Posted on July 23, 2014
Gold Spot Price Open: $1,308
Gold Spot Price Close: $1,306
Change in Gold Spot Price: -$2
Silver Spot Price Open: $21.03
Silver Spot Price Close: $20.99
Change in Silver Spot Price: -$0.04
Precious metals traded sideways for a majority of the day, but by the time markets closed were moving marginally downwards. When the day was through, gold ended up dropping about 2 dollars while silver fell just below $21/ounce after losing 4 cents. Platinum fell about $4/ounce while palladium dropped two dollars by the time US markets closed today.
For a third consecutive day this week, the number one concern for worldwide investors were both tensions in Eastern Europe and continued violence on the Gaza Strip. Early in the day, it was reported that another round of surface-to-air missiles shot down two Ukrainian jets. Ukrainian military officials were quick to point out that the missiles that took down their planes were of Russian origin. Despite the market’s continued focus on tensions in Eastern Ukraine, today’s incident failed to move precious metals spot values much at all.
In the face of intense international scrutiny with regard to their military operations in and around the Gaza Strip, Israeli Defense Forces continued their bombardment of the small strip of land today. Things have gotten so bad in the Israeli, Palestinian region of the Middle East that all flights coming from and heading to the United States have been grounded. With tourism being a critical part of the Israeli economy, the increased number of grounded flights will more than likely become something for Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu to consider over the forthcoming days.
While risk-appetite has been seen becoming more of a factor this week, the aforementioned geopolitical happenings are limiting the selling pressure being placed on precious metals and other safe-haven assets.
US equity indexes were seen moving mostly higher today on the back of some positive tech earnings from Microsoft and Apple. For Apple, shipments of iPhones have increased by more than 10% on an annualized basis, beating analysts’ forecast. Microsoft’s shares improved by nearly 70 cents in the second quarter, an improvement that also slightly bested initial forecasts.
As this week progresses, it is seeming more and more like investors are beginning to ignore ongoing geopolitical happenings and instead focus on rising equity markets. With that said, however, the fact that many US stock markets are near all-time highs means any flare-up in violence in Ukraine or another offensive by Israel stands the chance of delivering equities a blow.
The euro currency hit an 8-month low against the USD today amid worries that tougher economic sanctions placed on Russian businesses by the United States may have a negative impact on current EU economic growth measures. Ian Stannard, an economist for Morgan Stanley, illustrated this perfectly when he said, “There is quite broad-based pressure building on the euro and there are a number of factors driving that. Europe is directly exposed to Russia by trade – Germany in particular – so sanctions could potentially have a negative impact on the euro.”
For this reason and many more, the tensions between Russia and the West will be of the utmost importance for investors over the course of the coming months. At present, Russia’s relationship with the United States is strained at best, and has only gotten worse since this time last week.
Heading into the final two days of this trading week, you can expect investors to continue mulling over the violence in Israel and the tensions in Eastern Europe. While it has become clear that risk-aversion is not as strong now as it was a week ago, the market is still very much concerned with current geopolitical happenings as they always stand the chance of moving precious metals spot values and equity markets in one direction or another.