Friday morning saw spot gold trend lower again after the precious metals lost ground on Thursday afternoon. The gold price traded a shade higher to $1,266.50/oz, still near its lowest since early August. Spot silver tumbled another 0.8% to $16.64/oz. Both platinum and palladium were virtually unchanged as markets opened before the latter sank about 0.8% lower to $952/oz.
Here are the closing numbers from Thursday:
Gold: $1,266.20/oz (-$11, -0.86%) Silver: $16.76/oz (-16¢, -0.95%) Platinum: $915/oz (-$7, -0.76%) Palladium: $960/oz (+$9, +0.95%)
Dow Jones: 23,400.86 (+71.40, +0.31%) S&P 500: 2,560.40 (+3.25, +0.13%) Nasdaq: 6,556.77 (-7.12, -0.11%) DXY: 94.64 (+1.04, +1.12%) WTI crude: $52.82/bbl (+64¢, +1.23%)
The latest estimate of third-quarter GDP in the U.S. came in well above expectations, registering at 3.0% even amid a succession of hurricanes that hampered economic activity along the Gulf Coast. This is the first back-to-back quarters of 3% growth in three years, although the figure may later be revised twice. Parsing the data, consumer spending rose at a slower pace than the previous quarter but was still up 2.4% year-on-year; meanwhile, core inflation (as measured by the PCE index) was higher than Q2, accelerating to 1.3%.
MarketWatch notes that since the second half of 2014, GDP has typically seen a significant slump in the quarter following growth of 3% or better, so this is something to keep an eye on during the fourth quarter.
The GDP data helped the dollar gain 0.5% to trade above 95.0 on the DXY index, better than a three-month high for the greenback. The 10-year Treasury yield was still about 2.45%. Stocks in the U.S. were set to open higher, led by the Nasdaq after strong earnings were reported by Google's parent company Alphabet, as well as other tech firms Amazon and Microsoft. This may upend the general trend of shares in the tech sector lagging behind the broader markets—at least for today's session.
European stocks were also up on solid corporate earnings, although Spain's increasingly tense stand-off with Catalonia weighed on the country's IBEX index, which lost over 1%. Coupled with yesterday's hawkish-but-really-dovish move by the ECB to taper off (yet extend the duration) of its bond-buying program, this has caused the euro to suffer its worst week of losses in more than a year. The common currency slipped below $1.16 this morning for the first time since mid-July.
Wall St is still seeing some baked-in momentum from the progressive march toward tax cuts on Capitol Hill. Elsewhere in Washington, President Trump has set November 3rd as the self-imposed deadline to name his nominee for Fed chair. It's been reported for weeks that the decision is likely to come down to a choice between current Fed governor Jerome Powell and Stanford economist John Taylor. However, another former Fed governor, Kevin Warsh, remains a dark-horse candidate. The next FOMC meeting will be held November 1st, meaning the central bank may decide on interest rates at its second-to-last gathering of the year before a new nominee is announced.
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