The precious metals surged in afternoon trading on Thursday, and this positive momentum apparently carried over into Friday. Due to the Labor Day holiday, this will be the last trading day for U.S. markets until Tuesday, September 5th.
Spot gold was up about 0.2% following the opening bell in New York, trading around $1,323/oz. After breaking through the stubborn $1,300 per ounce level, gold appears to have formed rather strong support at this level. Spot silver rose more than 0.3% to breach $17.60/oz. Platinum was steady at $1,000/oz while palladium advanced 0.8% to trade north of $935/oz.
Here's a look at yesterday's closing numbers across the markets:
Gold: $1,320.80/oz (+$12.70, +0.97%) Silver: $17.53/oz (+15¢, +0.86%) Platinum: $1003/oz (+$8, +0.81%) Palladium: $928/oz (+$6, +0.65%)
Dow Jones: 21,948.10 (+55.67, +0.25%) S&P 500: 2,471.65 (+14.06, +0.57%) Nasdaq: 6,428.66 (+60.35, +0.95%) DXY: 92.64 (-0.27, -0.29%)
The big economic news on Friday was the much-anticipated nonfarm payrolls from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The BLS reported that payrolls rose by 156,000 during August, slightly below expectations, while the unemployment rate ticked slightly higher to 4.4%. Consumer confidence did register at a sixteen-year high.
Wage growth was stagnant at 2.5% year-on-year. One explanation for why is that there are significantly less "discouraged workers"—those without a job who simply stop looking for one—than a year ago. (These people out of work are conveniently not counted in the official unemployment figures.) As these workers find new positions, they are often willing to take less pay, which is dragging down overall wage growth.
Shares in Asia were modestly higher overnight while stocks were nearly 1% in the green on the European mainland. Equities in London lagged behind. Stocks in the U.S. opened about 0.2% higher while the dollar was essentially flat at 92.6 on the DXY index. The USD tumbled lower on Thursday due in part to comments by Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin regarding the trade benefits of a weaker currency.
While many countries somewhat openly extol the virtues of what can fairly be called "currency devaluation," this is a major reversal of Washington's tradition of unwavering support for a strong dollar—albeit a consistent reversal since President Trump has taken office. Moreover, the Treasury Department is slowly beginning to reveal the first details of the president's call for broad tax cuts.
As rescue and cleanup efforts are ongoing in the flooded communities in and around Houston, Texas, the storm is also having a disruptive effect on energy prices. The closure of the Colonial Pipeline, which provides much of the East Coast's petroleum, has driven national gas prices to a two-year high virtually overnight. As the U.S., which is generally a net-exporter of energy, has been forced to import gasoline to make up for the shortfall, the impact on prices is becoming more global in scope.
The opinions and forecasts herein are provided solely for informational purposes, and should not be used or construed as an offer, solicitation, or recommendation to buy or sell any product.