Gold is back near 13-week highs this morning, as the yellow metal goes for a 6th straight day of gains. A pleasant shock out of China has base metals gaining, which is helping support precious metals.
The Chinese government reported that exports grew 10.6% in January, compared to last year. Analysts expected exports to remain flat. The icing on the cake as far as commodities were concerned was news that Chinese copper imports hit a record high in January. Imports of the red metal were up 21% from December and a huge 53% over last January. While stock markets and metals all met the news with great enthusiasm, some analysts are suspicious of such a huge print over expectations.
Silver and palladium are also basically steady from yesterday's New York close, recovering from slight weakness in Asia, while platinum stair-stepped up before the COMEX open to hit $1,412 an ounce before easing back under $1,400.
An uptrend in gold will be pretty much confirmed if it manages to break the 200 day moving average at $1,305. It is showing notable strength against a rising dollar and rallying equities in a "risk on" environment. An increasing number of precious metals analysts are attributing at least part of that strength on the "China's missing gold" story that hit the mainstream media yesterday, which implied that at least 500 metric tonnes of gold were not accounted for in consumption numbers released by China Gold Association. The consensus is that this gold was purchased "off the books" by the Chinese central bank.
The dollar is higher, spiking well into the green in European trading as the euro fell. The yen is weaker as well, as safe haven demand out of Asia subsides. Bloomberg reports the yield on the 10-year Treasury climbing to 2.75%, again as safe haven demand fades.
Stocks across the globe were buoyed by news that the House of Representatives late yesterday passed a resolution to raise the debt ceiling without tying the measure to to demands on Obamacare or immigration reform. The bill now goes to the Senate for approval. The lack of fiscal drama in Washington relieved everyone but financial pundits.
Wall St. opened flat but rose to start the day, as it tries to extend the best rally yet this year. No shenanigans out of Washington is a big help in that goal.
Stocks in Europe gained on the banking sector, and good earnings reports, but gains were pared by news that industrial output in Europe as a whole dropped 0.7% in December. Analysts were expecting a smaller drop of 0.3%.
In Asia, the Nikkei gained a bit more than half a point, while Shanghai index also gained slightly. The Hang Seng hit a three-week high on banking and property sectors.