Precious metals were mixed on Monday, but both gold and silver dipped due to a strong dollar.
The gold price was down 0.25% (-$3) to $1,312/oz at the opening bell.
Spot silver slipped 8¢ (-0.5%) to $16.42/oz.
However, platinum (+0.3%) and palladium (+1.1%) each traded higher in early action.
Crude Oil Prices Hit Fresh Milestone
Virtually all asset classes were up during Friday’s trading session, including gold and oil. Both the large- and small-cap stock indices in the U.S. ended the week on a high note.
WTI crude surpassed $70 per barrel this morning for first time since 2014.
The continued rally for oil is partly due to seasonal demand trends as well as dwindling output from Venezuela, traditionally one of the West’s top producers of the commodity.
Crude oil prices have risen each of the past 10 weeks.
On Monday morning, Brent crude added about $1 (+1.35%) to $75.90/bbl and WTI was up 1.25% (+88¢).
Of course, the oil market is also showing sensitivity to developments in the Middle East. President Trump must decide whether or not to certify the Iran nuclear deal by the end of this week.
Wall Street opened sharply higher Monday. The Dow and Nasdaq each gained better than 0.8% while the S&P added 0.65%.
U.K. markets were closed for holiday today, keeping trading volumes in the region light. Shares in Europe edged slightly higher but Germany’s DAX index jumped 0.85% to a three-month high.
Similarly, equities in Asia were mostly unchanged overnight except for the Shanghai Composite, which surged 1.6%.
Dollar Advances Yet Again
In other forex trading, the euro was down 0.4% and the yen was off 0.2%.
China’s yuan (also known as renminbi) erased last week’s gains, trading close to 6.4 per dollar.
Fresh trade data from China is due out tomorrow.
Bonds were higher across most of the developed world. The 10-year Treasury yield held at 2.95% after reversing earlier losses.
Even Warren Buffet has called U.S. bonds a “terrible investment” at their current levels.
In the meantime, the Treasury Department will continue to auction more debt this week to the tune of roughly $150 billion worth of bonds and short-term T-bills.
Four different regional Fed presidents will be speaking today. Traders are eyeing another interest-rate hike in June from the central bank.
The Bank of England convenes for its next policy meeting on Thursday.
Back on this side of the Atlantic, NAFTA negotiations are approaching a critical juncture. The months-long talks are running up against the political calendar in the U.S., with upcoming midterm elections, and Mexico, which holds its presidential election in July. Any changes to the trilateral trade pact must be approved by Congress.
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