Wall St. holds its breath (or ducks and covers) as the clock ticks down to the expiration of the Bush tax cuts and the start of mandated spending cuts due on Tuesday. Gold and silver futures contracts yesterday traded at 39% and 35% of the ten-day average, respectively, according to TD Securities. Stocks saw the same low volume.
The dollar is weaker today against everything but the yen (everything is stronger against the yen today,) and oil is higher. These factors usually support the price of gold. President Obama is back in Washington, as are Congressional leaders, but sentiment is rapidly diminishing that anything will get done in time on the fiscal cliff. U.S. Treasury Secretary Geithner warned Congress late yesterday that the U.S. would hit the debt ceiling on Monday and would start defaulting on debts, but that he was using some accounting tricks to push back some payments temporarily.
Gold exhibited some of its traditional safe haven traits earlier yesterday, but has still not shaken the habit of being treated like a regular raw commodity. The 9:30am spot prices today are:
Gold at $1,655.22, silver at $30.06, platinum at 1,563.69 and palladium at $704.00