Gold rose $0.20 or 0.016% yesterday to $1,261.00/oz. Silver fell $0.02 or 0.1% to $19.21/oz.
Markets are jittery with Asian shares down and European shares mixed due to concerns about the global economy and oil prices rising again, this time due to escalating violence in Iraq.
Palladium held steady near a more than 13-year high on Thursday, as supply concerns due to industrial unrest in South Africa and the risk of Russia restricting supply led to buying from industrial users and investors. The precious metal broke above resistance and rallied to $862.50 an ounce on yesterday, its highest level since February 2001.
The record nominal high in January 2001 was $1,095 per an ounce and this seems likely to be reached in the coming weeks given the very precarious supply, demand equation. However, palladium has risen nearly 20% this year and recent gains have been rapid meaning that a correction may be imminent.
Sunni militants overran the Iraqi city of Tikrit overnight and closed in on the biggest oil refinery in Iraq, making further gains in their rapid military advance against the Shi’ite-led government in Baghdad.
The sudden and rapid escalation of the conflict in Iraq shows how volatile and unstable the entire Middle East remains. Geopolitical risk emanating from Iraq, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and amongst leading world economic powers should support gold prices.
IMF Warns Of Housing Crashes – World Bank Says ‘Now Is The Time To Prepare For Next Crisis’
Yesterday, the IMF and World Bank issued warnings about the global economy.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned that the world must act to contain the risk of another devastating housing crash. The World Bank warned that the anticipated rise in interest rates will hit global growth this year – and presumably house prices too.
“We are not totally out of the woods yet,” Kaushik Basu, the World Bank’s Senior Vice President and chief economist and he warned that “now is the time to prepare for the next crisis.”
The warning from the IMF came as it published new data showing house prices are well above their historical average in many countries as covered in the Financial Times today. The data shows how an acceleration in house prices in many countries from already high levels has emerged as one of the major threats to global economic stability.
House prices “remain well above the historical averages for a majority of countries” in relation to incomes and rents, Mr Zhu said in a speech to the Bundesbank last week, which was only released on Wednesday because it clashed with a European Central Bank announcement.
“This is true for instance for Australia, Belgium, Canada, Norway and Sweden,” he said.
In the wake of the global recession central bankers have cut interest rates to record lows, pushing house prices to a level that the IMF regards as a significant risk to many economies.
There was no mention of the housing bubbles in important financial centres such as New York or of the London property bubble. The clear warnings by the two institutions were not covered by much of the non specialist financial media and the majority of the public will not be aware of them – nor will at risk house buyers in many countries.
The World Bank’s chief economist is offering important advice to investors and savers when he said that “now is the time to prepare for the next crisis.”
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