Restless Silver Flirts With 4-Month HighInvestors are jittery as the U.S.-Iran conflict threatens to escalate. Iran has attacked U.S. bases in Iraq, but it is unclear if Washington will respond or will cooler heads prevail.
Silver has shown strong moves in both directions on Wednesday, as the markets remain jumpy in the aftermath of the U.S. drone strike which killed an Iranian general and sent shock waves across the Middle East. Currently, silver is trading at $18.41, up 0.17% on the day.
Investors Keep Eye on Safe-Haven Silver
With tensions in the Persian Gulf and across the Middle East at a fever pitch, safe-haven assets, such as silver and gold, are in demand. Gold investors are smiling, as the metal climbed as high as $1611 on Wednesday, its highest level since March 2013. Silver prices have also headed higher – in Wednesday’s Asian session, silver touched a high of 18.84, its highest level since September 5th.
U.S. Services PMI Within Expectations
The ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI was stronger than expected in December. The PMI accelerated to 55.0, up from 53.9 in the previous release. This figure beat the estimate of 54.5 pts. The PMI continues to point to expansion in business activity, as the services sector continues to outperform the manufacturing industry.
Next – ADP Nonfarm Payrolls
Investors will be treated to a host of employment releases this week, which are important gauges of the health of the U.S. economy and could affect silver prices. Later on Wednesday, we’ll get a look at the ADP nonfarm payrolls, which dropped to 67 thousand in November. Analysts are expecting a strong turnaround in the December release, with an estimate of 160 thousand. On Friday, the U.S. releases official nonfarm payrolls, which is forecast to fall to 150 thousand, down from 266 thousand a month earlier. Wage growth is expected to rise to 0.3%, up from 0.2% in November.