Posted on July 25, 2014
Gold Spot Price Open: $1,291
Gold Spot Price Close: $1,307
Change in Gold Spot Price: +$16
Silver Spot Price Open: $20.52
Silver Spot Price Close: $20.79
Change in Silver Spot Price: +$0.27
Precious metals finished the day Friday solidly higher to close the week out just below where they began it. When all was said and done, gold added about 16 dollars today while silver’s gains were just a few pennies shy of 30 cents. Platinum and palladium also made fairly impressive gains after a few days’ worth of less than stellar performances.
US equity markets closed today losing value across the board, fueled by weaker than expected earnings reports. Both Visa and Amazon posted second quarter earnings that fell far short of the expectations held by many market analysts. Officially, Visa’s earnings sank 3.7% while Amazons fell by nearly 10%. Not making things any better was Visa’s lowering of their full-year expected revenue. With tensions between the US and Russia at all-time highs heading into this weekend, and a slew of important US economic data due out next week, investors were likely taking profit before what could end up being a rough next few days for equities both in the US and around the world. According to Ian Kerrigan of JP Morgan, “There is skepticism going into the weekend. We have a lot of important numbers coming out next week with GDP, inflation and jobs, so we might see some profit-taking today.”
The somewhat robust gains made by precious metals today are believed to be directly linked to a few developments in both the Russia-Ukraine situation as well as the ongoing Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip.
Just this morning, US officials were heard accusing Russia of shelling Ukrainian military positions from across the border. While no one from the Russian Federation has stepped forward to either confirm or deny these accusations, it is clear to see that things are not getting any better in the Eastern half of Ukraine. What’s more, a report released by the Pentagon claims that large surface-to-air missiles were seen crossing over the Russian border into Eastern Ukraine. These reports have also not been confirmed by other sources, but the actions are already being perceived as Russia directly dealing arms to pro-Russian rebels.
Finally, it was also made public today that Israeli leaders have shot down the latest US-brokered ceasefire offer. As the fighting rages on, closing in on a third consecutive week, the total Palestinian death toll is approaching 850. As the violence continues, demonstrations in support of Palestine are popping up all over the world. On the West Bank, at least two Palestinian protesters were killed after protests turned violent. Israeli forces were said to be firing live ammunition into the crowds of protesters who seem to be growing increasingly disgruntled with the lack of attention the violence in Gaza is receiving from the world.
With all of these developments taking place within the last 18 hours or so, it is clear to see why so many investors are approaching this weekend with caution. It will be interesting to see how things in Israel, Gaza, and Ukraine develop over the weekend and into a busy next week.
Looking ahead to next week, it is already clear that there will be plenty of news for investors to mull over and react to. For one, the FOMC is scheduled to release its monetary policy statement, and the hopes of every investor is that it will, in some way, shed some light on if and when the Fed plans on raising the United States’ benchmark interest rates. In addition to this, the seemingly endless number of geopolitical developments are sure to catch the attention of investors throughout a majority of next week.