Coronavirus3 hours ago (Aug 01, 2021 06:05PM ET)

U.S. COVID-19 eviction ban expires, leaving renters at risk© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Workers break up the furniture left by a renter who was evicted after a 48-hours notice for violating the terms of her lease in Chelsea, Massachusetts, U.S., March 29, 2021. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -A pandemic-related U.S. government ban on residential evictions expired at midnight on Saturday, putting millions of American renters at risk of being forced from their homes.

The expiration was a blow to President Joe Biden, who on Thursday made a last-ditch request to Congress to extend the moratorium, citing the raging Delta variant.

On Friday, the U.S. House of Representatives adjourned without reviewing the tenant protections after a Republican congressman blocked a bid to extend it by unanimous consent until Oct. 18. Democratic leaders said they lacked sufficient support to put the proposal to a formal vote.

The U.S. Senate held a rare Saturday session but did not address the eviction ban. The White House had made clear it would not unilaterally extend the protections, arguing it does not have legal authority to do so following a Supreme Court ruling in June.

More than 15 million people in 6.5 million U.S. households are currently behind on rental payments, according to a study by the Aspen Institute and the COVID-19 Eviction Defense Project, collectively owing more than $20 billion to landlords.

Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren on Saturday said that in “every state in this country, families are sitting around their kitchen table right now, trying to figure out how to survive a devastating, disruptive and unnecessary eviction.”

Democratic Representative Cori Bush and others spent Friday night outside the U.S. Capitol https://www.reuters.com/world/us/us-lawmaker-spends-night-outside-capitol-protest-return-evictions-2021-07-31 to call attention to the issue.

She asked how parents could go to work and take care of children if they are evicted. “We cannot put people on the street in a deadly global pandemic,” Bush said on Saturday.

Landlord groups opposed the moratorium, and some landlords have struggled to keep up with mortgage, tax and insurance payments on properties without rental income.

An eviction moratorium has largely been in place under various measures since late March 2020. The ban by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) went into effect in September 2020 to combat the spread of COVID-19 and prevent homelessness during the pandemic. It has been extended multiple times, most recently through Saturday.

CDC said in June it would not issue further extensions. A CDC spokeswoman confirmed that the moratorium had expired but declined to comment further.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in explaining the need to extend the eviction ban, noted that out of $46.5 billion in rental relief previously approved by Congress, “only $3 billion has been distributed to renters.”

Late Saturday, Pelosi said lawmakers were demanding “the $46.5 billion provided by Congress be distributed expeditiously to renters and landlords.”

Some Democratic lawmakers early Sunday were rallying outside the Capitol to call for the ban’s reinstatement.

Some states like California and New York have chosen to extend eviction moratoriums beyond July 31. Federal agencies that finance rental housing on Friday urged owners of those properties to take advantage of assistance programs and avoid evicting tenants.

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China new home price growth slows in July – private survey

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Economic Indicators4 hours ago (Aug 01, 2021 01:00AM ET)

China new home price growth slows in July - private survey© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A woman rides a tricycle carrying a child near a residential compound in Beijing’s Tongzhou district, China, February 25, 2016. REUTERS/Jason Lee

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s growth in new home prices slowed in July for the first time in five months, with smaller cities especially weighed down by higher mortgage rates, price caps on resale homes and other steps to cool speculation, a private-sector survey showed on Sunday.

New home prices in 100 cities rose 0.35% in July from a month earlier, versus 0.36% growth in June, according to data from China Index Academy, one of the country’s largest independent real estate research firms.

This year Chinese authorities have implemented measures to rein in the red-hot real estate market, including caps on developers’ borrowing and strict bans on illegal flows of funds into the sector.

“New home growth softened in July against the backdrop of stringent measures and tighter credit”, said the group’s director, Cao Jingjing.

Growth in home sales is expected to remain mild as the curbs are unlikely to be eased, the survey said.

In July, China’s housing ministry urged five cities including the eastern city of Jinhua and the southeastern city of Quanzhou to stabilise their property markets, while the central bank ordered lenders in Shanghai to raise interest rates on mortgage loans.

