by Bill Musgrave – American Gold Exchange
Gold gained for a second session, rising 0.6% to close above $1,227, as expectations for stronger global growth boosted commodities and pressured the dollar. The metal cut its weekly losses to 0.6%.
Eurozone GDP rose 0.3% in the fourth quarter, according to EU reports released today, improving on the 0.2% expansion in Q3. Germany returned to form as the region’s economic motor by gaining 0.7% in Q4, almost twice as much as forecast. The ECB’s $1.3 trillion program of quantitative easing is expected to accelerate the expansion.
By contrast, the U.S. economy extended its string of weaker data as consumer sentiment dropped in February from an 11-year high on concerns about slowing growth. The news follows yesterday’s reports of falling consumer spending, rising jobless claims, and an increase in home foreclosures.
The euro gained on the upbeat European data while the dollar came under pressure from softer domestic reports, raising speculation among currency traders that the buck’s seven-month rally may be coming to an end.
A weaker dollar supports higher prices for gold and other commodities denominated in it for international trade by making them less expensive to users of other currencies. Oil rose another 2.8% to above $52, and the Goldman Sachs/S&P 500 commodities index also rallied by 2.8%.
The other precious metals were higher for the day and mixed for the week. Silver surged 3% to finish with a 3.6% weekly gain. Platinum rose nearly 1% but was down 1.1% for the week. Palladium jumped 2.8% on the day and 1.8% on the week. Oil rose another 2.8% to above $52
At the Comex close: April gold gained $6.40 to $1,227.10; March silver surged 50 cents to $17.294; April platinum added $7, to $1,207.50; and March palladium jumped $20.80 to $794.45 an ounce.