Weekly Round-Up: Post-holiday Trading Mixed

Weekly Round-Up: Post-holiday Trading MixedThe London Metal Exchange (LME) reopened today after a two-day holiday. The market had a day of decreases bolstered by some good luck for copper on news that China’s economy has grown substantially in 2013. Because it is the world’s largest consumer of copper, economic activity in China has a significant impact on the metals trade.

Currently, the US dollar is weak against many other currencies, making commodities priced in US dollars less expensive for buyers who use other currencies. Furthermore, metal exchange stocks of copper are at a historic low.

According to Reuters, gold stayed the course on Friday, with some physical buying taking place; however, it is still headed for its largest annual loss in three decades. The improvement of the global economy makes gold less appealing.

“If growth is the key driver as we start the year, that doesn’t give much upside potential to gold, which is usually considered a safe haven,” Saxo Bank senior manager Ole Hansen told Reuters.

Gold was steady at $1,210.50 as of 12:43 GMT, and US gold futures for February delivery fell to $1,210.30 per ounce.

Silver rose 0.4 percent, to $19.80 an ounce, with its largest daily gain in two weeks — 1.9 percent — posted on Thursday. Silver is down about 35 percent so far this year.

Three-month copper on the LME traded at $7,365 per tonne, Reuters reported, an increase of 1.3 percent, or $95.75, from before the two-day trading holiday. Copper prices are expected to rise in December in their biggest monthly gain since last fall. On the COMEX in New York, copper for March delivery dropped 0.5 percent, to $3.3815 a pound.

Brent crude oil declined 12 cents, to $111.86 a barrel, on Friday as tensions in Africa lowered the continent’s output of crude.