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Gold Prices Higher After Sharp Drop – Silver Continues to Slide – Crude Oil Up

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COMEX Gold graph

(Best Syndication News) Gold prices fell drastically on Wednesday while the Federal Reserve Chairman spoke to Congress (see the futures and forex charts below). Ben Bernanke’s chat with the Committee on Financial Services coincided with the release of the Beige Book. Neither implied that another round of easing was on the way.

The U.S. Department of Commerce released their GDP numbers via the Bureau of Economic Analysis Wednesday. In their second estimate of the fourth quarter GDP, the Commerce Department said that GDP grew at 3.0 percent. This was better than economist expectations and the first estimate of 2.8 percent.

The Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank released their Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) calculations. The Fed branch said that their index rose to 64 in February. That was above analyst expectations of just 59 or 60 and up from the previous measure of 60.2 in January.

Precious Metals

Lack of quantitative easing (QE3) by the Federal Reserve pushed gold prices down $77 in one day (see the survey #2 chart below). Since the settle, gold is up 50 cents to $1711.80 a troy ounce.

The central bank chairman said that unemployment dropped quicker than expected. Low unemployment, one of the Federal Open Market Committee’s (FOMC) mandates, could signal that no further action is needed by the Fed. Some Fed Presidents are uncertain whether the FOMC will continue to hold rates at historic low levels through much of 2014 as planned.

Some analysts believe silver to be even more speculative than gold. COMEX silver dropped even faster than gold Wednesday, down 6.89 percent in one day. Since the session close, silver gained three cents to $34.68.

Platinum, palladium and copper were all lower.

Metal prices were lower on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange (TOCOM). Gold fell 153 yen (-3.30%) to ¥4,479 per gram. Silver dropped 6.3 percent during the night session. See the TOCOM chart below for our exclusive dollar conversions.

Energy Prices

Crude oil was a bright spot for investors Wednesday.

Brent crude oil on the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) gained $1.11. Light Sweet crude oil on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) added 52 cents. April WTI gained another 18 cents to $107.25 after the session close.

NYMEX natural gas was higher, but heating oil prices were lower.

Forex Trading

The U.S. dollar (USD) gained against all major currencies with the exception of the Canadian dollar (CAD). The Japanese yen (JPY) declined against all major currencies (see the cross tables below).

The greenback gained against most currencies (see the average dollar rate chart below). The USD gained 0.64 percent vs the Australian dollar (AUD), 0.73 percent vs the euro (EUR), 0.70 percent vs the JPY and 0.74 percent vs the Swiss franc (CHF). The dollar did slip vs the British pound sterling (GBP).

The USD began to slide later vs the JPY (see the intraday chart below). The USDJPY hit 81.04, the EURUSD hit 1.3326, the GBPUSD hit 1.5946, the CADUSD hit 0.98654, the USDHKD hit 7.7559, and the AUDUSD hit 1.0775.

By: Tom Madison
Business Reporter

TOCOM Chart with our exclusive dollar conversions:

2/29/2012 Tokyo Commodities Exchange One-Day One-Day Five-Day 30-Day 100-Day
Yen * Commodity Dollars ¥ Change % Change % Change % Change % Change
4,479 Gold (standard) $1,716.55 -153 -3.30% -2.99% 9.27% 10.78%
89.3 Silver $33.92 -6 -6.30% -1.98% 19.07% 21.00%
4,435 Platinum (standard) $1,699.68 -64 -1.42% -0.43% 17.80% 19.90%
1,837 Palladium $704.02 -28 -1.50% -0.49% 11.88% 29.28%
72,910 Gasoline $3.40 270 0.37% -1.62% 11.62% 23.93%
59,260 Crude oil $116.10 90 0.15% -0.80% 14.49% 28.83%
339.5 Rubber $1.90 2 0.68% -0.12% 14.70% 12.05%
50.16 Ratio Gold/Silver 1.55 6 3.19% -1.03% -8.23% -8.44%
* ¥ / gram kiloliter and kilogram PST - conversions to $ / ounce barrel or gallon

