Economic News You Need To Know on Friday Morning

Asian shared tumbled in early Friday trading as investors worry about the eurozone crisis and Greece. The potential new Prime Minister of Greece threatened and demanded that the EU change their policies and agreement with Greece.  Investors are beginning to worry about contagion as a Greek exit is more inevitable.  The question is will the EU oust Greece or will Greece recede.

Gold jumped more than 2.5%, the most since October, on chart based buying around long term support levels.  Gold holdings  of SPDR gold trust, the largest ETF backed by the precious metal, declined to 1,278.71 tons, as on May 17.

Silver holdings of iShares silver trust, the largest ETF backed by the metal, increased to 9,619.02 tons, as on May 17. India’s demand for gold dropped 19% on y-o-y basis in the January-March period, while Chinese demand rose 7% in the same period.  The two emerging markets accounted for 54% of global gold demand in the quarter.

The dollar index, which measures US unit against a basket of six major, declined to 81.335, from 81.359 late North American trading Wednesday. 

Spain was in focus, as it sold 2.49bn Euros of shorter-dated government bonds in an auction, with average yields rising significantly compared with previous sales of the paper.

The European Central Bank said it had stopped providing liquidity to some Greek banks that had not been successfully recapitalized.

Copper traded steadily, around 4-month lows, as sentiment were cautious given worries that Spain might be hit hard if Greece leaves the euro and defaults on its debt.

Global copper market was in deficit of 152,000 tons in the first quarter of 2012, as compared to a surplus of 320,000 tons in the year ending CY2011.

Lead market was surplus of 10,900 tons in the first quarter of 2012, compared to a surplus of 3,600 tons the year ending 2011 while zinc market was surplus of 161,000 tons in the first quarter of 2012, compared to a surplus of 540,000 tons the year ending 2011

Nickel market was surplus of 6,200 tons in the first quarter of 2012, compared to a surplus of 8,600 tons the year ending 2011

Crude oil prices declined to 6-month lows, on speculation that Spanish banks may have their credit ratings lowered and a gauge of trailed US manufacturing estimates, bolstered concern that economic growth and fuel demand.

Iranian oil shipments to Japan may be blocked, after the bank handling payments on the transactions was ordered by a US court to freeze assets belonging to the Persian Gulf nation

Natural gas futures declined, as the US Energy Department report showed that natural gas stockpiles rose 61bn cubic feet to 2.667 trillion cubic feet for the week that ended May 11.

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