Gold and silver are trading slightly up during the first half of Wednesday as both metals are fighting a renewed appetite for risk. With the situation in Ukraine noticeably more stable today than it was on Monday, investors no longer feel it a huge necessity to look to safe-haven assets to protect their wealth.
Today’s non-farm employment data from February came in and surprised a few investors, but was really not too far from market expectations. As we look forward to the end of the week, investors and the world will be paying close attention to how things develop in Ukraine.
Non-Farms Data Disappoints…Slightly
For yet another month, the non-farms data disappointed in that it came back weaker than market expectations. The report indicated that only about 139,000 jobs were added in February, about 11,000 fewer than the 150,000 addition that was expected by the market. This news helped push gold and silver forward, but only slightly.
Today, investors are showing an increased appetite for risk as the situation in Ukraine continues to calm down. There are talks scheduled to take place in Paris and the hope is that this entire debacle can be put to rest through words and diplomacy rather than by the use of force. Still, Russia has thousands of troops deployed on the ground in Ukraine’s Crimea region and despite Western calls for a withdrawal, Russia remains defiant. Though Putin and his colleagues have continually stated that Russian ground troops’ presence is necessary for the protection of Russian-speaking Crimeans, the West is not too quick to buy into this.
After posting hefty losses on Tuesday, gold and silver are attempting to gain ground today. With that being said, however, improving US equities are making it very difficult for precious metals to make any sort of substantial gains.
In other news from around the world, Chinese officials have announced that they plan on targeting 7.5% annual growth for their economy this year. This number is a lot higher than original forecasts and is a bullish factor for precious metals as China is the world’s largest consumer of gold and silver on an annual basis. With that being said, recent Chinese economic data has been sub-par and market analysts hold that it will take a massive improvement in the coming months for the world’s second-largest economy to even come close to their expectation of nearly 8% annual growth this year.