Spot dealings saw gold quoted on the bid-side at $1,647 initially while silver traded at lows under $31.90 per ounce overnight and then hovered just a few pennies above the $32 mark this morning. There is still possible room for gold prices to try to climb back towards the $1,700- $1,730 before resuming their downtrend, but as participation remains thin and bullish news rather sparse, the odds are not necessarily tilting towards that event materializing. News from China indicates that the country’s February silver imports fell by a not insubstantial 21% on a year-on-year basis. Only slightly more than 213 tonnes of the white metal found their way into China and that came on the heels of a January silver import tonnage tally of 191 tonnes –a three-year low.
Platinum declined about $15 to trade at $1,637 the ounce while palladium remained relatively steady at $691, falling only $1 this morning. No changes were reported in rhodium, which was bid at $1,450 per troy ounce. Background indicators included copper climbing very slightly, crude oil advancing by only one nickel after having fallen by the most in three months, and US stocks rising a tad after opening at the 13,170 level.
Just-released US existing home sales data showed that despite a 0.9% dip in February’s activity, the NAR reported that the metrics in the housing sales market have been the best in five years since the start of 2012. That trend provides more ammo to the perception that better jobs prospects, a mild winter, and lower price tags on homes are all contributing to the repair process of the imploded real estate bubble and that the US economy is, indeed, on the mend.
Yesterday’s related industry tally showed US housing starts falling by 1.1% in February but homebuilder permits for new construction rising by 5.1% on the month. French bank Societe Generale is being reported (albeit we have not managed to find the actual story as yet) as opining that gold could experience a sharp, Fed-accommodation-flavored rally when (or perhaps if) US first and second quarter GDP data “surprises dramatically to the downside.” One has to wonder exactly what metrics the producers of this putative report have been reading…