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Gold Poised for Tepid Weekly Gain As Coronavirus Fears Ebb and Flow

February 14, 2020 at 17:27 by Andrew Moran

Gold futures are on track for a modest weekly gain as coronavirus fears continue to ebb and flow in global financial markets. The outbreak’s impact on equities appears to be seesawing, which is causing uncertainty for traders seeking safe-haven assets. A soaring US dollar is also affecting the precious metal to close out the trading week.

April gold futures rose $6.10, or 0.39%, to $1,584.90 per ounce at 16:06 GMT on Friday on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The yellow metal is poised for a weekly jump of 0.7%, lifting its year-to-date gain to 4.3%. Over the last 12 months, gold prices have surged 20%.

Silver, the sister commodity to gold, is also picking up gains to finish the trading week. March silver futures tacked on $0.105, or 0.59%, to $17.725 an ounce. The white metal will squeak out a small increase of 0.23%, but it is still down 1% so far in 2020.

Investors are attempting to comprehend the economic impact of Covid-19 in China. While it is evident that the virus will significantly hamper growth in the world’s second-largest economy in the first half of 2020, analysts are uncertain of how much it will hurt the global economy. There is still a lot of unknowns at this point, except that the number of new cases has slowed down.

The international death toll has risen to nearly 1,400 and the number of confirmed cases has exceeded 65,000.

Craig Erlam, a senior market analyst at Oanda, perfectly summarized the developments in an interview with MarketWatch:

It’s been interesting to watch investors navigate their way through this crisis as it was evident very early on that the scale of it would likely be unknown for a while at least.

We had the inevitable panic to begin with and then, as the reality became worse than feared, calm was restored and stock markets found themselves back in record territory.

Gold has been quietly returning to the crucial $1,600 mark one month after it topped a nine-year high.

The yellow metal’s ascent was capped by a rising US dollar as the greenback edged up 0.06% to 99.13, from an opening of 99.07. The buck has surged to its best level since October and is already up 3% on the year. A strong greenback is bad for dollar-denominated commodities because it makes it more expensive for foreign investors to purchase.

Meanwhile, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell delivered his semi-annual testimony in Congress this week and he confirmed that the central bank will still monitor the virus. At this time, the market is not anticipating any movement on interest rates until later in the year.

In other metal markets, March copper futures tumbled $0.01, or 0.45%, to $2.60 per pound. March platinum futures shed $6.50, or 0.67%, to $968.20 an ounce. March palladium futures plunged $24.50, or 1.04%, to $2,326.50 per ounce.

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