Precious metals were seeing a slight move lower this morning in New York, as a natural consolidation after the impressive gains the last few days. This motion became a quick profit-taking as better than expected economic data was released this morning, sending gold down almost $15 immediately. The dip seems to have been short-lived, as prices immediately rebounded, and platinum is back to posting gains already.
This stronger than expected economic news in the U.S. was that new home starts increased 12.1%, the fastest rate in four years; and the lower than expected new jobless claims, dropping 37,000 from the previous week to 335,000. The former probably contributed to the latter. This news helped the ailing dollar, which had been foundering in the face of a strong euro. Despite Eurozone construction starts dropping 0.4% in November and 4.7% for the year, Spanish bond sales saw an even better reception than the previous sale, helping the euro.
Along with the weaker dollar, oil is slightly up. Both these are bullish for precious metals, and will lend support to gold.
Platinum continues to forge its own way, breaking the $1,700 mark already in interday trading. News of retribution labor strikes in South Africa over Anglo American Platinum's decision to close two mines is fueling worries of further disruption of platinum and gold production in that nation. The South African government has called the situation an economic crisis.