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Yesterday was quite a day, as platinum and palladium plummeted with the announcement that South African mine workers have accepted a new wage proposal from the mine operators. Both metals have been up and down this week as a deal seemed imminent one day followed by talks collapsing. Yesterday saw both metals fall by nearly $40.00 as long positions were liquidated on heavy volume. Both rallied impressively in Asia overnight, as Chinese demand was reported to be very good, but the rally was met by selling in Europe and this morning finds both in negative territory in early U.S. trading.
Gold and silver have continued to rally as the situation in Iraq and the Middle East evolves, with crude oil prices continuing to rally. Along with the geopolitical influences, gold and silver have benefited from economic data that certainly questions the state of the U.S. economic recovery. This week has brought us a very poor reading on retail sales during a time of the year where retail sales are normally strong and there was an increase in weekly unemployment claims which was not expected by economists. Gold and silver, like platinum and palladium, tried higher overnight, but are back to unchanged in early U.S. trading. Trading should prove to be interesting today and potentially quite volatile, as many positions in all four precious metals have been exited this week and I expect many of those market participants to reenter the market as early as today.
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