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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Precious metals shed glaze

Precious metals fall from recent price gains and slight gains in the U.S. dollar index

Bullion metal prices ended moderately lower on Wednesday, 17 July 2013 at Comex. Gold prices ended the U.S. day session modestly lower as prices fell from recent price gains and on slight gains in the U.S. dollar index on the day. Gold pushed to its daily high after the release of prepared remarks from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, who spoke before the U.S. House of Representatives later in the morning.

Gold for August delivery ended lower by $12.9 (1%) at $1,277.5 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange on Wednesday.

September silver ended lower by $0.52(2.6%) at $19.42 an ounce on Wednesday.

Prepared remarks from Ben Bernanke's testimony in front of the House Financial Services Committee provided an opening boost to stocks today. Mr. Bernanke's comments were in-line with previous statements, indicating the Federal Reserve plans to base its decisions on the incoming data. The Fed Chairman expounded on this by saying asset purchases could be scaled back if economic conditions improve faster than expected, and inflation rises towards the Fed's objective. However, if financial conditions were to tighten, the current pace of purchases could be maintained or increased.

Also of note, The Federal Reserve's July Beige Book was generally in-line with reports from prior months. The Beige Book indicated that pricing pressures remain contained and housing continues on a ‘moderate to strong' pace.

The U.S. dollar index, which weighs the strength of the dollar against a basket of six other currencies, rose by 0.08% on Wednesday.

Among economic data expected at Wall Street today, housing starts hit an annualized rate of 836,000 units during June. Market had expected for housing starts to hit an annual rate closer to 958,000. The large miss was mostly due to 26.2% decline in multi-family units while single-family starts declined by 0.8%.

Separately, today's weekly MBA Mortgage Index decreased 2.6% to follow last week's decline of 4.0%. While the weekly reading can be quite volatile, this was the fifth negative reading in a row and the ninth decline out of the past ten weeks.

At the MCX, gold prices for August delivery closed lower by Rs 122 (0.5%) at Rs 26,347 per ten grams. Prices rose to a high of Rs 26,798 per 10 grams and fell to a low of Rs 26,240 per 10 grams during the day's trading.

At the MCX, silver prices for September delivery closed lower by Rs 866 (2.1%) at Rs 40,154/Kg. Prices opened at Rs 41,150/Kg and fell to a low of Rs 39,931/Kg during the day's trading.