Jeff Mason is a White House Correspondent for Reuters and the 2016-2017 president of the White House Correspondents’ Association. He was the lead Reuters correspondent for President Barack Obama's 2012 campaign and interviewed the president at the White House in 2015. Jeff has been based in Washington since 2008, when he covered the historic race between Obama, Hillary Clinton and John McCain. Jeff started his career in Frankfurt, Germany, where he covered the airline industry before moving to Brussels, Belgium, where he covered the European Union. He is a Colorado native, proud graduate of Northwestern University and former Fulbright scholar.
Twitter handle: @jeffmason1
The yellow metal is up as tumbling oil prices and a rising dollar destabilise many financial markets. Euro zone fears and Russian gold buying have also helped. But U.S. rate rises will create major shifts in the financial world. Gold is set for a bad 2015.
Not long ago an overheating housing market was seen by many as the big UK danger. Now mortgage approvals are dropping and house inflation is easing – even though mortgages are getting cheaper. Tighter home-loan regulation is a factor. Workers’ low earnings are the main restraint.
The asset was first to swoon when investors awoke to the end of U.S. money-printing. Coin sales, a recovering Indian rupee and declining supply offer some hope. But even after a near-40 pct fall, the price hasn’t adjusted to the end of speculative fervour. Sub-$1,000/oz looms.
Investors worry about the end of America’s quantitative easing but global consumers, especially the poor, can welcome it. The halt has helped make oil and food cheaper, lowering inflation. That will also keep interest rates down. In all, it may be more stimulating.
The UK prime minister crowed when opposition leader Ed Miliband forgot the deficit in a keynote speech. Yet David Cameron has gone further, insisting on the need to tackle the country’s biggest problem and then pledging a tax giveaway. It’s an electoral bribe he can’t afford.
Brent fell below the $100 a barrel threshold on Monday. The decline is mostly an adjustment to less money-printing, a firmer dollar and shale supply, not a sign of impending deflationary doom. Oil could fall further. That will be good for consumer spending and global recovery.
LONDON, (Reuters Breakingviews) - Double-digit oil is a welcome sign, not a harbinger of deflationary doom. The decline of the price of a barrel of Brent crude to just below $100, down 13 percent from its June peak, is good disinflation. It will help consumer spending and global economic recovery.
International tension has helped stabilise the gold price after a 2013 plunge. But the fundamentals are bad. ETF redemptions persist while bar and coin investment has dropped heavily. Jewellery demand remains soft. Consumers want cheaper gold. They are likely to get it next year.
The headline - 0.8 percent second-quarter growth - sounds good. But construction shrank and industrial production was weak. Only services were strong. It sounds like a warning of future problems. Expectations of a UK interest rate rise may be delayed, leading the pound down.
The IMF is worried about the risk of a global house price bubble. Housing markets may be regional, but low supply and excess demand are common worldwide. Macroprudential tools and construction are part of the response. But anything other than an end to cheap money is tinkering.