Prices in China’s smaller tier-three and tier-four cities rose 0.21% on-month, versus 0.29% in June. Tier-two cities, which include some provincial capitals, gained 0.29%, slowing from June’s 0.31% rise.

Price growth in China’s biggest cities such as Shanghai and Beijing, however, continued to accelerate, up 0.54% versus June’s 0.48% growth, suggesting persistent demand for properties in the country’s economically most vibrant cities.

But new home prices in the southern tech hub of Shenzhen declined 0.26%, the first drop since February. Local media had warned in May that Shenzhen could be a testing ground for China’s plans to impose a nationwide property tax, due to elevated home prices.

On an annual basis, China’s new home prices grew 3.81% in July, slowing from June’s 3.89% gain.

Resale homes also showed slower month-on-month price growth in July, while existing home prices in Shenzhen were down 0.43% on-month.

Local governments in some hot property markets may implement pricing references for resale homes to stabilise prices, the survey said.

Land sales by floor space in 300 cities fell 25% in July from a month earlier, and declined 38% on an annual basis, separate survey data showed.

The National Bureau of Statistics will release official July data for China’s home prices in mid-August.

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Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

Bitcoin ‘supercycle’ sets up Q4 BTC price top as illiquid supply hits all-time high

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Cryptocurrency8 hours ago (Aug 01, 2021 02:40AM ET)

Bitcoin 'supercycle' sets up Q4 BTC price top as illiquid supply hits all-time highBitcoin ‘supercycle’ sets up Q4 BTC price top as illiquid supply hits all-time high

(BTC) is gearing up for a comeback which should lead it to repeat classic bull run years 2013 and 2017, analysts are arguing.

As $42,400 local highs appeared on July 31, narratives around the market are flipping back to a bullish Bitcoin “supercycle.”

1-month annotated candle chart. Source: Jeff Ross/ Twitter
Bitcoin illiquid supply annotated chart. Source: Lex Moskovski/ Twitter

Continue Reading on Coin Telegraph

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Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

China securities watchdog seeks closer cooperation with U.S.

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Stock Markets8 hours ago (Aug 01, 2021 03:00AM ET)

China securities watchdog seeks closer cooperation with U.S.© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A Chinese national flag flutters outside the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) building on the Financial Street in Beijing, China July 9, 2021. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s securities regulator said on Sunday it will seek closer cooperation with its U.S. counterpart and will support overseas listings, after U.S. regulators tightened disclosure for Chinese companies and voiced concern about Beijing’s regulatory actions.

The China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) said in a statement that it had taken note of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) new requirements for disclosure regarding Chinese companies’ listings and that the two sides should “uphold the spirit of mutual respect” and “strengthen communications on regulating China-related stocks.”

The CSRC has always been open to companies choosing where to go public and “China’s basic national policy of advancing reform and opening up is unswerving, and the financial opening to the outside world will continue,” it said on its website.

The SEC said on Friday it would require Chinese companies to disclose “uncertainty about future actions by the government of China that could significantly affect the operating company’s financial performance,” before allowing them to raise capital through U.S. stock markets.

Chinese issuers must also disclose if they were denied permission from Chinese authorities to list on U.S. exchanges and the risks that such approval could be denied or rescinded, the SEC added.

China has been tightening its regulatory grip on overseas share issuance after it launched a cybersecurity probe of ride-hailing giant Didi Global Inc last month, just days after its listing in New York.

China’s cabinet said on July 6 that it would strengthen supervision of all Chinese firms listed offshore.

Following suit, China’s cyberspace regulator said that any company with data for more than 1 million users must report for a cybersecurity review before seeking overseas listings. China’s central bank has also said that non-bank payment firms must report plans for overseas listings.

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Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

Ethereum 2.0 Delayed, When Will Ethereum Hit $5,000?

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Cryptocurrency11 hours ago (Aug 01, 2021 04:00AM ET)

Ethereum 2.0 Delayed, When Will Ethereum Hit $5,000?Ethereum 2.0 Delayed, When Will Ethereum Hit $5,000?

