Gold blasted through its 200 day moving average on a rally in Europe, and broke the $1,320/oz level in early COMEX trading. The yellow metal has been making regular gains this week, pausing to solidify its footing before taking the next step. This rally has seen gold close above the 50 day moving average since January 23rd, and close above the 100 day moving average the last three days.
The sustained break above $1,305 overnight caused shorts to scramble and cover, since the U.S. markets will be closed Monday. This took the price over the 200 DMA of $1,311.80 in midday European trading, and accelerated gains.
Silver saw a healthy spike in Asia overnight, and traded steadily at that new level before starting a rally that accelerated though European trading to break the $21 mark. The PGMs have followed gold overnight and today.
The serial ice storms and blizzards in the eastern U.S. soured another economic benchmark, as industrial output for January dropped 0.3%, after a 0.3% gain in December. Analysts had expected a 0.1% rise. The number would have been much worse if people had not had to turn the heat up so much - power output for January rose 4.1%. Without that weather-related jump, factory output would have tumbled a big 0.8%.
In other U.S. news, import prices rose 0.1% in January, after dropping the same amount in December. Discounting oil imports, prices rose 0.3% - the biggest jump in 23 months. Some good news comes in the form of consumer sentiment. Consumer sentiment held steady at 81.2 for February, while analysts has expected a drop. While the mood over their present conditions dropped, consumers were a bit more sanguine about the future, which balanced the numbers out.
The dollar is weaker against most major currencies, while the euro climbs over the 1.37 mark versus the greenback.
Europe saw some good news, as composite GDP for the fourth quarter rose 0.3%, drug upwards by economic powerhouse Germany, and... France? Positive news for France, the EU's second-largest economy, is good news for all. Euro stocks hit a three-week high on the news.
The Nikkei closed at a one-week low after choppy trading, pressured by a stronger yen. The Hang Seng closed up 0.6%, to finish the week with the best gains in five months. Shanghai was up 0.8%.