Gold slips under $2000

Gold slips under $2000

Gold slips under $2000 on firmer dollar as investors awaited further direction from this week’s monetary policy decision from the Federal Reserve. 

The U.S. monthly jobs report for November, which came out Friday, showed the labor market remains robust, reducing concern that the Fed’s series of interest rate hikes is harming the economy. U.S. consumer sentiment for December also topped all forecasts. The central bank has boosted rates by 5.25 percentage points since March 2022 to curb inflation to the 2% level. Monthly consumer sentiment data is also due out Friday. 

Front-month gold futures lost 3.6% last week to settle at $2,014.50 an ounce on Comex, after the February fell 1.6% Friday. Bullion rose 3.2% last month after gaining 6.9% in October and falling 5.1% in September. The metal is up 10% in 2023. The February contract is currently down $8.40 (-0.42%) an ounce to $2006.10 and the DG spot price is $1989.80.

U.S. nonfarm payrolls rose by a seasonally adjusted 199,000 last month, better than the 190,000 forecast by economists and the 150,000 October increase, according to data released by the Labor Department. Separately, the consumer sentiment index published by the University of Michigan jumped 8.1 points to a four-month high of 69.4. Economists had forecast 62. 

Market attention is shifting to this week’s Fed policy meeting. The CME FedWatch Tool shows that 98.4% of the investors it tracks are betting that the Fed will keep its federal funds rate unchanged Dec. 13, while 1.6% are expecting a 25 basis point increase. The central bank is expected to keep rates unchanged in January and March, too, but most investors tracked by the tool are betting on a rate cut in May. The Fed kept interest rates unchanged at 5.25% to 5.50% in November. 

World Gold Council Chief Market Strategist John Reade told CNBC last week that prices of the precious metal are likely to track individual economic reports into next year until the Fed makes its first interest rate cut, something seen as bullish for gold. 

Front-month silver futures decreased 10% last week to settle at $23.28 an ounce on Comex after the March contract dropped 3.3% Friday. Silver advanced 12% in November after increasing 2.2% in October and decreasing 9.5% in September. It’s down 3.2% in 2023. The March contract is currently down $0.086 (-0.37%) an ounce to $23.190 and the DG spot price is $22.93.

Spot palladium declined 4.9% last week to $966.00 an ounce after falling 2.8% Friday. Palladium lost 9.5% last month after dropping 10% in October and rising 3% in September. Palladium has plummeted 47% so far this year. Currently, the DG spot price is down $4.60 an ounce to $960.00.

Spot platinum retreated 1.1% last week to $926.70 an ounce, though it rose 0.8% Friday. Platinum fell 0.7% in November after gaining 3.5% in October and declining 6.6% in September. Platinum is down 13% in 2023. The DG spot price is currently down $2.50 an ounce to $919.0.

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