Retails sales fall in May; Futures point to a lower start

American stock futures are pointing to a lower start, and were pushed even lower after a report showed that retail sales fell in May.  Jim Reid of Deutsche Bank said, “In reality, price action is likely to remain unpredictable as we move towards this weekend as position squaring will likely dominate ahead of the Greek election this Sunday.”  The focus is squarely back on Greece in the eurozone, as the latest election could make-or-break the repeated bailout attempts for the troubled country.  Gold recovered from early losses after the retail sales report.

Since 2008, over $6 trillion has been printed as part of money-printing or quantitative easing programs by the central banks of the world.  Further quantitative easing is on all of the “Big Four” (Federal Reserve, European Central Bank, Bank of England, Bank of Japan) central banks’ agendas in the near future.  Many investors assume that further easing is sure to happen, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Gary Baker.

The central banks seem to know a way to offset the inflation created by money printing, however.  According to the World Gold Council, Gold makes up more than 70% of the reserves of countries like the U.S.A., Germany, Italy, and France.  Kazakhstan is the latest to significantly increase its holdings in the metal, and by the end of the year expects to have holdings up to 20%.  The country has purchased 16.2 tons of Gold through April of this year, and expects that number to be 24.5 tons in the second half of the year.

At 9 a.m. (EDT), the APMEX Precious Metals spot prices were:

  • Gold – $1,622.50 – Up $8.70.
  • Silver – $29.02 – Down $0.03.
  • Platinum – $1,462.30 – Up $5.90.
  • Palladium – $625.10 – Up $0.90.
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