There is as yet no clear consensus on what the short and medium-term impacts of the Japanese disaster are on base and precious metals, energy, and other commodities. For the time being, price recovery is manifest, but one can expect volatility.
A massive meltdown in precious metals and key commodities followed the massive meltdown in Japanese and world equities which followed the apparently imminent meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan.
The world's third largest economy came to a virtual standstill as one of the more powerful earthquakes in recent memory, and, indeed, in recorded history, struck Japan and unleashed a literal tidal wave of death and destruction overnight.
The sharp decline in oil, along with an initial 0.61% gain in the US dollar on the trade-weighted index made for a wobbly start in the precious metals' complex. Gold spot prices opened with a loss of $12.60 per ounce and silver with an 87-cent drop.
Spot metals dealings started the midweek session with decent gains across the board. Gold was bid at $1,435.70 per ounce (up $6.80) in New York, while silver advanced 27 cents to open at $36.32 on the bid side.
Spot precious metals dealings opened on a weak-to-lower note this morning, as recurring rumors of a deal between Mr. Gaddafi and Libyan rebels continued to pressure oil prices and bolstered the US dollar.
Precious metals trading got off to a flying start on Monday, with gold prices rallying by $11.10 per troy ounce, and they were initially quoted at $1,443.90 on the bid side of spot after having touched early highs at a new, $1,445.90 per ounce record.
The final trading session of this most eventful week began on a relatively upbeat note in precious metals, following yesterday's rather minor (1.5% from the recent high in gold) setback, which, for now, we will refrain from calling a `correction.'
Gold prices traded in a $21 range from $1,416.60 to $1,437.50 and silver gyrated over an 84-cent range as the sellers (and very few buyers) duked it out in the first hour of trading Thursday. Platinum and palladium players also took profits.