Gold up as investors buy the dip, returning the bullion to near $1,800 an ounce after it fell to a seven-month low overnight. In addition to a bargain hunter bounce, the yellow metal is benefitting from a softened U.S. dollar.
Earlier Friday, gold had fallen to its lowest level since early July as U.S. Treasury yields continued their march higher. Platinum, which climbed to a six-year high earlier in the week, also slipped.
U.S. Treasury yields hit a one-year high earlier this week. Along with recent gains in the dollar, they have weighed on bullion because they increase the opportunity cost of buying the precious metal.
April gold futures rose $2.20 Thursday to settle at $1,775.00 an ounce on Comex. Front-month prices are down 2.6% so far this week, heading for the worst week since the end of November. Bullion has retreated 4.1% so far in February after declining 2.4% in January. Gold climbed $372 — or 24% — in 2020 because of uncertainty about the economy and the pandemic. The April contract is currently up $4 an ounce to $1,779.00 and the DG spot price is $1,782.00.
Swiss gold exports to India reached their highest level since May 2019 last month, though exports to China and Hong Kong “remained at rock bottom,” Reuters reported, citing customs data released Thursday.
Spot platinum, which has gained about 18% so far this month amid forecasts for higher demand and tighter supplies, eased off the highs. The metal rose 1.7% Thursday to $1,274.00 an ounce. It advanced 0.5% in January and 11% in 2020. Currently, the DG spot price is up over $18 an ounce to $1,288.90.
Platinum, an autocatalyst, climbed 11% last week, getting a boost from green energy initiatives, including stricter global emissions rules, and a concern about supplies from South Africa, the world’s largest producer of the metal, which has mounting cases of COVID-19.
In economic news, U.S. initial jobless claims rose another 861,000 last week, almost 100,000 more than analysts had forecast, indicating that the labor force — and the economy — continue to suffer from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Investors continue to watch talks over President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion economic stimulus measure, which is seen as bullish for gold, often used as a hedge against inflation caused by such actions.
The COVID-19 virus has killed almost 2.44 million people worldwide and sickened almost 110.3 million. About 25% of the cases — and 20% of the deaths — are in the U.S. The country has about 27.9 million cases, more than any other nation.
May silver futures slipped 0.9% Thursday to settle at $27.12 an ounce on Comex. The front-month contract rallied 16% between Jan. 28 and Feb. 1, reaching an eight-year high. Front-month silver futures have increased 0.8% so far this month after gaining 1.9% in January and 47% in 2020. The March contract is currently up $0.397 an ounce to $27.465 and the DG spot price is $27.45.
Spot palladium decreased 0.5% Thursday to $2,380.00 an ounce. It’s up 6.7% after plummeting 9% in January and rallying 26% in 2020. Currently, the DG spot price is up $2.20 an ounce to $2,376.00.
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