Silver Futures Market News and Commentary
Dec Comex gold (GCZ19) on Friday closed down -7.6 (-0.50%), and Sep silver (SIU19) closed down -0.092 (-0.53%). Metals prices fell back Friday as an easing of U.S./China trade tensions sparked a rally in equities and reduced safe-haven demand for precious metals. Trade tensions eased after President Trump late Thursday said he had a call scheduled "very soon" with Chinese President Xi Jinping on trade. The renewed trade optimism also boosted the dollar index to a 2-week high Friday, which also undercut precious metals prices. The yuan on Friday fell -0.13% to 7.0428 yuan/USD, modestly above Tuesday's 11-1/4 year low of 7.0726 yuan/USD. A plunge in global government bond yields is supportive for gold as a store of value. The 10-year German bund yield on Friday fell to new record low of -0.717% before stabilizing and the 10-year Japan bond yield slid to a 3-year low of -0.250% Friday before recovering to -0.228%. Friday's U.S economic data was mixed for metals prices. July housing starts unexpectedly fell -4.0% to a 5-month low of 1.191 million, weaker than expectations of +0.2% to 1.256 million, which was dovish for Fed policy. However, July building permits, a proxy for future construction, rose +8.4% to a 7-month high of 1.336 million, stronger than expectations of +3.1% to 1.270 million, which was hawkish for Fed policy. Ongoing trade and geopolitical tensions, along with dovish central bank expectations, have sparked fund buying of precious metals as long gold positions in ETFs rose to a 6-1/4 year high Thursday and long silver positions in ETFs rose to a new record high Thursday. Big Picture Gold-Silver Market Factors: Bullish factors include (1) the action by the world's central banks to continue cutting interest rates as trade tensions take a toll on global growth, (2) low global inflation that is dovish for central bank policies, and (3) safe-haven demand due to trade tensions, Brexit, and global geopolitical risks involving Iran, North Korea, and Venezuela. Bearish factors include (1) the Fed's go-slow approach to cutting interest rates, (2) the recent rally in the S&P 500 to an all-time high, which reduced safe-haven demand for gold, and (3) concern that a slowdown in the global economy will crimp demand for industrial metals, including silver.