Gold rose to a two-week high today, according to Reuters, hitting $1,231.60 an ounce. Though prices dropped earlier in the week, a discouraging performance from equities has created demand for the precious metal as an asset. Chinese physical demand is high as well, which has also contributed to gold’s price rise.
Those gains follow the yellow metal’s nearly 30-percent loss in 2013, due in large part to the US government’s decision to taper its monetary stimulus program. Analysts believe gold could drop more in 2014 after a few weeks of rebalancing. However, analyst Chen Min of Jinrui Futures told Reuters that Chinese demand for gold is likely to stay high through the Lunar New Year on January 31 as gold is a traditional gift for that holiday.
Silver hit a three-week high of $20.30 on Friday, an increase of 24 cents from Thursday; however, it soon dropped back to $20.16.
Copper declined Friday on the London Metal Exchange (LME) on expectations of higher supply. A report on Chinese manufacturing activity released on New Year’s Day also played a role in the red metal’s drop as the data was not positive.
Specifically, three-month copper fell $71 on Friday, to $7,322 per tonne. On Thursday, it hit a high of $7,460 during the day, its highest level since June 5. Copper stocks in warehouses that the LME monitors are at a low not seen since January 2013. Copper on the COMEX exchange in New York fell the most in two weeks in reaction to flagging Chinese manufacturing data. Copper for March delivery fell 3 cents, to $3.351 a pound.
Brent crude oil rose modestly on Friday, according to Reuters, but expectations of a rise in Libyan supply as well as anticipation of US stockpile data tempered its gains. Brent crude rose 13 cents, to $107.91 a barrel.