Silver Prices Retreat, Slip Below $18.00Silver prices have fallen below the $18.00 level, as the sharp gains seen early in the week have evaporated. Iran and the U.S. appear to have de-escalated tensions, but the markets remain unsettled.
Silver has posted losses on Thursday, continuing the downturn which started in the Wednesday session. Currently, silver is trading at $17.92, down 1.19% on the day.
Silver Slides as Mideast Tensions Fade
Silver prices continue to show volatility this week. On Wednesday, silver jumped as high as 18.86 after reports that Iran had launched missile attacks on two U.S. military bases in Iraq. Although the Iranians claimed that the attack killed 80 U.S. soldiers, the U.S. said that the attack had only caused limited casualties and damage. Investors were relieved, as the Iranian move appears to have been calculated to save face for domestic consumption, while at the same time ensuring that an unpredictable President Trump would not respond.
Indeed, Trump sounded surprisingly conciliatory in a White House announcement on Wednesday. Trump said that the Iranian attack had caused minimal damage and added that the United States is “ready to embrace peace with all who seek it.” With Trump appearing to stand down, relieved investors sent equities higher, while gold and silver recorded sharp losses.
ADP Nonfarm Payrolls Shine
There was excellent news from the employment sector on Wednesday, as ADP nonfarm payrolls was much higher than expected in December. The economy created 202 thousand jobs, crushing the estimate of 160 thousand. This marked the highest level since April. Will the good news extend to the official nonfarm payrolls? Analysts are expecting a drop 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. If these releases are stronger than expected, investor risk appetite could rise and send silver prices to lower levels.