Tensions are high as Ethereum 2.0 is delayed. Investors and Ether (ETH) hodlers alike are restlessly waiting for its launch and the inevitable price surge it will most likely bring. However, due to varying reasons, we may not see the crypto hitting $5,000 anytime soon.

At the moment, ETH is showing bullish signs. Most analysts believe this is just for a short time. Many factors could soon contribute to the price staying at its current position for a while. Ever since Ethereums’s launch, its founder — Vitalik Buterin, has been teasing an eventual update.

Specifically, this update will bring Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus to the blockchain. According to Buterin, this update was thought to take a year’s time to accompl…

Continue reading on CoinQuora

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Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

Olympics-Italy hails new sprint king, as drama unfolds at airport

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Olympics-Italy hails new sprint king, as drama unfolds at airport© Reuters. A group of police officers walks outside the Ariake Tennis Park at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, August 1, 2021. REUTERS/Mike Segar

2/5

By Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber and Mitch Phillips

TOKYO (Reuters) -Lamont Marcell Jacobs won the most coveted crown in athletics on Sunday, giving Italy its first 100 metres gold on a night of high drama in Tokyo.

As Jacobs stormed https://www.reuters.com/lifestyle/sports/athletics-italys-jacobs-takes-stunning-100-metres-gold-2021-08-01 to the first Olympic title of the post-Usain Bolt era, the fate of a Belarusian sprinter’s Tokyo Games was playing out at a nearby airport.

Krystsina Tsimanouskaya, who had been due to compete in the women’s 200 metres on Monday, told Reuters she had sought the protection of Japanese police https://www.reuters.com/lifestyle/sports/exclusive-olympics-belarusian-athlete-says-she-was-taken-airport-go-home-after-2021-08-01 at Tokyo’s Haneda airport after being taken to the airport against her wishes.

She said the Belarusian coaching staff had taken her to the airport to board a flight back home after she had complained about national coaches at the Tokyo Olympics.

“I will not return to Belarus,” she told Reuters in a message over Telegram.

The Belarusian Olympic Committee said in a statement that coaches had decided to withdraw Tsimanouskaya from the Games on doctors’ advice about her “emotional, psychological state”.

In a video published on Telegram by the Belarusian Sport Solidarity Foundation, Tsimanouskaya asked the International Olympic Committee to get involved in her case.

An IOC spokesperson said the governing body had seen media reports and was looking into it. The spokesperson said it had asked Belarus’s Olympic committee for clarification.

A Reuters photographer witnessed the athlete standing next to Japanese police.

“I think I am safe,” Tsimanouskaya said. “I am with the police.”

FORZA ITALIA!

Jacobs’ European record 9.80 second run ended Fred Kerley’s bid to become the first American winner since Justin Gatlin in 2004. Kerley took silver in a personal best 9.84, while Canada’s Andre de Grasse 9.89 earned him a bronze.

“I’ve won an Olympic gold after Bolt, it’s unbelievable,” said the sprinter, who was born in the United States but moved to Europe with his Italian mother when he was a month old.

Gianmarco Tamberi made it double gold for Italy with an emotional, and unusual, high jump victory https://www.reuters.com/lifestyle/sports/athletics-qatars-barshim-italian-tamberi-share-mens-high-jump-gold-2021-08-01 in a night to remember.

The 29-year-old shared the gold with Qatar’s world champion Mutaz Essa Barshim.

Tamberi, who broke his ankle days before the Rio de Janeiro Games in 2016, hugged everyone he could find on the track. Draped in an Italian flag, he was also the first to embrace Jacobs after his 100m win.

“This is a bit of history that will stay with me forever. I will tell my kids, if I have them. I will never sleep again,” he said.

Italy ended the day in the top 10 of the Olympics medal tally with four golds. China was on top with 24 golds, the United States second with 20. Japan were third with 17 and Australia fourth with 14.

DAY OF FIRSTS

It was a day of firsts across Tokyo’s sporting arenas. In gymnastics, Artem Dolgopyat won the men’s floor https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/gymnastics-dolgopyat-wins-floor-exercise-israels-first-gold-2021-08-01, delivering Israel’s first Olympic title since 2004, and only second ever.

