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Gold Futures Flat, Turn Lower for the Week on Upbeat US Data

May 17, 2019 at 13:16 by Andrew Moran

Gold futures are trading flat to close out the trading week, but they are on track to post a tepid weekly loss. The yellow metal was unable to sustain any momentum since the US and China escalated trade tensions, and the upbeat economic data did not help gold prices.

June gold futures added $0.10, or 0.01%, to $1,286.30 per ounce at 12:27 GMT on Friday. Gold prices are poised for a weekly dip of 0.05%, bringing their year-to-date losses to just under 1%.

Silver, the sister commodity to gold, is continuing its descent on Friday. July silver futures tumbled $0.075, or 0.52%, to $14.46 per ounce. The white metal will record a weekly slide of about 2%, raising its YTD plunge to 8%.

It has been an interesting week for precious metals, particularly gold. The yellow metal started off the week topping $1,300 before retreating to around the $1,285 to $1,290 range.

On Monday, China announced that it was retaliating to President Donald Trump’s tariff hikes to the tune of $60 billion, targeting everything from agriculture to energy to cosmetics. While tensions between the world’s two largest economies would be a boon for safe-haven assets like gold, investors fear that the trade dispute will weaken the global economy and lead to reduced demand for gold.

Equity markets cheered on reports that the White House was delaying automobile tariffs for six months.

On the data front, the metals market looked like it was going to surge on disappointing April retail sales, industrial output, and overall net capital flows fell by $8.1 billion. However, these were offset by gains in April housing permits and housing starts and a decline in initial jobless claims.

A surging US dollar exacerbated gold’s woes as the greenback rose 0.02% to 97,87, raising its weekly increase to 0.55%. So far this year, the buck has soared roughly 2%. A strengthening currency is bad for commodities priced in dollars because it makes it more expensive for foreign investors to purchase.

In other metal markets, July copper futures slipped $0.005, or 0.23%, to $2.74 per pound. July platinum futures fell $9.40, or 1.13%, to $824.20 an ounce. July palladium futures slid $4.70, or 0.35%, to $1,320.00 per ounce.

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