The first week of 2017 saw mixed results in every asset category, but currencies were mostly lower, while commodities were mostly higher. The week's biggest winner was palladium, which gained 8.6%. Gold stocks were also strong, rising 6.3%. Bitcoin displayed the most fireworks, shooting up to a new all-time high of 30.2 grams on Wednesday the 4th, then collapsing 21.5% to close the week down 8.1% at 23.7 grams. This drop was blamed by some on a Chinese central bank press release and by others on US speculators, but after almost doubling in the last year, a 22% pullback is hardly out of order, whatever the reason. In fact, Bitcoin could drop to the 18-20 gram level and still be above its rising trend line.
All government-issued currencies except the Canadian Dollar (up 0.3%) were lower, led by the US Dollar, which dropped 1.4%. The Euro fell 1.0%. The CNY fell least, dropping 0.4%. Bonds were mixed, with the 1-3 year SHY losing 1.5%, and the long term TLT closing unchanged for the week.
Major stock market indexes were mixed, with the Euro STOXX dropping 1.1%. while the Nikkei 225 rose 0.8%. In the US, the Dow fell 0.4% and the S&P 500 gained 0.3%. Gold stocks dominated the equities, with the HUI rising 6.3% to close at 5.2 grams.
Commodities were mostly higher; the only exceptions were crude oil, off 0.9%, and silver, down 0.1%. Palladium was the biggest winner, rising 8.6%, followed by platinum, which rose 4.2%. Copper was little changed, up 0.2%.
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