This is due to the fact that the non-farm payrolls report for February is finally going to be released. Even though most people are already expecting to hear a rate hike announcement this month, an overly upbeat report being released tomorrow would be enough to convince any holdouts that yes, there will indeed be an announcement made at next week’s FOMC meeting. So, when markets open up tomorrow the sole focus for a large majority of investors will be the jobs data.