The trading week heads for the finish line and gold and silver continue to trade in a well-defined range as they react to the influences other markets exert. This morning’s headline of surprisingly weak U.S. economic data, as witnessed by a fall in retail sales and factory orders, has equity investors looking for the exit sign as the Dow Jones average is down over 400 points. With another sharp fall in the NASDAQ, it is now down over 10 percent in the first two weeks of January. The yield on the U.S. ten year bond, which was expected to rise on the back of Fed tightening, has done nothing but fall the past few weeks as the yield is struggling to hold above two percent. As expected, traders and investors alike are seeking “safe haven” as gold and silver have “come off the ropes” this morning and are up sharply in early U.S. trading as silver has once again broken above $14.00. Crude oil continues to weigh heavily as it has fallen below $30.00 with many commentators calling for the sharp decline to continue. Data released by the World Gold Council and Bank for International Settlements shows that Central Banks continued to be a net buyer of gold through the end of the year with China and Russia being the featured buyers. Make sure you have your seat belt on today, as I get ready to hit the send button silver has dropped sharply and is back at $13.95. Today could be a roller coaster ride for many of the markets.