Amid market gyrations over Turkey and the ongoing global trade war, the precious metals plunged Wednesday.
The Platinum Group Metals were the biggest losers of the group. Palladium (-5.7%) was just above $840/oz, shedding nearly $50 per ounce. Platinum (-4.0%) traded below $770/oz, its lowest in nearly a decade.
Silver prices plunged 29¢ (-1.95%) to $14.75/oz.
Retail Sales, Dollar Strength
The battered Turkish lira recovered another 7% this morning after the country's monetary authorities made it more difficult to short the currency.
Although the worst of the turmoil in Turkey seems to have passed, the situation is still a cause for concern for many of Europe's biggest banks.
However, the pain for the lira has radiated across emerging markets. For instance, elsewhere, Indonesia's central bank was forced to raise interest rates in order to blunt these effects.
The dollar index rose 0.2% to 96.9. By most accounts, a stronger dollar is not a positive development for global markets.
This dragged the euro down 0.25% to just $1.13, a 13-month low, while the British pound dipped below $1.27. Nonetheless, inflation in the U.K. during July registered at 2.5% year-on-year.
Wall St opened sharply in the red (-0.7%) despite a pair of encouraging economic reports.
The Empire State manufacturing index released by the New York Fed has been on the rise in August. According to the index, general business conditions improved more than anticipated.
Meanwhile, the Department of Commerce reported that retail sales in the U.S. increased by 0.5% during July. This not only exceeded forecasts but also revealed that productivity growth hit a three-year high.
Commodities, Emerging Markets
Base metal prices have been one of the biggest losers in the trade war. Copper sank 2.4% to trade below $2.62/lb, its lowest since last June.
Commodities in general slumped along with most emerging markets. Rising crude oil production lopped more than 1.0% off of both of the international benchmarks.
Brent crude traded at $71.60/bbl while WTI crude was near $66.15/bbl.
© Jan Miks | 123rf.com
With the downturn in emerging markets, demand for U.S. bonds surged. The 10-year Treasury yield moved four basis points lower to 2.86%.
Stocks were lower in Asia overnight. Both major indices in Japan lost around 0.7% and shares closed 2.4% lower in Shanghai.
European equities were off by about 1.1%, as the losses on the continent were mirrored in London.
Cryptocurrencies have also lost significant ground this week. After briefly dropping below $6,000, the Bitcoin price recovered almost 3% Wednesday.
As a whole, the crypto market has erased some $600 billion in market capitalization since reaching its all-time highs late last year.
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