Rebeca Andrade, a surprise silver medallist in the all-around, went one better in the vault to give Brazil its first ever women’s title in gymnastics.

American Simone Biles was not competing, having earlier announced her decision to also pull out of Monday’s floor exercise final as she continued to deal with the mental health issues that have limited her to a single vault in Tokyo.

Emma McKeon continued Australia’s success on the final day of competition in the pool to become the first female swimmer to win seven medals at a single Olympic Games when she won golds in the 50m freestyle and 4×100 medley relay.

Ghana celebrated its first individual medal in almost half a century when featherweight boxer Samuel Takyi overpowered his Colombian opponent Ceiber Avila to guarantee himself at least a bronze.

Caeleb Dressel helped Team USA to rise up the medal rankings and confirmed his dominance in men’s sprint swimming when he won his fifth medal at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre.

As the swimming ended, the celebrations promised to be more muted at the Tokyo Game than in previous years after organisers said they were investigating a report of athletes breaching COVID-19 health protocols by drinking in a park in the village.

“We’re all fine with putting off any celebrating,” said U.S swimmer Ryan Murphy.

“We love this team. We love to celebrate with this team. We’re not going to be in a gathering where other people are there. We’re going to continue to be safe and make sure the Japanese public feels safe with us being here until we’re gone.”

Global chip shortage, COVID-19 pandemic weigh on French car market rebound

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Stock Markets2 hours ago (Aug 01, 2021 04:50AM ET)

Global chip shortage, COVID-19 pandemic weigh on French car market rebound© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Stocks of new cars are parked in a lot, at Walon France automobile transport company in Hordain, northern France, May 26, 2020. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

PARIS (Reuters) -The global chip shortage and a new surge in COVID-19 infections are weighing on the prospects for a strong rebound by the French car market, the carmakers’ lobby CCFA-PFA said on Sunday.

The French association was until now betting on car sales growth in the range of 9-10%, but that could be toned down, a spokesperson for CCFA said.

“We think it might be difficult to achieve 1.8 million of sales this year,” the spokesperson said.

Last year, new French passenger car registrations fell to 1.65 million from 2.21 million in 2019 as the coronavirus pandemic brought car factories to a halt.

A lack of crucial semiconductors and uncertainty surrounding the novel coronavirus pandemic are affecting most automakers, including French carmaker Renault (PA:) and its Franco-Italian arch-rival Stellantis.

New car registrations in France plummeted by about 35% in July from the same period a year ago, according to data issued by CCFA-PFA late on Saturday.

Registrations of new passenger vehicles totalled 115,713 last month, CCFA said. The French car market is up by about 16% over the first seven months of the year compared with the same period in 2020, the association said.

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Trump raises big money in early 2021, but doesn’t spend much

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World5 hours ago (Aug 01, 2021 05:35AM ET)

Trump raises big money in early 2021, but doesn't spend much© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during his first post-presidency campaign rally at the Lorain County Fairgrounds in Wellington, Ohio, U.S., June 26, 2021. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

By Jason Lange

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A fundraising group run by former President Donald Trump raised $62 million in the first half of the year but only spent $3 million, with the biggest chunk of money going to a pro-Trump research center and more than $65,000 to Trump’s own hotels, according to federal records published on Saturday.

Trump, a Republican, established the Save America committee in November shortly after losing the presidential election to Democrat Joe Biden. Under Federal Election Commission (FEC) rules, the committee has broad leeway in how it can use its money.

A filing with the FEC showed Save America made a $1 million contribution in June to the America First Policy Institute, a nonprofit run by veterans of his administration.

The group’s leadership includes Brooke Rollins (NYSE:), who led the White House’s Domestic Policy Council under Trump, and Larry Kudlow, who led Trump’s National Economic Council.

The money spent at Trump hotels was described as covering lodging or meals, according to Save America’s filing.

