Fresh weak economic data and comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke have stoked hopes that another round of quantitative easing is on the horizon. Those expectations gave gold and silver prices a boost this week.
Glum retail sales numbers released from the Commerce Department on Monday and high initial jobless claims on Thursday fueled optimism of QE3 despite the lack of hints from the central bank chief earlier in the week. But, Bernanke and his team have clearly left the option of QE3 on the table and stand ready to intervene when they see fit.
The markets’ recent spate of lackluster financial reports and escalating concerns over the waning global economy are suggesting a pressing need for QE3 – sooner rather than later.