We had an extremely quiet day in the precious metals markets on Wednesday, with gold and silver both finishing virtually unchanged. There were equally modest changes noted in platinum and palladium. Gold was under pressure early in the day on account of a stronger dollar, which picked up momentum, particularly against the yen. The greenback’s advance to well over the 114 mark basis the Japanese currency was largely on account of the release of constructive US macro numbers, as well as continued speculation about who the next Fed chairman would be. On the latter point, it’s seems that Janet Yellen’s star has now dimmed; in brief remarks to the press, President Trump indicated that while he liked Yellen, he would like to leave his “own mark” on the central bank. Another dark horse, current economic council chief Gary Cohn, will not be nominated either as Bloomberg reports that he is actually contemplating leaving the administration as soon as tax reform legislation gets done (still a big if at this point). This seems to have raised the odds for John Taylor to become the next Fed head and the speculation towards his name was likely the reason we saw a sharp selloff in the US bond market on Wednesday, with the ten-year approaching 2.5%.
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