Another Trump-controlled committee, a former campaign account now known as the Make America Great Again PAC, spent an additional $13 million in the first half of the year, mostly to cover legal fees and Trump’s efforts to reverse his November election loss, according to a separate FEC filing.

Together, the two committees brought in the bulk of the nearly $82 million that Trump’s office said he helped raise between January and June.

Committees affiliated with Trump ended the period with nearly $102 million in cash, a sum that could help the former president exert considerable influence ahead of next year’s elections when Republicans hope to win control of Congress. Democrats have narrow majorities in the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.

But while Trump is his party’s top fundraiser and continues to raise large sums for the Republican National Committee, his committees did not give any money to political candidates during the first half of the year.

A spokesperson for his office said $5,000 checks were sent in July to candidates he had endorsed. Details on those contributions are expected in FEC filings due later in the year.

Many of the candidates Trump has endorsed, particularly those challenging incumbent Republicans or seeking open seats, lag far behind their opponents in fundraising. Trump-backed Kelly Tshubaka, who is challenging Republican U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, had about $2 million less in her campaign’s bank account at the end of June than did Murkowski.

Republicans will face a well-funded slate of Democrats in next year’s elections.

Democrats raised over $373 million in online donations in the first six months of the year through ActBlue, the party’s dominant payment processor, according to a disclosure filed on Saturday. That outpaced the $258 million that Republicans raised during the same period through their online payment processor WinRed.

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Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

Top 5 Things to Watch in Markets in the Week Ahead

Top 5 Things to Watch in Markets in the Week Ahead© Reuters

By Noreen Burke

Investing.com – The U.S. jobs report for July will be the highlight in the week ahead with investors on the watch for any catalysts that could encourage the Federal Reserve to tighten monetary policy sooner. The economic calendar also features the Institute for Supply Management’s PMIs along with data on factory orders and initial jobless claims. Earnings will continue to dominate headlines, with more than a quarter of S&P 500 companies set to report in the coming week. The crackdown by Chinese market regulators could continue to be a major story and in the UK the Bank of England is to hold its latest policy meeting where it is likely to echo the Fed’s view that there is still some way to go before stimulus can be reduced. Here is what you need to know to start your week.

  1. July jobs report

Friday’s U.S. non-farm payrolls report will provide fresh clues on the strength of the economic recovery and inform the outlook for Fed policymakers.

Economists are expecting the economy to have added jobs in July after a forecast-beating 850,000 in June.

Last week Fed Chair Jerome Powell said the job market still had “some ground to cover” before it would be time to start scaling back stimulus measures the central bank enacted in the spring of 2020 to combat the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

In June Fed officials began debating how to wind down bond purchases but there is no clear timetable yet for when it will begin pulling back emergency market support measures.

  1. Other economic data

Aside from the jobs report, the economic calendar also features other important data including the Institute for Supply Management’s data Monday and data on Wednesday. The ISM manufacturing PMI is expected to remain robust, but to again underline supply side strains in the economy that are contributing to higher inflation.

Data on is slated for Tuesday and the weekly report on is on Thursday. Jobless claims have fallen considerably since the start of the year amid growing labor demand but the delta variant that’s fueled a recent surge in new infections across the country poses a risk.

Several Fed officials are also scheduled to speak during the week, including Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren, Fed Vice Chair Richard Clarida and Fed Governor Christopher Waller.

  1. Earnings

Investors will get a fresh batch of earnings reports in the week ahead from companies such as Eli Lilly (NYSE:), CVS Health (NYSE:) and General Motors (NYSE:).

Expectations of strong future earnings have been the key driver of the S&P 500’s gains this year, according to a Credit Suisse analysis of the index’s year-to-date performance that compared change in stock valuations with changes in expected earnings.

U.S. stocks fell on Friday and registered losses for the week as Amazon (NASDAQ:) shares dropped after the company forecast lower sales growth, but the still notched a sixth straight month of gains.

4. China crackdown

China’s recent regulatory crackdown has frightened investors away from Chinese stocks and left tech companies operating in an uncertain environment.

China has been tightening its regulatory grip on overseas share issuance after it launched a probe of ride-hailing giant Didi Global last month, just days after its listing in New York.

