Gold and silver prices rose slightly on Friday, but gains were limited due to continued expectations that the US Federal Reserve’s stimulus will be tapered. A firmer dollar also kept metals prices from increasing more, and caused copper prices to fall today.
Today, spot gold rose $3.68, to $1,227.24 an ounce, Reuters reported. Gold futures for February delivery in the US were also up today, increasing $3.30, to $1,228.20 an ounce. Gold hit its lowest level of the week yesterday at $1,220.10 an ounce.
Silver prices were up $0.097, to $19.54 an ounce. Silver futures for March delivery on the COMEX in New York were trading up as well, hitting $19.46 an ounce, an increase of $0.007 from the previous session, Kitco News said.
US retail data released Thursday came in better than expected, raising investors’ expectations that the Fed will begin tapering its $85-billion-a-month stimulus program as the economy improves, Reuters states. The Fed is scheduled to hold a meeting from December 17 to 18.
The US dollar rose against a basket of currencies today. That, along with US retail sales data and a budget deal passed by Congress this week, weighed on copper prices. Three-month copper prices on the London Metal Exchange were down $7, to $7,219 a tonne today. The red metal hit one-month highs earlier this week, increasing 1.5 percent overall.
Copper futures in the US rose, however. On the COMEX in New York, copper futures for March delivery increased $0.01, to $3.31 a pound, The Wall Street Journal reported. Investors expect global supply of the metal to tighten as demand rises in China, the world’s largest copper consumer.
Brent crude prices were down today, nearing $108 a barrel, Reuters said. The scaling back of the Fed’s stimulus is also weighing on Brent crude prices, as is the prospect of Eastern Libyan ports resuming oil exports. January Brent fell $0.30, to $108.37 a barrel today.