Stronger USD Keeps Heat On Gold, Metals
Gold futures edged higher on Friday but still lost ground over the week as a stronger US dollar undermined many metal prices.
Worries about the increasingly erratic trade policies of Donald Trump also played no small part in helping metal prices weaken.
Copper, zinc and other metals were also weaker as a result.
Comex August gold edged up a tiny 20 cents to settle at $US1,270.70 an ounce, for a weekly loss of 0.6%.
Gold is on track for a month-to-date fall of 2.6%. Thursday’s settlement of $US1,270.50 an ounce was the lowest since December.
In other metals trading, Comex July silver rose 0.8% on Friday to end at $US16.459 an ounce, but was down 0.1% for the week while July Comex copper settled at $US3.027 a pound, up 0.2% for the day, but down 3.7% for the week for the second weekly fall in a row.
LME copper fell as the US dollar rose (it dropped on Friday but that was after the currency hit an 11 month high on Monday). Three month copper closed flat at $US6,789 a tonne but ended the week down 3.2% after peaking at four and a half year highs around $US7,300 a tonne the previous week.
Zinc prices hit their lowest in 10 months on Friday as rising stocks and increased mine supply worried traders. Zinc stocks in LME warehouses totalled 247,250 tonnes at last count, up 87% since March 1 this year.
Reuters also reported that an estimated 880,000 tonnes of additional zinc mine capacity is due to come on stream this year, according to the International Lead Zinc Study Group.
Three-month LME zinc hit $US2,889.50 a tonne, its lowest since last year August. It ended flat at $US2,917 a tonne, down nearly 5% for the week and its second weekly fall in a row.
LME aluminium closed down 0.2%at $US2,175.50 a tonne, lead rose 1.7% $US2,414.50, tin ended down 0.5% at $US20,400 but nickel was up nearly 2% at $US15,270 a tonne.
And despite weak steel futures prices on Friday the Metal Bulletin 62% Fe Iron Ore Index price for 62% iron ore delivered to northern China ended at $US65.34 a tonne up 46 cents a tonne and about steady on the previous week.
Glenn Dyer has been a finance journalist and TV producer for more than 40 years. He has worked at Maxwell Newton Publications, Queensland Newspapers, AAP, The Australian Financial Review, The Nine Network and Crikey.
At the AFR he was a finance writer, Finance Editor, News Editor and Chief of Staff. At the Nine Network he was supervising producer of Business Sunday for more than 16 years. He has also written for other online and analogue print publications here and overseas.