Gold leads fifth day of gains

Cape Breton Post - - CLASSIFIEDS/BUSINESS - BY ALEKSANDRA SAGAN

The price of gold con­tin­ued its streak as global uncer­tainty and U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s poli­cies and com­ments con­tin­ued to be­fud­dle mar­kets.

“Gold tends to work when the mar­ket isn’t work­ing,” said John Stephen­son, pres­i­dent and CEO of Stephen­son & Co.

April bul­lion jumped $3.40 to US$1,239.50 an ounce, mark­ing five straight days of gains to­talling US$31.20.

The pre­cious metal has been per­form­ing well, rising well above a mid-De­cem­ber low of US$1,129.80 an ounce, as in­vestors turn to it as a safe haven.

On Bay Street, the gold sec­tor led ad­vancers on the S&P/TSX com­pos­ite in­dex, which gained 55.24 points to 15,554.04.

In New York, mar­kets were mostly muted.

The Dow Jones in­dus­trial av­er­age fell 35.95 points to 20,054.34, while the S&P 500 inched higher with an uptick of 1.59 points to 2,294.67. The Nas­daq com­pos­ite reached another record high of 5,682.45, up 8.23 points.

“I think the mar­ket just doesn’t know what to think,” said Stephen­son of stock in­dices that haven’t seen much move­ment one way or another in re­cent days, fol­low­ing a post­pres­i­den­tial-elec­tion surge.

He de­scribed the mar­ket’s mood this week as “weird,” point­ing out there’s not much eco­nomic data to re­act to and that the earn­ings sea­son for U.S. com­pa­nies is roughly three-quar­ters fin­ished with no huge news so far. Mean­while, Trump’s rhetoric and poli­cies con­tinue to cre­ate con­fu­sion.

And it’s not clear when or if Trump will lower taxes and re­duce reg­u­la­tions for busi­nesses as he promised dur­ing the elec­tion cam­paign.

Global events, like France’s up­com­ing pres­i­den­tial elec­tion, are adding to the in­cer­ti­tude.

If Marine Le Pen, pres­i­dent of the Na­tional Front, wins the elec­tion the mar­ket will re­act very neg­a­tively, said Stephen­son.

As the mar­kets pause, the U.S. dol­lar has been under pres­sure as some be­lieve the green­back’s strength­ened too much lately.

That was good news for the loonie Wed­nes­day, which snapped its three-day fall, rising 0.07 of a U.S. cent to 76.02 cents US.

Else­where in com­modi­ties, the March crude oil con­tract rose 17 cents to US$52.34 per bar­rel, March cop­per gained about 3.5 cents to around US$2.67 a pound, and March nat­u­ral gas was rel­a­tively un­changed at about US$3.13 per mmBTU.

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