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Gold Slumps to One-Week Low, Poised for Second Straight Weekly Loss

August 21, 2020 at 18:34 by Andrew Moran

Gold futures are trading at their lowest levels in a week as the yellow metal is on track for the second straight weekly loss. Gold declined on a strengthening US dollar after the weakening currency contributed to the precious metal’s enormous gains over the last two months. Investors are bullish on prices in the short- to medium-term, so can gold return to above $2,000 next week?

December gold futures tumbled $1.80, or 0.09%, to $1,944.70 per ounce at 18:15 GMT on Friday on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gold is poised for a weekly drop of 0.5%, lowering its year-to-date surge to below 28%.

Silver, the sister commodity to gold, is also slumping to close out the trading week. September silver futures fell $0.407, or 1.5%, to $26.74 per ounce. Despite its turbulent week, the white metal is on track for a weekly increase of 0.7%. So far this year, silver has advanced more than 49%.

Precious metals failed to extend their 2020 rally to finish the trading week because of the greenback’s turnaround. The US Dollar Index, which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies, surged 0.54% to 93.29, from an opening of 92.72. The index, which has been clobbered since the end of the financial crisis this past spring, is getting ready to post a weekly jump of 0.2%. A stronger buck is bad for dollar-denominated commodities because it makes it more expensive for foreign investors to purchase.

Are gold prices in store for a sharper correction? Analysts are optimistic about gold’s bull run over the next several months, citing falling US yields, rising COVID-19 cases, the upcoming flu season, and pre-election woes. Plus, if the dollar tests the 91.00 or 92.00 range, gold prices could surge even more. However, gold failed to capitalize on the Federal Reserve’s warning this week that the coronavirus pandemic would “weigh heavily” on the economy, the labor market, and inflation.

Positive economic data added to gold’s disappointing session. The IHS Markit manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) surged to 53.6, the composite PMI climbed to 54.7, and the services PMI hit 54.8 in August. Anything above 50 indicates expansion.

Existing home sales soared 24.7% in July, up from the 20.2% gain in June. The market forecast a 14.7% boost.

In other metal markets, September copper futures tumbled $0.053, or 1.78%, to $2.9215 per pound. September platinum futures dipped $1.30, or 0.14%, to $925.60 per ounce. September palladium futures fell $5.30, or 0.24%, to $2,181.60 an ounce.

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