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Budget Cuts Mean Furlough Friday at Four Federal Agencies

Across the board budget cuts have shaped Furlough Friday in Washington and somewhere else because the one day closing of four federal agencies forced an unpaid day off for 115,000 workers.

Employees at the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Urban Development and Housing, the office of Management and the Internal Revenue Service and Budget stayed home on Friday.

According to Cory Bythrow, communications director at the National Federation of Federal Employees, a union representing government workers. The unemployment affects about 5 percent of the federal workforce. Bythrow tracks workplace fallout from the budget cuts that are known as sequestration.

Bythrow said eighty-five percent of the workers who were furloughed on Friday are based outside Washington. They include union and non-union employees, depending largely on where they are.

The layoff come as the United States heads into a holiday weekend, with Memorial Day celebrated on Monday, when government offices will be closed.

A Washington Post poll released on Friday found 37 percent of Americans feel confiscation has hurt them personally, up from 25 percent in March. Almost half of those affected say the harm to them has been major.


Precious Metal Fall 1.5 percent on US Dollar Gain, Posts Weekly Plunge

Yellow metal knock down almost 1.5 percent on Friday as a sharp increased in the US dollar against the Japanese yen triggered technical selling, sending the metal to a two-week low.

Bullion slip for a second consecutive day as the yen plummeted to its weakest against the US dollar in more than four years on Friday, a day following the US currency climbed above the 100-yen level. The US dollar rally also weighed on industrial commodities led by crude.

Gold posted a weekly fall of almost 2.5 percent as continued outflows in gold-backed exchange-traded funds more than offset strong physical retail demand following yellow metal’s historic selloff in mid-April.

Precious metal’s sharp losses previous month has intensified a disconnect among funds that sold on dissatisfaction over gold’s under performance and individual investors who could not get sufficient physical gold coins and bars at bargain prices.

Miguel Perez-Santalla, vice president of BullionVault, an online physical gold and silver market it’s all about the greenback strength, that’s where all the fast money is going. He said, I believe this is another opportunity for physical buyers.

Spot gold knocks down as much as 2.5 percent to a low of $1,420.60 per ounce earlier in the session. It was down 1.3 percent at $1,438.51 per ounce by 2:28 p.m. (1828 GMT)

US Comex division gold futures for June delivery settled down $32 at $1,436.60 per ounce, with trading volume almost 10 percent over its 30-day average.

Carlos Sanchez, director of commodities and asset management at CPM Group said yellow metal accelerated losses following sell-stops were triggered below technical support at $1,450 per ounce.

Gold’s failure to break above a $40 trading range in the precedent two weeks suggested sentiment remains weak following the metal plunged to $1,321.35 an ounce on April 16, its lowest in more than two years.


Obama says US to Investigate if Boston Bombings Suspects Had Help

Obama appeared in the White House conference room following police arrested the lone surviving suspect in the Boston suburb of Watertown, ending a dramatic manhunt, the other suspect was killed in a shootout overnight with police.

The US leader watched the fast-paced developments on television in the White House residence then come back to the Oval Office where he was briefed by FBI Director Robert Mueller. Relief cleaned the White House at the news of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s arrest however there was no sign of a celebration.

Obama said, obviously tonight there are still many unanswered questions, Among them why did young men who grew up and studied here as part of our communities and country remedy to such violence? How did they graph and carry out these attacks, and did they receive any help?.

The successful termination of the manhunt allowed Obama to tout a major law enforcement achievement in reaction to the worst attack on US soil since the September 11, 2001, attacks.

Questions remain however, over the FBI’s exposé on Friday that it had interviewed one of the suspects in 2011 and found no evidence that he posed a security risk.

The president, looking serious and gripping the podium, stated Americans are in debt to the people of Boston and Massachusetts for their flexibility in responding to the twin blasts that killed three people and injured 176 others on Monday and enduring a wrenching week.

We will determine what happened. We will investigate any association that these terrorists may have had and will take on to do whatever we have to do to keep our people safe.

In influence Americans to show tolerance, Obama may have been referring to the surviving suspect who is identified to have posted links to Islamic websites calling for Chechen independence.

He further said, that’s why we have courts, that’s why we take care not to rush to judgment not regarding the motivations of these individuals, certainly not regarding entire groups of people, we welcome people from all around the world, people of every ethnicity and faith.


Gold Fall to Near 4 week Low on US Economic Confidence

Precious gold knock down for a second straight day on Wednesday to strike its weakest in four weeks, with investors switching their money into risky assets for healthier returns on renewed optimism over the US economy.

Gold has slide more than 3 percent since striking a 1 month high in March as fears regarding the debt crisis in Europe subsided and Wall Street rallied on strong US economic statistics, limiting safe haven demand.

Yellow metal jump down as much as 0.8 percent to $1,563.06 per ounce on Wednesday, its lowest since March 8, following initially hitting an intraday day high of $1,576.91 per ounce on bargain hunting. By 0628 GMT, bullion was at $1,565.16 down $10.08 per ounce.

CIMB regional economist Song Seng Wun said that essentially all depends on the flavor of the day. Now he believe sentiment has shifted, maybe with the US economy on a stronger footing, it’s enhancement to be in equities.

Weaker bullion prices dragged down other metals, with silver declining to its lowest since July attracting physical buying from Thailand.

US data on Tuesday demonstrate February factory orders climbed 3 percent somewhat above then expectations.

Spot gold to jump down to $1,562 per ounce.

It was just a day earlier that gold reclaimed the $1,600  per ounce level, increasing $5.20 or 0.3%, to settle at $1,617.90 per  ounce, feeding off less than expected US manufacturing statistics.

Mark O’Byrne, executive director at gold dealer GoldCore said that risk appetite is progressing to pressurize bullion, however the metal’s fundamentals remain sound and smart money will continue to buy on the dip.

Possibly one should take a bit more risk, It is more of a case of people taking capital off the table from precious metal because they are not quite sure where the technical downside is for yellow metal at this point.

Gold future for June delivery jump down $25 or 1.6%, to settle at $1,575.90 per ounce.