Gold near new record this morning as the PCE price index show an muted, and expected increase this morning, while gold futures headed for the best month in more than four years amid a flight to quality as investors used the yellow metal as a haven following dismal U.S. economic numbers.
The PCE index, the Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation barometer, rose by 0.4%, but the yearly rate of inflation was quite low – less than 1%.
Futures were just shy of $2,000 an ounce on Comex early Friday. The metal also got a boost from a weak dollar, a worsening outlook for the coronavirus pandemic and a standoff between the U.S. and China.
The December gold futures contract advanced 2.2% in the first four days of this week, though it slipped 0.5% Thursday to settle at $1,966.80 an ounce on Comex. The most-active December contract increased 2% in the first two days of the week. The most-active contract was 9.2% for the month, through Thursday. Currently, the December contract is at $1,985.30, while the DG spot price is $1969.50.
U.S. GDP contracted by 32.9% in the second quarter, compared with the year earlier, shattering all previous quarterly records, as the coronavirus pandemic sent the economy into a tailspin, shuttering businesses and sending tens of millions of people into the ranks of the unemployed. Separate data also released Thursday showed initial jobless claims rose for a second straight week. It was the 19th consecutive week that claims topped 1 million
Minutes after the economic data were released Thursday, U.S. President Donald Trump suggested delaying the November presidential election in a tweet. Lawmakers from both parties said that Congress — which has the power to change the election date, not the president — would not do so. But the tweet added to the market uncertainty.
The virus known as COVID-19 has killed more than 673,000 people worldwide and sickened 17.3 million. About 26% of the cases — and 23% of the deaths — are in the U.S. The country has 4.49 million cases, more than any other nation.
A key model for the spread of the coronavirus shows there will be more than 230,000 U.S. deaths from COVID-19 by November, up from the prior forecast. The outlook came as governments, schools and parents debate whether schools should restart in person.
Meanwhile, the economy in China continued to strengthen, with manufacturing data for July showing slow improvement. Relations between the U.S. and China continue to be tense after the U.S. ordered the Chinese consulate in Houston closed last week and Beijing responded by shuttering the U.S. consulate in Chengdu. A trade standoff between the two nations that lasted for most of 2019 sent gold prices soaring.
Silver futures slipped 3.9% Thursday to $23.36 an ounce on Comex, but remained up 2.2% for the week. The most-active contract has surged 25% in July, through Thursday. Currently, the September contract is at $24.23 , while the DG spot price is $24.10
Spot palladium fell 4.4% Thursday to $2,104.70 an ounce and is down 7.9% for the week and up 6.2% for the month. Spot platinum dropped 3.9% Thursday to $906.40 an ounce. It was down 2% for the week but has risen 8.2% this month. The DG spots prices are currently up for platinum at $918.50, while palladium is down to $2,113.20.