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Commodities Brief – Precious metals ease on US economic fortitude, gold falls below 1600 ahead of US GDP figures

Gold prices suffered a setback recently as upbeat estimates and figures out of the United States helped allay concerns of an impending economic slowdown. Despite Bernanke’s reiteration of monetary easing in the US, investors seem to take this as a signal that the stimulus program would heal and fortify the economy, which many had come to see as fragile. This has clearly been reflected in trading Thursday, as the yellow metal has not only surrendered its hold on the 1600 level, but fallen below its 20 and 50-day SMA, including its 200-day SMA which was acting as temporary support. At the time of writing, gold prices have recently fallen of session highs (1602.85) to trade at USD $1597.10 per oz., up a marginal +0.09%.

Silver holds onto the 29.00 level ahead of US GDP data…
Silver managed to also dip below 29.00 yesterday, as the Fed-induced aftermath had a negative short-term effect on prices during US trading. Thursday has been relatively more upbeat however, as the white metal has consolidated its strength back above 29.00, advancing towards 29.15 recently (session high). However, like its yellow counterpart, silver has eased slightly in these moments to settle at USD $29.06 per oz. In the immediate term, market participants will look to the US Gross Domestic Product results as a barometer for US growth, scheduled for release later today during the onset of American trading. However, following this release, the attention shifts solely on the finality of the sequestration negotiations taking place in the United States – inaction or a failure to reach a deal will result in sweeping cuts that Bernanke himself asserted would place the US economic growth under substantial headwinds.

Crude prices capped by 93.00…
WTI crude oil has crept higher Thursday during European trading, however this climb has failed to clear the 93.00 and resistance. Indeed, crude is trading within sight of this barrier at USD $92.81/bbl.

Forex: USD/JPY falls after US durable goods orders

The dollar weakened further against the yen and slipped to fresh daily lows after data showed US durable goods orders dropped more than expected in January as defense spending fell the most in more than a decade and demand for aircraft plunged although outside those volatile categories, there was underlying strength in orders.
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Forex: USD/CHF holds below 0.9300 following German data

The USD/CHF has operated in a narrow 26-pip consolidation Thursday (0.9280-0.9306) despite the release of both Swiss and German data during European trading. After falling from it session highs, the cross has pared its gains to trade negatively at 0.9287/88, losing its grip on the 0.9300 level in these moments.
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