Our friends in the UK and most of the Commonwealth have a bank holiday today, which will serve to make the recent light trading in the market even lighter. Indian and Chinese buyers stepped up overnight to keep gold steady leading into the U.S. open. Gold and silver are both sharply higher at the COMEX open, along with crude oil. The dollar index is dropping, with the Euro regaining the $1.32 mark, but the yen is lower again today. Stocks are trading into positive territory as well, perhaps buoyed by the news that U.S. home sales posted the biggest percentage jump in two years.
President Obama is returning to Washington from his Christmas break in hopes that a fiscal cliff deal can be hammered out in the few days remaining. Nothing substantive has been reported on that front over the holidays, and the debt ceiling fight remains to be settled as well.
Analysts are releasing their estimates on the PGM (platinum group metals,) and most are calling for a shortage in both platinum and palladium next year, especially in the last half of the year, as the economies of the U.S. and China are expected to recover and spur auto production. Platinum and palladium are used in emissions control systems in automobiles.
At 9:30am, bid gold is $1,661.41 and ounce, silver is $30.15, platinum is $1,540.00 and palladium is 687.97.