Posted on August 13, 2015
Gold Spot Price Open: $1,126
Gold Spot Price Close: $1,117
Change in Gold Spot Price: -$9
Silver Spot Price Open: $15.60
Silver Spot Price Close: $15.44
Change in Silver Spot Price: -$0.16
Precious metals fell on Thursday after a few consecutive days’ worth of gains. When all was said and done, gold lost a little more than 9 dollars while silver fell by little more than 15 cents. Platinum and palladium both fell on the day, but neither metal lost much more than 5 dollars.
One of the only big pieces of economic data due out this week came this morning in the form of the most recent weekly jobless claims report. Though the figures for last week’s number of unemployment filings ticked upward a bit, the market was happy to see that the monthly average for jobless claims has fallen to a 15-year low. In many respects, this is exactly what investors needed to boost their confidence in the strength of the US labor market.
Officially, jobless claims from last week came back 5,000 greater than the week previous, bringing the total number of claims to 274,000. In a lot of ways, these more recent jobs figures are painting the picture of a US economy that has recovered nicely from the recession that first poked its head out way back in 2008.
Now, more Americans are enjoying the benefits of full-time work, and even more than that, those that have full-time employment are keeping their jobs and do not fear layoffs or other work shortages that were so prevalent just a few years prior. With regard to interest rate hikes, this data only works to convince investors that September may finally be when interest rates are risen. This is all despite recent comments from members of the Fed, claiming that rate hikes may not come as soon as is currently expected.
US retail sales for the month of July rose sharply as consumers purchased everything from cars, to clothes, and just about everything in between. Officially, retail sales during July ticked upward by about .6% percent, which was in-line with market expectations. June’s retail sales were revised from down .3% to an unchanged reading. Of the 13 categories tracked by the US Commerce Department in today’s retail sales report, 11 of them were on the up and up during the month of July.
A host of factors are to thank for the upbeat retail sales, but market experts are saying that it can simply be boiled down to improved employment, stronger financial situations for households, and fuel prices that are still quite cheap. Household spending, which makes up nearly ¾’s of the US economy, has been doing noticeably better over the course of the past few years, but especially this year. According to Harm Bandholz, chief US economist at UniCredit Group, “The consumer-driven recovery of the economy continues on track. The fundamentals are all in place for solid consumer spending. The outlook remains strong for the second half of the year.” Looking ahead, the rest of this year is shaping up to be upbeat as far as economic data is concerned. In the immediate future, upbeat economic data from the US will only work to increase the likelihood that interest rates will, in fact, be risen before the dawn of Winter.
As for the last day of the week, there is not all that much markets-moving economic data expected to be made public. US economic data and market activity will continue to be closely watched by the market, as it will continue to influence the way in which people think about the hiking of interest rates. For now, however, the prevailing belief is that September is still the time we will hear of rate hikes.