Gold and silver have gotten off to a bad start early this week as Monday saw double digit losses for gold and the early parts of Tuesday saw the yellow metal open US trading down nearly ten dollars. Some economic data out of Europe improved people's outlooks on the region but we are looking for a sustained good run of form for European economies, not isolated bits of good news. Another thing that people will be anxiously awaiting this week is if there will be any word in regards to when or how quickly the US Federal Reserve will end its Quantitative Easing measures. The US dollar has been hitting multi-year highs compared to a lot of different currencies including the Australian dollar and the Japanese Yen. The USD's strength as of late is the reason why gold continues to be on a downward trend that was started nearly 7 months ago.
European Economic Data
There were two stories released out of Europe in the early morning hours on Tuesday, the first of which is that industrial production in the region was up by about 1% this past March. This increase was the single highest increase in industrial output in over a year and a half. Though this is good news for Europeans, precious metals did not really react to it much at all.
In other European news, a Spanish government bond auction yielded high demand which may hint to the fact that the debt crisis in Spain and most of the rest of Europe may not be as much as an overriding issue for investors as it was only a month or so ago. Ever since the Cyprus debacle, news out of Europe has been fairly quiet and has not been pushing precious metals too far in one direction or another; of course this is apart from the recent cutting of interest rates which hurt gold and silver a bit a week or so ago.
News from Other Markets
In other news from around the world, the latest Australian budget announcement alluded to the fact that the country's central bank may need to ease its monetary policy in an effort to keep their economy functioning at an appropriate level. The news of the budget caused the Australian dollar to fall to its lowest point against the USD in almost a full year.
According to Marketwatch.com, prices paid for imports to the US has fallen by a half percentage point in April. Exports are attributing this decline in price to lowered oil prices during April. In addition to this, prices paid for US exports fell by almost 1 percent in April which makes this piece of economic news out of the US a bit of a mixed bag.
Waiting on the US Fed
At the end of last week there were rumors flying around that the US Federal Reserve was going to be putting their Quantitative Easing measures to rest in the near future. While, at first, there was little to no evidence to back these rumors up, the story seems to be becoming truer and truer by the day. Investors and and market watchers alike will be paying close attention to the United States in hopes of hearing something about QE. If QE is brought to an end sometime soon it may put even heavier downward pressure on precious metals.