The market was taken by surprise Friday by the news that Deutsche Bank (NYSE:DB) will withdraw from gold and silver benchmark setting while German officials investigate possible manipulation of precious metals prices by financial institutions. Deutsche Bank is one of five banks involved in gold fixing for global price-setting, according to Reuters, and is recusing itself from that process.
Gold was up 0.1 percent or $1.24 Friday to $1,243.51 an ounce. However, the metal is on track for an 0.3-percent drop for the week overall. According to Reuters, this is a reflection of conflicting U.S. economic data that casts doubt on the pace of the country’s recovery. U.S. gold futures for February delivery rose $2.80 to $1,243 an ounce, according to the news service.
“The U.S. data may not be uniformly good but it is not as bad as it used to be and the main thing now is that investors anticipate an increase in interest rates in the United States,” BofA Merrill Lynch analyst Michael Widmer told Reuters.
Silver was up 0.4 percent or $0.08 to $20.12 an ounce on Friday as well.
Copper dropped on the London Metal Exchange Friday, down 0.2 percent or $14.59 to $7,296 per metric ton, according to The Wall Street Journal. On New York’s Comex, however, copper gained $0.02 to $3.36 a pound, according to The Globe and Mail.
Brent crude oil was rebounding from a two-month low Friday, though it is on course to finish the week around 1 percent lower, according to Reuters. Brent crude for March delivery rose $0.28 to $106.03 a barrel, partially because Libya’s oil production has recovered a bit after it restarted output at the El Sharara field recently. Nuclear talks with Iran could also loosen or end sanctions against the country, which have curbed its oil exports significantly.