Weekly Round-Up: Modest Gains Across the Board

Weekly Round-Up: Modest Gains Across the BoardGold was steady on Friday, rising only 0.2 percent, or $2.52, to $1,259.20 an ounce on the London Metal Exchange, according to Reuters. US gold futures for February delivery rose $1.80, to $1,258.80 an ounce.

“The nonfarm payrolls came in weak, though it was still a slight improvement from December,” VTB Capital analyst Andrey Kryuchenkov told Reuters. ”But the unemployment rate dropped just about that 6.5 percent the Fed is looking for.

According to Kryuchenkov, “[g]old tried a lot of times in January to break above $1,270 and has never had a sustained close above that level. I think the longer we stay below $1,270, the more chances we have to tumble significantly.”

Silver, on the other hand, was up 4 percent this week, but down 0.4 percent, or $0.08, on the day at $19.84 an ounce.

Looking at base metals, three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange rose 0.24 percent, or $17.15, to $7,147 a tonne on Friday. The red metal has gained 1.1 percent so far this week. Nevertheless, prices are down 3 percent for the year, according to Reuters.

“The poor U.S. data is probably more positive than negative, because it takes the pressure off expectations of tapering,” Wiktor Bielski, VTB Capital’s head of commodities research, told Reuters. “I think over the next two weeks we’ll see an increase in Chinese buying. Overall stocks in China are not high; we have backwardations in Comex, LME and ShFE [Shanghai Futures Exchange]; premiums are high; so the market is not flush with copper.”

Copper futures for March delivery on New York’s COMEX rose 0.5 percent, or $0.02, to $3.245 a pound on Friday.

Brent crude rose 60 cents, to $107.79, on Friday, according to Reuters, as a fall in the US jobless rate spurred hopes for stronger demand for oil from the world’s top consumer.

“Hopes of a U.S. economic revival are powering the market higher and there has also been a general improvement in market sentiment and in risk appetite,” Carsten Fritsch, senior oil analyst at Commerzbank in Frankfurt, told Reuters.