2012-06-14

Gold price advanced - after the latest set of weak U.S. economic data

The gold price advanced $8.27, or 0.5%, to $1,619.44 per ounce on Wednesday after the latest set of weak U.S. economic data. The price of gold stabilized near $1,610 in overnight trading, but climbed at as high as $1,625.38 this morning as the worrisome economic reports put pressure on the U.S. dollar. The greenback dipped 0.3% against a composite of the world’s leading currencies, while the euro rose 0.3% to 1.2554 against the dollar.

The worrisome data is likely to provide the Federal Reserve with additional evidence that the economy is meaningfully slowing.  Furthermore, it could give the Fed cover for further monetary policy easing measures.  Following the reports, Jan Hatzius – chief U.S. economist at Goldman Sachs – reiterated his call for the Ben Bernanke-led central bank to announce a third round of quantitative easing (QE3) at next week’s FOMC meeting.

Looking ahead for the gold price, analysts at Commerzbank wrote in a note to clients that “Only a break above the current June high at 1641 will (put) the 50 percent Fibonacci retracement of this year’s decline at 1659.07 and the May high at 1672.10 in (gold’s) sights.  Below here, the outlook will stay neutral.”

Strength in the price of gold helped lift gold shares, as the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX) climbed $0.42, or 0.9%, to $47.18 per share.  Among the large-cap gold producers, two of the best performing names this morning were Agnico-Eagle Mines (AEM) and Goldcorp (GG).  AEM jumped by $1.11, or 2.7%, to $42.36 per share while GG added $1.00, or 2.5%, to $40.37 per share.
As for the broader equity markets, they initially turned sharply lower subsequent to the release of the U.S. economic data, but later pared their losses.  The S&P 500 Index dropped as much as 0.7% to 1,315.26 but soon after rebounded toward unchanged at 1,323.87.

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