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Gold Prices Flat, Metals Report Monthly Gain

December 1, 2017 at 15:08 by Andrew Moran

Gold futures are trading flat on the final trading session of the week. The yellow metal is quiet as investors wait for the US Senate vote on the Republican tax legislation. Gold will still post a monthly and weekly gain amid an interesting November for the markets.

February gold futures rose $0.20, or 0.03%, to $1,276.90 per ounce at 13:52 GMT on Friday. Gold prices did finish the month with its lowest settlement since November, but the yellow logged a 0.50% monthly advance. It is also on track for a tepid weekly gain of 0.40%.

Silver, the sister commodity to gold, is in the rend to end the trading week. March silver futures tumbled $0.11, or 0.69%, to $16.36 an ounce. The white metal suffered a 1.4% monthly loss, and a 0.2% weekly decline.

The markets are paying close attention to Washington, where Senate lawmakers are expected to vote on the GOP’s tax bill. Uncertainty over President Donald Trump’s landmark legislation has been supporting some of gold’s modest gains as of late, impacting stocks.

Precious metals are taking a hit from a rising US dollar as the greenback jumped 0.07%. A strengthening dollar is generally bad for dollar-denominated commodities like gold and silver because it makes it more expensive for foreign investors to purchase.

Investors have already priced in an expected increase to interest rates at this month’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) policy meeting. The Federal Reserve has widely hinted that it will pull the trigger on its fourth rate hike in 12 months. The US central bank has warned that it will potentially take a gradual approach to the normalization of interest rates.

Gold is usually sensitive to a rising-rate environment because it lifts the opportunity cost and sends investors into yield-bearing assets.

In addition to the Senate vote, traders will start to factor in key economic data on Friday. The ISM manufacturing index hit 58.2 last month, while October construction spending is up 1.4%. Investors will keep their eyes open for monthly automobile sales.

Other metals experienced strong November numbers. March copper futures climbed $0.01, or 0.46%, to $3.05 per pound with a 0.9% advance in November. January platinum futures dipped $4.80, or 0.46%, to $938.20 an ounce with a 2.6% increase last month. March palladium futures surged $8.00, or 0.84%, to $1,012.00 per ounce with a 2.7% monthly rise.

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