Precious metals concluded last week on a steady note, but its failure to find further buying on the back of a sharp sell-off in the U.S. stock market was disappointing. This morning finds all four precious metals trading well below Friday’s closing levels. As I mentioned last week, overall volume had begun to contract as the holiday season and year end approaches. This trend continued when trading resumed yesterday and continued in Europe and now in early stateside trading. The lack of volume may have been a signal for recent longs taking profits while further overnight drops in the crude oil market may have brought short sellers back in, especially in silver where $17.00 has failed to hold.
In the news, we have confirmation that Johnson Matthey has sold their gold and silver refining business in Salt Lake City and Brampton, Canada to Asahi Holding’s Inc. I will keep a close eye on this and report back regarding the production of their physical products which have been so important to the physical community for decades. This week brings the final FOMC meeting of the year with a statement scheduled for Wednesday afternoon which may keep pressure on prices over concern of a hawkish comment regarding rate hikes in 2015.
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