Gold prices slipped on the US election day open after holding steady overnight. Most of that loss was due to the dollar recovering from overnight weakness. Traders remember how pollsters totally missed the results of the Brexit vote in June, and therefore not taking recent presidential polls as gospel.
Gold futures saw their worst day in five weeks, as safe haven assets crashed on news the FBI refused to press charges against Hillary Clinton. December gold futures fell $25.10 (-1.9%) to settled at $1,279.40 an ounce. This nearly erased last week's 2.2% weekly gains. Spot gold suffered nearly as much Monday, losing $22.80 to close at $1,281.20/oz.
Silver was pulled down by gold's fall, with December futures losing 1.2% to $18.15 an ounce. The white metal had gained 3.2% last week. Spot silver got tagged with a 1.36% loss, closing at $18.16 an ounce.
Stocks opened lower this morning as traders reduce exposure ahead of the election results. Early voting across the country has been exceptionally strong, and a surge of voters is expected at polling stations today.
While polls show Wall St's preferred candidate Hillary Clinton in the lead, Donald Trump still has a chance at proving the pundits wrong. If he can lock in all the states leaning his way, plus sweep the "swing states" of Florida, new Hampshire, and Nevada, he will win 274 electoral votes -- four more than needed to win the White House.
He could even lose New Hampshire to Hillary, and still win with Florida and Nevada, putting him at 270 electoral votes exactly. Florida, with 29 electoral votes, may once again find itself deciding the election.
Stocks soared Monday, after the FBI made a surprise announcement Sunday afternoon reaffirming the agency's previous decision not to press changes against Hillary Clinton. Emails to or from Clinton found during the investigation into disgraced ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner were found to be duplicates of previously-investigated emails, or did not contain classified information.
Stocks all across the world took off on the news. In the US, the S&P 500 gained more than 2%, snapping its longest losing streak since the 1980s. The Dow and Nasdaq also saw gains of more than 2%. This extremely risk-on atmosphere led the dollar to also sharply rally, as the Japanese yen lost safe haven appeal, and the euro and British pound lost ground.
Bonds were hit hard by heightened expectations of a Clinton victory. The benchmark 10-year Treasury note fell on its worst day in over two weeks, as the yield jumped 4.3 basis points to 1.826%. Clinton is seen as maintaining the status quo, which is what the markets want.
Oil prices got an unexpected lift when an earthquake at Cushing, Oklahoma hit late Sunday. Cushing is the main crude oil storage stockpile in the US. Damage turned out to be minimal, and the complex was rapidly back online. Secondary support from a forecast Clinton victory helped West Texas Intermediate crude to jump 1.9% to settle at $44.89 a barrel. Brent crude settled at $46.15, up 1.3%.
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