Gold and silver did not do much moving over the course of the past 4 days, though once again it seems as though the holiday season is to thank for that. Just like last week, this week played host to a surprisingly large quantity of economic data from the United States. Though the next few weeks are shaping up to be much more fruitful as far as economic data is concerned, it was nice to receive a few talking points during what has admittedly been a very slow week of trading. Spot values bounced around between small losses and small gains, but in the end it seems as though the downward trend prevailed. Looking ahead to the New Year, the outlook for gold and silver remains somewhat poor, but a continued run of poor economic data from the United States can change that quite quickly.
Pending Home Sales Fall In November
The housing data has been streaming in the past few weeks, and this week brought about perhaps the most important bit of real estate news yet. According to the National Association of Realtors, pending home sales in November fell by .9% from the month before. This is a notable decline and one that does well to undermine the momentum recently picked up by the US housing market. This data is also coming on the back of reports from last week indicating that existing and new home sales are not nearly as strong as they were a few months ago. With the Fed just having raised interest rates, this is a very inopportune time for such a strong batch of negative data to be flowing in.
It must be stated that the pending home sales report is so crucial because it is viewed as the most accurate picture of the real estate market for a given point in time. Because a lot of time occurs between when a house is entered into contract and when it is actually purchased, other real estate reports tend to only give you a partial picture of what is really going on. Economists are saying that the recently poor data is due to the fact that so few houses are on the market at present, and that lack of stock, so to speak, is driving prices upward almost across the board.
Ruble Hits Year Low, Crude Oil Continues to Falter
The Russian Ruble reportedly edged over a 1-year low against the USD on Wednesday thanks mostly to falling crude oil prices. You see, Russia is a country heavily dependent on their crude oil exports, and with the price of this commodity falling at almost every turn, it is no wonder that Russia is suffering the economic backlash.
This situation makes even more sense when you consider the fact that there are many economic sanctions currently placed on Russia due to their supposed involvement in the Ukrainian civil war conflict (which is still going on). With no end to the sanctions in sight, 2016 is looking like it will be just as hard on the Russian economy as 2015 was.
Though most markets across the globe will be closed on Friday in observance of the New Year holiday, the next few weeks are likely to be quite exciting due to the overload of economic data that is expected to be dealt. Being that this data is of the year-end variety, it has a bit more of an impact than our month-to-month reports. What all this means for gold and silver is tough to say. While conventional wisdom leads one to believe that spot values are going to continue to fall, a continuation of poor economic data from the US may force values back upward.