Gold aims for third weekly rally in four weeks, despite a small corrective withdrawal in the early part of Friday’s trading. The metal continues to be supported by the crisis in Ukraine.
The dispute — and a rally in other commodities — made gold more attractive to investors as a hedge against uncertainty and inflation. But the Federal Reserve’s efforts to combat inflation with a series of interest rate hikes kept a lid on prices.
Front-month gold futures rose 1.3% Thursday to $1,967.70 an ounce on Comex, and the June contract rallied 1.8% in the first four days of the week. Gold is up 7.6% in March after gaining 5.8% last month. It retreated 3.5% in 2021. The April contract is currently down $14.40 (-0.73%) an ounce to $1,947.80 and the DG spot price is $1,944.00.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Thursday that the U.K. and its allies would try to increase the economic pressure on Russia by determining whether more can be done to prevent Russian President Vladimir Putin from accessing his gold reserves. Johnson told LBC Radio that this type of pressure could shorten the war. The West has already frozen most of Russia’s $640 billion in central bank assets and barred it from the key global payments system.
Johnson, U.S. President Joe Biden and leaders met in Brussels on Thursday for a round of emergency summits involving NATO, the European Council, and the Group of Seven. Biden pledged new sanctions against Russia and humanitarian aid for Ukraine.
Federal Reserve comments early this week indicating that central bank policy makers might be open to more aggressive interest rate hikes pressured gold because other assets become more attractive to investors when interest rates rise.
U.S. applications for unemployment insurance fell to the lowest level since 1969 last week, according to the Labor Department’s weekly initial jobless claims report.
And gold got a boost — in its role as a hedge against uncertainty — as cases of COVID-19 omicron subvariant BA.2 continued to increase around the world.
Front-month silver futures increased 2.9% Thursday to $25.92 an ounce on Comex and gained 3.3% in the first four days of the week. Silver is up 6.4% in March after surging 8.8% in February. It fell 12% in 2021. Silver prices are tied to industrial demand. The May contract is currently off $0.095 (-0.37%) an ounce to $25.825 and the DG spot price is $25.34.
Spot palladium advanced 0.3% Thursday to $2,553.00 an ounce and is up 1.3% so far this week. It touched a record $3,440.76 earlier this month. Russia produces about 40% of the world’s palladium, and Russia’s Nornickel is the world’s largest supplier of palladium. The metal is up 1.9% this month after gaining 5.3% in February. It retreated 22% in 2021. Currently, the DG spot price is down $25.10 an ounce to $2530.50.
Spot platinum increased 0.8% Thursday to $1,033.60, and it lost 0.6% in the first four days of the week. The metal is down 1.2% in March after advancing 1.7% in February. It lost 9.4% last year. The DG spot price is currently down $15.50 an ounce to $1,019.50.
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