Gold and silver spot values are trading higher today thanks to some renewed safe-haven demand and other, chart-based buying. Up to this point this week, gold and silver have not fared particularly well, but they haven’t done particularly poorly either. Platinum and palladium, on the other hand, have been trading up for a majority of the week and are continuing to edge higher today.
The focal point for investors this week will be this afternoon’s release of the latest FOMC minutes from the Fed’s June meeting. Attention is being so closely paid to the release of today’s minutes in hopes of hearing more information on when the Fed plans on hiking interest rates in the United States.
Currencies Seen Improving Slowly
As a result of speculation with regard to the possible raising of interest rates prior to next year, the US Dollar was able to stop declining in value against the yen. The euro, however, continued along its upward trend against the USD.
If today’s minutes do dish out some news with regard to when rates will be risen, I expect the USD to turn things around and begin making noticeable gains. With that said, however, it is the expectation of many that today’s minutes will provide very little insight, if any, into when the Fed plans on making changes to interest rates.
US Equities Bounce Back From Early Week Losses
Yesterday saw most major stock markets in the United States trade in the red for a second day in a row. This generally downward price movement has spurred discussion with regard to whether or not we are on the verge of seeing a downward technical correction after stocks’ bullish run over the past few months. With two days’ worth of losses posted already this week, and a sub-par finish to last week, a lot of signs are pointing to US equity markets being on the verge of ticking downward. However, with some near-term momentum still on their side, equities will likely not be so quick to correct themselves lower.
More Violence In the Middle East Spurs Safe-Haven Demand
In the midst of all this talk about potentially rising interest rates in the US, it is intriguing to see gold, silver, platinum, and palladium continue to trend higher. Many market analysts are attributing today’s gains to outbreak of more violence in the Middle East.
Iraq and its civil war has been in and out of the news for the past 2 or 3 weeks now, but this time the market is focusing on violence happening in Israel, specifically on the Gaza Strip. As recently as a few days ago, Israel launched a violent offensive on the Gaza Strip and is threatening to ramp up its military action in the region in response to Palestinian rocket fire. The harsh rhetoric coming from both sides has a lot of investors worrying and, whenever worry abounds in the marketplace safe-haven demand will shortly follow. That is exactly what is happening now and will continue to happen so long as there are such widespread reports of violence in the Israel, Iraq, and Syria.