The strength that precious metals have been showing in the face of a strong dollar and rising Treasury yields was unleashed today, after a terrible print on new home sales. New home sales for July plunged 13.4% from last month, the worst level in nine months. June's new home sales numbers were revised downward by 42,000 homes. Median new home prices for July also showed a nearly $20,000 jump from last year.
This news cast doubt on the Fed tapering its quantitative easing program next month, which tanked the dollar while gold and silver exploded upwards. Gold spiked to just pennies below the $1,400 mark, at $1,399.90, and silver almost hit the $24 level, reaching $23.93.
The 10-year Treasury yield has eased slightly off two-year highs, to 2.83%
In Europe, the suddenly sagging dollar boosted the euro, as Eurozone consumber sentiment was record at a two-year high.
In Tokyo, the Nikkei surged 2.2% on a weak yen and upbeat global economic outlook - a positive for their export-dependent economy. The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong edged lower, while mainland China shares in Shanghai dropped .47% on a downbeat banking sector.
The rise in gold prices this morning caused a bout of short covering, which was already lending support as traders cover their positions ahead of the monthly options expiry. Disappointing news in the global banking sector, as well as continuing violence in the Middle East is also supporting precious metals. And let's not forget the looming strikes in the South African platinum and gold sector.
At noon in New York, gold was up 1.5% to $1,396.80. Silver was up a whopping 2.54% to $23.78. Platinum was up 0.39% at $1,541 while palladium was down marginally, falling 0.27% to $751