Gold and silver gave up yesterday's gains to close near Wednesday's close in New York. Chinese inflation concerns were sparked by a large jump in food prices, which brought inflation up to a 7-month high. This year's severe winter in China has reduced crop yields and increased fuel usage.
A surprise increase in the U.S. trade deficit report today led to reductions in 4th quarter GDP estimates, and provided a slight drag on the market. Gold and silver were treated to another mass sell-off in late morning trading, which mostly erased Thursday's gains. Spot gold closed in New York at $1,663.70, down $12,10 (0.72%), silver closed at $30.54, down 42 cents (1.36%).
The platinum metal groups held their own today, with platinum closing up a dollar, and palladium closing exactly unchanged. Platinum has now cut its gap to gold to less than $30, and may soon re-establish itself above gold. Barclays today opined that if platinum could break through the $1,630 level, the next ceiling would be $1,735. We will get to see how accurate they are Monday.
With gold and silver still not sure if they are safe havens or risk-on commodities lately, we may see them continue in a range-bound trading band until we see some strong economic signals. The weekend Kitco market survey had 23 respondents, whose opinions made a three-way split forecast: 9 says gold will rise next week, 7 say it will go down, and 7 said it will trade sideways.