The U.S. equities markets looked to move higher this morning on the back of positive news from the tech sector (especially bellwethers like Google and Amazon) and more generally strength in the stock markets overseas in Asia. The precious metals were trading slightly lower this morning in response, and will look to hold their positions after yesterday's gains amid ongoing uncertainty from Europe's fiscal fiasco.
Yesterday in the Markets
Gold added $6.70 to pare Wednesday losses, while silver and platinum were up over 0.50%. Palladium had the strongest performance among the metals, gaining about $16, or more than 2%. The Nasdaq, buoyed by tech shares, advanced to a fresh 15-year high (its best close since the dot-com bubble). A late afternoon downturn for stocks wiped out much of the day's gains, but all indices eked out a positive session. Treasuries saw some demand, with 10-year yields at 1.95% before settling at 1.93% overnight. Crude oil rose this week as output in U.S. somewhat slowed: WTI and Brent crude were at $57.75/bbl and $65.75/bbl, respectively.
Factors Affecting Gold Today
Amazon released data about its cloud business on Thursday, whetting the appetites of investors who are seeing even more opportunities for growth within the company. Amazon valuated its cloud services at an eye-popping $5 billion; this, coupled with the announcement that revenues were up 15% in this first quarter, helped shares of Amazon rise 7% in yesterday's trading. Amazon and Google's continued strength have buoyed the Nasdaq, which has easily blown past the 5,000 mark in recent weeks. With the energy sector lagging behind due to layoffs in the shale industry, fresh investment into U.S. markets is largely (and perhaps disproportionately, in another parallel to the 1999-2000 dot-com bust) being driven by big tech firms and start-ups within the sector.
In Europe, more anxiety over the fiscal crunch in Greece is weighing on the euro, which slid back from a 2-week high against the dollar this morning to $1.085. This followed a 1% gain vs. the greenback the previous day. It has nonetheless been a strong week for the eurozone's common currency, which could be lifted back into the $1.10 range if all goes well at today's meeting of euro area finance ministers in Riga, Latvia. At the other end of the spectrum on the continent, German business sentiment as measured by the Ifo index notched another all-time high.
On Monday, PMI Services Flash and the Dallas Fed Manufacturing Survey will be announced.