Most of the financial markets seemed to take a pause on Tuesday as more activity is expected at the end of the week when nonfarm payrolls for November are reported. Spot gold was down about $8 (-0.66%) this morning to $1,267 per ounce. It's the lowest the gold price has been in more than a month.
The other precious metals posted deeper losses. Silver prices continued to lag behind, falling 16¢ (-1.0%) to trade just above $16.10/oz. Platinum slipped $8 to $916/oz. Although palladium only lost $4 to $982/oz, this was good enough for a five-week low.
Several analysts continue to point out that it's encouraging that gold has mostly held above support at $1,270/oz despite the recent string of losses. The yellow metal has traded in a very tight range all year and is still up better than 10% year-to-date.
Expectations for a smoother transition in the Brexit negotiations were scuttled yesterday due to political tensions within the United Kingdom. There is still no clear agreement on how the question of Northern Ireland will be resolved. Because Ireland is a member of the EU, its relationship with its northern neighbor (which is part of the U.K.) is being complicated by Brexit. The border between Ireland and Northern Ireland represents the only land connection between the U.K. and EU.
The news sent the pound sterling lower by 0.4% to $1.34. The euro faced more modest losses and remained above $1.18. Meanwhile, the dollar was mostly flat. Treasurys saw a bit of selling pressure as 10-year yields rose to 2.39%. For commodities, copper plunged more than 2% to a two-month low while WTI crude fell to its lowest in two weeks around $57.25/bbl.
Bitcoin is still charting new all-time highs near $12,000. The cryptocurrency has been boosted by the news that the CBOE (Chicago Board Options Exchange) is planning its own Bitcoin futures trading within the next week. Nonetheless, there is still plenty of fraud (and even mystery) in the altcoin industry that warrants concern.
On Wall St, stocks rose modestly on Tuesday morning after a mixed session on Monday. U.S. markets are still being driven mainly by the hope and expectation for tax cuts. The VIX index, which measures volatility, remains historically low. Shares were also mixed in Asia while trading lower in Europe. The eurozone has been encouraged by Greece's progress on its latest bailout. Data show that the Greek economy has grown for three consecutive quarters—the first time that's happened since 2006. The country's bonds rallied in response.
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