In New York yesterday, gold saw a gain of $2.29/oz at its session high of $1109.94/oz before falling to see a loss of $7.10/oz at $1100.55/oz shortly afterwards. It then climbed higher for most of the rest of day and ended near its earlier high with a marginal gain of 0.005%.  Silver dropped to see a loss of $0.16/oz. It fell as low as $16.83/oz before it also climbed higher and ended near its late session high of $17.15/oz with a gain of 0.9%.

Gold rose in Asian trading and has continued its positive momentum in European trade as the dollar has weakened ahead of U.S. retail sales data for February, which could show falling consumer spending. A surprise figure could result in further volatility in the gold market.

Gold is currently trading at $1,117.70/oz and in euro and GBP terms, gold is trading at €812/oz and £737/oz respectively.

Gold looks set to incur its first weekly loss in seven weeks after the falls seen this week. After the sharp rise seen in the last month (gold was trading at a low of $1,061/oz on February 8th and rose as high as $1,145.10/oz on March 3rd) when gold rose nearly 8%, gold was due a correction and profit taking was to be expected. Another factor contributing to the fall may be the unsubstantiated rumours of central bank selling and liquidations from gold exchange-traded funds and of long positions by hedge funds and banks on the COMEX.

Technically, gold had risen some $85/oz from low to high and often corrections see prices give up 50% of the preceding gain. This would see gold fall some $40/oz to $45/oz from the recent high of $1,145/oz and interestingly the low yesterday was just above $1,100/oz. This is now support and a lower weekly could see us test this support again and there is the potential for falls to lower support at $1,090/oz and strong support at $1,060/oz.

A higher weekly close (close above  $1133.80/oz) would be very bullish and should lead gold to challenge the recent high at $1,145.10/oz and resistance at $1,160/oz. The favourable fundamentals and lingering concerns about the economic recovery and sovereign debt issues in the UK, Europe and the US could see gold achieve a new record (nominal) high above $1,225/oz in the coming weeks.

Silver has slowly risen from $17.15/oz this morning in Asia. Silver is currently trading at $17.31/oz, €12.52/oz and £11.52/oz.

Platinum Group Metals
Platinum is trading at $1,621/oz and palladium is currently trading at $461/oz. Rhodium is at $2,550/oz. Platinum has risen the most of the precious metals this morning (up more than 1%) and bargain hunters and value buyers appear to have an appetite at this price level.


Diplomatic tensions between China and the US continue. China has told the US and President Obama to leave the yuan to China and not politicise the currency issue. The United States should not make a political issue out of the yuan, a Chinese central banker said on Friday, as the two countries lurched toward a potential bust-up over Beijing's currency regime. The tensions arose after comments by President Obama calling on China to move to a more market-oriented exchange rate. Tensions may come to a head next month when President Barack Obama's administration decides whether to brand China as a currency manipulator.

President Barack Obama is planning to nominate Janet Yellen, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, to take over as vice chairman of central bank in Washington. Yellen is considered dovish and some investors will be concerned that she underestimates the risk to the dollar and of inflation.

Crude oil has been steady over $82 per barrel overnight after rallying in the follow-up to yesterday's employment report.

Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama today made a rare call for 'firm steps' to stem the strength of the yen after the currency's recent advances hit exporters' earnings.  Hatoyama said the current high value of the yen gave a misleading impression of the world's second-largest economy, adding: 'Japan's economy and industries aren't necessarily strong'.