Eurozone Unemployment at Record Levels
Today’s AM fix was USD 1,770.50, EUR 1,372.80, and GBP 1,096.01 per ounce.
Friday’s AM fix was USD 1,781.00, EUR 1,374.65 and GBP 1,098.77 per ounce.
Silver is trading at $34.40/oz, €26.80/oz and £21.40/oz. Platinum is trading at $1,665.00/oz, palladium at $633.30/oz and rhodium at $1,100/oz.
Gold edged down $4.00 or 0.23% in New York on Friday and closed at $1,773.30. Silver was down to a low of $34.27 and finished with a loss of 0.35%. Both gold and silver were relatively unchanged for the week. Euro gold reached a new high at €1,381.15.
Gold was down Monday after seeing its largest quarterly rise in over two years, as it tracks a weaker euro on Spain’s struggle to control its finances deeply troubles investors.
Moody's Investors Service's will make a decision on Spain's credit rating and it may be announced later today or will be forthcoming.
Spain’s finance concerns has contributed to sending the euro to its lowest level in 3 weeks, and makes US dollar gold less appealing to buyers holding other currencies. Dollar priced gold was +0.01% on the week nearly unchanged however there was a 0.8% rise in the dollar index.
Spain’s debt levels are set to increase next year putting pressure on the government to apply for aid. Tomorrow, Spain has a conference for its regional heads of government. Catalonia’s call for early elections shows the discord regions feel against Madrid and will again emphasize the plight of Spain’s regional governments.
China’s economic data showed 7 consecutive quarters of contraction on Monday. Hong Kong and China are closed this week for public holidays.
In Japan, the Tankan BOJ report showed that business confidence fell from -1 to -3 in June, its 4th straight quarter of negative sentiment.
US economic highlights this week follow: Monday - ISM Index and Construction Spending. Wednesday - ADP Employment, ISM Services, and FOMC Minutes. Thursday - Initial Jobless Claims and Factory Orders. Friday - September’s jobs data and Consumer Credit.
Today, in Indianapolis, Indiana, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will make a rare appearance before the Economic Club of Indiana that will be watched by investors and markets seeking clues to the future of the US economy in the final weeks of the presidential campaign.
Bernanke’s speech at noon in the Indiana Convention Center comes just a few days before the first presidential debate in Denver between President Obama and challenger Mitt Romney where both candidates’ vision of America’s economic future will be on stage.
On Tuesday, the minutes from the US Central Bank’s September meeting will be released.
The eurozone unemployment figures came in at 11.4% in August. This data was compiled for the 17 nations in the single currency and equals the data of June & July after their figures were revised upwards.
This is the highest since they began recording the eurozone jobless claims in 1995. In a region with such diverse economies Germany remains at 5.5%, while debt beleaguered Spain is at 25.1%.
This clearly shows that the economic crisis in Europe is far from over and certainly cast doubts that the ECB bond purchase plan can resurrect the economy. The ECB is targeting the economy to contract again at -0.40% down from an earlier forecast of -0.10%.
Factory output has shrunk for 14 consecutive months and businesses must continue to trim the fat of their organizations during these recessionary times.
The report showed that 18.2 million people were jobless in September; this is an increase of 34,000 people versus the previous month.
As living standards fall and livelihoods are being wretched voter anger is becoming increasingly palpable, especially in countries such as Spain and France. History provides countless lessons as to the political consequences of detached economic policies and their real effects. Northern Europe’s gamesmanship in rewriting previously agreed banking debt support may set a dangerous precedent and tear apart the tenuous ties of trust between governments - who after all must act together if they are ever to forge a solution to their current economic plight.
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