Gold prices end lower on upbeat U.S economic data and safe-haven appeal. U.S. stocks higher as traders cheered upbeat earnings reports. Gold last traded at $1,293 an ounce. Silver at $19.60 an ounce.
Weekly jobless claims have risen yet again, but the cheerleaders on Wall Street and in the so-called mainstream media still insist on trying to put lipstick on this pig of an economy.
Claims rose to a seasonally adjusted 304,000 last week, an increase of 2,000 from the previous week’s revised level.
Government, particularly the Federal Reserve, is taking credit for what it says is an improving economy and a better employment situation. Other, unbiased, observers are not so sure.
Lindsey Piegza, chief economist for Sterne Agee, says she doesn’t see momentum building in the labor market. If frigid weather alone could explain the disappointing batch of employment reports from over the winter, then the economy would have seen a bigger bounce as companies played catch-up with their hiring, Piegza said. The economy would have added more jobs than the 192,000 jobs created in March, she said.
“Taken together, the labor market is losing momentum from the start of 2013 and it’s really not painting an encouraging picture for the next 12 or 24 months,” Piegza said.
John Ryding, the chief economist for RDQ Economics, questions whether monetary policy can truly spur more hiring.
Manipulation of interest rates and the dollar by central bankers cannot take the place of sound, underlying economic fundamentals and those just don’t appear to be in place. That’s why, for months now, we have kept seeing disappointing economic reports and statistics. Meanwhile, the Fed keeps telling us everything is looking brighter. But most Americans don’t see any evidence of this claim.
For those who are currently employed, the government-sponsored Ponzi schemes known as “entitlement programs,” have placed a huge, unsustainable burden on their shoulders. The latest census report shows that 86 million full-time workers are sustaining 148 million benefits recipients. Eventually, there will be too few carrying too many and the economic implications of that reality are something the policymakers in Washington refuse to recognize or address.
In other financial market news, hedge funds posted their worst first-quarter results since 2008, according to financial data service Preqin, whose “All Hedge Fund Strategies” index shows a gain of 1.2 percent since the start of the year. That compares poorly to many other categories of investments, including gold, which was up some 8% during the first quarter.
The Chinese understand the value of gold and that’s why Chinese demand for gold, both from investors and the Chinese government, has been skyrocketing.
As we have previously reported, this trend is expected to continue, with Chinese gold demand slated to rise another 20% to 25% by 2017. One reason for official Chinese demand for gold is the desire to supplant and eventually replace the US dollar as a medium of exchange and reserve asset.
The combination of rising demand for gold and the inevitable devaluation of the dollar has tremendous implications for those who choose to hold gold and those who choose to hold dollars. Gold, priced in dollars, will see its value increase as the value of the dollar continues its fall over the long-term.
NOTE: Swiss America Trading will be closed tomorrow (April 18) in observance of Good Friday. We hope you and yours have a blessed Easter! Check back Monday for the latest market news.