Latest Market Updates
Gold came under pressure at the beginning today’s session following the release of surprisingly upbeat U.S. jobless claims data. The U.S. Department of Labor said earlier the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits fell by 26,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 323,000, far more than analysts’ predictions for a decline of 11,000 to 338,000.
Market sentiment was tempered, however, after a separate report showed U.S. non-farm productivity rose less than initially expected in the fourth quarter, while unit labor costs declined less than forecast.
Investors are also digesting Thursday’s policy decision from the European Central Bank. The ECB held its benchmark interest rate at a record low 0.25%, which was in line with expectations.
Speaking at a press conference following the ECB’s policy meeting, ECB president Mario Draghi reiterated that Eurozone borrowing costs would remain at current or lower levels until conditions improve, adding that the bank was monitoring money markets closely and would take decisive actions if required.
The euro rallied against the U.S. dollar in the wake of Draghi’s comments, which in turn provided modest support for gold prices.
Meanwhile, markets continue to monitor developments in the Ukraine. In a surprise move Thursday, the Moscow-backed region parliament in Crimea voted to become part of Russia and called for a referendum within 10 days over the decision. Gold rallied sharply on news of the referendum, which coincided with an emergency summit of European leaders to find ways to force Russia to back down.
Traders are now looking ahead to Friday’s release of the highly anticipated February nonfarm payrolls report, after job growth came in below expectations in December and January. The latest employment data will offer clues on the Fed’s plan for monetary policy.
Richard Fisher, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, said late Wednesday that he was concerned about “eye-popping levels” of some stock-market metrics, according to Marketwatch, adding that the Fed has to monitor markets carefully to make sure another bubble isn’t forming.
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Market Updates Archive
Stocks are trading near record highs, economic data is improving, yet gold and silver continue to rally. On this week’s edition of The Vault, Brian takes a look at three possible warning signs that higher gold prices are alerting us to. Mike Getlin, CEO of ...watch more
Gold Standard with Brian Baker
In a preview of Friday's all-new edition of the Vault, Mike Getlin, CEO of Merit Gold talks about this week's gold market and why geopolitical instability is generally so bullish for precious metals.watch more
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