Following a sharp selloff authorities moved to calm market jitters which put a floor under stocks and the yuan, for now.

In the coming week investors will be looking to Chinese data amid growing concerns over a slowdown in the world’s second largest economy, which could be the next test for markets.

  1. Bank of England meeting

The Bank of England is expected to keep stimulus running at its current pace when it on Thursday, despite some disagreement among policymakers over the size of its bond-buying program against a background of rising inflation and an improving economy.

So, what to watch for at the BoE meeting? Officials are likely to raise their inflation forecast for this year, but the outlook for growth remains uncertain amid concerns over the delta variant.

Also, after two policymakers recently broke ranks to advocate for an early end to its bond-buying stimulus scheme, it will be interesting to gauge whether more officials are coming around to that view.

–Reuters contributed to this report

Precious Metals & Energy – Weekly Review and Calendar Ahead

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CommoditiesAug 01, 2021 06:15AM ET

Precious Metals & Energy - Weekly Review and Calendar Ahead© Reuters.

By Barani Krishnan

Investing.com — Gold settled up for the week and month as a Federal Reserve standing resolute against any immediate talk of stimulus tapering or rate hike restored some shine to the yellow metal.

Yet, none of the precious metals had a month to really crow about in July.

As we move deeper into the third quarter, the question that really begs asking is what the prospects are for the top four in the precious space – gold, silver, palladium and platinum – and which of these could stand out in August.

Sunil Kumar Dixit of Kolkata, India-based SK Dixit Charting breaks it down for Investing.com readers, saying gold probably has the most attractive fundamentals of the lot, despite its spotty performance in the past nine months.

on New York’s Comex settled down $18.60, or 1%, at $1,817.20 an ounce. For the week, it rose 1%.

More importantly, for July, it finished up almost 3%, after June’s 7% plunge that turned out to be its worst month since Nov 2016.

The June tumble aside, gold had a decent couple of months, rising almost 8% in May and 3% in April. Even so, year-to-date, gold is down more than 4%.

Dixit says the good thing for gold is the spot monthly chart has taken support at the Middle Bollinger Band at $1,770, and around the 20-month Exponential Moving Average of $1,740.

The stochastic Relative Strength Index reading of 16/15 with a golden crossover also indicates enough room for continuation of the upside momentum, he said.

“As long as gold holds above $1,770 and $1,740, traders can look for pricing in the $1,870-$1,916 range,” Dixit added.

Ed Moya, head of research for the Americas at New York’s OANDA, also has a positive view on gold despite its uneven performance.

“Bullion bulls are probably feeling pretty optimistic,” said Moya. “Gold appears to be close to triggering technical buying following the aftermath of the Fed, persistent delta variant concerns, and depressed global bond yields.”

After two weeks of anemic action, gold longs got a break on Wednesday when Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said the central bank wasn’t ready to think of raising U.S. interest rates as it was still focused on buying assets to support an economy recovering from the coronavirus pandemic.

Powell also refused to go near any talk of when the Fed might consider tapering the combined $120 billion the Fed was plonking each month into Treasury bonds and agency mortgage‑backed securities. His mantra: It isn’t time.

Getting toward the Fed’s twin mandates of maximum employment for Americans and sustainable inflation were the goals, he reasoned.

U.S. jobless claims stood at 400,000 and above for a second week in a row, according to Labor Department data on Thursday that suggested a continued challenge for the fragile labor market recovery amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Personal Consumption Expenditure Index, the Fed’s preferred gauge for inflation, rose by 3.5% year-on-year in June – its most in 30 years – when stripped of volatile food and energy prices.

Since January, gold has been on a tough ride that began in August last year – when it came off record highs above $2,000 and meandered for a few months before stumbling into a systemic decay from November, when the first breakthroughs in Covid-19 vaccine efficiencies were announced. At one point, gold raked a near 11-month bottom at under $1,674.

After appearing to break that dark spell with a bounce back to $1,905 in May, gold saw a new round of short-selling that took it back and forth between $1,700 and $1,800.

