Hurricane Sandy disrupted normal trade in the markets Monday morning, adding confusion to markets as prices moved lower in overseas trading.
Gold started off flat to slightly down by $4.84 to $1,708.75 and silver was off $0.37 to $31.67, for a silver/gold ratio of 53.9.
European stock markets hit the skids again today, losing almost another full point to start the week. The dismal performance of European equities sent the euro lower against the dollar, which put downward pressure on commodities pretty much across the board.
Gold and silver were joined lower by platinum, palladium, crude oil and copper with most of the down margins tracking with gains by the dollar. Gold is actually the bright spot in commodities this morning, down only a fraction of a percent and stubbornly clinging to price points over $1,700 an ounce.
Equity markets in the U.S. are closed today because of Hurricane Sandy. There is some electronic trading of gold going on today, but mainly in outside markets. It’s a very odd situation for precious metals trading and I wouldn’t put too much faith in the numbers, good or bad, over the next couple trading days. The big economic news is coming Friday as the last set of employment numbers before the election are being released and we’ll get another glimpse into the state of the U.S. economy.
For the next couple days we’ll be holding our collective breath to see how bad the flooding and damage to the eastern seaboard are going to be. In Florida a Category 1 hurricane is a pretty ho hum event, but northerners aren’t used to weather that extreme, even though weather scientists have warned for decades that east coast was vulnerable to a large storm. Imagine if Sandy, barely a Category 1, had come ashore as a Category 3 or 4.
The time to prepare for storms is while the skies are still sunny and clear. It’s the same with investing. I invest in gold and silver even when economic forecasts are rosy because when a currency disaster finally strikes I don’t want to be standing in line at the bank trying to withdraw what’s left of my worthless paper script.
Take a lesson from the weather and start putting away some hard assets against the day of reckoning for paper money that we all know is coming.
Chris Poindexter, Senior Writer, National Gold Group, Inc