May 29, 2024

Gold and Silver Prices Higher as Platinum and Palladium Sell Off

As turmoil reigned in the Middle East and worries mounted over the reduction of oil supplies, gold and silver proved their safe haven status as both moved higher in price.

After a very solid gain of $1.94 per ounce last week, silver continued its upward move with another gain of $.60.  The closing London Fix Price for silver was $32.54 for a gain of 1.88% on the week.   The normal price consolidation and pullback in silver that extended from the beginning of the year into the end of January was the setup for a solid breakout into new highs.  Silver has now advanced over 20% from the lows of January.


Besides the safe haven/currency alternative lure of silver, the fundamentals in silver are forecasting further dramatic price gains.   There have been numerous reports documenting physical shortages of silver as well as huge investment demand in the U.S., India and China.

One solid indication of the huge demand for physical silver is evidenced by the backwardation in prices.  Typically, the forward price of a commodity will exceed the cash price due to the expenses of insurance, warehousing and inventory financing.  When a commodity has a normal upward pricing curve to reflect a higher futures cost, the situation is termed contango.  Backwardation, the unusual case where the cost of the physical commodity is higher than future prices, is a classic indicator of surging demand.  Another indicator of the great demand for physical silver is the four year low of Comex warehouse silver.

Precious Metals Prices
Fri PM Fix Since Last Recap
Gold $1,402.50 +19.00 (+1.37%)
Silver $32.54 +0.60 (+1.88%)
Platinum $1,791.00 -45.00 (-2.45%)
Palladium $785.00 -62.00 (-7.32%

Gold also continued its upward move with a gain of $19 per ounce after an advance of $19.50 in the previous week.  To understand the wealth preservation appeal of gold, one needs only to look at the exponentially increasing level of  U.S. debt.  Ultimately, the staggering amount of sovereign debt can be serviced only through inflation and dollar debasement which is what the Federal Reserve is currently orchestrating through quantitative easing (money printing).


The U.S. dollar also appears to be losing its cache as the “safe haven” currency.  Despite the unprecedented turmoil in the Middle East and the rise in oil prices, the U.S. dollar has weakened over the past two weeks.  By comparison, during the financial crisis of 2008, the U.S. dollar appreciated 24% against other major currencies.

The surge in oil prices has led to concerns that the U.S. and world economies will see much lower growth as higher oil prices devastate consumer disposable income.  A weakened world economy would probably lead to lower demand for industrial metals such as platinum and palladium which both declined this week.  Platinum sold off by $45 and palladium was rocked by a $62 loss from the prior week.

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