It was another banner day for precious metals as not even better than expected U.S. economic data could hold them down. PMs saw a pronounced and sudden drop with the release of the news that first-time jobless claims hit a five-year low, and U.S. housing starts posted a solid gain. Bargain hunters immediately swooped in and brought them all back up in short order.
Spot gold closed in New York at $1,688.10 after hitting a 4-week high of $1,698. Silver closed at $31.83 after rising above the psychologically important level of $32 in intraday trading. Platinum breached the $1,700 level, setting a 3-month high of $1,709 before ending the day at $1,697. "There is a significant chance of platinum moving back to a normal type of premium of at least $100 (against gold)," INTL Commodities CEO Jeff Rhodes said.
Precious metals were helped today by a weaker dollar and higher crude oil prices. At least for today, political wrangling over the debt ceiling and U.S. budget spending cuts were forgotten, as the S&P 500 hit a five-year high in intraday trading.