Reports that UK Prime Minister May had gotten some concessions from the EU regarding the Brexit terms ahead of today's scheduled vote in the UK parliament supported the pound overnight. This pressured the dollar and supported gold and silver.

However, as the session progressed the pound moved well off its highs, highlighting the uncertainty over today's vote. The action overnight does indicate that a "yes" vote on Brexit today would support the precious metals, while a "no" would pressure them, merely on the currency action.

Stronger global equity markets and a better-than-expected retail sales reading weighed on gold and silver on Monday. US retail sales rose by 0.2% in January, which was better than expected and a marked improvement over December. However, December sales, which were already weak, were revised down from -1.2% to -1.6%. That was the biggest decline since September 2009.

Risk appetites improved yesterday, a sharp change from last week, but they have eased a bit overnight, which is supportive to the metals. Recent action suggests that the US economy and the dollar are the main determinants in precious metals pricing, which could meant that the Brexit vote may have only a limited effect.

Barrick Gold has ended their hostile bid for Newmont and instead has agreed to enter into a joint venture with them.

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