Thursday, February 22, 2007


Gold "Carving Out A Platform"

Bloomberg reports on currencies. 'The yen dropped to a record low against the euro and approached the weakest in four years versus the dollar after Bank of Japan Governor Toshihiko Fukui said his board will hold interest rates 'as low as possible.'"

"'The BOJ opens the door for the carry trade to come back,' said Tim O'Sullivan, chief foreign exchange trader at The yen declined to 121.57 against the dollar, from 120.93 yesterday, approaching the four-year low of 122.19 reached on Jan. 29."

"The dollar pared its advance against the euro as the European currency's strength against the yen prompted investors to buy it back against its U.S. counterpart, said Steven Butler, director of foreign exchange trading at Scotia Capital Inc. in Toronto."

"The U.S. currency traded at $1.3122 per euro from $1.3139 yesterday. The dollar earlier rose to as high as $1.3081, the strongest since Feb. 14, as speculation increased the Federal Reserve will keep borrowing costs at a six-year high after a report yesterday showed U.S. inflation accelerated last month."

"The dollar also cut its advance after a report said Iran has conducted uranium enrichment in defiance of the United Nations Security Council. 'The knee-jerk reaction is to sell the dollar,' said Kathy Lien, chief currency strategist at 'The concern is that if Iran failed to suspend its nuclear program, the risk of a U.S. military engagement may increase. But the market's response was limited as the Iran news has been on for months.'"

"The news also helped the Swiss franc, considered a safe- haven currency from geopolitical risks, rebound against the dollar and rise from an all-time low versus the euro. The franc traded at 1.2386 per dollar, recovering from an intra-day low of 1.2437. The Swiss currency also rebounded to 1.6253 per euro from 1.6264 yesterday, after earlier tumbling to 1.6291, the weakest since the euro's debut in January 1999."

"New Zealand's dollar headed for its third weekly gain, helped by speculation the yield gap with nations such as Japan won't narrow soon, underpinning demand for the currency."

"New Zealand's 7.25 percent official cash rate is 6.75 percentage points higher than Japan's benchmark. The gap may widen as there's an 83 percent chance the Reserve Bank of New Zealand will raise its key rate next month, according to an index calculated by Credit Suisse."

From CNN Money. "U.S. gold futures finished a dollar lower on Thursday as investors took a breather after solid gains in the previous session, but analysts said the precious metal could turn around and test the $700 an ounce psychological mark soon."

"Most-active gold for April delivery on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange settled down $1.00 at $683.00 an ounce, traded in a range between $678.70 and $684.70."

"Stephen Platt, analyst at Archer Financials, cited profit taking for gold's pullback on Thursday and said that the market might need to consolidate a bit before moving higher. 'Given yesterday's activity, I have to be a believer that we are still going to be working higher and probably make a test of that $700 area,' Platt added."

"U.S. crude futures rose more than 1 percent to finish near $61 a barrel on Thursday after government data showed a sharp fall in fuel supplies last week."

"Mike Guido, director of hedge fund marketing at Societe Generale, said there was a 'very strong consensus in the market to see higher prices,' driven by geopolitical tensions, expectations for a weaker dollar and strong inflow to bullion exchange-traded funds."

"'As long as you stay above these levels, $670 to $675 [April gold basis], you're carving out a platform for a new higher range,' Guido said. 'Probably a target for $700 in the short term,' Guido said."

"Spot gold was quoted at $676.95 an ounce, down from $679.25 an ounce, its late Wednesday quote in New York. London's afternoon fix was $676.60."

"In precious metals, silver followed gold to end lower after hitting its highest levels in more than two months on Wednesday. COMEX March silver closed down 2.30 cents at $14.250 an ounce, traded in a range between $14.160 and $14.365. Spot silver was quoted at $14.215, compared with $14.255 from its late Wednesday quote. Silver was fixed in London at $14.250."

"NYMEX April platinum finished down $3.20 at $1,230.00 an ounce. Spot platinum was quoted at $1,228.50. NYMEX March palladium settled up $6.55, or 1.9 percent, at $350.70 an ounce. Spot palladium fetched $349.50."

"Newmont Mining Corp., the world's second-biggest gold producer, said fourth-quarter profit tripled as a rally in metals prices more than offset a drop in output and higher operating costs at its mines."

"Net income rose to $223 million, or 49 cents a share, from $62 million, or 14 cents, a year earlier, Denver-based Newmont said today in a statement. Sales rose 13 percent to $1.46 billion. The price of gold from Newmont's mines jumped 31 percent even as sale of the metal fell 4.6 percent and costs rose."

"CCEO Wayne Murdy cut the company's sales estimates three times in 2006 because of lower output in Uzbekistan and Ghana, sending Newmont shares down 17 percent in the past year. 'Questions still remain in terms of their cost structure,' Ian Nakamoto, director of research at MacDougall, MacDougall & Mactier Inc., which manages C$4 billion ($3.45 billion) in Toronto, said before the announcement. 'Obviously costs are increasing and it's a matter of the price of gold outpacing the escalation in manpower and energy costs.'"

"The company sold gold on average for $619 an ounce during the quarter, up from $472 a year earlier. Gold futures on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange rose 27 percent to $616.95 an ounce on average during the quarter, and reached a 26-year high of $732 an ounce on May 12."

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