Gold and silver continued their recent move up yesterday prior to a slight sell off. They have traded sideways to slightly up in Asia and early trade in Europe. Since last Thursday gold had soared by more than 5% and thus profit taking was to be expected. Similarly year to date gold is up nearly 9% (unlike most equity markets) and in the last 12 months gold is up 37% and thus corrections are healthy and to be expected.
Gold may need to consolidate between $885 and $915 before the next leg up in the bull market.
Oil remains near record highs and the dollar has also weakened and this has likely contributed to gold’s tentative rally this morning.
Markets await this afternoon’s release of U.S. PPI data for April which should help shed light on burgeoning inflationary pressures. The inflation rate is the main concern for U.S economic authorities as a continuance of surging commodity prices (especially the crude oil).
The Eurozone sees the release of important data this morning in the form of Germany's ZEW. The May expectations balance is seen coming in at -37.5, a modest improvement on -40.7 the previous month.
In addition to oil futures edging higher, retail gas and diesel prices reached new records, creating frustrations for drivers planning road trips for the coming holiday weekend. According to a survey by AAA and the Oil Price Information Service, Americans are now paying an average of $3.79 for a gallon of regular gas and diesel now costs $4.52 a gallon.
These are creating real inflation pressures and the average consumer believes that government inflation data is underestimating soaring real prices in the food and energy sector. Importantly, consumer expectations of inflation have deteriorated sharply and the credibility of the Federal Reserve in tacking inflation is increasingly doubted by consumers struggling with vastly higher prices.
Inflation pressures around the world have intensified and broadened over the past few months. In some instances, we believe that inflation may be beginning to get out of control. Clearly, the Federal Reserve needs to increase interest rates by it is confronted with the huge ‘Catch 22 ‘of rising inflation coupled with falling house prices, decelerating economic growth and the credit crisis.
The UN see a global economy teetering on the brink of a severe downturn and forecast low growth (1.8%) this year and higher inflation (3.7%). There is a definite air of the 1970s in recent economic data and the reality of falling economic growth and rising inflation or stagflation.
Silver is trading at $17.05/17.10 per ounce at 1200 GMT.
Platinum is trading at $2157/2167 per ounce (1200 GMT). Palladium is trading at $444/448 per ounce (1200 GMT).
updated May 20, 2008
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