Pessimistic Bernanke Speaks
February 08, 2012 | 08:14 AM
Posted by David Mason
Ben Bernanke, the Federal Reserve Chairman, insists that the 8.3 percent unemployment rate in the United States distorts the grim picture of the economy. Bernanke, who testified before the Senate Budget Committee, says that those who have given up on finding employment and those working on a part-time basis must be taken into consideration. He believes that the U.S. economy will not grow fast enough for the unemployment rate to decline, but he does not believe that it will increase either. The EUR/USD and the GBP/USD are both up this morning, trading at 1.3272 and 1.5905 respectively.
General Strike in Athens
Despite some hope that the Greek government and its creditors will reach an agreement which will pave the way for the much needed bailout by the ECB and IMF, no solution appears imminent. Greeks took to the streets yesterday for a 24 hour period to protest that latest round of austerity measures imposed by the Greek government. The mood of the populace is so bad that one possible scenario could find the Greek people ousting the current government by force and a Eurosceptic government gaining control. While all out violence in Greece is not likely, the probability of such a catastrophe increases with each new austerity measure.
Gold up on Greek hopes
Gold prices increased in early trading today; riding the wave of positivity that Greece is close to receiving approval for its next bailout. Greece is seeking 130 billion Euros of financial aid in order to prevent bankruptcy. Like gold, the EUR is up this morning against the greenback due to renewed optimism. Keep in mind that the roller-coaster ride regarding Greece has been going on for months, and according to recent history, a positive day, filled with optimism, is usually followed by a day of uncertainty and fear. Gold is up this morning by 0.19% and trading at 1751.75. Silver is up as well, valued at 34.238, an increase of 0.13%.
Oil going on up
Oil is up this morning by 0.80% and valued at 99.20% USD per barrel. Crude oil prices are up due to a decline in U.S. oil reserves. This is the second straight day that oil is showing strong gains. The decline in reserves, along with the harsh winter plaguing Europe, paint a picture of higher oil prices in the short term. Unlike oil, natural gas was down in Asian trading by 0.42% and trading at 2.478.