Survey #2 Settle Price Chart:

Wednesday Survey # 2 (BSNCOM2) One-Day One-Day 1 Week 30-Day 100-Day
2/29/2012 Energy and Metal Settle $ Change % Change % Change % Change % Change
2341.00 Aluminum 3-mo LME -7.50 -0.32% 3.95% 5.93% 8.18%
122.66 Brent crude (not settled) 1.11 0.91% -0.20% 9.98% 19.40%
60.67 Coal -0.41 -0.67% 0.50% -1.62% -17.00%
3.88 Copper HG -0.04 -1.07% 1.20% 3.38% 24.90%
107.07 Crude oil (WTI) 0.52 0.49% 0.74% 6.44% 34.38%
2.26 Ethanol ZE CBOT 0.00 -0.13% 2.68% 7.01% -10.32%
1711.30 Gold GC -77.10 -4.31% -3.39% 3.10% 4.25%
3.21 Heating Oil (HO) -0.01 -0.44% -2.03% 6.39% 60.30%
2.62 Natural gas NG HH 0.10 3.85% -1.02% 5.83% -26.72%
706.65 Palladium PA -13.10 -1.82% -1.55% 5.79% 24.04%
1692.60 Platinum PL -30.90 -1.79% -1.64% 11.11% 14.52%
3.26 RB RBOB Gasoline 0.03 1.01% 5.49% 15.28% 26.78%
34.64 Silver SI -2.56 -6.89% 1.13% 13.42% 14.13%
693.00 Steel Hot-Roll Coil 0.00 0.00% -4.81% -5.46% 4.21%
52.00 UxC Uranium U3O8 0.00 0.00% -0.29% -0.95% -0.10%
2/29/2012 Averages and Ratios Change One-Day 1 Week 30-Day 100-Day
371.1 Average All -8.74 -2.30% -2.50% 4.86% 10.41%
700.2 Metals Average -20.62 -2.86% -2.30% 6.68% 11.29%
43.1 Energy Average 0.19 0.44% 0.33% 6.17% 13.36%
49.4 Ratio Gold/Silver Prices 1.33 2.77% -4.47% -9.10% -8.66%
-18.7 Difference Plat-Gold 46.20 -71.19% -62.97% -86.31% -88.57%
1.01 Ratio Plat/Gold -0.03 -2.56% -1.78% -7.22% -8.97%
1.1 Ratio Brent / WTI Prices 0.00 0.42% -0.93% 3.32% -11.14%
$15.59 Difference Brent - CL 0.59 3.93% -6.20% 42.50% -32.36%

Average Dollar Rates:

Wednesday Average Surveys 1 - 3 % Change Day % Change Wk % Ch 30-Day Ch 100-Day
2/29/2012 Average 1US$ = Currency Pos=$US Gain Pos=$US Gain Pos=$US Gain Pos=$US Gain
0.9288 Average Against Aussie 0.64% -0.38% -3.57% -7.93%
0.7497 Average Against Euro € 0.73% 0.59% -3.64% 1.73%
81.1342 Average Against Yen ¥ 0.70% 0.71% 5.63% 6.05%
0.6275 Average Against Pound £ -0.02% -0.86% -3.17% -1.80%
0.9036 Average Against Franc 0.74% 0.63% -3.84% -0.95%
0.9883 Average Against Canadian -0.19% -0.93% -2.23% -4.02%
Average 1Currency = US$ Pos=$US Loss Pos=$US Loss Pos=$US Loss Pos=$US Loss
1.0767 Average Against Aussie -0.64% 0.38% 3.70% 8.61%
1.3340 Average Against Euro -0.73% -0.59% 3.78% -1.70%
0.0123 Average Against Yen -0.70% -0.70% -5.33% -5.71%
1.5937 Average Against Pound 0.02% 0.87% 3.28% 1.83%
1.1066 Average Against Franc -0.74% -0.63% 3.99% 0.96%
1.0119 Average Against Canadian 0.19% 0.94% 2.28% 4.19%

