The precious metals looked to end the week on a positive note after continuing to rally the past several trading sessions. Spot gold briefly touched as high as $1,260/oz overnight before moving back to about $1,255/oz due to some profit-taking this morning. The yellow metal is still trading about $5 per ounce higher in New York.
Meanwhile, both Platinum Group Metals added over 1% while spot silver rose 12¢ an ounce to break above $18.25/oz. This represented 14-week highs for both gold and silver.
It's not entirely surprising that gold slipped from its overnight highs, given the amount of ground that prices have made up over the last month. From its recent low around $1,185/oz in late January, the gold price has risen more than 6% over the last month. That makes four consecutive weeks that gold has risen.
On the same day (January 27th), spot silver hovered at just $16.85/oz. This puts the argent metal more than 8% in the green over that span. Silver is enjoying its longest run of weeks in positive territory since 2006.
The U.S. dollar held its ground against its competitors, trading right at unchanged on the DXY index (101.0). Still, the Japanese yen was stronger at about ¥112.4 per dollar and the British pound sterling firmed up to $1.25. Even the euro was off its lows against the greenback, trading above $1.05.
The risk factors for Europe are driving interest in the continent's bond markets. Beyond the influence of Trump, Brexit, and the Greek debt fiasco, European bourses are uneasy about the upcoming French presidential election. National Front leader Marine Le Pen (pictured, right) has been advancing in the polls, stoking investor anxieties over the prospect of another populist, nationalist movement in a Western democracy. These fears have sent German bonds soaring, growing the gap between German yields and their French counterparts. The 2-year German Bund yield fell to a record low amid the safe-haven flight.
In U.S. markets, the Dow Jones extended its rally to 10 trading days in a row on Thursday. This is the Dow's longest string of winning sessions since 1987—a year remembered for a vicious stock market panic in October known as "Black Monday." On Friday, Wall St opened lower before all three indices began trending back toward unchanged.
Some of the tepid trading in equities and the foreign exchange markets is being driven by an apparent rift in the nascent Trump administration. New Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has cast doubt about the extent and impact of President Trump's proposed $1 trillion fiscal stimulus. Some corners of the markets are now convinced, given the slow pace of congressional action, that no such stimulus will be enacted anytime soon.
Crude oil futures fell this morning after their highest closing price in over a year and a half amid light trading volume on Thursday.
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