By Barry Stuppler – MintStateGold.com

GOLD

Gold continues it’s breakout, now trading up for nine days in a row from the July 1st low of $1,487.  Gold is setting new all-time highs daily, currently trading at $1,591.80 at 11am PDT, up an additional $2.10 per ounce. Traders are still focused on the DEBT, whether it is our Debt Ceiling debate in Congress or the European Sovereign Debt crisis.  As for the QE3 debate and the mixed messages from Fed Chairman Bernanke in his two congressional hearing statements, I continue to believe we will hear of an announcement from the Treasury or Federal Reserve on the next round of monetary easing, to prop up the U.S. economy, after the debt ceiling is raised in August.

Domestically, Standard & Poor’s stated it could downgrade the U.S. credit rating in the next three months over the debt-ceiling impasse. The credit rating agency said in a statement Thursday it was placing the United States’ sovereign rating on ‘CreditWatch with negative implications’.  “There is at least a one-in-two likelihood that we could lower the long-term rating on the U.S. within the next 90 days,” the agency said.

Internationally, Eight European banks have failed the EU Stress Test with a shortfall of 3.5 Billion Euros.  Watching the price of Sovereign Credit-Defaults Swaps (http://www.cnbc.com/id/38451750/ ) it is clear the concerns about a Eurozone country defaulting on debt have increased dramatically.

SILVER

After a brief correction, driving the spot silver price down to $37.86, demand picked up in the global Silver market and at 11am PDT today Silver is trading at $38.98 per ounce, up another $0.16. Now up for the ninth trading day in a row, Silver is picking up momentum with domestic traders as an excellent value in the precious metal sector. The higher the gold price goes, the cheaper the silver price looks at $38-$39 per ounce; a break above $40 would generate a lot of short covering and be very bullish.

 

Today’s Other Important News:

  • Sales at U.S. retailers increased 0.1% in June, the Commerce Department estimated Thursday, beating forecasts of a 0.2% drop.
  • U.S. wholesale prices fell 0.4% in June as the cost of energy posted the biggest monthly drop in two years, the government reported Thursday.
  • China posted a fiscal surplus of 1.25 trillion yuan ($193.3 billion) in the first half of the year as steady economic growth and rising prices lifted government revenues, the Ministry of Finance said on Thursday.
 

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