Gold slipped from its two-week high early Wednesday as global equities climbed and the dollar rebounded on strong U.S. economic data, as concern grows that central bank tapering might start sooner than expected. Now all eyes and ears turn to today’s 2 p.m. EDT release of the Fed minutes from their March 16th meeting.
The yellow metal had advanced Tuesday after the International Monetary Fund raised its outlook for global economic growth for the year and U.S. Treasury yields and the dollar fell, making the yellow metal more attractive as an alternate investment.
Front-month gold futures rose 0.8% Tuesday to $1,743.00 an ounce on Comex, and the June contract advanced 0.5% in the first two days of this week. Futures slipped 0.8% in March after posting their worst month since 2016 in February. Gold climbed $372 — or 24% — in 2020 because of uncertainty about the economy and the pandemic. Currently, the June contract is down $6.60 an ounce to $1,736.40 and the DG spot price is $1,738.20.
Holdings in SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, declined 0.4% Tuesday to 1,029.04 metric tons, Reuters reported.
The IMF forecast that the world’s economy will grow 6% this year, up from an outlook of 5.5% in January, in what would be the fastest global economic expansion in records since 1980. IMF economists estimate the world’s economy shrank 3.3% in 2020 because of the pandemic.
The COVID-19 virus has killed more than 2.87 million people worldwide and sickened more than 132.3 million. About 23% of the cases — and 19% of the deaths — are in the U.S. The country has more than 30.8 million cases, more than any other nation.
The IMF outlook was bolstered by accelerating vaccination rates in the U.S. and reopenings in China. The two countries have the world’s largest economies. Stimulus efforts, including U.S. President Joe Biden’s multitrillion-dollar infrastructure plan, are expected to spur some of the growth.
U.S. job openings climbed to a two-year high in February, according to a Labor Department report released Tuesday.
After today’s Fed minutes, Investors will be looking to the release of weekly initial jobless claims Thursday for further signals on the state of the economy. Additionally,, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is scheduled to speak at an IMF panel Friday.
May silver futures increased 1.8% Tuesday to settle at $25.23 an ounce on Comex. The contract is up 0.5% in the first two days of this week. Silver dropped 7.2% in March 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 down $0.0172 an ounce to $25.055 and the DG spot price is $25.11.
Spot platinum gained 2.1% Tuesday to $1,239.30 an ounce and has risen 4.6% in the first two days of the week. It was flat 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 is up $3 an ounce to $1,244.60.
Spot palladium added 1.1% Tuesday to $2,710.00 an ounce.. Palladium advanced 13% in March. The metal gained 4.9% in February, plummeted 9% in January and rallied 26% in 2020. The DG spot price for palladium currently has dropped over $50 an ounce to $2,662.00.
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