Gold is currently consolidating between the 50- and -100 day simple moving averages. If it clears $1,850 next week, it might be able to make a run toward $1,900.

The risk, however, is U.S. jobs showing a bigger-than-expected gain for July in the Labor Department’s monthly nonfarm payroll report due next week. If that overshoots forecasts, it could complicate the Fed’s aim of keeping the stimulus on for the foreseeable future and rates lower for longer. Gold might be caught in treacherous waters again if the job numbers surprise.

Among other precious metals:

“Silver has been reluctant to post any bullish signature on its monthly chart,” said Dixit. “The entire month’s price behavior for July displayed sideways’ hesitation with a bearish summary.”

Dixit said the stochastic Relative Strength Index negativity with a reading of 70/65 gives enough room for downside move in spot silver to test the middle Bollinger Band at $22.50, from where it could possibly stage a recovery toward the bullish $30 perch.

“For the third month in a row, palladium failed to hold to marginal gains and closed down in a bad mood,” Dixit noted of the autocatalyst metal for gasoline

Accordingly, spot palladium’s stochastic Relative Strength Index gives a negative crossover and a reading of 40/23 strengthens the case for a further correction of $400 to the region of $2,450-$2,250, he added.

“Platinum continued to close bearish with an inverted hammer formation which gives further 100 points downside to $955,” said Dixit of the autocatalyst cousin to palladium used in diesel engines. “The month-long price behavior shows bias to move lower and test horizontal and static support areas of $975-$955.”

Spot platinum’s stochastic Relative Strength Index parameters of 60/79 reinforced  negative extensions that weighed on platinum, said Dixit.

However, the Middle Bollinger Band coinciding with $975 “could give platinum a soft floor to stage a bounce”, he added.

Oil Market & Price Roundup

Oil had its best week in five on Friday after outsized U.S. draws in everything, from crude to gasoline and diesel, helped bulls put the market back on a positive track.

New York-traded and London’s also posted modest gains for July, extending oil’s positive run to a fourth straight month.

WTI settled up 33 cents, or 0.5%, at $73.95 per barrel on Friday. The benchmark for U.S. oil was up 2.1% for the Monday-Friday stretch, marking its best week in five. It also showed a gain of 0.7% for July.

Brent, the global benchmark for oil, settled up 31 cents, or 0.4%, at $75.41 on the day. For the week, Brent rose 1.8%. For July, Brent showed a 1.1% gain. That was its best in six weeks.

After a soft start to the week, oil’s upside was restored by data from the Energy Information Administration showing a drop of 4.089 million barrels during the week to July 23, compared with analysts’ expectations for a draw of 2.928 million barrels.

The big drawdowns in crude came as refiners focused on pushing out as much gasoline as they could this summer to meet projected demand for the peak U.S. driving season.

According to the EIA, refiners operated at 91.1 percent of capacity for the week to July 23, not far from highs seen during the pre-pandemic summer of 2019.

stockpiles on their own fell by 2.25 million barrels for the week to July 23, against a forecast 1.24 million.

The outlier for the week, however, was diesel-heavy , which drew down by 3.1 million barrels, more than quadruple the forecast decline of 700,000. The outsized draw shows that demand for trucking and other commercial vehicle fuel was as strong as the consumption of gasoline.

Oil prices were held back earlier in the week after a new surge in Covid cases from the Delta variant of the virus posed headwinds for the market.

While investor risk appetite in oil has grown in recent days, allowing bulls to regain control of the market, the emergence of new Covid threats in the U.S. and elsewhere make the path forward more challenging compared with earlier in the year when crude prices rose almost without stop week after week.

Energy Markets Calendar Ahead

Monday, Aug 2

Cushing inventory data from surveyor Genscape

Tuesday, Aug 3

weekly report on oil stockpiles.

Wednesday, Aug 4

EIA weekly report on

EIA weekly report on

EIA weekly report on

Thursday, Aug 5

EIA weekly report on

Friday, Aug 6

Baker Hughes weekly survey on

Disclaimer: Barani Krishnan does not hold a position in the commodities and securities he writes about.

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