Spot gold continues a marked afternoon rally today in the face of factors that would normally dampen enthusiasm for the precious metal - the U.S. trade deficit narrowed more than expected, and the dollar is at a 2-month high vs. the euro. That we're seeing gold continue to climb unabated after the New York COMEX close points to something that outweighs the strong dollar; namely, the EU hanging on by its fingernails in an attempt to not have the entire market slide into recession.
While Greece passed the latest austerity measures last night, Spain is trying to cowboy up and work itself out of its own predicament without asking for the European Central Bank for a bailout. This is causing some disgruntlement among others in the EU, because a Spanish bailout would trigger bond buying by the ECB, and reduce everyone else's borrowing costs along with Spain's.
The search for a safe haven today isn't restricted to precious metals, however. 30-year U.S. Treasuries saw the most interest in two months, as the spread between the 10-year notes and longer debt narrowed, as worries over another deadlock over the U.S. debt ceiling and budget sequestration grows. There's very little change in Washington as the same President and pretty much the same Congress once again face the temptation of political posturing over making the hard choices necessary to prevent the estimated 4% contraction in GDP should the Fiscal Cliff come to pass.
Spot gold hit an afternoon peak of $1.735/oz just before 3pm EST this afternoon, while silver was at $32.38/oz. The morning numbers are going to be interesting, as we see the reaction to news coming out of the Chinese Communist Party Congress, and their economic reform plans.