Gold holds steady this morning but still looks to be heading for its first decline in three weeks against continued strength in the U.S. dollar and Treasury yields. Rising geopolitical risks and a third wave of the pandemic are lending gold support.
Gold, Treasurys and the dollar are all traditional hedges against inflation, which is anticipated from stimulus measures designed to support an economy still reeling from the coronavirus pandemic. But most of the recent trade has gone to Treasurys and the dollar.
Front-month gold futures fell 0.5% Thursday to settle at $1,727.30 an ounce on Comex. The June contract decreased 1% in the first four days of the week. Gold is down $1.50 so far this month after posting its worst month since 2016 in February. Gold climbed $372 — or 24% — in 2020 because of uncertainty about the economy and the pandemic. Currently, the April contract is flat at $1,725.10 an ounce and the DG spot price is $1,728.30.
The weekly U.S. initial jobless claims report released Thursday by the Labor Department showed new applications for unemployment benefits dropped to the lowest level in a year last week. Gold basically shrugged off this morning’s core inflation report for February. Consumer spending dropped 1.0% last month after rebounding 3.4% in January, per the Commerce Department, while personal income tumbled 7.1% after surging 10.1% in January. Economists had forecast consumer spending decreasing 0.7% in February and income declining 7.3%.
Meanwhile, at his first news conference since becoming president, Joe Biden set a new target of administering 200 million vaccine doses within the first 100 days of his administration. The previous goal was 100 million.
The COVID-19 virus has killed more than 2.75 million people worldwide and sickened almost 125.4 million. About 24% of the cases — and 20% of the deaths — are in the U.S. The country has more than 30 million cases, more than any other nation.
May silver futures decreased 0.7% Thursday to settle at $25.05 an ounce on Comex and fell 4.8% in the first four days of the week. Silver is down 5.3% so far this month after decreasing 1.8% in February, its first retreat in three months. It gained 1.9% in January and 47% in 2020. The May contract is currently up $0.028 to $25.075 and the DG spot price is $25.04.
Spot platinum retreated 1.8% Thursday to $1,159.70 an ounce and is down 3.9% so far this week. The metal has lost 3% in March after rallying 11% in February amid forecasts for higher demand and tighter supplies. The autocatalyst metal rose 0.5% in January and 11% in 2020. Currently, the DG spot price for platinum is up over $6 an ounce to $1,166.00.
Spot palladium slipped 0.6% Thursday to $2,638.00 an ounce and is down 1.1% this week. It has advanced 13% in March. It gained 4.9% in February, plummeted 9% in January and rallied 26% in 2020. The DG spot price is currently up over $18 an ounce to $2,659.00.
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