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Gold, Silver Stay Flat After Strong Data, Janet Yellen Testimony

November 17, 2016 at 17:55 by Andrew Moran

Gold and silver futures traded flat during Thursday’s trading session. The precious metals remained relatively unchanged following Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen‘s prepared remarks to Congress and the release of new domestic economic data.

December gold futures rose a tepid $1.79, or 0.1%, to $1,225.70 per ounce at 16:26 GMT on Thursday. Gold has not traded this low since prior to the Brexit vote in late June. The yellow metal has been on the decline since Donald Trump‘s improbable victory last week as gold has tumbled to a five-month low.

Silver is not faring any better. December silver futures fell $0.002, or 0.01%, to $16.92 an ounce. Silver is trading at its lowest level since November 2, a time when investors were certain that Hillary Clinton would win the 2016 US presidential election and maintain the status quo.

Even with the latest declines, gold is still up about 20% this year, while silver has risen nearly 40%.

The lackluster performance from gold is due to the plethora of positive US economic data released on Thursday. One of the data points includes housing starts rising 25% to a nine-year high. The other positive economic report is the unemployment claims, which tumbled to a four-decade low.

Delivering remarks to the Congress on Thursday, the head of the US central bank confirmed that a hike to interest rates could happen “relatively soon.” Yellen also noted that the recent reports that the odds of another financial crisis happening stand at 67% are “ridiculous.” When it comes to president-elect Trump, Yellen said that she does not know “what will happen” between the relationship between the White House and Congress next year. Yellen did warn that the federal government’s budget deficit could increase over the next four years because of Trump’s tax and spending plans, which is good for gold.

With Trump’s constant criticisms of Yellen on the campaign trail, some have wondered if she will step down from her post when he is inaugurated. Will she resign? No.

No I cannot. I was confirmed by the Senate to a four-year term, which ends at the end of January of 2018, and it is fully my intention to serve out that term.

According to the CME Group FedWatch tool, there is a 90% chance of a December rate hike. The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) will meet on December 13 and 14.

Gold is sensitive to a rising-rate environment because it lifts the opportunity cost and sends investors into yield-bearing investments.

If you have any questions and comments on the commodities today, use the form below to reply.

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