June 20, 2024

Gold and Silver Recap: Prices Mixed, Eurozone Troubles

Another Precious Week

The big news is once again that the Euro zone is in trouble.  Ireland has rather bizarrely decided to take a bail out loan that it claimed that it never wanted, but that’s not the really, really big news.

No the really, really big news is that the rest of the Euro zone is in trouble.  Both Portugal and Spain are denying that they need bail outs, which to the international markets seems to mean “are in an early rather than a later stage of negotiation”.  Even Belgium is looking vulnerable.  And outside the Eurozone the British, who seem to have been remarkably smug, are also in trouble due to their mainly nationalized banks being up to their neck in bad Irish debt.  So chaos.

And then there’s Korea, where we could have war.  And so more chaos.

But not inflationary chaos, yet.  This has meant that gold and silver swapped places this week.  Gold went up (reflecting a greater danger that the world was going to end soon) while silver went down showing that inflation was probably not likely when everyone’s trying to work out how to wind up a small but rather expansive economy.

Precious Metals Prices
Fri PM Fix Weekly Change
Gold $1,355.00 +12.50 (+0.93%)
Silver $26.62 -0.45 (-1.66%)
Platinum $1,639.00 -11.00 (-0.67%)
Palladium $670.00 -25.00 (-3.60%)

This has not just shown in silver, palladium and platinum prices – it’s also shown in the price for crude oil.  The dollar’s strengthened and everyone’s worried about money going out of the system rather than going in.  Whether this will last is another question, after all although the Euro is a mad concept with a single currency over separate fiscal policies it had a reasonably strong central bank.  Sooner or later someone’s going to start the printing press up as they’ve already done in Washington, Tokyo and London.  And gold rose 3.8% against the Euro.

When looking at the market there hasn’t really been much government action.  The action, as it has been for much of this half of the year, has been among consumers.  For example the GLD ETF, a way of investing in gold if you really trust brokers rather than gold coins in your hand, has been soaking up a lot of the customer interest in gold.  As these ETFs, or exchange traded funds, are adding to the liquidity they could be setting the stage for a sharp reverse.

There’s also some action in Asia as the Indian wedding season is adding yet more pressure as the wedding season starts and Vietnam allows more gold to be imported. One interesting fact is that Chinese consumers have doubled the amount of savings they devote to gold this year to 2%.  There’s plenty of room for growth.

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