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Gold prices are modestlyup in early-afternoon U.S. trading Thursday. The yellow metal garnered mildsafe-haven demand support from a crumbling U.S. stock market. A weaker U.S. dollarindex on this day also worked in favour of the precious metalsmarket bulls.
Today’s ADP national employment reportshowed a rise of, 179,000, which was just below the expectations for a gain of190,000. The metals market up ticked modestly on this report, which is aprecursor to the more important Labour Department Employment Situation Reporton November Friday morning. The key non-farm jobs number in that report isforecast up 198,000. Risk aversion is back in the world marketplace Thursday,to provide some support for gold. World stock markets were solidly lowerovernight, also. There are several bearish factors at work spooking world stockmarkets.
Chinese tech giant Huawei’s chieffinancial officer was arrested in Canada, on behalf of the U.S., and will beextradited to the U.S. Her company may be shipping high tech products toIran, which would violate U.S. sanctions against Iran. This sparked fearsthe U.S.-China trade tensions could rise further, despite last weekend’s tradetruce between the world’s two largest economies. Chinese government officialsmay have already known of the arrest days ago and said Thursday they are stillplanning to work with U.S. trade officials over the next 90 days to come toagreement. Still, the matter is very unsettling to traders and investors asChina’s tenor could change quickly, as some Chinese press accounts hintedtoday.
A big drop in crude oil prices Thursdayis also weighing on trader and investor sentiment. Nymex crude oilprices are sharply lower and trading just above $51.00 a barrel. The OPEC oilcartel is meeting in Vienna, Austria on Thursday. Reports said OPEC heavyweightSaudi Arabia has not yet agreed to a production cut, but that it may before themeeting ends on Friday. This has many crude oil market watchers wondering aboutany collective production cut being extended, after most reckoned such would bethe case before the meeting began.
Traders are also anxiously awaiting another speech from Federal ReserveChairman Jerome Powell today, wondering if he will elaborate on U.S. monetarypolicy direction.