Intraday Chart:

Green = $ UP Intra-Day Trend Green = $ UP
Red = $ Down 2/29/2012 Survey 5A Survey 5B Survey 5C Red = $ Down
From Previous Time PT 12:00 AM 6:00PM 9:30PM Intra-Day
0.71% USD/JPY 81.16 81.26 81.04 -0.15%
-0.91% EUR/USD 1.3339 1.3329 1.3326 -0.10%
-0.10% GBP/USD 1.5922 1.5923 1.5946 0.15%
-0.34% CAD/USD 0.9886 0.989 0.9864 -0.22%
0.02% USD/HKD 7.7561 7.7559 7.7559 0.00%
-0.48% AUD/USD 1.0765 1.0733 1.0775 0.09%
0.00% USD/CNY 6.2935 6.2935 6.3002 0.11%

Cross Tables:

Survey 1 February 29 2012 6:00 PM
1 HKD 1 AUD 1 CAD 1 CHF 1 GBP 1 JPY 1 EUR 1 USD
USD $ 0.1289 1.0772 1.0131 1.1073 1.5934 0.0123 1.3348 -
EUR € 0.0966 0.807 0.759 0.8296 1.1938 0.0092 - 0.7492
JPY ¥ 10.4576 87.3642 82.1659 89.8093 129.236 - 108.257 81.1068
GBP £ 0.0809 0.676 0.6358 0.6949 - 0.0077 0.8377 0.6276
CHF franc 0.1164 0.9728 0.9149 - 1.439 0.0111 1.2054 0.9031
CAD 0.1273 1.0633 - 1.093 1.5729 0.0122 1.3175 0.9871
AUD 0.1197 - 0.9405 1.028 1.4793 0.0114 1.2391 0.9284
HKD 8.3542 7.8571 8.588 12.3581 0.0956 10.3521 7.7558

One-Day Change:

Pos Means Top Currency Gained One Day Change February 29 2012 6:00 PM
Survey 1 1 HKD 1 AUD 1 CAD 1 CHF 1 GBP 1 JPY 1 EUR 1 USD
USD -0.078% -0.581% 0.317% -0.673% 0.025% -0.806% -0.655%
EUR € 0.625% 0.074% 0.985% -0.012% 0.692% 0.000% 0.658%
JPY ¥ 0.688% 0.116% 1.018% 0.023% 0.730% 0.041% 0.702%
GBP £ -0.123% -0.617% 0.284% -0.700% -1.282% -0.676% -0.032%
CHF 0.605% 0.093% 0.993% 0.707% 0.000% 0.017% 0.680%
CAD -0.313% -0.886% -0.987% -0.285% -0.813% -0.970% -0.313%
AUD $ 0.588% 0.901% -0.087% 0.612% -0.870% -0.081% 0.585%
HKD -0.567% 0.328% -0.660% 0.042% -0.727% -0.642% 0.014%

30-Day Change:

Pos Means Top Currency Gained 30- Day Change February 29 2012 6:00 PM
Survey 1 1 HKD 1 AUD 1 CAD 1 CHF 1 GBP 1 JPY 1 EUR 1 USD
USD 0.08% 3.77% 2.41% 4.06% 3.25% -5.38% 3.84%
EUR -3.59% -0.07% -1.38% 0.22% -0.57% -8.91% -3.70%
JPY 5.77% 9.64% 8.20% 9.95% 9.10% 9.72% 5.66%
GBP -3.11% 0.49% -0.81% 0.78% -8.33% 0.58% -3.15%
CHF -3.80% -0.29% -1.59% -0.78% -9.02% -0.22% -3.91%
CAD -2.23% 1.32% 1.62% 0.83% -7.58% 1.40% -2.35%
AUD -3.55% -1.31% 0.29% -0.49% -8.80% 0.07% -3.62%
HKD 3.66% 2.30% 3.95% 3.15% -5.44% 3.73% -0.10%

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