Gold prices are trading just above unchanged in early U.S. dealings Monday, supported on short covering by the shorter-term traders and on some bargain hunting following Friday’s losses. April gold was last up $1.80 at $1,340.00 an ounce. Spot gold was last quoted up $0.50 at $1,340.50. May Comex silver last traded down $0.107 at $20.79 an ounce.
There was downbeat economic data coming out of China over the weekend. Its exports fell by 18% in February, year-on-year, it was reported Saturday. A 5% increase in exports was expected from the world’s second-largest economy in February. China’s trade deficit in February was $23 billion, compared to a $32 billion surplus in January. This surprising news put pressure on Asian and European stock markets, as well as the raw commodity sector, to start the trading week.
The Malaysian airliner that went missing over the weekend is not being credited with significantly moving markets, but the specter of terrorism being at blame is unsettling.
The situation in Ukraine is simmering somewhere between the front burner and back burner of the market place, at present. Russian president Putin did turn up the heat a bit over the weekend when he said he would back the Crimean region seceding from Ukraine. U.S. and German officials rebuked Putin over the weekend. A vote on the Crimean secession is scheduled for March 16, and that could be the next flashpoint in the region.
U.S. economic data due for release Monday is light and includes the employment trends index.