Gold slips on positive U.S. Retail Sales figures and rebounding bond yields, but the yellow metal is clinging to a three-week high, clinging to a weekly rally.
Gold dropped 0.8% to $1,780 an ounce when U.S. benchmark 10-year Treasury yields recovered earlier Friday from the more than one-week low hit on Thursday. Meanwhile, consumers surprised the markets, spending at a much faster pace than expected in September, per this morning’s Census Bureau report. Retail sales jumped 0.7%, far better than the Dow Jones forecast of a 0.2% decline. Compared to a year ago, sales were up 13.9%. The yellow metal slipped another $10 an ounce on the report to hover around $1,770.
In addition to Treasurys, U.S. currency came under pressure Wednesday and Thursday after the latest inflation and jobs reports and the release of the minutes of the last Federal Reserve policy meeting increased investors certainty that the central bank would act to taper pandemic stimulus measures at policymakers’ next meeting in early November.
December gold futures rose 0.2% Thursday to settle at $1,797.90 an ounce on Comex, the highest closing price in a month. The front-month contract gained 2.3% in the first four days of the week. Gold retreated 3.4% in September after gaining just 90 cents in August. It dropped $14.60 in the third quarter. The yellow metal is down 5.1% so far in 2021. Currently, the December contract is down $30.40 (-1.69%) an ounce to $1,767.50 and the DG spot price is $1,769.30.
In physical news, Barrick Gold Corp. reported third-quarter gold production rose almost 5% from the second quarter as output increased at its Veladero mine in Argentina.
In economic news, the key September inflation report released Wednesday showed that U.S. consumer prices rose more than expected as last month as energy costs increased. the U.S. consumer price index grew by 0.4%, above the 0.3% forecast by economists surveyed by Dow Jones.
Meanwhile, the minutes of the September Fed meeting showed members felt the central bank was close to reaching its economic goals and could begin reducing the help it’s been providing the economy beginning in mid-November. That timetable is more aggressive than many investors had anticipated. Many economists have urged the Fed to act sooner rather than later to rein in inflation that’s at the highest level in three decades.
In other positive news for the economy Thursday, the U.S. initial jobless claims report showed that new applications for new unemployment benefits fell below 300,000 last week for the first time since the pandemic began.
December silver futures increased 1.3% Thursday to settle at $23.48 an ounce on Comex. The front-month contract gained 3.4% in the first four days of the week. Silver retreated 8.2% in September, its fourth consecutive monthly decline, and plummeted 16% in the third quarter. The metal is down 11% so far this year. Silver prices are tied to industrial demand. The December contract is down $0.222 (-0.95%) an ounce to $23.255 and the DG spot price is $23.40.
Spot platinum rose 2.8% Thursday to $1,061.00 an ounce and is up 2.9% so far this week. The metal lost 5.3% last month and 10% last quarter. It’s down 1.2% so far this year. Currently, the DG spot price is up $5.00 an ounce to $1,063.30.
Spot palladium added 0.8% Thursday to $2,158.50 an ounce and is up 3% so far this week. It lost 23% in September, 31% in the third quarter and is down 12% so far in 2021. The DG spot price is currently down $30.40 an ounce to $2,142.50.
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