Gold steady near $1,900 threshold, as investors anticipated a summit on Ukraine between U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The yellow metal hit, then slipped from an eight-month high it hit in early session trading.
The White House said late Sunday that the two leaders had agreed “in principle” to a meeting brokered by the French — as long as Russia doesn’t invade Ukraine first. The meeting would occur sometime after already-scheduled talks between U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Feb. 24, according to White House press secretary Jen Psaki.
The impending threat of a Russian invasion of Ukraine sent gold prices above $1,900 an ounce late last week. Gold is a traditional hedge against geopolitical uncertainty.
Front-month gold futures rose 3.1% last week to settle at $1,899.80 an ounce on Comex, though the metal slipped 0.1% Friday. Gold dropped 1.8% in January, its worst month since September. It retreated 3.5% in 2021. Currently, the April contract is down slightly, $3.80 (-0.20%) an ounce, to $1,896.00 and the DG spot price is $1,894.20.
The U.S. government and many financial markets are closed Monday for the Presidents Day holiday, so there will be no economic data to move investors.
Lingering tensions over the Ukraine situation are likely to support gold in the near term, while the yellow metal remains under pressure in anticipation of a series of Federal Reserve interest rate hikes beginning in March. Rate increases are bearish for gold — making the precious metal less attractive an investment — though the high inflation that’s spurring the action is itself bullish for gold. U.S. inflation posted the biggest year-on-year jump in about four decades in January.
Top Fed officials — Governor Lael Brainard, New York Fed President John Williams and Chicago Fed head John Williams — signaled in remarks Friday that they’re eager to begin raising rates, Bloomberg reported.
Front-month silver futures increased 2.6% last week to $24.04 an ounce on Comex. The May contract rallied 0.5% Friday. Silver dropped 4.1% in January after gaining 2.4% in December. It fell 12% in 2021. Silver prices are tied to industrial demand. The May contract is currently down $0.158 (-0.66%) to $23.880 and the DG spot price is $23.87.
Spot palladium rose 6.2% last week to $2,352.00 an ounce, though it tumbled 1.2% Friday. Palladium jumped 24% last month after rallying 9.6% in December. It retreated 22% in 2021. Palladium’s main use is in catalytic converters for gasoline-powered vehicles. Currently, the PGM is once again nearing $2,400…up $33.10 an ounce to $2,388.00
Spot platinum added 5.2% last week to $1,080.40 an ounce, though it fell 1.9% Friday. The metal rose 5.7% in January after gaining 2.9% in December. It lost 9.4% last year. The DG spot price is currently up $2.50 an ounce to $1,083.40
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