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Prospects Daily: Gold, silver continue declines, US leading indicator improves, Thailand and Chile GDP growth slows

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Financial Markets…The yen gained the most in three weeks versus the dollar on Monday, appreciating 0.7% to 102.56 per dollar, after Japan’s economy minister suggested further slide in the currency may have negative effects. Japan’s currency declined 21% in the past six months and fell to a 41/2 year low last week. Weaker yen have pushed Japanese government bonds lower and sent the country’ benchmark stock index to a 41/2 year high.

Silver for June delivery dropped to the lowest level since September 2010, sliding as much as 9.4% to $20.25 an ounce, while gold for June settlement fell for an eight consecutive session (the longest slump in four years), falling as much as 2.1% to $1,336.30 an ounce. Prices for silver and gold have tumbled 28% and 19% thus far this year, respectively.

Indian’s stocks fell from more than a two-year high today, with the benchmark Sensex index sliding 0.3%, on high valuation concern. The Sensex has bounced back 11% from a seven-month low reached on April 9 as oversea investors increased their purchases of local stocks following the rate cut by the central bank. The Indian share has been the best performer among benchmarks in the so-called BRIC countries this year.

High-income EconomiesItaly's industrial new orders grew 1.6% (m/m sa) in March from the prior month, due to a 3.6% rise in non-domestic orders, while domestic orders increased only 0.2%. However, industrial orders contracted by 12.5% (3m/3m saar) in March, a further decline compared to 11.9% decline in February.

UK’s house prices hit a record in May, as new sellers raised their prices by 2.1% (m/m) from the prior month. Prices were up by the same magnitude in April and this was a fifth consecutive monthly growth which has left prices 9.1% higher year-to-date.

US leading economic indicators index grew by 3.7% (3m/3m saar) in April, slightly down from 3.8% in the previous month. However, it expanded 0.6% (m/m) in April after a revised 0.2% contraction in March, led by improvements in building permits and interest rate spread.

Developing EconomiesEast Asia and the Pacific: Thailand’s GDP contracted by 8.4% (q/q saar) in 2013Q1, sharply down from a growth of 11.7% (q/q saar) in the previous quarter. The slowdown was largely due to sluggish domestic demand and soft exports. On y/y basis Thai GDP expanded 5.3% in Q1.

Latin America and the Caribbean: Chile’s GDP growth slowed in 213Q1 to 2% (q/q saar), down from 6.1% (q/q saar) in the previous quarter led by slowdown in investments, consumption and sluggish exports. On y/y basis, Chilean GDP expanded 4.1% in Q1.

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